Genetic Effects on Beef Tenderness in Bos indicus Composite and Bos taurus Cattle

S. F. O'Connor, J. D. Tatum, D. M. Wulf, R. D. Green, G. C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bos indicus composite and Bos taurus cattle, originating from diverse production environments, were used to quantify genetic variation in marbling, 24-h calpastatin activity, and beef tenderness and to identify strategies for prevention of beef tenderness problems in Bos indicus composite cattle. Comparisons among 3/8 Bos indicus breeds (Braford, Red Brangus, Simbrah) revealed significant differences in marbling and 24-h calpastatin activity, but not in tenderness. Compared with Bos taurus cattle, 3/ 8 Bos indicus cattle had similar marbling scores but higher 24-h calpastatin activities. Also, beef from 3/8 Bos indicus composites aged more slowly from 1 to 7 d and was less tender at 4, 7, 14, 21, and 35 d postmortem than beef from Bos taurus cattle. However, beef from 3/8 Bos indicus cattle was relatively tender if it was aged for a sufficient period of time (21 d). The delayed response to aging and greater toughness of beef from 3/8 Bos indicus cattle was associated with Brahman breed effects and was not related to the Bos taurus germplasm source. Marbling was moderately heritable (.52 ± .21) but exhibited positive genetic correlations with shear force at d 1 through 14 of aging, suggesting that, in these cattle, selection for increased marbling would have an unfavorable effect on beef tenderness. A low heritability estimate for 24-h calpastatin activity (.15 ± .15), coupled with low genetic correlations between calpastatin activity and shear force at 7, 14, and 35 d, suggested that selection for low calpastatin activity would have little effect on aged beef tenderness. Panel tenderness and shear force at 7, 14, and 21 d were moderately heritable (.27 to .47), indicating that aged beef tenderness could be improved by direct selection (via progeny testing). Comparisons among Simbrah, Senegus x Simbrah, and Red Angus x Simmental steers showed that inclusion of a tropically adapted Bos taurus breed (Senepol) could be an effective strategy for preventing beef tenderness problems in heat-tolerant cattle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1822-1830
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume75
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Beef
  • Calpastatin
  • Genetics
  • Marbling
  • Tenderness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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