Phenotypic and genetic correlations of fatty acid composition in subcutaneous adipose tissue with carcass merit and meat tenderness traits in Canadian beef cattle

Ekine-Dzivenu, C., Vinsky, M., Basarab, J.A., Aalhus, J.L., Dugan, M.E.R., Li, C. (2017). Phenotypic and genetic correlations of fatty acid composition in subcutaneous adipose tissue with carcass merit and meat tenderness traits in Canadian beef cattle, 95(12), 5184-5196. http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/jas2017.1966

Abstract

© 2017 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.Bivariate animal models were used to estimate phenotypic and genetic correlations between 9 carcass merit and meat tenderness traits with 25 individual and grouped fatty acids in the subcutaneous adipose tissue of a population of 1,366 Canadian beef cattle finishing heifers and steers. In general, phenotypic correlations were low (<0.25 in magnitude) except for moderate phenotypic correlations of 9c-17:1 (−0.29 ± 0.16), 18:0 (0.26 ± 0.14), 11c-18:1 (−0.33 ± 0.15), 11t-18:1 (0.35 ± 0.14) with Warner–Bratzler shear force measured 3 d postmortem and between 14:0 (−0.36 ± 0.1), 9c-14:1 (−0.34 ± 0.08), 9c-16:1 (−0.36 ± 0.08), 9c-18:1 (0.26 ± 0.07), and sum of branched-chain fatty acids (BCFA; −0.27 ± 0.06) and back fat thickness (BFAT). Genetic correlations were also low for most of the traits. However, moderate to moderately high genetic correlations (0.25 to 0.50 in magnitude) were detected for some traits, including 17:0 (0.4 ± 0.11), 18:0 (0.44 ± 0.12), 9c-14:1 (−0.47 ± 0.11), 9c-16:1 (−0.43 ± 0.11), and the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio (−0.5 ± 0.15) with HCW; 9c-14:1 (−0.41 ± 0.13) and 9c-16:1 (−0.42 ± 0.13) with BFAT; ai17:0 (0.43 ± 0.19) and BCFA (0.45 ± 0.19) with lean meat yield; 13c-18:1 (0.40 ± 0.15) with carcass marbling score; sum of CLA (0.45 ± 0.22), 18:2n-6 (0.47 ± 0.17), and sum of PUFA (0.48 ± 0.17) with overall tenderness measured 3 d postmortem; the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio (0.41 ± 0.22) and sum of CLA (0.42 ± 0.25) with overall tenderness measured 29 d postmortem; and BCFA (0.41 ± 0.27) with Warner–Bratzler shear force measured 29 d postmortem. The genetic correlations observed in this study suggest that contents of some fatty acids in beef tissue and carcass merit and meat tenderness traits are likely influenced by a subset of the same genes in beef cattle. Due to some antagonistic genetic correlations, multiple-trait economic indexes are recommended when fatty acid composition, carcass merit, and meat tenderness traits are included in the breeding objective.

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