Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in J. Anim. Sci. 1999. 77:2336–2344. Copyright © 1999 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


A resource flock of 362 F2 lambs provided phenotypic and genotypic data to estimate effects of callipyge ( CLPG) genotypes (NN, NC, CN, and CC) on meat quality traits. The mutant allele is represented as C, the normal allele(s) as N, and the paternal allele of a genotype is given first. Lambs of each genotype born in 1994 and 1995 were serially slaughtered in six groups at 3-wk intervals starting at 23 wk of age. Warner-Bratzler shear force and subjective evaluation of marbling were collected during both years from longissimus. Calpastatin activity was measured on longissimus from the 1994 group, and ELISA quantification of calpastatin protein was obtained from the 1995 group. Significant additive and paternal polar overdominance effects on meat quality traits were detected. This is in contrast to previous research that detected only polar overdominance effects on slaughter and carcass traits in this population. The magnitude of genotypic effects on shear force differed significantly between years; however, additive ( P < .01), paternal polar overdominance ( P < .001), and maternal dominance ( P < .01) effects adjusted for variation in carcass weight were detected within each year. Shear force data adjusted to the mean slaughter age or carcass weight indicated that the means and variances of CN and CC genotypes were greater than values of NC and NN. Shear force values were greatest for CN and were intermediate for CC. The difference in shear force (adjusted for variation in slaughter age) between homozygous genotypes (additive effect) was supported by calpastatin activity data with 2-df F-tests of 3.66 ( P < .05) and 11.84 ( P < .001) at d 0 and 7 postmortem, respectively. Corresponding values for the paternal polar overdominance effects on calpastatin activity were 53.80 ( P < .001) and 87.43 ( P < .001). Calpastatin ELISA data (d 0, adjusted for slaughter age) exhibited a paternal polar overdominance effect exclusively with a 2-df F-test of 57.63 ( P < .001). Additive and paternal polar overdominance effects on marbling adjusted for slaughter age had F-tests of 6.41 ( P < .01) and 93.29 ( P < .001), respectively. Consequences of increased longissimus shear force must be addressed if the advantages of CN lambs for dressing percentage and carcass composition are to be realized. Further research is needed to establish whether selection targeted at changing the background genome can mitigate the negative effects of the C allele on meat tenderness.