U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Agricultural Research Service U.S. Department of Agriculture, June 2001.


Breed differences in performance characteristics are an important genetic resource for improving efficiency of beef production. Diverse breeds are required to exploit heterosis and complementarity through crossbreeding and development of composite populations to match genetic potential with diverse markets, feed resources and climates. Beef producers are under increasing pressure to reduce fat while maintaining or improving tenderness and palatability of products. This report presents preliminary results from Cycle VI of the Germplasm Evaluation Program at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (U.S. Meat Animal Research Center) which focuses primarily on characterization of Continental European breeds with a history of dual purpose (milk and meat production) use and the Wagyu breed from Japan reputed to have unusual propensity to deposit marbling in Japanese beef production systems.