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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Products

The heritabilities, phenotypic correlations, and genetic correlations of lean color and palatability measures from longissimus muscle in beef cattle


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 6, p. 2931-2937
    Received: July 19, 2012
    Accepted: Mar 2, 2013
    Published: November 25, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. P. J. Pratt*11,
  2. D. W. Moser,
  3. L. D. Thompson*,
  4. S. P. Jackson*,
  5. B. J. Johnson*,
  6. A. J. Garmyn* and
  7. M. F. Miller 2
  1. Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock 79409
    Department of Animal Science, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66502


Data from a study conducted over 5 yr were analyzed to determine heritability estimates of LM lean color, as measured by subjective scoring and Hunter Colorimeter readings, and palatability, as measured by trained sensory panelists and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF). Phenotypic and genetic correlations were determined between each of the measures of palatability and color. There were 1,066 cattle representing 12 different breeds in the study. Subjective lean color and a* (redness) and b* (yellowness) values were moderately heritable, 0.34 ± 0.122, 0.29 ± 0.115 and 0.28 ± 0.120, respectively, whereas the L* (lightness) was lowly heritable, 0.09 ± 0.087. The heritability of WBSF was moderately heritable ranging from 0.23 ± 0.114 (3 d) to 0.42 ± 0.148 (21 d). Sustained tenderness, as measured by sensory panelists, was found to be moderately heritable ranging from 0.16 ± 0.108 (21 d) to 0.33 ± 0.135 (14 d). Sustained juiciness and beef flavor, as measured by sensory panelists, were found to be lowly to moderately heritable ranging from 0.00 ± 0.089 (21 d) to 0.18 ± 0.105 (14 d) and 0.00 ± 0.080 (7 d) to 0.18 ± 0.110 (21 d), respectively. The significant phenotypic correlations were those between WBSF and subjective lean color, L* value, and a* value; both initial and sustained tenderness as well as beef flavor were correlated with subjective lean color and L* value. Flavor intensity and overall mouthfeel were associated with subjective lean color, L* value, a* value, and b* value. Both a* and b* values were highly correlated genetically with WBSF, –0.71 and –0.72, respectively, and subjective lean color was moderately correlated with WBSF, –0.46. The genetic correlation between subjective lean color and initial tenderness was also high, 0.56, whereas that between a* value and initial tenderness was 0.43, which was similar to that found between b* value and initial tenderness, 0.44. The genetic correlations between subjective lean color, a* value, and b* value with sustained tenderness were all high at 0.58, 0.70, and 0.58, respectively. The genetic correlations between a* value and b* value with beef flavor were low to moderate at 0.12 and 0.19, respectively, whereas that between subjective lean color and beef flavor was high, 0.64. The genetic correlations between a* value, b* value, and lean color with sustained juiciness were all moderate correlations at –0.35, –0.23, and –0.45, respectively. The genetic correlations between a* value and b* value with overall mouthfeel were high at 0.80 and 0.79, respectively, whereas that between subjective lean color and overall mouthfeel was moderate, 0.46. In conclusion, regardless of measurement technique of lean color, it was not only heritable but was also moderately to highly correlated with measurements of palatability in beef from LM.

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Copyright © 2013. American Society of Animal Science