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Estimates of genetic parameters for fatty acid compositions in the longissimus dorsi muscle of Hanwoo cattle

  • M. S. A. Bhuiyan (a1), D. H. Lee (a1), H. J. Kim (a1) (a2), S. H. Lee (a1), S. H. Cho (a3), B. S. Yang (a2), S. D. Kim (a4) and S. H. Lee (a1)...


We estimated the heritabilities (h 2) and genetic and phenotypic correlations among individual and groups of fatty acids, as well as their correlations with six important carcass and meat-quality traits in Korean Hanwoo cattle. Meat samples were collected from the longissimus dorsi muscles of 1000 Hanwoo steers that were 30-month-old (progeny of 85 proven Hanwoo bulls) to determine intramuscular fatty acid profiles. Phenotypic data on carcass weight (CWT), eye muscle area (EMA), back fat thickness (BFT), marbling score (MS), Warner–Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and intramuscular fat content (IMF) were also investigated using this half-sib population. Variance and covari.ance components were estimated using restricted maximum likelihood procedures under univariate and pairwise bivariate animal models. Oleic acid (C18:1n-9) was the most abundant fatty acid, accounting for 50.69% of all investigated fatty acids, followed by palmitic (C16:0; 27.33%) and stearic acid (C18:0; 10.96%). The contents of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were 41.64%, 56.24% and 2.10%, respectively, and the MUFA/SFA ratio, PUFA/SFA ratio, desaturation index (DI) and elongation index (EI) were 1.36, 0.05, 0.59 and 0.66, respectively. The h 2 estimates for individual fatty acids ranged from very low to high (0.03±0.14 to 0.63±0.14). The h 2 estimates for SFAs, MUFAs, PUFAs, DI and EI were 0.53±0.14, 0.49±0.14, 0.23±0.10, 0.51±0.13 and 0.53±0.13, respectively. The genetic and phenotypic correlations among individual fatty acids and fatty acid classes varied widely (−0.99 to 0.99). Notably, C18:1n-9 had favourable (negative) genetic correlations with two detrimental fatty acids, C14:0 (−0.76) and C16:0 (−0.92). Genetic correlations of individual and group fatty acids with CWT, EMA, BFT, MS, WBSF and IMF ranged from low to moderate (both positive and negative) with the exception of low-concentration PUFAs. Low or near-zero phenotypic correlations reflected potential non-genetic contributions. This study provides insights on genetic variability and correlations among intramuscular fatty acids as well as correlations between fatty acids and carcass and meat-quality traits, which could be used in Hanwoo breeding programmes to improve fatty acid compositions in meat.


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M. S. A. Bhuiyan and D. H. Lee contributed equally to this work.



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