Knowledge of the genetic and phenotypic relationships for muscle fibre characteristics with meat and eating quality in pigs is required by the pig breeding industry for two reasons. Muscle fibre traits, determined from muscle biopsy, could be used as genetic predictors of meat and eating quality traits and, secondly, if responses in meat and eating quality traits are partially due to changes in muscle fibre traits, then selection criteria can be designed to compensate for such responses. The current study estimated the genetic and phenotypic relationships for muscle fibre traits with meat and eating quality traits.
The study consisted of 160 Large White pigs from lines divergently selected for lean growth rate on ad-libitum or restricted feeding regimes, lean food conversion ratio and daily food intake for seven generations in the Edinburgh lean growth selection experiment. Within each selection line, there were 10 pairs of full-sibs. Boars and gilts were tested from 30 kg, individually penned and fed a diet consisting of 224 g CP/kg DM and 15.9 MJ DE/kg DM.