A pedigree originally designed for pig genome mapping was used in order to study carcass and muscle development as well as meat quality of F2-crosses between the European Wild Pig and the domestic Large White pig (no. = 191). As a marker for the influence of genes inherited from the ‘wild’ and domestic grandparents, grouping based on the length of the small intestine was used. The pigs were also typed for genetic polymorphism at the calcium release channel (CRO locus controlling halothane susceptibility in pigs, and one of the Wild boars was found to be a carrier of the halothane mutation. At assessment, the carcasses were divided into cuts, the back and ham were defatted, and m. longissimus dorsi and the large muscles of the ham were weighed separately.
Wlien grouped according to length of the small intestine, those animals with a short small intestine were more similar to Wild Pig, e.g. they were older at slaughter and had a slower growth rate than the other group. Their carcasses contained less lean meat, more flare fat and more subcutaneous fat. No difference in meat quality could be discerned between the groups, except for a tendency to greater pigment content and higher shear force value in the group with a short small intestine.
The effect of the halothane mutation at the CRC locus was very prominent, although no animals had the gene in homozygous form. Carriers of the gene were leaner and had a higher reflectance value, lower water-holding capacity, lower pHu, higher protein denaturation and higher shear force value.