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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New Method for Identifying Tender Beef
See also: US Patent Office Full Record

Patent Number: 7238479
Docket Number: 10303
Serial Number: 10739904
Date Patented: 07/03/2007

Technology Description: 


Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Nebraska have developed novel genetic markers that are used for identifying cattle with superior potential for producing tender meat.  Meat tenderness is the major determinant of consumer satisfaction with beef, and consistent meat tenderness is a top goal for U.S. beef producers.  Many environmental factors can influence tenderness, but genetics plays a role as well. ARS researchers identified three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in a particular gene, which can be used in animal breeding programs to identify superior animals with respect to meat tenderness.  ARS laboratory data indicate that 13 percent or more of U.S. beef cattle carry undesirable forms of the gene that increase the risk of producing less tender meat.


Currently, only one genetic test for predicting genetic success is available, and the gene used in that test interferes with meat tenderness.  ARS’s test could be combined with this test to provide even higher success rate in breeding animals likely to produce tender meat.  Once developed, this test should cost significantly less than the commercially available test.


Companies that perform genotyping services to producers would be able to use this technology.  ARS plans to make this test widely available for beef producers.




Please refer to USPN 7,238,479 (Docket #0103.03), “Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Markers in the Bovine CAPN1 Gene to Identify Meat Tenderness,” which issued on July 3, 2007.  Foreign patent rights are not available.




Timothy P. Smith
Genetics and Breeding Research
Clay Center
, NE  68933-0166
Phone: (402) 762-4366
   Fax: (402) 762-4390

Eduardo Casas
(Same as first inventor)
Phone: (402) 762-4168

    Fax: (402) 762-4173


Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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