Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Muscular hypertrophy (mh) is a heritable condition present in many cattle breeds. Homozygous mh animals display a dramatic increase in muscle mass resulting in more retail product per carcass. These animals also efficiently produce lean meat as the result of a marked decrease in body fat. The use of mh to increase production efficiency has been limited in the U.S. by problems associated with calving ease of homozygotes. In contrast, heterozygotes show a 7% increase in retail product yield without a significant effect on calving ease in mature cows. We recently determined that mutations in the myostatin gene underlie the mh phenotype. We have now developed a simple genetic test to allow for the detection of the myostatin alleles that have been identified in U.S. cattle populations. Data demonstrating the discriminatory power of a fluorescent primer based PCR assay is presented. Incorporating this assay into a breeding program permits exploitation of the positive aspects imparted by mh in heterozygotes, while neutralizing its negative effects by avoiding the production of homozygotes.