Tuesday, May 15, 2007

DNA testing to produce meatier lamb

In New Zealand, scientists have isolated genes which result in meatier lamb carcasses. DNA testing can determine if sheep carry these genes.

lamb hindsaddlesRams with a single copy of the MyoMax® gene can be expected to produce progeny with 5 percent more leg and rump muscle, but with 7 percent less fat. The effect will be up to double for a ram carrying two copies of the gene.

The discovery of MyoMAX® builds on a decade of research, but specific isolation and validation of the gene didn't start in earnest until five years ago. MyoMAX® has been identified within Texel and composite breeds containing Texel genetics.

A superior muscling trait, dubbed LoinMAX® was identified in research undertaken by Landcorp and AgResearch. Those animals with the LoinMAX® gene have the genetic potential to produce 10 percent more loin muscle. The LoinMAX® effect is only inherited from the sire. The gene is silent in the dam. LoinMAX® has been identified within Poll Dorsets and composite breeds containing Poll Dorset genetics.

Catapult Genetics, a global leader in sheep and cattle DNA testing technologies, offers DNA marker tests for both genes.

Source: www.catapultsystems.co.nz