An intervention study on the effect of MC4R genotypes on boar taint, performances and carcass quality.

Alice Van den Broeke, Marijke Aluwé, Frank Tuyttens, Steven Janssens, Annelies Coussé, Lynn Vanhaecke, Nadine Buys, Sam Millet

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresGepubliceerd abstractpeer review


    Besides management and feeding strategies, selective breeding can help to reduce the prevalence of boar taint in entire males. The aim of this study was to validate a molecular genetic marker (MC4R) which was associated with boar taint and to determine its effects on performance characteristics, carcass and meat quality in the offspring of a commercial cross (Rattlerow-Seghers hybrid sows X Piétrain boars) in an interventional experimental study with a 2 x 2 design (MC4R genotype x gender).
    In 11 consecutive rounds, genotype AG sows were inseminated with semen from genotype AG boars to produce homozygous offspring. Six pigs per homozygous MC4R genotype (AA, GG) and per gender (boars, gilts) were selected from 10 (±2) litters and housed together in one pen. This resulted in 11 pen replicates per genotype-gender combination. They were fed ad libitum and slaughtered per pen at an intended average live weight of 110 kg. Performance parameters (daily gain per animal, average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio per pen) were calculated weekly. Boar taint was determined by sensory evaluation of neckfat samples.
    The sensory evaluation of boar taint showed no significant difference between AA and GG boars. The daily feed intake and growth were significantly lower in the GG boars than in the AA boars, the differences between the gilts were not significant. At slaughter, the body composition of the pigs differed largely between treatment groups. Backfat thickness was significantly higher (P<0.01) and muscle thickness was lower (P<0.01) in AA pigs than in GG pigs. Consequently, estimated lean meat percentage was lower in AA pigs. The ham width was higher (P<0.05) in GG pigs, probably due to the higher muscularity of those pigs. Dressing percentage of AA pigs was lower than those of GG pigs (P<0.05). The conformation was better in GG pigs (P<0.01). Gender had an effect on almost all carcass quality parameters. These results suggest that the MC4R gene has indeed an effect on the body composition in commercial cross-bred pigs, probably due to a significant higher daily feed intake.
    In conclusion, the results suggest that selection towards the GG MC4R genotype will decrease the daily feed intake and daily gain in boars, with better carcass quality but an effect on boar taint could not be proven.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    Aantal pagina’s1
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2-dec-2013
    EvenementMeeting of the “EAAP Working Group on Production and Utilisation of Meat from Entire Male Pigs” - Girona, Spanje
    Duur: 2-dec-20133-dec-2013


    CongresMeeting of the “EAAP Working Group on Production and Utilisation of Meat from Entire Male Pigs”
    Internet adres

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