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Lasagna E.,University of Perugia | Ceccobelli S.,University of Perugia | Di Lorenzo P.,University of Perugia | Albera A.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza Piemontese | And 4 more authors.
Italian Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2015

Piemontese, Chianina, Marchigiana and Romagnola are the main Italian beef breeds, and the quality of their products is largely recognised all over the world. Here, 18 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 12 candidate genes involved on meat traits were investigated on 1055 candidates for selection in order to analyse the within- and betweenbreed variability with a functional marker approach. Three SNPs (GDF8-3, GH and NPY- 3) were monomorphic and most of the polymorphic SNPs showed an allele distribution quite similar in the four breeds. High variability at LEP-2, LEP-3 and LEPR markers was detected across breeds and the analysis of the relationship between genetic differentiation and heterozygosity indicated significant deviation from a neutral-equilibrium model for LEP- 2. The highest pairwise fixation index values (0.1189 to 0.1877) were obtained for the comparisons of Piemontese with the other breeds, while the lowest value (0.0296) was observed in Chianina and Marchigiana. The Piemontese differentiation from the other breeds could be due to its geographical isolation and selection targets. The results for breed assignment follows the genetic differentiation, in fact, Piemontese had the highest percentage of correct assignment (87.6), while Marchigiana had the lowest (47.5). These findings suggest that functional markers can be more suitable than neutral markers in discriminating breeds similar in morphology if selection plays some role in their differentiation. © E. Lasagna et al., 2015.

Lisa C.,University of Turin | Albera A.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza Piemontese | Carnier P.,University of Padua | Di Stasio L.,University of Turin
Italian Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2013

In the last years an increasing number of associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes and production traits have been reported in beef cattle, but very often the results were not validated and few studies considered breeds homozygous for the allele responsible for the muscular hypertrophy. Therefore, we analysed the variability of 19 previously reported SNPs in 12 genes (GH, GHR, GDF8, GHRL, IGF2, LEP, LEPR, MYF5, NPY, POMC, UCP2, UCP3) in the hypertrophic Piemontese breed and investigated the effects of the observed polymorphisms on growth and conformation. Fourteen SNPs were polymorphic and a significant linkage disequilibrium was observed between SNPs in GHR, LEP and NPY genes, for which both single-SNP and haplotype effects were estimated. Negligible effects on the investigated traits were observed for GHRL, MYF5, NPY, POMC, UCP2 and UCP3 genes. The GHR gene significantly affected daily gain and its effect was further increased when haplotypes were considered. The C allele at LEP-1 and LEP- 2 had moderate negative effects on the considered traits, whereas the C allele at LEP-3 mostly had positive effects; haplotypes in the LEP gene showed weaker but favourable associations with all the traits. The C allele at IGF2 and LEPR had favourable effects on daily gain and negative effects on meat conformation traits. The associations observed for GHR and LEP were consistent with those of previous studies, providing additional evidence of their usefulness as markers. Practical aspects of the applications to the breeding programme of the Piemontese breed need to be examined. © C. Lisa et al. 2013.

Cecchinato A.,University of Padua | de Marchi M.,University of Padua | Penasa M.,University of Padua | Albera A.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza Piemontese | Bittante G.,University of Padua
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2011

The aims of this study were 1) to investigatethe potential application of near-infrared spectroscopy(NIRS) to predict beef quality (BQ) traits, 2)to assess genetic variations of BQ measures and theirpredictions obtained by NIRS, and 3) to infer the geneticrelationship between measures of BQ and theirpredictions. Young Piedmontese bulls (n = 1,230) wereraised and fattened on 124 farms and slaughtered atthe same commercial abattoir. The BQ traits evaluatedwere shear force (SF, kg), cooking loss (CL, %),drip loss (DL, %), lightness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness(b*), saturation index (SI), and hue angle. Nearinfraredspectra were collected using a Foss NIRSystems5000 instrument over a spectral range of 1,100 to2,498 nm every 2 nm, in reflectance mode. After editing,prediction models were developed on a calibrationsubset (n = 268) using partial least squares regressions,followed by application of these models to the validationsubset (n = 940). Estimations of (co)variance formeasures of BQ and NIRS-based predictions were obtainedthrough a set of bivariate Bayesian analyses onthe validation subset. Near-infrared predictions weresatisfactory for measurements of L* (R 2 = 0.64), a* (R 2= 0.68), hue angle (R 2 = 0.81), and saturation index(R 2 = 0.59), but not for b*, DL, CL, and SF. The lossof additive genetic variance of predicted vs. measured L*, a*, DL, CL, and SF was generally high and wassimilar to the loss of residual variance, being a functionof the calibration parameter R 2. As a consequence, estimatedheritabilities of measures and predictions of BQwere similar for traits with high calibration R 2 values.Genetic correlations between BQ measures and predictionswere high for all color traits and DL, and weregreater than the corresponding phenotypic correlations,whereas both the phenotypic and genetic correlationsfor SF and CL were nil. Results suggest that NIRSbasedpredictions for color features and DL may beused as indicator traits to improve meat quality of thePiedmontese breed. © 2011 American Society of Animal Science.

Boukha A.,University of Padua | Bonfatti V.,University of Padua | Cecchinato A.,University of Padua | Albera A.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza Piemontese | And 3 more authors.
Meat Science | Year: 2011

Genetic parameters of meat quality (MQ) were estimated on Longissimus thoracis muscle of 1208 Piemontese young bulls, progeny of 109 AI sires. Carcass weight (CW), conformation (EUS) and pH (pH24h) were recorded at 24h and lightness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*), pH (pH8d), drip loss (DL), cooking loss (CL) and shear force (SF) were assessed. The heritability (h2) of pH24h was very low (0.06), but h2 of pH8d was markedly higher (0.42). Heritability was 0.32, 0.33, and, 0.14, for L*, a* and b*, respectively, whereas was 0.24, 0.07 and 0.14, for DL, CL, and SF, respectively. The two pH measures showed opposite genetic relationships with color measures. Genetic correlations of DL and CL were positive with L* and b* and negative with a*. Genetic correlations between carcass traits and MQ suggest that animals with superior growth potential tend to exhibit reduced EUS scores and pale meat with lower tenderness and water holding capacity. Conversely, improvement of EUS score through selection would lead to light, bright, and tender meat with enhanced water holding capacity. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Bonfatti V.,University of Padua | Albera A.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza Piemontese | Carnier P.,University of Padua
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to investigate genetic relationships between beef traits of stationtested young bulls and carcass and meat quality traits (MQ) of commercial intact males in Piemontese cattle. Phenotypes for daily gain (DG) and live fleshiness traits (width at withers: WW; shoulder muscularity: SM; loin width: LW; loin thickness: LT; thigh muscularity: TM; thigh profile: TP) and thinness of the shin bone (BT) were available for 3,109 and 2,183 performance-tested young bulls, respectively. Carcass daily gain (CDG), carcass conformation (SEUS), pH at 24 h (pH24h) and 8 d after slaughter (pH8d), lightness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*), hue angle (HA), saturation index (SI), drip loss (DL), cooking loss (CL), and shear force (SF) were assessed for 1,208 commercial intact males. (Co) variance components were estimated in a set of twelve 9-traits analyses using REML and linear animal models including all performance-test traits and 1 carcass or MQ trait at a time. Heritabilities ± SE of beef traits ranged from 0.26 ± 0.03 (LW) to 0.47 ± 0.01 (DG), whereas those of carcass traits and MQ from 0.06 ± 0.03 (CL) to 0.63 ± 0.04 (HA). The genetic correlation (rg) between DG and CDG was 0.75 ± 0.10, indicating that DG, as measured at the test station, is a good indicator of the carcass gain achieved by commercial animals under farms conditions. Daily BW gain of station-tested bulls correlated positively with color traits (from 0.11 ± 0.12 to 0.54 ± 0.09), ph8d (rg ± SE = 0.31 ± 0.11), DL (rg ± SE = 0.29 ± 0.17), and CL (rg ± SE = 0.27 ± 0.18). Live fleshiness of station-tested bulls exhibited genetic correlations with MQ of commercial animals that were positive for L* and b* (from 0.13 ± 0.08 to 0.65 ± 0.14) and negative for pH (from -0.27 ± 0.15 to -0.57 ± 0.11), CL (from -0.16 ± 0.23 to -0.43 ± 0.22), and SF (TM: rg ± SE = -0.31 ± 0.15; TP: rg ± SE = -0.41 ± 0.17). The thinness of the shin bone correlated unfavorably with CDG (rg ± SE = -0.74 ± 0.07) and favorably with SEUS (rg ± SE = 0.65 ± 0.17), CL (rg ± SE = -0.39 ± 0.13), and SF (rg ± SE = -0.32 ± 0.17). The estimated genetic correlations indicate that selection to increase DG, as measured at the test station, exerts moderate adverse effects on MQ. Because selection emphasis is greater for live fleshiness than for DG, the correlated response in MQ and carcass traits is expected to be influenced to a greater extent by selection for muscularity, even though these traits are less heritable than DG. © 2013 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

Mantovani R.,Agripolis | Cassandro M.,Agripolis | Contiero B.,Agripolis | Albera A.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza Piemontese | Bittante G.,Agripolis
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for type traits of hypertrophic Piemontese cows. Seven traditional type trait evaluations (70 to 100 grid scores), 2 body measurements (cm), and 13 linear description traits (1 to 9 grid scores) recorded on 21,757 Piemontese primiparous cows reared in 990 farms were used. Data were analyzed using a multiple-trait (22 traits) animal model with canonical transformation, accounting for a unique design matrix with the following effects: herd-year-classifier, days in milk, age at calving, and the genetic additive cow effect. Heritability estimates of traditional type evaluation traits were low for thorax, rump, feet and legs, and dairyness (≤0.10), intermediate for fleshiness and overall score evaluations (0.13 to 0.15), and medium to high for body size (0.26). Genetic correlations of dairyness with all the other traditional type traits were low (from -0.14 to 0.16), those of feet and legs were moderate (0.19 to 0.44), and the remaining 5 traits were high (≥0.55), with an exception regarding fleshiness and body size (0.28). Medium-high heritability estimates were obtained for withers height (0.31) and trunk length (0.21), with a very high genetic correlation between these traits (0.97). The genetic correlations of body measurements with body size were also very high (about 0.96), high with thorax, rump, and overall score (0.47 to 0.59), and moderate with the other traditional type traits (0.04 to 0.27). Heritability estimates of all linear traits were moderate (0.09 to 0.15), with the exceptions of top line (0.07) and condition score (0.05). Genetic correlations between linear traits were generally low to moderate (from -0.11 to 0.44) with the only exceptions of the 6 fleshiness traits and body condition, which showed very high correlations (0.60 to 0.96). Moreover, skeletal traits as top line, bone thinness, and head scores presented moderate genetic correlations (0.51 to 0.65). Genetic correlations between linear traits and traditional type traits were consistent with the trend observed between type traits. In conclusion, body measurements seem to describe body size better than traditional evaluation or linear descriptors. The genetic correlations among type evaluation and linear description traits suggest the need for a reduction in the number of traits scored, particularly of those relating to muscular development. © 2010 American Society of Animal Science.

Ribeca C.,University of Padua | Bonfatti V.,University of Padua | Cecchinato A.,University of Padua | Albera A.,Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza Piemontese | And 3 more authors.
Animal Genetics | Year: 2013

Five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in the calpain 1, (mu/I) large subunit (CAPN1), calpastatin (CAST), and cathepsin D (CTSD) genes were analyzed in a large sample of Piemontese cattle. The aim of this study was to evaluate allele and genotype frequencies of these SNPs and to investigate associations of CAPN1, CAST, and CTSD gene variants with meat quality traits. Minor allele frequencies ranged from 30 to 48%. The presence of the A allele at CAPN530 increased yellowness and drip loss. The CAST282 G allele was associated with an increased drip loss compared to the C allele, and the CAST2959 A allele decreased redness compared to the G allele. © 2012 The Authors.

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