Analysis of a slow-growing line reveals wide genetic variability of carcass and meat quality-related traits
Slow-growing lines are widely used in France for the production of high quality free-range chickens. While such production is mainly dedicated to the whole carcass market, new prospects are opening up for the development of cuts and processed products. Whether the body composition and meat quality of slow-growing birds can be improved by selection has thus become an important issue. The genetic parameters of growth, body composition and breast meat quality traits were evaluated in relation to behaviour at slaughter in a large pedigree population including 1022 male and female slow-growing birds.
The heritability coefficients (h2) of body weight and body composition traits varied from 0.3 to 0.5. Abdominal fat percentage was genetically positively correlated with body weight but negatively correlated with breast muscle yield. The characteristics of the breast meat (i.e., post-mortem fall in pH, colour, drip loss, shear-force and lipid content) were all heritable, with h2 estimates ranging from 0.18 to 0.48. The rate and extent of the fall in pH were under different genetic control. Strong negative genetic correlations were found between the ultimate pH and the lightness, yellowness and drip loss of the meat. Wing flapping on the shackle line was significantly heritable and exhibited marked genetic correlations with the pH at 15 min post-slaughter and the redness of the meat. The genetic relationships between meat quality traits, body weight and body composition appeared slightly different between males and females.
This study suggested that there are a number of important criteria for selection on carcass and breast meat quality in slow-growing birds. Selection for reduced abdominal fatness and increased breast muscle yield should be effective as both traits were found to be highly heritable and favourably correlated. Substantial improvement in meat quality could be achieved by selection on ultimate pH which was highly heritable and strongly correlated with the colour and water-holding capacity of the meat. Moreover, this study revealed for the first time that the behaviour at slaughter is partly genetically determined in the chicken.
- Sauveur B: Les critères et facteurs de la qualité des poulets Label Rouge. INRA Prod. Anim 1997, 10:219–226.
- Rémignon H, Culioli J: Meat quality traits of French « Label » chickens. In Proceedings of the 12th European Symposium on the Quality of Poultry Meat: 25–29 September 1995. Zaragoza, Spain; 1995:145–150.
- Nakamura R, Sekoguchi S, Sato Y: The contribution of intramuscular collagen to the tenderness of meat from chickens with different ages. Poultry Sci 1975, 54:1604–1612. CrossRef
- Yamashita C, Ishimoto Y, Mekada H, Ebisawa S, Murai I, Nonaka S: Studies on meat quality of broilers II: Influence of age of chickens on the meat taste. Japanese Poultry Science 1976, 13:14–19. CrossRef
- Sonayia EB, Ristic M, Klein WF: Effect of environmental temperature, dietary energy, age, sex on broiler carcase portions and palatability. Brit. Poultry Sci 1990, 31:121–128. CrossRef
- Touraille C, Kopp J, Valin C, Ricard FH: Qualité du poulet. 1. Influence de l’âge et de la vitesse de croissance sur les caractéristiques physico-chimiques et organoleptiques de la viande. Arch. Geflügelk 1981a, 45:69–76.
- Touraille C, Ricard FH, Kopp J, Valin C, Leclercq B: Qualité du poulet. 2. Evolution en fonction de l’âge des caractéristiques physico-chimiques et organoleptiques de la viande. Arch. Geflügelk 1981b, 45:97–104.
- Berri C, Debut M, Santé-L’houtellier V, Arnould C, Boutten B, Sellier N, Baéza E, Jehl N, Jégo Y, Duclos MJ, Le Bihan-Duval E: Variations in chicken breast meat quality: implications of struggle and muscle glycogen content at death. Brit. Poultry Sci 2005, 46:572–579. CrossRef
- Debut M, Berri C, Arnould C, Santé-L’houtellier V, Guémené , Sellier N, Baéza E, Jehl N, Jégo Y, Beaumont C, Le Bihan-Duval E: Behavioural and physiological responses of three chicken breeds to pre-slaughter shackling and acute heat stress. Brit. Poultry Sci 2005, 46:527–535. CrossRef
- Chartrin P, Rousseau X, Gigaud V, Bastianelli D, Baéza E: Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy for predicting lipid content in chicken breast meat. In Proceedings of the 13th WPSA European Poultry Conference: 23–27 August 2010. Tours, France; 2010:4p.
- Marche G: La découpe anatomique et la dissection des volailles. SYSAAF and INRA, Nouzilly (France); 2000.
- Petracci M, Baeza E: Harmonization of methodologies for the assessment of poultry meat quality features. Worlds Poult Sci J 2011, 67:137–151. CrossRef
- SAS Institute: SAS® Institute: Version 6. 4. Cary. SAS Institute Inc.; SAS Institute, NC, USA; 1999.
- Meyer K: “WOMBAT” - Digging deep for quantitative genetic analyses by restricted maximum likelihood. In Proceedings of the 8th World Congress on Genetic Applied to Livestock Production: 13–18 August 2006. Belo Horizonte, Brazil; 2006.
- Zerehdaran S, Vereijken ALJ, van Arendonk JAM, van der Waaij EH: Estimation of genetic parameters for fat deposition and carcass traits in broilers. Poultry Sci 2004, 83:521–525.
- Le Bihan-Duval E, Mignon-Grasteau S, Millet N, Beaumont C: Genetic analysis of a selection experiment on increased body weight and breast muscle weight as well as on limited abdominal fat weight. Brit. Poultry Sci 1998, 39:346–353. CrossRef
- Chen JL, Zhao GP, Zheng MQ, Wen J, Yang N: Estimation of genetic parameters for contents of intramuscular fat and Inosine-5’-Monophosphate and carcass traits in Chinese Beijing-You chickens. Poultry Sci 2008, 87:1098–1104. CrossRef
- Le Bihan-Duval E, Berri C, Baéza E, Millet N, Beaumont C: Estimation of the Genetic Parameters of Meat Characteristics and of Their Genetic Correlations with Growth and Body Composition in an Experimental Broiler Line. Poultry Sci 2001, 80:839–843.
- Le Bihan-Duval E, Debut M, Berri C, Sellier N, Santé-L’houtellier V, Jégo Y, Beaumont C: Chicken meat quality: genetic variability and relationship with growth and muscle characteristics. BMC Genet 2008, 9:53. CrossRef
- Petracci M, Bianchi M, Cavani C: The European perspective on pale, soft, exudative conditions in poultry. Poultry Sci 2009, 88:1518–1523. CrossRef
- Berri C, Le Bihan-Duval E, Gigaud V, Baéza E, Duclos MJ: Towards the identification of mechanisms underlying the variations of chicken meat processing ability. In Proceedings of the 13th WPSA European Poultry Conference: 23–27 August 2010. Tours, France; 2010:9p.
- Berri C, Le Bihan-Duval E, Debut M, Santé-Lhoutellier V, Baeza E, Gigaud V, Jégo Y, Duclos M: Consequence of muscle hypertrophy on characteristics of Pectoralis major muscle and breast meat quality of broiler chickens. J Anim Sci 2007, 85:2005–2011. CrossRef
- Sparrey JM, Kettlewell PJ: Shackling of poultry: is it a welfare problem? World Poultry Sci. World Poultry Sci. J 1994, 50:167–176. CrossRef
- Kannan G, Mench JA: Influence of different handling methods and crating periods on plasma corticosterone concentrations in broilers. Brit. Poultry Sci 1996, 37:21–31. CrossRef
- Gregory NG, Wilkins LJ: Broken bones in chickens: effects of stunning and processing in broilers. Brit. Poultry Sci 1990, 31:53–58. CrossRef
- Analysis of a slow-growing line reveals wide genetic variability of carcass and meat quality-related traits
- Open Access
- Available under Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
- Online Date
- October 2012
- Online ISSN
- BioMed Central
- Additional Links
- Slow-growing line
- Meat quality
- Behaviour at slaughter
- Genetic parameters
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UR83 Recherches Avicoles, F-37380, Nouzilly, France
- 2. Institut Technique de l’Aviculture (ITAVI), Centre INRA de Tours, F-37380, Nouzilly, France
- 3. Syndicat des Sélectionneurs Avicoles et Aquacoles Français (SYSAAF), Centre INRA de Tours, F-37380, Nouzilly, France
- 4. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UMR85 Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, F-37380, Nouzilly, France
- 5. CNRS, UMR7247, F-37380, Nouzilly, France
- 6. Université François Rabelais de Tours, F-37041, Tours, France
- 7. IFCE, F-37380, Nouzilly, France
- 8. SASSO, F-40630, Sabres, France