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Genes associated with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in bovine skeletal muscle

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Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs) influence meat tenderness, juiciness, and flavor, and are beneficial to human health. The percentage of long-chain n-3 FAs in total FAs is termed the omega-3 index (O3I). It is thus of great interest to favor rising this index in bovine skeletal muscle, to obtain healthier, tastier, and more nutritive meat. This study was aimed to detect transcriptomic variations related to O3I in muscles in 15-month-old males of 4 Spanish cattle breeds raised under the same conditions. Through the analysis of extreme O3I phenotypes, 3 genes of interest (AANAT, UCP2 andAHA1) were identified.AANAT andUCP2 were strongly up-regulated, whileAHA1 was repressed in animals with a high O3I. Moreover, gene expression differed betweenGDF8-null animal muscles (tested for nt821del11 and Q204X mutations) and the wild-type muscles for genesGDH1, IGF2R, FADS1, ASPH, andAIM1, all showing down-regulation in Asturiana de los Valles calves with muscle hypertrophy (GDF8-null). This shows that inGDF8-null animals other pathways are used for FA synthesis.

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Correspondence to S. Dunner.

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Perez, R., Cañón, J. & Dunner, S. Genes associated with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in bovine skeletal muscle. J Appl Genet 51, 479–487 (2010).

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  • differential display
  • lipid metabolism
  • long-chain fatty acids
  • meat quality
  • omega-3 fatty acids