Heritabilities and phenotypic and genetic correlations for bovine postrigor calpastatin activity, intramuscular fat content, Warner-Bratzler shear force, retail product yield, and growth rate.
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To estimate the heritability (h2) of postrigor calpastatin activity (CA), 555 steers were reared and processed conventionally. Breed-types included purebreds (Angus [A], Braunvieh [B], Charolais [C], Gelbvieh [G], Hereford [H], Limousin [L], Pinzgauer [P], Red Poll [RP], and Simmental [S]), composite populations (MARC I [1/4 C, 1/4 B, 1/4 L, 1/8 H, 1/8 A], MARC II [1/4 S, 1/4 G, 1/4 H, 1/4 A], and MARC III [1/4 RP, 1/4 H, 1/4 P, 1/4 A]), and F1 crosses (H, A, C, G, P, Shorthorn, Galloway, Longhorn, Nellore, Piedmontese, or Salers x H or A). Steers were serially slaughtered on an age-constant (across breed groups) basis. Heritability estimates for CA, i.m. fat content (IMF), Warner-Bratzler shear (WBS) force, retail product yield (RPY), and ADG were .65 +/- .19, .93 +/- .02, .53 +/- .15, .45 +/- .18, and .32 +/- .26, respectively. The genetic correlations (rg) of CA with WBS, RPY, and ADG were .50 +/- .22, .44 +/- .25, and -.52 +/- .37, respectively. The rg of IMF with WBS, RPY, and ADG were -.57 +/- .16, -.63 +/- .15, and -.04 +/- .11, respectively. These h2 and rg estimates indicate that it should be possible to select for improvements in CA, IMF, and WBS. However, selection against CA may be a more suitable approach for improving meat tenderness than selection for increased IMF because the level of genetic antagonism between CA and RPY was not as great as that between IMF and RPY.