Carcass composition is determined by the relative partitioning of metabolisable energy intake among protein, fat and heat. Protein deposition is the net difference between rates of protein synthesis and protein degradation in tissues; synthesis and degradation proceeding at rates several times that of deposition. Relatively small changes in rates of protein synthesis or degradation may result in relatively large changes in deposition. The energy cost of protein synthesis may reduce energy available for fat deposition. The manipulation of carcass fat content may be more readily achieved by increasing lean growth than reducing fat deposition. Development of accurate methods for measuring protein synthesis should facilitate understanding of the mechanisms by which lean animals are grown and the selection of growth promotants useful in the production of leaner carcasses.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 45, , 77-80, 1985
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