In close collaboration with three Texel breeders, we initially genotyped 36 rams with 5 DNA microsatellite markers that are known to map around the myostatin gene in sheep. Of these 36 rams, progeny of 12 polymorphic sires (4 from each flock) were selected for further analysis. This selection was made on the basis of each sire producing more than 40 offspring which were accompanied by parentage records, live weights at weaning and 8 months of age, and ultrasonic measurements of fat depth and rib-eye muscle dimensions. Final progeny numbers from the sires chosen ranged from 45 to 115 per sire. The data was analyzed by regressing the observed measurements on the probability of which paternal grandparental chromosome was inherited at the myostatin locus. The results suggest that the region of the sheep genome near the myostatin locus affects muscling (P<0.05) and fat depth (P<0.05) in the progeny of 4 of 12 sires tested.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 60, Hamilton, 110-112, 2000
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