Correlated responses in growth, carcass, and meat quality traits to divergent selection for testosterone production in pigs.

Journal of animal science

PubMedID: 16699090

Bender JM, See MT, Hanson DJ, Lawrence TE, Cassady JP. Correlated responses in growth, carcass, and meat quality traits to divergent selection for testosterone production in pigs. J Anim Sci. 2006;84(6):1331-7.
The objective of this project was to characterize changes in growth, carcass yield, and meat quality traits in castrates and gilts in response to divergent selection for testosterone production. In generation 21, endogenous testosterone concentrations in Duroc boars of the high (HTL) and low (LTL) testosterone lines averaged 49.0 and 27.8 ng/mL (P < 0.01), respectively. Eight LTL and 10 HTL boars were used to sire 29 LTL and 33 HTL litters. To remove the effects of inbreeding, these same boars were mated to females of a Large White x Landrace composite (WC) to generate 11 WC by LTL litters (WLT) and 23 WC by HTL litters (WHT). Castrates and gilts were then allotted to LTL (n = 53), HTL (n = 61), WLT (n = 102), and WHT (n = 101) for testing. Growth and carcass traits analyzed included days to 114 kg (D114), ADG, backfat adjusted to 114 kg (ABF), LM area adjusted to 114 kg and predicted percent lean (PPL). Fat-O-Meater data collected were adjusted fat depth (AFD), adjusted loin depth, and percent lean. Meat quality traits characterized at 24 h postmortem included marbling score, percent lipid, pH, drip loss, color score, and Minolta L*, a*, and b*. Data were analyzed with a mixed model including fixed effects of line, mating type (purebred or crossbred), sex, and the random effect of sire nested within line. All possible interactions among fixed effects were tested. The HTL had fewer D114 (P < 0.05), greater ADG (P < 0.01), greater ABF (P < 0.01), and lower PPL (P < 0.01) than LTL. The WHT and WLT did not differ for D114, ADG, or ABF. The WHT had smaller LM area adjusted to 114 kg (P < 0.05) and greater drip loss (P < 0.05) than WLT. The WLT had lower adjusted loin depth (P < 0.05) than LTL and HTL. The LTL and HTL had greater subjective scores for marbling (P < 0.05) compared with WLT and WHT. The least squares mean for percent lipid for HTL and LTL was 4.00. The WHT had greater means for L*, a*, and b* (P < 0.05) than WLT. Pigs selected for increased testosterone production grew faster and produced fatter carcasses than pigs selected for decreased testosterone. Changes in growth, carcass yield, and meat quality traits were detected in castrates and gilts in response to divergent selection for testosterone production.