Quantitative trait loci for live animal and carcass composition traits in Jersey and Limousin back-cross cattle finished on pasture or feedlot

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SummaryA quantitative trait locus (QTL) study was carried out in two countries, recording live animal and carcass composition traits. Back-cross calves (385 heifers and 398 steers) were generated, with Jersey and Limousin breed backgrounds. The New Zealand cattle were reared on pasture to carcass weights averaging 229 kg, whilst the Australian cattle were reared on grass and finished on grain (for at least 180 days) to carcass weights averaging 335 kg. From 11 live animal traits and 31 carcass composition traits respectively, 5 and 22 QTL were detected in combined-sire analyses, which were significant (P < 0.05) on a genome-wise basis. Fourteen significant traits for carcass composition QTL were on chromosome 2 and these were traits associated with muscling and fatness. This chromosome carried a variant myostatin allele (F94L), segregating from the Limousin ancestry. Despite very different cattle management systems between the two countries, the two populations had a large number of QTL in common. Of the 18 traits which were common to both countries, and which had significant QTL at the genome-wise level, eight were significant in both countries.

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