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Genome scans in the pig have identified a region on chromosome 2 (SSC2) associated with tenderness. Calpastatin is a likely positional candidate gene in this region because of its inhibitory role in the calpain system that is involved in postmortem tenderization. Novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in calpastatin were identified and used to genotype a population (n = 1042) of Duroc-Landrace-Yorkshire swine for association with longissimus lumborum slice shear force (SSF) measured at days 7 and 14 postmortem. Three genetic markers residing in the calpastatin gene were significantly associated with SSF (P < 0.0005). Haplotypes constructed from markers in the calpastatin gene were significantly associated with SSF (F-ratio = 3.93; P-value = 0.002). The levels of normalized mRNA expression of calpastatin in the longissimus lumborum of 162 animals also were evaluated by real-time RT-PCR and were associated with the genotype of the most significant marker for SSF (P < 0.02). This evidence suggests that the causative variation alters expression of calpastatin, thus affecting tenderness. In summary, these data provide evidence of several significant, publicly available SNP markers associated with SSF that may be useful to the swine industry for marker assisted selection of animals that have more tender meat.