The effect of the Texel muscling QTL (TM-QTL) on meat quality traits in crossbred lambs

Meat Sci. 2010 Aug;85(4):684-90. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2010.03.025. Epub 2010 Mar 21.


A quantitative trait locus (QTL) has been identified on chromosome 18 in Texel sheep (TM-QTL) that increases depth and area of the longissimus dorsi muscle. The study aimed to assess the pleiotropic QTL effects on key meat quality traits (toughness and intramuscular fat content after >or=7 days aging) of crossbred lambs carrying one copy of the TM-QTL. The results showed that male TexelxMule lambs carrying the TM-QTL had significantly less intramuscular fat (1.86% versus 2.25%) and higher toughness, with increased variation, in the loin muscle, compared to non-carrier males. Similar conclusions were obtained using two different types of tenderometer equipment: one using the Volodkevitch test (average shear force of 4.17 kgF or 40.9N for carrier males, 2.61 kgF or 25.6N for non-carrier males) and one using the MIRINZ test (average shear force of 6.18 kgF or 60.6N for carrier males, 5.22 kgF or 51.2N for non-carrier males). Although most toughness measurements were within published consumer acceptability limits, a few individual TM-QTL carrier lambs had unacceptably tough meat, despite enhanced post-slaughter processing. The TM-QTL did not significantly affect loin toughness in female lambs, leg toughness in either sex, or intramuscular fat content. These results should be considered, alongside direct effects of the TM-QTL on muscling and carcass composition, in recommendations for the use of this QTL by sheep breeders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping / veterinary*
  • Chromosomes
  • Crosses, Genetic*
  • Fats / analysis*
  • Female
  • Food Technology
  • Genotype
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Male
  • Meat / standards*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Sheep / genetics*


  • Fats