Estimation of Genetic Associations between Production and Meat Quality Traits in Duroc Pigs

  • Cabling, M.M. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University) ;
  • Kang, H.S. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University) ;
  • Lopez, B.M. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University) ;
  • Jang, M. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University) ;
  • Kim, H.S. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University) ;
  • Nam, K.C. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University) ;
  • Choi, J.G. (Animal Breeding and Genetics Division, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Seo, K.S. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University)
  • Received : 2014.10.08
  • Accepted : 2015.02.13
  • Published : 2015.08.01


Data collected from 690 purebred Duroc pigs from 2009 to 2012 were used to estimate the heritability, and genetic and phenotypic correlations between production and meat quality traits. Variance components were obtained through the restricted maximum likelihood procedure using Wombat and SAS version 9.0. Animals were raised under the same management in five different breeding farms. The average daily gain, loin muscle area (LMA), backfat thickness (BF), and lean percent (LP) were measured as production traits. Meat quality traits included pH, cooking loss, lightness ($L^*$), redness ($a^*$), yellowness ($b^*$), marbling score (MS), moisture content (MC), water holding capacity (WHC), and shear force. The results showed that the heritability estimates for meat quality traits varied largely from 0.19 to 0.79. Production traits were moderate to highly heritable from 0.41 to 0.73. Genotypically, the BF was positively correlated (p<0.05) with MC (0.786), WHC (0.904), and pH (0.328) but negatively correlated with shear force (-0.533). The results of genetic correlations indicated that selection for less BF could decrease pH, moisture content, and WHC and increase the shear force of meat. Additionally, a significant positive correlation was recorded between average daily gain and WHC, which indicates pork from faster-growing animals has higher WHC. Furthermore, selection for larger LMA and LP could increase MS and lightness color of meat. The meat quality and production traits could be improved simultaneously if desired. Hence, to avoid further deterioration of pork characteristics, appropriate selection of traits should be considered.


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