The obese gene was hypothesized as a candidate gene for fat characteristics in beef cattle. The BM 1500 microsatellite, near the obese gene, was characterized in 158 purebred beef bulls for which carcass trait information was available. Four breeds were included in the analyses—Angus, Charolais, Hereford, and Simmental. Four alleles were found. Lengths were approximately 138, 147, 149, and 140 bp with genotypic frequencies of 0.47, 0.44, 0.09, and 0.003 respectively. The carcass traits %rib fat, %rib lean, average fat, and grade fat were found to be significantly associated with the different alleles. The presence of the 138-bp allele in the genotype of an animal is correlated with higher levels of fat, whereas the 147-bp allele has the opposite effect. The 149-bp allele was found in low numbers, and a homozygote was never identified. Hereford and Angus bulls had the greatest frequencies of 138-bp alleles (Hereford = 0.57, Angus = 0.59), while Charolais and Simmental had a greater proportion of 147-bp alleles (Charolais = 0.54, Simmental = 0.58). This information may aid cattle producers in selecting cattle for markets that differ in the amount of fat required.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 1998
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