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Open Access Research

Genetic parameters of meat technological quality traits in a grand-parental commercial line of turkey

Élisabeth Le Bihan-Duval1*, Cécile Berri1, Élisabeth Baéza1, Véronique Santé2, Thierry Astruc2, Hervé Rémignon3, Gilles Le Pottier4, James Bentley5, Catherine Beaumont1 and Xavier Fernandez23

Author Affiliations

1 Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Station de recherches avicoles, 37380 Nouzilly, France

2 Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Station de recherches sur la viande, Saint-Genès Champanelle, France

3 École nationale supérieure agronomique de Toulouse, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France

4 Comité interprofessionnel de la dinde en France, Mordelles, France

5 British United Turkeys, Chester, UK

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Genetics Selection Evolution 2003, 35:623-635  doi:10.1186/1297-9686-35-7-623

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:18 June 2002
Accepted:7 February 2003
Published:15 November 2003

© 2003 INRA, EDP Sciences


Genetic parameters for meat quality traits and their relationships with body weight and breast development were estimated for a total of 420 male turkeys using REML. The birds were slaughtered in a commercial plant and the traits measured included pH at 20 min (pH20) and 24 h post-mortem (pHu) and colour of the breast and thigh meat. The heritabilities of the rate and the extent of the pH fall in the breast muscle were estimated at h2 = 0.21 ± 0.04 and h2 = 0.16 ± 0.04, respectively. Heritabilities ranging from 0.10 to 0.32 were obtained for the colour indicators in the breast muscle. A marked negative genetic correlation (rg = -0.80 ± 0.10) was found between pH20 and lightness (L*) of breast meat, both traits corresponding to PSE indicators. The pH20 in the thigh muscle had a moderate heritability (h2 = 0.20 ± 0.07) and was partially genetically related to pH20 in the breast muscle (rg = 0.45 ± 0.17). Body weight and breast yield were positively correlated with both initial and ultimate pH and negatively with the lightness of breast meat.

turkey; meat quality; pH; colour; genetic parameters


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