Genetic determinants for intramuscular fat content and water-holding capacity in mice selected for high muscle mass
de Villena FP
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Intramuscular fat content and water-holding capacity are important traits in livestock as they influence meat quality, nutritive value of the muscle, and animal health. As a model for livestock, two inbred lines of the Berlin Muscle Mouse population, which had been long-term selected for high muscle mass, were used to identify genomic regions affecting intramuscular fat content and water-holding capacity. The intramuscular fat content of the Musculus longissimus was on average 1.4 times higher in BMMI806 than in BMMI816 mice. This was accompanied by a 1.5 times lower water-holding capacity of the Musculus quadriceps in BMMI816 mice. Linkage analyses with 332 G3 animals of reciprocal crosses between these two lines revealed quantitative trait loci for intramuscular fat content on chromosome 7 and for water-holding capacity on chromosome 2. In part, the identified loci coincide with syntenic regions in pigs in which genetic effects for the same traits were found. Therefore, these muscle-weight-selected mouse lines and the produced intercross populations are valuable genetic resources to identify genes that could also contribute to meat quality in other species.