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Selecting broiler chickens for ultimate pH of breast muscle: Analysis of divergent selection experiment and phenotypic consequences on meat quality, growth, and body composition traits

Abstract : Genetic parameters for ultimate pH of pectoralis major muscle (PM-pHu) and sartorius muscle (SART-pHu); color parameters L*, a*, b*; logarithm of drip loss (LogDL) of pectoralis major (PM) muscle; breast meat yield (BMY); thigh and drumstick yield (TY); abdominal fat percentage (AFP); and BW at 6 wk (BW6) were estimated in 2 lines of broiler chickens divergently selected for PM-pHu. Effects of selection on all the previous traits and on glycolytic potential, pectoralis major muscle pH at 15 min postmortem, curing-cooking yield (CCY), cooking loss (CL), and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) of the PM muscle were also analyzed after 5 generations. Strong genetic determinism of PM-pHu was observed, with estimated h(2) of 0.57 +/- 0.02. There was a significant positive genetic correlation (r(g)) between PM-pHu and SART-pHu (0.54 +/- 0.04), indicating that selection had a general rather than a specific effect on energy storage in skeletal muscles. The h(2) estimates of L*, a*, and b* parameters were 0.58 +/- 0.02, 0.39 +/- 0.02, and 0.48 +/- 0.02, respectively. Heritability estimates for TY, BMY, and AFP were 0.39 +/- 0.04, 0.52 +/- 0.01, and 0.71 +/- 0.02, respectively. Our results indicated different genetic control of LogDL and L* of the meat between the 2 lines; these traits had a strong r(g) with PM-pHu in the line selected for low ultimate pH (pHu) value (pHu-; -0.80 and -0.71, respectively), which was not observed in the line selected for high pHu value (pHu+; -0.04 and -0.29, respectively). A significant positive r(g) (0.21 +/- 0.04) was observed between PM-pHu and BMY but not between PM-pHu and BW6, AFP, or TY. Significant phenotypic differences were observed after 5 generations of selection between the 2 lines. The mean differences (P < 0.001) in pHu between the 2 lines were 0.42 and 0.21 pH units in the breast and thigh muscle, respectively. Breast meat in the pHu+ line exhibited lower L* (-5 units; P < 0.001), a* (-0.22 units; P < 0.001), b* (-1.53 units; P < 0.001), and drip loss (-1.6 units; P < 0.001) than in the pHu-line. Breast meat of the pHu+ line was also characterized by greater CCY (+6.1 units; P < 0.001), lower CL (-1.66 units; P < 0.01), and lower WBSF after cooking (-5.1 units; P < 0.001) compared to the pHu-line. This study highlighted that selection based on pHu can be effective in improving the processing ability of breast meat and reducing the incidence of meat quality defects without affecting chicken growth performance.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 4:44:19 PM
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Nabeel Alnahhas, Cécile Berri, Maryse Boulay, Elisabeth Baéza, Yves Jégo, et al.. Selecting broiler chickens for ultimate pH of breast muscle: Analysis of divergent selection experiment and phenotypic consequences on meat quality, growth, and body composition traits. Journal of Animal Science, American Society of Animal Science, 2014, 92 (9), pp.3816-3824. ⟨10.2527/jas.2014-7597⟩. ⟨hal-02641348⟩

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