An association between genotypes at the porcine loci MSTN (GDF8) and CAST and microstructural characteristics of m. longissimus lumborum: a preliminary study
Abstract. The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between the microstructure characteristics of longissimus lumborum (LL) muscle and the genotype at porcine loci MSTN and CAST. The study was carried out on 132 unrelated pigs – 93 crosses of Pietrain and (Polish Large White x Polish Landrace) and 39 Stamboek castrated males. Crosses Pi x (PLW x PL), with an equal proportion of castrated males (n=46) and females (n=47), were of genotype CC or CT at the locus RYR1, whereas Stamboek pigs were of genotype CC at this locus. The diameters of slow-twitch oxidative (STO), fast-twitch oxidative (FTO) and fast-twitch glycolytic (FTG) fibers, their per cent share in a bundle and number of fibers per 1 mm2 were determined. Moreover, the analyses covered the frequency of occurrence of pathological fibers, including giant and angular fibers. The parameters examined, characterising the microstructure of LL muscle, were not found to be related to the presence of the C→T polymorphism in exon 3 of the MSTN gene, identified by enzyme TaqI. However, it was shown that the diameters of the STO, FTO and FTG fibres in the LL muscle were significantly smallest in the Stamboek pigs with genotype FF at locus CAST compared to both the remaining genotypes. Among the crosses Pi x (PLW x PL) this genotype was not observed. The content of FTG fibres in a bundle proved to be related to the CAST genotype in Stamboek pigs. The frequency of pathological fibres in the LL muscle was the lowest in pigs with genotype EE at the locus CAST, but only in the case of the crosses Pi x (PLW x PL) was this relation statistically significant. The studies should be continued to determine whether such relations occur in other pig breeds. The frequency of pathological fibres affects meat quality and thus the polymorphism of the CAST gene could be of importance in selection.