South African Journal of Animal Science
Print version ISSN 0375-1589
DAI, Fawen et al. Developmental differences in carcass, meat quality and muscle fibre characteristics between the Landrace and a Chinese native pig. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.4, pp. 267-273. ISSN 0375-1589.
This experiment was conducted to compare carcass and meat quality traits, and muscle fibre characteristics in the longissimus muscle of the Landrace [an European pig breed] and the Lantang [a Chinese native pig breed] at the ages of 60, 90 and 150 days. The characteristics of muscle fibres were determined by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and histological methods (ATPase and succinodehydrogenase, SDH). A significant age difference was observed in loin eye area (LEA), backfat thickness (BF), pH45 min , pH24 h , drip loss, moisture, ash, number percentages of αR and αW fibres, muscle fibre cross-sectional area and mRNA expression of myosin heavy chain (MyHC)-slow and MyHC-IIb. The Lantang showed a higher intramuscular fat (IMF) content and BF than the Landrace, while the Landrace exhibited a higher LEA and ash content than the Lantang. Both breeds exhibited similar developments in muscle fibre composition, and there were small differences in muscle fibre composition and muscle fibre cross-sectional area. However, Landrace pigs showed a significantly higher mRNA relative expression of MyHC-IIb. These results suggested that age was an important factor in the variation of carcass, meat quality traits and characteristics of muscle fibres. The main differences between the breeds at the same age were LEA, BF, IMF and ash contents, and fast glycolytic MyHC-IIb in the mRNA level.
Keywords : Breeds; Lantang; age; muscle fibres; carcass; meat quality.