"MORE BEEF FOR YOUR BUCK"
"NEW LIMOUSIN GENE"
A team of researchers from Adelaide University have discovered the positive effects of the gene scientifically known as the "F94L Gene". Dr Wayne Pitchford explained in an interview on the ABC's Country Hour on 15-7-08 that the presence of this Gene can increase beef yields by 20% without the need for additional feed.
Research Team Leader Dr Pitchford stated that the best way for a commercial breeder to ensure the presence of the gene was to use French Pure Limousin Bulls, as the progeny of these bulls will almost certainly have at least one copy of the gene.
However Limousins which have been graded up from other breeds have a lower frequency of the gene. The frequency in apricot graded up Limousins is 95.2% and in black graded up Limousins the frequency is 84.0% but this is still much higher that any other breed including Angus and Hereford as outlined below.
Major comments made by Dr Pitchford on this exciting breakthrough were:
Testing conducted by the University of Queensland Genetics Laboratory has revealed that the frequency of the this exciting new gene in French Pure Limousins is 98.3 % which means that nearly all French Pure Limousins are homozygous for the gene.
The scientific name of this new gene is "F94L gene" and a test is now available to enable Limousin Bull breeders to test for the gene at the University of Queensland.
FURTHER SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Real-time PCR genotyping and frequency of the myostatin F94L mutation in beef cattle breeds
D. M. Vankan-, D. R. Waine and M. R. S. Fortes
Animal Genetics Laboratory, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia
(Received 12 March 2009; Accepted 21 October 2009)
This research developed two real-time PCR assays, employing high-resolution melt and allele-specific analysis to accurately genotype the F94L mutation in cattle. This mutation (g.433C.A) in the growth differentiation factor 8 or myostatin gene has recently been shown to be functionally associated with increased muscle mass and carcass yield in cattle. The F94L mutation is not, like other myostatin mutations, associated with reduced fertility and dystocia. It is therefore a candidate for introgression into other breeds to improve retail beef yield and the development of a simple and accurate test to genotype this specific mutation is warranted. Variations in the efficiency of enzyme cleavage compromised the accuracy of genotyping by published methods, potentially resulting in an overestimation of the frequency of the mutant allele. The frequency of the F94L mutation was determined by real-time PCR in 1140 animals from 15 breeds of cattle in Australia. The mutation was present in Simmental (0.8%), Piedmontese (2%), Droughtmaster (4%) and Limousin (94.2%) but not found in Salers, Angus, Poll Hereford, Hereford, Gelbvieh, Charolais, Jersey, Brahman, Holstein, Shorthorn or Maine Anjou. The low prevalence of F94L in all beef breeds except Limousin indicates the significant potential for this mutation to improve retail yield in Australian beef cattle.
Dr Dianne Vankan explains the highlighted section of the above abstract in her answer to the Limousin Muscle Alliance below:
My comments in the paper regarding introgression into other breeds were aimed at commercial herds that wished to increase meat% using F94L via natural breeding with Limousin sires. There is a very low frequency of this mutation in some other breeds. I imagine that, even if possible, the cost of splicing the gene into other breeds would outweigh the benefits.