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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


GAYA, Leila de Genova et al. Estimates of heritability and genetic correlations for meat quality traits in broilers. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2011, vol.68, n.6, pp.620-625. ISSN 1678-992X.

Broiler meat quality is one of the primary factors considered by the poultry industry. This study was conducted to estimate heritability and genetic correlation coefficients for meat quality traits in a single male broiler line. The meat ultimate pH (24 h after slaughter) and lightness presented the highest heritability estimates. Given the estimated genetic correlations, the pH measured at 15 min and 24 h after slaughtering, as well as lightness, were characterized by a close and negative genetic relationship with water holding capacity traits. In contrast, meat quality traits exhibited only non-significant genetic correlations with performance and carcass traits. Noticed exceptions were breast weight, which was genetically and favorably associated with the initial pH and thawing-cooking losses, and ultrasound record of pectoral muscle depth, which was genetically and unfavourably associated with the shear force of meat. Meat pH values at 24 h after slaughtering or lightness may be a favorable selection criterion for the poultry industry for improving meat quality, since these traits are associated with the water holding capacity of the meat. Out of the traits studied, lightness is most easily assessed on the industrial slaughtering line. The direct selection for breast weight could improve the initial pH and thawing-cooking losses of meat, even as selection for ultrasound records of Pectoralis major may affect the meat tenderness in this line

Keywords : animal breeding; genetic parameters; poultry.

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