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Title: Carcass shape and meat eating quality in sheep : opportunities for genetic improvement using computed tomography
Author: Navajas, E. A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis reports on an investigation of the association between muscularity and meat quality in Scottish Blackface (SBF) and Texel (TEX) lambs, and the in vivo association of these traits using X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) with a view to their possible inclusion in breeding programs. The objectives of this work were: (i) to develop comprehensive in vivo assessments of muscularity using spiral CT scans; (ii) examine the relationship of the new muscularity indices with carcass and eating quality; (iii) explore the associations among CT assessments of carcass composition, muscularity and muscle density, and (iv) investigate the possibility of limiting the antagonism between selection for reduced fatness and maintaining eating quality by introducing a CT predictor of intramuscular fat as an additional selection criterion for the breeding programmes using CT. Because of the strong phenotypic and genetic associations with intramuscular fat, CT muscle density may be a promising selection tool to counteract possible negative effects of decreasing fatness on intramuscular fat and therefore eating quality. The inclusion of CT muscle density as a selection criterion allowed more favourable genetic responses in intramuscular fat, without further unfavourable increases in carcass fat weight or detrimental effects on leanness. Positive returns for the industry from using CT muscle density at the second stage of selection can be obtained for all economic values included in this stimulation. The economic benefits were maximised when the proportion of ram lambs CT scanned was between 15% and 20%.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available