Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 35, Number 6, November-December 2003
Page(s) 623 - 635
Genet. Sel. Evol. 35 (2003) 623-635
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2003043

Genetic parameters of meat technological quality traits in a grand-parental commercial line of turkey

Élisabeth Le Bihan-Duvala, Cécile Berria, Élisabeth Baézaa, Véronique Santéb, Thierry Astrucb, Hervé Rémignonc, Gilles Le Pottierd, James Bentleye, Catherine Beaumonta and Xavier Fernandezb, c

a  Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Station de recherches avicoles, 37380 Nouzilly, France
b  Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Station de recherches sur la viande, Saint-Genès Champanelle, France
c  École nationale supérieure agronomique de Toulouse, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
d  Comité interprofessionnel de la dinde en France, Mordelles, France
e  British United Turkeys, Chester, UK

(Received 18 June 2002; accepted 7 February 2003)

Genetic parameters for meat quality traits and their relationships with body weight and breast development were estimated for a total of 420 male turkeys using REML. The birds were slaughtered in a commercial plant and the traits measured included pH at 20 min ( ${\rm pH}_{20}$) and 24 h post-mortem (pHu) and colour of the breast and thigh meat. The heritabilities of the rate and the extent of the pH fall in the breast muscle were estimated at $h^{2}=0.21 \pm
0.04$ and $h^{2}= 0.16 \pm 0.04$, respectively. Heritabilities ranging from 0.10 to 0.32 were obtained for the colour indicators in the breast muscle. A marked negative genetic correlation ( $r_g=-0.80 \pm
0.10$ ) was found between ${\rm pH}_{20}$ and lightness ( L*) of breast meat, both traits corresponding to PSE indicators. The ${\rm pH}_{20}$ in the thigh muscle had a moderate heritability ( $h^{2}= 0.20 \pm 0.07$) and was partially genetically related to ${\rm pH}_{20}$ in the breast muscle ( $r_g= 0.45 \pm 0.17$). Body weight and breast yield were positively correlated with both initial and ultimate pH and negatively with the lightness of breast meat.

Key words: turkey / meat quality / pH / colour / genetic parameters

Correspondence and reprints: Élisabeth Le Bihan-Duval

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003