A Superior beef production gene which increases the weight of prime cuts by 19% and overall beef yield by 7% has been discovered by researchers at Adelaide University in Australia. The gene, a modification of the myostatin gene called F94L, is shown to be found most often in Limousin cattle but with very low frequencies in all other breeds of cattle.
Adelaide University team leader, Dr. Wayne Pitchford, said the research showed exciting results with the gene increasing the amount of prime cuts in the carcass by as much as 19 percent.
“Animals with 2 copies of the gene consume the same amount of feed as animals with no copies of the gene so they are much more efficient at producing beef.” he said. Dr Pitchford said the gene also increases tenderness. “Using the laboratory shear force test, meat from animals with 2 copies of the gene required 11 percent less force to cut a sample of the eye round muscle compared to animals with no copies of the gene. “The amount of force required to cut the loin muscle from animals with 2 copies of the gene was 6 percent less than the force to cut the loin muscle from animals with no copies of the gene.
“The F94L gene also causes a 20 percent reduction in intramuscular fat and a 30 percent reduction in external fat cover resulting in healthier beef and higher yields of retail beef from each carcass,” Dr Pitchford said.
The testing has revealed that the frequency of the gene in purebred Limousins is 98.3 percent which means that almost all purebred Limousins carry 2 copies of the gene.
Of 15 other breeds tested in the research, conducted on a sample base of 1081 unrelated cattle, the F94L gene was only found in very low frequencies. The next highest frequency recorded in a breed was 3%.
Dr Diane Vankan of the University of Queensland, who presented these findings at the International Society of Animal Genetics (ISAG) Conference held in Holland in May this year, concluded that: “F94L “Beef” gene is found almost exclusively in the Limousin breed.”
The research also notes that the F94L gene is NOT the same modification of the myostatin gene which causes double muscling in breeds such as the Belgian Blue. The Adelaide University research showed that the F94L variation of the myostatin gene does NOT have any deleterious effects on birth weight or calving difficulty.
Moral of the story is……FULLBLOOD Limousin have leaner red meat and less fat, more muscling, higher meat yields on the carcass, better conversion on feed to weight ratios than most other breeds, excellent growth rates, heavier weights at younger ages, and more tender meat.
Here at Goss Limousins, most all Limousins on the farm have tested positive for 2 copies of the “beef” or “profit” F94L gene. Therefore, crossing Fullblood Limousins to most all other breeds of cattle gives you better growth rates on your offspring, heavier yearling weights, yet still maintain the other good traits found in other breeds.
Pounds still pay, and muscle still matters.