Identification of novel mRNA isoforms associated with meat tenderness using RNA sequencing data in beef cattle


The Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and myofibrillar fragmentation index (MFI) are complementary methodologies used to measure beef tenderness. Longissimus thoracis samples from the 20 most extreme bulls (out of 80 bulls set) for WBSF (tender (n = 10) and tough (n = 10)) and MFI (high (n = 10) and low (n = 10)) traits were collected to perform transcriptomic analysis using RNA-Sequencing. All analysis were performed through CLC Genomics Workbench. A total of 39 and 27 transcripts for WBSF and MFI phenotypes were DE, respectively. The possible DE novel mRNA isoforms, for WBSF and MFI traits, are myosin encoders (e.g. MYL1 and MYL6). In addition, we identified potential mRNA isoforms related to genes affecting the speed fibers degradation during the meat aging process. The DE novel transcripts are transcripted by genes with biological functions related to oxidative process, energy production and striated muscle contraction. The results suggest that the identified mRNA isoforms could be used as potential candidate to select animals in order to improve meat tenderness.



Meat maturation, MFI, Novel transcripts, RNA-Seq, WBSF

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Meat Science, v. 173.