Relationship among GeneSTAR marbling marker, intramuscular fat deposition, and expected progeny differences in early weaned Simmental steers

C. B. Rincker, N. A. Pyatt, L. L. Berger, D. B. Faulkner

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39 Scopus citations


Research has demonstrated that triiodothyronine and thyroxin are correlated with marbling (MARB) deposition in Wagyu cattle. Polymorphisms in the 5′ region of the thyroglobulin gene have been associated with an improvement in overall fattening and could be used as a gene marker for MARB. The commercially available GeneSTAR MARB test measures the specific thyroglobulin gene polymorphism and identifies cattle as having 0, 1, or 2 copies of the allele; these are identified as 0-STAR, 1-STAR, or 2-STAR, respectfully. Early weaned Simmental steers (n = 192) of known genetics were individually fed over a repeated 4-yr trial period to determine the correlations between GeneSTAR MARB test [Genetic Solutions/Bovigen Pty. Ltd. (Australia) in conjunction with Frontier Beef Systems, LLC (Louisville, CO)] results and intramuscular fat (IMF) deposition. Yearling weight, MARB, percent retail cuts, and carcass weight EPD were calculated for each steer. Steers were weaned at 88.0 ± 1.1 d, pen-fed a high-concentrate diet for 84.5 ± 0.4 d before allotment, and subsequently individually fed a 90% concentrate diet composed primarily of cracked corn and corn silage for 249.7 ± 0.7 d. Steers were slaughtered at 423.3 ± 1.4 d. Deoxyribonucleic acid samples were used by Genetic Solutions/Bovigen (Australia) for GeneSTAR MARB analysis. Steers with allele types of 0-STAR (n = 47), 1-STAR (n = 95), and 2-STAR (n = 33) had no effect (P > 0.10) on MARB score, chemically determined IMF percentage, quality grade, or percent low Choice and better. There were no differences (P > 0.10) in performance or other carcass parameters among the allele types. GeneSTAR results were not associated with MARB (P > 0.10). Conversely, MARB EPD was correlated (P < 0.01) with MARB score (r = 0.44) and IMF percentage (r = 0.27). Thus, in this management system, MARB EPD is an accurate predictor of IMF deposition. These data suggest that the GeneSTAR MARB marker was not an efficacious predictor of IMF deposition in early weaned Simmental steers fed a high-energy diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-693
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Carcass composition
  • Early weaned steer
  • GeneSTAR marbling marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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