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Anim Genet. 2006 Feb;37(1):40-6.

Exploration of genes showing intramuscular fat deposition-associated expression changes in musculus longissimus muscle.

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Laboratory of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Marbling, as defined by the amount of intramuscular fat, is an economically important trait in beef cattle. Intramuscular fat deposition is postulated to arise mainly from a series of adipogenic events in intramuscular adipocyte-lineage cells and in the physiological or anatomical milieux surrounding them. This study was designed to investigate gene-expression patterns associated with fat deposition in musculus longissimus muscle, including adipocyte-lineage cells and part of the milieux. Differential-display PCR (ddPCR) was used to examine expression differences between low-marbled and high-marbled steer groups at 8, 10, 12 and 14 months of age, encompassing the time that marbling starts to appear. Seventy-four of 2114 total bands on ddPCR gel-bands were significant (P < 0.05) for the group effect, the interaction effect between group and age, or both the group and the interaction effects. Sequence analysis of 72 of these bands revealed 77 genes, including 35 annotated genes and 42 novel sequences. Among the 35 annotated genes, 6 (BTG2, PDHB, SORBS1, TRDN, TTN and MGP) have been related to changes in intramuscular fat deposition, possibly by exerting effects on adipocyte-lineage cells or on the milieux surrounding them.

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