Muscle-related traits in cattle: The role of the myostatin gene in the South Devon breed

P. Wiener, J.A. Smith, A.M. Lewis, John Woolliams, J.L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we examined the effects of an 11-bp mutation within the GDF-8 gene, originally identified in Belgian Blue cattle, in the South Devon breed. The mutation was found at moderate frequency (0.37) in the South Devon population. We quantified the effects of this mutation on growth, body composition and calving traits in South Devon cattle. We found that the mutation significantly increased muscle score and calving difficulty and decreased fat depth. The mutation did not significantly affect weight at 200 and 400 days or muscle depth. Its effect on muscle score and fat depth was additive while its effect on calving difficulty was recessive. The mutation accounted for a significant proportion of the phenotypic variance in muscle score and calving difficulty. There was an economic benefit of the mutation for this data set, however, calculations were sensitive to changes in the parameter values. Additional data would be required to re ne these calculations.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalGenetics Selection Evolution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • GDF-8 myostatin South Devon cattle double muscling muscle hypertrophy belgian-blue-cattle beef-cattle muscular hypertrophy carcass traits mutations allele birth locus

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