There are a number of commercially available DNA tests for beef tenderness that effectively identify differences in ribeye tenderness related to post-mortem aging. Unfortunately, the beef cuts that need the most improvement are those that are tough due to connective tissue, which does not respond to aging. Additionally, there are theoretical concerns that selecting for feed efficiency may reduce beef tenderness.
Research currently underway and funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster is working to gain a better understanding of the genetic factors underlying differences in tenderness among different muscles.
This is an important first step in developing improved DNA marker panels for beef quality. Improved knowledge of the genetic interaction between feed efficiency and beef tenderness will be critical to effectively and appropriately implementing breeding tools for these traits.
To learn more about this research, see the BCRC fact sheet: http://www.beefresearch.ca/factsheet.cfm/improving-tenderness-in-beef-cuts-136
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