The objective of this study was to assess the association of markers in the calpastatin and mu-calpain loci with iron in beef cattle muscle. The population consisted of 259 cross-bred steers from Beefmaster, Brangus, Bonsmara, Romosinuano, Hereford and Angus sires. Total iron and heme iron concentrations were measured. Markers in the calpastatin (referred to as CAST) and mu-calpain (referred to asCAPN4751) genes were used to assess their association with iron levels. The mean and standard error for iron and heme iron content in the population was 35.6 ± 1.3 μg and 27.1 ± 1.4 μg respectively. Significant associations (P < 0.01) of markers were observed for both iron and heme iron content. For CAST, animals with the CC genotype had higher levels of iron and heme iron in longissimus dorsi muscle. ForCAPN4751, individuals with the TT genotype had higher concentrations of iron and heme iron than did animals with the CC and CT genotypes. Genotypes known to be associated with tougher meat were associated with higher levels of iron concentration.
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