Meat tenderness is the most appreciated trait by global consumers, however this trait had few attentions in Brazilian beef cattle breeding programs until this moment, so to increase the Brazilian competitiveness in international meat trade, genetic studies have focused on quality traits such as meat tenderness. Knowledge of the genetic contribution in the total variation of this trait can help in early prediction of the animal genetic potential, and this, together with the genetic breeding classical tools, can maximize selection response. Although, to define the real contribution of DNA sequence differences in phenotypic diversity is necessary to understand the mechanisms that regulate gene expression, considering gene expression variations may also result in phenotypic variation between individuals. Differences in allelic expression (DAE) also can contribute to phenotypic diversity and this field has been poorly studied in bovines. Different allelic expression (DAE) dependent on the allelic parental origin, as occurs in case of imprinted genes, may influence selection accuracy and may affect animal breeding statistical models by causing differences between observed and predicted values. Considering the exposed, the present project aims to analyze the genome wide EAD distribution in muscle tissue to identify genes associated with tenderness that show imprint or DAE pattern allelic expression as well as to elucidate possible causes of the allelic imbalance. For this, sequencing of 17 Nellore animal of each tenderness extreme will be performed using next-generation sequencing in Illumina HiScanSQ equipment. Allelic expression imbalance will be validated by TaqMan® assays. This study will increase the scientific knowledge and identify genes associated with tenderness that show allelic expression variation, which may subsequently be included in statistical models in order to increase precision in cattle genetic breeding.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: