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International Journal of Food Science
Volume 2017, Article ID 3948408, 6 pages
Research Article

Genetics of Marbling in Wagyu Revealed by the Melting Temperature of Intramuscular and Subcutaneous Lipids

1CY O’Connor ERADE Village Foundation, P.O. Box 5100, Canning Vale South, WA 6155, Australia
2CY O’Connor Centre for Innovation in Agriculture, Murdoch University, 5 Del Park Road, Box 1, North Dandalup, WA 6207, Australia
3Melaleuka Stud, 24 Genomics Rise, Piara Waters, WA 6112, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Sally S. Lloyd; ua.ude.oyc@dyolls

Received 10 March 2017; Revised 23 August 2017; Accepted 13 September 2017; Published 23 October 2017

Academic Editor: Alejandro Castillo

Copyright © 2017 Sally S. Lloyd et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Extreme marbling or intramuscular deposition of lipid is associated with Wagyu breeds and is therefore assumed to be largely inherited. However, even within 100% full blood Wagyu prepared under standard conditions, there is unpredictable scatter of the degree of marbling. Here, we evaluate melting temperature () of intramuscular fat as an alternative to visual scores of marbling. We show that “long fed” Wagyu generally has below body temperature but with a considerable range under standardized conditions. Individual sires have a major impact indicating that the variation is genetic rather than environmental or random error. In order to measure differences of lower marbling breeds and at shorter feeding periods, we have compared in subcutaneous fat samples from over the striploin. Supplementary feeding for 100 to 150 days leads to a rapid decrease in of 50% Red Wagyu (Akaushi)  50% European crosses, when compared to 100% European. This improvement indicates that the genetic effect of Wagyu is useful, predictable, and highly penetrant. Contemporaneous DNA extraction does not affect the measurement of . Thus, provenance can be traced and substitution can be eliminated in a simple and cost-effective manner.