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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2012, Article ID 756284, 11 pages
Research Article

Functional Genomic Analysis of Variation on Beef Tenderness Induced by Acute Stress in Angus Cattle

1College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
2Department of Animal & Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
3Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, College of Animal Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
4Bovine Functional Genomic Laboratory, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
5Standerds Division, USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service-National Organic Program, Washington, DC 20250, USA

Received 29 November 2011; Accepted 19 January 2012

Academic Editor: Giulia Piaggio

Copyright © 2012 Chunping Zhao 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.


Beef is one of the leading sources of protein, B vitamins, iron, and zinc in human food. Beef palatability is based on three general criteria: tenderness, juiciness, and flavor, of which tenderness is thought to be the most important factor. In this study, we found that beef tenderness, measured by the Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF), was dramatically increased by acute stress. Microarray analysis and qPCR identified a variety of genes that were differentially expressed. Pathway analysis showed that these genes were involved in immune response and regulation of metabolism process as activators or repressors. Further analysis identified that these changes may be related with CpG methylation of several genes. Therefore, the results from this study provide an enhanced understanding of the mechanisms that genetic and epigenetic regulations control meat quality and beef tenderness.