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Genetics Selection Evolution

Open Access

Comparison between the three porcine RN genotypes for growth, carcass composition and meat quality traits

  • Pascale Le Roy1Email author,
  • Jean-Michel Elsen2,
  • Jean-Claude Caritez3,
  • André Talmant4,
  • Hervé Juin3,
  • Pierre Sellier1 and
  • Gabriel Monin4
Genetics Selection Evolution200032:165

Received: 5 October 1999

Accepted: 10 January 2000

Published: 15 March 2000


A three-step experimental design has been carried out to add evidence about the existence of the RN gene, with two segregating alleles RN- and rn+, having major effects on meat quality in pigs, to estimate its effects on production traits and to map the RN locus. In the present article, the experimental population and sampling procedures are described and discussed, and effects of the three RN genotypes on growth and carcass traits are presented. The RN genotype had no major effect on growth performance and killing out percentage. Variables pertaining to carcass tissue composition showed that the RN- allele is associated with leaner carcasses (about 1 s.d. effect without dominance for back fat thickness, 0.5 s.d. effect with dominance for weights of joints). Muscle glycolytic potential (GP) was considerably higher in RN- carriers, with a maximum of a 6.85 s.d. effect for the live longissimus muscle GP. Physico-chemical characteristics of meat were also influenced by the RN genotype in a dominant way, ultimate pH differing by about 2 s.d. between homozygous genotypes and meat colour by about 1 s.d. Technological quality was also affected, with a 1 s.d. decrease in technological yield for RN- carriers. The RN genotype had a more limited effect on eating quality. On the whole, the identity between the acid meat condition and the RN- allele effect is clearly demonstrated (higher muscle GP, lower ultimate pH, paler meat and lower protein content), and the unfavourable relationship between GP and carcass lean to fat ratio is confirmed.


pigmajor geneRN genemeat qualitycarcass composition

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Authors’ Affiliations

Station de génétique quantitative et appliquée, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France
Station d'amélioration génétique des animaux, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Castanet Tolosan cedex, France
Domaine du Magneraud, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Surgères, France
Station de recherches sur la viande, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Theix, Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2000