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Genetics Selection Evolution

Open Access

Genetic parameters of meat technological quality traits in a grand-parental commercial line of turkey

  • Élisabeth Le Bihan-Duval1Email author,
  • Cécile Berri1,
  • Élisabeth Baéza1,
  • Véronique Santé2,
  • Thierry Astruc2,
  • Hervé Rémignon3,
  • Gilles Le Pottier4,
  • James Bentley5,
  • Catherine Beaumont1 and
  • Xavier Fernandez2, 3
Genetics Selection Evolution200335:623

Received: 18 June 2002

Accepted: 7 February 2003

Published: 15 November 2003


Genetic parameters for meat quality traits and their relationships with body weight and breast development were estimated for a total of 420 male turkeys using REML. The birds were slaughtered in a commercial plant and the traits measured included pH at 20 min (pH20) and 24 h post-mortem (pHu) and colour of the breast and thigh meat. The heritabilities of the rate and the extent of the pH fall in the breast muscle were estimated at h2 = 0.21 ± 0.04 and h2 = 0.16 ± 0.04, respectively. Heritabilities ranging from 0.10 to 0.32 were obtained for the colour indicators in the breast muscle. A marked negative genetic correlation (r g = -0.80 ± 0.10) was found between pH20 and lightness (L*) of breast meat, both traits corresponding to PSE indicators. The pH20 in the thigh muscle had a moderate heritability (h2 = 0.20 ± 0.07) and was partially genetically related to pH20 in the breast muscle (r g = 0.45 ± 0.17). Body weight and breast yield were positively correlated with both initial and ultimate pH and negatively with the lightness of breast meat.


turkeymeat qualitypHcolourgenetic parameters

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Authors’ Affiliations

Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Station de recherches avicoles, Nouzilly, France
Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Station de recherches sur la viande, France
École nationale supérieure agronomique de Toulouse, Castanet-Tolosan, France
Comité interprofessionnel de la dinde en France, Mordelles, France
British United Turkeys, Chester, UK


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003