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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.19.0163    [Accepted] Published online August 3, 2019.
Feeding strategies alter gene expression of the calpain system and meat quality in the longissimus muscle of Braford steers
Maria Sumampa Coria1,4  , Pablo Sebastián Reineri2,4  , Dario Pighin5,6  , Maria Guadalupe Barrionuevo1  , Pedro Gabriel Carranza3  , Gabriela Grigioni5,7,*  , Gustavo Adolfo Palma1,4,* 
1Laboratorio de Producción y Reproducción Animal, Instituto de Bionanotecnología del NOA (INBIONATEC), RN 9, Km 1125, Villa El Zanjón, Santiago del Estero, G4206XCP, Argentina
2Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Rivadavia 1917, Buenos Aires, C1033AAJ, Argentina
3Facultad de Agronomía y Agroindustrias (FAYA), Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero (UNSE), Santiago del Estero, G4206XCP, Argentina
4Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Santiago del Estero, Campo Experimental Francisco Cantos, INTA, RN 9 Km 1108, La Abrita, Santiago del Estero, G4206XBK, Argentina
5Instituto Tecnología de Alimentos, Centro de Investigación de Agroindustria, INTA, CC 25, Castelar, Buenos Aires, B1712, Argentina
6Universidad de Morón, Cabildo 134, Morón, Buenos Aires, B1708JPD, Argentina
7Centro de Investigación y Transferencia Santiago del Estero (CITSE), RN 9, Km 1125, Villa El Zanjón, Santiago del Estero, G4206XCP, Argentina
Correspondence:  Gabriela Grigioni,Email: grigioni.gabriela@inta.gob.ar
Gustavo Adolfo Palma, Tel: +54-0381154681260, Fax: +54-0381154681260, Email: gustavo.palma@reprobiotec.com
Received: 28 February 2019   • Revised: 15 May 2019   • Accepted: 20 June 2019
The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of supplementing pasture-finished steers with corn silage on the expression level of the calpain system proteins and beef tenderization.
Thirty Braford steers grazing on summer pasture were used for the study. During 120 days fifteen animals were supplemented with corn silage at 1% of body weight per head per day (Suppl) whereas the remaining 15 steers only received pasture (Contr). Carcass and meat traits were evaluated and compared between groups. Gene expression and activities of proteases (calpain 1 and calpain 2) and inhibitor (calpastatin) were measured using real-time PCR and casein zymography.
Carcass and meat traits were significantly different between feeding systems. Supplemented steers showed higher hot carcass weight (p < 0.01), fat content (p = 0.02), and Warner-Bratzler shear force (p = 0.03). Furthermore, the control group showed higher protease:inhibitor ratios, at mRNA (p = 0.01) and protein levels (p < 0.10). Warner-Bratzler shear force and mRNA calpains:calpastatin ratio were associated in both feeding systems (p < 0.01).
Based on the results obtained in the study, beef tenderness differences among finishing strategies could be modulated through differential expression of the calpain system proteins.
Keywords: Beef Cattle; Cattle Feeding; Calpain System; Meat Quality; Meat Tenderness

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