LINKING EMBRYONIC MYOGENESIS TO MEAT QUANTITY AND QUALITY
 
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Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2006;56(2):117–121
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ABSTRACT
The discipline of meat science has classically focused on ante-mortem and post-mortem handling procedures that effect ultimate meat quality. Furthermore, meat science has also ventured into genetic and physiological factors that impact ultimate meat quality. However, in general, meat scientists have not fully considered the impact of embryonic development nor have they targeted the embryo in strategies aimed at optimizing meat quality. Embryonic development has a profound impact on ultimate meat yield and meat quality because embryonic events program muscle phenotype, muscle growth potential, ultimate muscle size, and muscle metabolic potential. In farm animals, myofiber size, contractile protein composition, and myofiber phenotype have a profound impact on eating quality. During development, gastrulation begins when the blastoderm invaginates to form the endoderm, mesoderm, and the ectoderm. The somites, derived from the mesoderm, are the classically accepted site of myogenesis. The underlying mechanisms governing myogenesis, regulating myofiber number, and determining myofiber phenotype are not yet fully understood. The focus of this manuscript is to review the general embryonic mechanisms governing muscle development and to speculate about potential targets to improve meat quality through embryonic manipulation.
ISSN:1230-0322