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Relation of body size to muscle cell size and number in the chicken

Relation of body size to muscle cell size and number in the chicken

Poultry Sci 42(2): 283-290

Two meat-type lines, randombred and growth selected Ohio White Golds, and a commerical egg-strain of White Leghorns were used to study the relative importance of muscle cell (fiber) size and cell number in determining body size at different ages. The importance of additive and of non-additive genetic effects on muscle cell size and number was estimated using breed and strain crosses. Muscle cell number was estimated at hatching and cell size was determined at ten weeks of age by cross-diameter measurement of teased fibers from M. sartorius. Conclusions were as follows (1). Increase in cell number in skeletal muscle tissue occurs before hatching and increase in muscle cell size occurs primarily during the post-hatching period. (2). At hatching, the White Gold (R) had a greater number and slightly smaller muscle cells than the White Leghorn (L) of similar body weight. At 10 weeks of age the large-bodied R had considerably larger muscle fibers than the small-bodied L. The reciprocal crossbreds were approximately equal to the parental means for both cell size and number at hatching, and for cell size at 10 weeks of age. (3). The growth-selected White Gold (S) possessed slightly smaller and, therefore, a greater number of cells at hatching than did the randombred line. At 10 weeks of age S had significantly larger muscle cells than R. Muscle weight and cell size were intermediate in reciprocal crosses between the random-bred and selected lines. (4). Although large-bodied chickens had larger and a greater number of muscle cells at broiler age than did small-bodied chickens, cell size was apparently of greater importance than cell number in determining muscle (body) size. (5). Muscle cell number at hatching and cell size at 10 weeks of age appear to be controlled primarily by additive gene action.

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Accession: 014165105

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DOI: 10.3382/ps.0420283

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