Structure of skeletal muscles in Leghorn type chicken from conservative and parent flocks
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Intensive selection conducted within closed populations has led to the creation of specialized chicken strains that differ significantly in meat yield and reproduction performance. The effect of the selection conducted on the birds is differentiation identified not only on the molecular but also on the cellular level, among other things in the skeletal muscles. The aim of this study was to compare the structure of chosen homological skeletal muscles from Leghorn chickens (LSL), originating from parent flock, intensively selected for reproductive traits and from conservative flock (G99), unselected for many generations. The structure of musculus pectoralis superficialis and musculus biceps femoris (the thickness of the muscle fibres and the share of the fibre types in the bundle) in 8 and 20 week old chickens was compared. A significant impact of the origin on all examined slaughter parameters was recorded. Body weight before slaughter, carcass weight and the weight of breast and leg muscles in 8 weeks old LSL chicken made up from 60%to about 85%of the respective values in the G99 Leghorn. Lack of red fibres in the breast muscles of all the individuals from the parental flock (LSL) was noted, whereas in 12 individuals (among 24) from the conservative flock (G99), red fibres were observed in this muscle from 2.75%up to 7.09 %. White fibres in 8 week old chicks were always thicker, both in pectoralis superficialis and biceps femoris muscle in birds with higher body weight as well as higher weight of breast and legs muscles, i.e. in chicks from conservative flock (G99), P<0.01. However, in 20 week old birds, the diameters of the white fibres were similar in both groups. Also the diameters of the red fibres in musculus biceps femoris in 8 week old chickens were higher in cockerels and pullets from conservative flock (G99).
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Gabriela Elminowska-Wenda, Department of Animal Biotechnology, University of Technology and Life Sciences, Bydgoszcz, 85-084 Bydgoszcz, Mazowiecka 28, Poland