Genetics of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism and meat eating quality in Tattykeel Australian White lambs

Shedrach Pewan, John Otto, Roger Huerlimann, Alyssa Budd, Felista Myangi, Richard Edmunds, Benjamin Holman, Michelle Henry, Robert Kinobe, Oyelola Adegboye, Aduli Malau-Aduli

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)
    24 Downloads (Pure)


    Meat eating quality with a healthy composition hinges on intramuscular fat (IMF), fat melting point (FMP), tenderness, juiciness, flavour and omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) content. These health-beneficial n-3 LC-PUFA play significant roles in optimal cardiovascular, retinal, maternal and childhood brain functions, and include alpha linolenic (ALA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic (DHA) and docosapentaenoic (DPA) acids. The primary objective of this review was to access, retrieve, synthesise and critically appraise the published literature on the synthesis, metabolism and genetics of n-3 LC-PUFA and meat eating quality. Studies on IMF content, FMP and fatty acid composition were reviewed to identify knowledge gaps that can inform future research with Tattykeel Australian White (TAW) lambs. The TAW is a new sheep breed exclusive to MARGRA brand of lamb with an outstanding low fat melting point (28–39°C), high n-3 LC-PUFA EPA+DHA content (33–69mg/100g), marbling (3.4–8.2%), tenderness (20.0–38.5N) and overall consumer liking (7.9–8.5). However, correlations between n-3 LC-PUFA profile, stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD), fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4), fatty acid synthase (FASN), other lipogenic genes and meat quality traits present major knowledge gaps. The review also identified research opportunities in nutrition–genetics interactions aimed at a greater understanding of the genetics of n-3 LC-PUFA, feedlot finishing performance, carcass traits and eating quality in the TAW sheep. It was concluded that studies on IMF, FMP and n-3 LC-PUFA profiles in parental and progeny generations of TAW sheep will be foundational for the genetic selection of healthy lamb eating qualities and provide useful insights into their correlations with SCD, FASN and FABP4 genes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number587
    Pages (from-to)1-25
    Number of pages25
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2020


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