Muscling in cattle is largely influenced by genetic background, ultimately affecting beef yield and is of major interest to the beef industry. This investigation aimed to determine whether primary skeletal muscle cells isolated from different breeds of cattle with a varying genetic potential for muscling differ in their myogenic proliferative capacity. Primary skeletal muscle cells were isolated and cultured from the Longissimus muscle (LM) of 6 month old Angus, Hereford and Wagyu X Angus cattle. Cells were assessed for rate of proliferation and gene expression of PAX7, MYOD, MYF5, and MYOG. Proliferation rates were found to differ between breeds of cattle whereby myoblasts from Angus cattle were found to proliferate at a greater rate than those of Hereford and Wagyu X Angus during early stages of growth (5-20 hours in culture) in vitro (P < 0.05). The proliferation rates of myoblasts during early stages of culture in vitro were also found to be positively related to the liveweight and carcase weight of cattle (P < 0.05). Gene expression of MYF5 was also found to be significantly down-regulated in WagyuX compared with Angus cattle (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that early events during myogenesis are important for determining liveweight and caracase weights in cattle.