Effects of selection for low backfat thickness in pigs on the sites of tissue deposition in the body

J. D. Wood, O. P. Whelehan, M. Ellis, W. C. Smith, R. Laird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of selection for low backfat thickness on tissue deposition in different body sites has been investigated in pigs. Eight castrated male and eight female pigs from each of the selection and control lines maintained at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne were used. One castrated male and one female from each line was killed at 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, 105 and 120 kg live weight following ad libitum food consumption and fully dissected. There were only small effects of line on carcass composition, selected pigs having 120 g/kg more bone than controls at the mean side weight (P < 0·001) and 40 g/kg more lean (NS). At the same mean weight of subcutaneous fat, selected pigs had thinner backfat than controls (approximately 3 mm) over m. longissimus at the last rib and over the shoulder but not at the mid-rump or mid-back positions. There appears to have been a slight shift in the sites of fat deposition from above m. longissimus in the loin towards the mid-line and rump as a result of selection, even though mid-rump, C and K measurements were all included in the selection index. However, there was no difference between the lines in the weight distribution of subcutaneous fat between six regions and so these shifts must have been very localized. There was no difference between lines in the relationship between P2 fat thickness and proportion of lean in the side. The effects of selection on the sites of deposition within tissues other than subcutaneous fat were small. In particular there was no evidence that selection has caused relocation of body fat from subcutaneous to the other sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Production
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of selection for low backfat thickness in pigs on the sites of tissue deposition in the body'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this