Genotyping of SNPs associated with meat tenderness: comparison of two PCR-based methods.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) carried in calpain (CAPN1), calpastatin (CAST), and leptin (LEP) genes are associated with meat tenderness. Due to the economic importance of this meat quality attribute, the development of fast, reliable, and affordable methods to identify bovine carriers of favorable alleles is of great importance for genetic improvement. Currently, PCR-RFLP is accepted as the standard gold method for genotyping SNPs associated with meat tenderness. But these SNPs can be detected by other techniques as high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis - a post-PCR method - that offers several advantages and has great application potential in the meat industry. In this study, we standardized, validated, and compared the performance of PCR-HRM to that of PCR-RFLP in genotyping bovine SNPs associated with meat tenderness: CAPN4751, CAPN316, CAST2959, CAST282, LEPE2FB, and LEPE2JW. We analyzed genotypes of a total of 380 bovines, 110 Bos taurus and 270 Bos indicus. Results obtained with PCR-HRM were consistent with those found by PCR-RLFP. Furthermore, HRM was found to be highly sensitive, and our results confirmed the repeatability (intra-assay precision) and reproducibility (inter-assay precision) of this assay. An internal control for endonuclease activity was created using site-directed mutagenesis to generate an additional enzymatic restriction point useful to discriminate SNP alleles. Our results show that PCR-HRM is an efficient method that produces reliable and rapid results. However, should be had in account that the method of DNA extraction, the quality and quantity of DNA, analyst-related variations, and primer design may generate challenges for allele discrimination.