Scientists Look To Bombine Best Of Beef Worlds

AUSTRALIA - Beef researchers are working on getting the best of British into their herd. Australian bulls could soon be ejaculating sperm from British breeds if research to improve beef quality is a success.
calendar icon 27 September 2007
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Beef researchers are working on getting the best of British into their herd. (Getty Images: Jamie McDonald/Allsport)

Scientists are trying to improve the texture of beef from Brahman cattle, a breed farmed extensively in Australia's north, says CSIRO's Dr Bruce Lee, who spoke at a recent conference in Sydney.

He says Brahman beef is generally stringier and tougher than meat from British breeds such as Aberdeen, Angus and Hereford.

But Brahman cattle, whose genes can be traced back to India, are better suited to the hot, tropical north.

It is possible to combine the best of both worlds using artificial insemination to cross breeds but Dr Lee says mustering and other factors makes it quite costly.

Dr Lee says researchers at CSIRO's Food Futures Flagship are instead hoping to remove stem cells from the testicles of a British bull and transplant them into the testicles of a Brahman bull.

"The idea would be that he can ejaculate sperm of a British bull," he said.

He says the ultimate aim of the research is to use transplanted stem cells to produce single-sex offspring and the system can work in other animals such as mice and goats.

Source: ABCnews
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