Double-muscle animals have hypertrophied muscles in both the front- and hindquarters due to a mutation in the myostatin gene. The increased muscling is visible at birth, and the larger size also contributes to difficulty with calving. The increased muscle size is due to an approximate doubling in the number of muscle fibers in these animals without significant change in average muscle diameter. Carcasses show bulging muscles and a minimum of exterior fat covering (Fig. 1). The double-muscle condition results in a somewhat paler muscle color and a reduction in intramuscular fat. The tenderness of the muscle, however, is largely unaffected.
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