A team of researchers from Adelaide University have discovered the positive effects of the gene scientifically known as the "F94L Gene". Dr Wayne Pitchford explained in an interview on the ABC's Country Hour on 15th July 2008 that the presence of this Gene can increase beef yields by 20% without the need for additional feed.

Research Team Leader Dr Pitchford stated that the best way for a commercial breeder to ensure the presence of the gene was to use French Pure and high content Limousin bulls, as the progeny of these bulls will almost certainly have at least one copy of the gene.*

Major comments made by Dr Pitchford on this exciting breakthrough were:

  1. It's pretty exciting really because you're getting about 20 per cent more of the really high value cuts.
  2. You get more loin muscle, which is the one that run's down the back and is the highest quality cut.
  3. The gene increases tenderness.
  4. Meat from animals with the gene can require up to 15% less force to cut it.
  5. You are basically getting more meat for the same cost of production.
  6. The gene is found in 83% of LIMOUSIN cattle, compared to 0.6% in Angus and Zero in Hereford.
  7. It's a very exciting breakthrough, which could make beef production significantly more profitable.

Testing conducted by the University of Queensland Genetics Laboratory has revealed that the frequency of this exciting new gene in Australian-born French Pure Limousins is 97.7% which means that nearly all French Pure Limousins are homozygous for the gene.

The scientific name of this new gene is "F94L gene" and a test is now available to enable Limousin bull breeders to test for the gene at the University of Queensland.


As of 2nd December 2011, just under 98% of French Pure Limousins tested (175) in Australia for the gene were homozygous, with the remainder being heterozygous. Limousins graded up to Purebred from other breeds have a lower frequency of the gene. Just under 96% of apricot graded up Limousins were homozygous, 4% were heterozygous, and one of just over 500 tested had no F94L genes.

The frequency of the gene is even lower in red and black graded up Limousins. Approximately 79% were homozygous, about 20% were heterozygous, and five of the 263 tested red and black Limousins had no F94L genes.

The frequency of the gene in graded up Limousins is still much higher than any other breed, including Angus and Hereford.


Mon 4 Jun 2012 | Paul van Biljon (Breed Director - Limousin South Africa)

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