The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the USPOULTRY Foundation announced the end of a funded research project at Auburn University in Alabama. The research found a potential genetic marker in some broiler chickens that are less susceptible to deep pectoral myopathy, commonly called "green muscle." The project is part of the association's comprehensive research program which encompasses all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. A complete report, along with information on other association research, can be viewed via the USPOULTRY website. The project summary is as follows:

Project #664: Using Forced Wing Exercise to Investigate Broiler Susceptibility to Deep Pectoral Myopathy and Associated Changes in Plasma Creatine Kinase, by Dr. Roger J. Lien, Dr. Sarge F. Bilgili and Dr. Joe B. Hess, Auburn University

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Deep pectoral myopathy, commonly called "green muscle," is a condition in which the breast tender of broiler chickens is found to be discolored during processing. This meat must be trimmed and condemned. Researchers estimate that 0.5 percent of breast tenders are condemned because of green muscle, at a loss of $50 million per year. Researchers at Auburn University were able to define some of the factors involved in causing this condition, including broiler strain, broiler gender, and the temperature at which the birds were raised. The scientists also found that the level of a certain serum enzyme correlated with the development of deep pectoral myopathy and suggested this enzyme might be used as a marker for genetic selection of broiler strains less susceptible to the condition.