This study was conducted to investigate how dietary lysine level affects the intramuscular fat (IMF) content and fatty acid (FA) composition in late-stage finishing pigs. Nine crossbred barrows [94.4 ± 6.7 kg body weight (BW)] were randomly allotted to three treatment groups (n = 3). Three corn- and soybean-meal-based diets were formulated to meet the National Research Council (2012) requirements for various nutrients except for lysine, whose concentrations were 0.43%, 0.71%, and 0.98% (as-fed basis) for Diets 1 (lysine-deficient), 2 (lysine-adequate), and 3 (lysine-excess), respectively. After 5 wk of ad libitum access to diets, pigs were harvested and longissimus dorsi samples were collected. The IMF content and FA composition of the samples were analyzed by gas chromatography. Results showed that the IMF content of the muscle was increased linearly (P < 0.05) with decreasing dietary lysine level from 0.98% to 0.43%. Dietary lysine level altered the composition of FA, especially the unsaturated FA, in the muscle. Particularly, the percentages of C18:1 n-9 and total monounsaturated FA were higher, whereas the percentages of C18:2 n-6 and total polyunsaturated FA were lower, in the muscle of the pigs fed Diet 1. Collectively, dietary lysine deficiency increased the proportion of monounsaturated FA and decreased the proportion of polyunsaturated FA, which may benefit pork palatability.
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Vol. 98 • No. 2