Myogenic determination factor 1 (MyoD1) and myogenic factor 6 (Myf6) genes belong to the myogenic differentiation (MyoD) gene family, which play key roles in growth and muscle development. The study aimed to investigate the effects of variants in cattle MyoD1 and Myf6 on carcass and meat traits. We screened single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of both genes in 8 cattle populations, including Simmental, Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Limousin, Qinchuan, Luxi, and Jinnan by sequencing. The G782A locus was identified in exon 1 of MyoD1 (MyoD1-BglI) as well as the T186C locus in exon 1 of Myf6 (Myf6-ApaLI). For the two SNPs, the A allele was significantly more frequent than the B allele in the populations tested. The χ2 test showed that the MyoD1-BglI locus conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in the 8 populations, as did the Myf6-ApaLI locus, with the exception of the Simmental population (P > 0.05). Association analysis revealed that the MyoD1-BglI locus was significantly associated with loin muscle area (LMA) (P < 0.05), and the Myf6-ApaLI locus was significantly associated with carcass length (CL) (P < 0.05). Animals with BB and AB genotypes for the MyoD1-BglI locus had larger LMAs compared to animals with AA genotype. Individuals with BB genotype had longer CLs compared to those with AA and AB genotypes. We conclude that the two SNPs might provide useful genetic markers, opening up new possibilities for cattle breeding and improvements in gene-assisted selection.