Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #428199

Research Project: Novel Integrated Nutrition and Health Strategies To Improve Production Efficiencies in Poultry

Location: Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-31000-106-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 1, 2015
End Date: Sep 19, 2017

Objective 1. Identify and analyze gene and gene product interactions that promote protein utilization efficiency and growth in broilers by characterizing the physiological mechanisms underlying stabilization of the chicken gut and improving understanding of nutrient uptake and processing in the cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Objective 2. Assess, develop, and apply microbiome and metagenomic based strategies in poultry to define the role of the microflora in the regulation of nutrient uptake and utilization in the gastrointestinal tract during post-hatch development of broilers. Objective 3. Develop novel alternative strategies to the use of antimicrobial growth promoters in broilers to eliminate consequences of host reactivity to pathogens and to improve health, nutrient utilization efficiency and growth rate.

Understanding the host-microflora interactions that influence gut health is critical for developing strategies to increase the efficient use of ingested nutrients by broilers for meat production in the absence of antimicrobials. This project’s focus is to minimize challenges to gut health that both compromise absorption and redirect dietary nutrients from growth to supporting immune function and tissue repair. Objective 1 will identify mechanisms involved in efficient nutrient uptake and processing by cells of the gut. Functional genomics of amino acid transporters will be defined as influenced by nutritional state, pathogen presence, and broiler genotype. Additionally, metabolic interactions between the cellular urea cycle functionality, the nitric oxide cascade and mitochondrial energetics will be characterized according to diet and proinflammatory status. Objective 2 defines the role of the microflora in regulating nutrient uptake and utilization in the gut of growing broilers through metagenomic and metabolomic based modeling strategies, with the additional goal of determining how the broiler gut can better be stabilized by commensal microbes against pathogen influences. Objective 3 addresses alternative strategies to the use of antimicrobials to achieve improved health, nutrient utilization and growth of the broiler. The project will generate validated biomarkers of cell function and stress capable of predicting the health status of the broiler, and a battery of immortalized broiler intestinal cell lines from heritage and high-performance lineages to facilitate rapid assessment of the potential for intervention strategies prior to in vivo modeling.