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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Nutrition, Growth and Physiology » Research » Research Project #442168

Research Project: Methyl Donor Availability in Utero and Programming of Postnatal Performance in Beef Cattle

Location: Nutrition, Growth and Physiology

Project Number: 3040-31000-102-002-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2022
End Date: Dec 1, 2024

The objectives of this research are to understand the effect of methyl donor deficiency or supplementation during the periconceptual period of gestation on epigenetic and metabolomic changes in fetal growth trajectory, and how changes in fetal development result in altered postnatal steer calf performance.

ARS researchers will manage and feed heifers their respective treatments to induce a methyl donor deficiency or supplement heifers beyond their methyl donor requirements. ARS investigators will slaughter one group of heifers, and calve the second group of heifers to collect data on treatment effects on fetal development, and postnatal performance of calves from treated heifers. Metabolomics analysis will be conducted by ARS investigators. Fetal tissues will be sent to North Dakota State University for RNA-sequencing and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing by the Co-PI and graduate student. ARS investigators will manage calves born to heifers from birth through finishing and will collect sample.