Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2013
Publication Date: 3/1/2013
Citation: Bowker, B.C. 2013. Meat science and muscle biology symposium: In utero factors that influence postnatal muscle growth, carcass composition, and meat quality. Journal of Animal Science. 91(3):1417-1418.
Interpretive Summary: The in utero period of development in livestock species may provide a window of opportunity for the enhancement of postnatal growth, carcass composition, and meat quality through the impact of fetal programming and maternal nutrition and management.
Technical Abstract: The Meat Science and Muscle Biology Symposium titled “In utero factors that influence postnatal muscle growth, carcass composition, and meat quality” was held at the Joint Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, July 15 to 19, 2012. The goal of this symposium was to highlight research on the impact of fetal programming and maternal nutrition and management on the postnatal growth and carcass characteristics of offspring. During the critical period in utero, progenitor cells differentiate into myogenic, adipogenic, and fibrogenic cells, and the number of muscle fibers is determined. This period of development in livestock species may offer a window of opportunity for the potential enhancement of growth, carcass composition, and meat quality. Thus, it is vital to understand more fully the in utero factors and maternal management strategies that play a key role in the postnatal growth and composition of the offspring. This symposium provided specific discussions on the fetal programming of skeletal muscle in non-human primate and mouse models, the manipulation of progenitor cell differentiation in beef cattle, in utero nutrition related to postnatal growth and meat quality in pigs, and the effects of maternal nutrition on postnatal growth in beef cattle.