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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Nutrition and Environmental Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344437

Research Project: STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE HEIFER SELECTION AND HEIFER DEVELOPMENT

Location: Nutrition and Environmental Management Research

Title: Moderate nutrient restriction influences expression of genes impacting production efficiencies of beef cattle in fetal liver, muscle and cerebrum by day 50 of gestation

Author
item Crouse, Matthew - North Dakota State University
item Caton, Joel - North Dakota State University
item Cushman, Robert - Bob
item Mclean, Kyle - North Dakota State University
item Dahlen, Carl - North Dakota State University
item Borowicz, Pawel - North Dakota State University
item Reynolds, Lawrence - North Dakota State University
item Ward, Alison - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: State University Ag Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2017
Publication Date: 9/1/2017
Citation: Crouse, M.S., Caton, J.S., Cushman, R.A., McLean, K.J., Dahlen, C.R., Borowicz, P.P., Reynolds, L.P., Ward, A.K. 2017. Moderate nutrient restriction influences expression of genes impacting production efficiencies of beef cattle in fetal liver, muscle and cerebrum by day 50 of gestation. 2017 North Dakota Beef Report. pp. 8-12.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We hypothesized that a moderate maternal nutrient restriction during the first 50 days of gestation in beef heifers would affect expression of genes impacting production efficiency phenotypes in the fetal liver, muscle and cerebrum. Fourteen Angus-cross heifers were estrus synchronized and assigned at breeding to one of two dietary treatments (CON – 100 percent of nutrient requirements to gain 1 pound/day; RES – 60 percent of CON). At day 50 of gestation, heifers were ovariohysterectomized, and the fetal liver, muscle and cerebrum were collected. For the fetal liver, muscle and cerebrum, a total of 548, 317 and 151 genes, respectively (P < 0.01) were differentially expressed (up or down regulated). Differentially expressed genes were screened to determine whether they fit into functional categories associated with known impacts on production efficiencies. In the fetal liver, three functional categories of interest were affected by nutritional treatment: metabolic pathways, protein kinase and nucleosome core. In the fetal muscle, two functional categories of interest were affected by nutritional treatment: skeletal muscle and embryogenesis. In the fetal cerebrum, three functional categories of interest were affected by nutritional treatment: hippocampus and neurogenesis, metal-binding and cytoskeleton. These results demonstrate that a moderate maternal nutrient restriction during the first 50 days of gestation in beef heifers alters expression of genes impacting production efficiencies in the fetal liver, muscle and cerebrum. With these data, we can conduct further research identifying the physiological changes to these tissues and the effects these changes have on production efficiencies in beef cattle. Finally, identifying specific supplementation strategies to prevent the potentially negative consequences of poor maternal nutrition on offspring growth and development will provide additional means to increase production efficiencies in beef cattle. Emerging targets include liver metabolism and feed efficiency, muscle development and tenderness, as well as programmed cerebral formation and temperament.