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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Livestock Bio-Systems » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361552

Research Project: Improving Livestock Production by Developing Reproductive and Precision Management Technologies

Location: Livestock Bio-Systems

Title: Maternal periconceptual nutrition, early pregnancy, and developmental outcomes in beef cattle

item CATON, JOEL - North Dakota State University
item Crouse, Matthew
item MCLEAN, KYLE - University Of Kentucky
item DAHLEN, CARL - North Dakota State University
item WARD, ALISON - North Dakota State University
item Cushman, Robert - Bob
item GRAZUL-BILSKA, ANNA - North Dakota State University
item NEVILLE, BRYAN - North Dakota State University
item BOROWICZ, PAWEL - North Dakota State University
item REYNOLDS, LAWRENCE - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2020
Publication Date: 12/7/2020
Citation: Caton, J.S., Crouse, M.S., McLean, K.J., Dahlen, C.R., Ward, A.K., Cushman, R.A., Grazul-Bilska, A.T., Neville, B.W., Borowicz, P.P., Reynolds, L.P. 2020. Maternal periconceptual nutrition, early pregnancy, and developmental outcomes in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science. 98(12):1-16.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The focus of this review is maternal nutrition during the periconceptual period and offspring developmental outcomes in beef cattle, with an emphasis on the first 50 d of gestation, which represents the embryonic period. Animal agriculture in general, and specifically the beef cattle industry, currently faces immense challenges. The world needs to significantly increase its output of animal food products by 2050 and beyond to meet the food security and agricultural sustainability needs of the rapidly growing human population. Consequently, efficient and sustainable approaches to livestock production are essential. Maternal nutritional status is a major factor that leads to developmental programming of offspring outcomes. Developmental programming refers to the influence of pre-and postnatal factors, such as inappropriate maternal nutrition, that affect growth and development and result in long-term consequences for health and productivity of the offspring. In this review, we discuss recent studies in which we and others have addressed the questions, “Is development programmed periconceptually?” and, if so, “Does it matter practically to the offspring in production settings?” The reviewed studies have demonstrated that the periconceptual period is important not only for pregnancy establishment but also may be a critical period during which fetal, placental, and potentially postnatal development and function are programmed. The evidence for fetal and placental programming during the periconceptual period is strong and implies that research efforts to mitigate the negative and foster the positive benefits of developmental programming need to include robust investigative efforts during the periconceptual period to better understand the implications for life-long health and productivity.