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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Lexington, Kentucky » Forage-animal Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364249

Research Project: Optimizing the Biology of the Animal-Plant Interface for Improved Sustainability of Forage-Based Animal Enterprises

Location: Forage-animal Production Research

Title: Effects of oral citrulline:malate administration to ewes fed ergot alkaloids during late gestation on neonatal serum amino acids and growth

item GREENE, MASLYN - Clemson University
item Klotz, James
item GOODMAN, JACK - University Of Kentucky
item Harlow, Brittany
item BRITT, JESSI - Clemson University
item DUCKETT, SUSAN - Clemson University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate oral citrulline:malate administration to ewes fed ergot alkaloids during late gestation on lamb serum amino acid levels and growth. Suffolk ewes (n=10; 87kg) estimated to be carrying twins at d85 of gestation were randomly assigned to citrulline:malate 2:1 (81mg/kg citrulline in 35ml water, CT) or control treatment (35ml water). All ewes were fed endophyte-infected tall fescue seed (4.14µg ergovaline+ ergovalinine/g) in a total mixed ration from d86-parturition. Maternal doppler ultrasounds were conducted on d76±4 (pretreatment) and d112±4 of gestation (treatment). Maternal serum prolactin concentrations were determined by RIA. Blood was collected from lambs within 12h of birth and serum amino acid content was analyzed by LC-MS/MS. The first-born male lamb was harvested within 12h of birth and all muscle from the right side was collected for proximate analysis. Doppler ultrasounds and prolactin concentrations were not altered (P>0.05) by CT treatment. Doppler ultrasounds showed vasoconstriction (P<0.10) from pretreatment to post-treatment and prolactin concentrations increased (P<0.05) during gestation. Lamb birth and carcass weight did not differ (P>0.05). Concentrations of glutamine, ornithine, isoleucine, and leucine were lower (P<0.05) in lambs from CT ewes. Ewes on CT treatment produced lambs with smaller (P<0.05) thymus weight, total fat weight, and crude fat percentage. Rumen weight, large intestine weight, and crude protein percentage were larger (P<0.10) for lambs from CT ewes. Brown fat and kidney fat weights were smaller (P<0.10) for neonates from CT ewes. As percentages of empty body weight, CT ewes produced lambs that had larger (P<0.05) rumen and large intestine weights, and smaller (P<0.05) kidney fat and total fat weights. Liver, quadriceps femoris, and semimembranosus and adductor percentages were larger (P<0.10) for lambs from CT ewes. Oral administration of citrulline:malate to ewes fed ergot alkaloids alters fetal growth warranting more research into dose levels and administration.