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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Nutrition, Growth and Physiology » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #372663

Research Project: Improve Nutrient Management and Efficiency of Beef Cattle and Swine

Location: Nutrition, Growth and Physiology

Title: Micronutrients, one-carbon metabolism, and epigenetics: Potential developmental and production outcomes

item Crouse, Matthew
item CATON, JOEL - North Dakota State University
item WARD, ALISON - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2020
Publication Date: 11/30/2020
Citation: Crouse, M.S., Caton, J., Ward, A.K. 2020. Micronutrients, one-carbon metabolism, and epigenetics: Potential developmental and production outcomes [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 98(Supplement 4):170.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: One-carbon metabolism is the network of biochemical pathways in which methyl groups are transferred from one compound to another for methylation processes. Expansion of the core pathway connects one-carbon metabolism to polyamine synthesis, nucleotide synthesis, redox metabolism, and the citric acid cycle. One-carbon metabolites (OCM) are methyl donors and cofactors which play key roles in the one-carbon metabolism pathway and include B-vitamins (choline, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and folate), minerals (cobalt and sulfur) and amino acids (methionine, serine, and glycine). One-carbon metabolites are fundamental methyl donors for epigenetic modifications. Immediately post-fertilization, the embryonic genome undergoes epigenetic remodeling, and is the time when cell division is greatest (cell divisions/total cell number). At this time OCM supplementation may have its greatest impact on programming of offspring development, growth and postnatal performance, due to established metabolic roles in epigenetics (methyl transfer), growth (polyamine and nucleotide synthesis), and energetics. Limited data are available, however, which directly investigates the developmental effects of OCM supplementation in ruminants. In dairy cows, OCM supplementation in late gestation increased calf birth weight, nutrient sensing pathway activation, and offspring performance through the pre-weaning period. Methyl deficient diets during the pre-conception period in ewes altered the offspring hepatic methylome at 90 days of gestation, as well as the body composition and insulin tolerance of ram lambs at 22-mo of age. Bovine embryonic fibroblasts cultured in vitro with increasing OCM had greater growth rates and mitochondrial respiration parameters. Additional research into the area of one-carbon metabolism and the roles that OCM supplementation may play on postnatal function will provide new knowledge that could lead to altered management practices and increased efficiency of beef cattle.