Interpretive Summary: Effects of maternal methionine supplementation on the response of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) chicks to heat stress
By: Thaís Pacheco Santana, Eliane Gasparino, Angélica de Souza Khatlab, Angela Maria Favaro Elias Pereira, Leandro Teixeira Barbosa, Roberta Pereira Miranda Fernandes, Susan J Lamont, Ana Paula Del Vesco
The deficiency of nutrients such as methionine in the diet of birds is affecting fertility rate, egg production, egg weight, and progeny weight. In addition, the maternal environment influences gene expression through epigenetic mechanisms, where the conditions experienced by the parental generation during embryonic development can produce effects on the progeny. This study investigates how methionine supplementation in the diet of quail hens can reduce the effects of oxidative stress and improve the performance of progeny subjected to heat stress during growth. For that, the quail hens were fed with diets containing three different levels of methionine; and their chicks were created (15 on 35 d of age) into thermoneutral and/or intermittent heat stress ambient. It was observed that methionine supplementation in the quail hens had a positive effect on mortality during the initial phase and greater weight gain in the progeny growth phase. In addition, genetic inheritance was observed through the positive correlation between the expression of genes (maternal and progeny) related to oxidative stress. The results show that methionine supplementation in the maternal diet contributes to the development and performance of the progeny when subjected to heat stress during the growth phase.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.