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Interpretive Summary: Thermal stress and selection for growth affect myogenic satellite cell lipid accumulation and adipogenic gene expression through mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway

By: Jiahui Xu, Gale M Strasburg, Kent M Reed, Sandra G Velleman

Turkey breast muscle growth and development are sensitive to temperatures immediately after hatch due to an immature thermoregulatory system. Meat yield or quality problems may arise from external thermal stress during this period. Modern commercial turkeys are selected for increased growth and breast muscle yield. However, with excessive enlargement of muscle fibers, there are increased incidences of muscle damage and fat deposition in the breast muscle. The breast meat can be downgraded due to the meat quality problems. Satellite cells (SCs) are the only source of cells responsible for post-hatch muscle growth in poultry, and they are sensitive to temperature. This study identifies the cellular mechanisms in regulating thermal stress-induced fat synthesis in turkey breast muscle SCs. The results of the current study provide insight into how thermal stress and selection for rapid growth affect the fat content in SCs. These results have potential application in the development of temperature manipulation strategies to control fat production by SCs, which will impact poultry breast meat quality.

Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.