The production cost of the Nelore cattle is high, especially the fraction related to animal nutrition. The increase of feed efficiency (FE) may provide increased beef production efficiency, minimizing feed expenditures and production of methane gas and nitrogen excretion. Residual feed intake (RFI) is one of the most adopted measurements of feed efficiency, but it is a complex trait controlled by different metabolic processes and environmental factors. For this reason, understanding gene expression profile and its regulation may help to understand the phenotypic variation. Therefore, this study aims determine the methylation profile in hepatic tissue of Nelore cattle exhibiting extreme RFI phenotypes using the reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) methodology. Moreover, the study aims to integrate epigenetic information with previously obtained results of transcriptome analysis (differentially expressed genes) employing network analysis like the partial correlation with information theory (PCIT) and regulatory impact factor (RIF) to identify co-methylation pathways. This will add new layers of information to molecular regulatory mechanisms related to feed efficiency in bovine.
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