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Ruminal bacterial communities and characterization of intramuscular fat regulating genes of Nellore cattle submitted to different nutritional strategies to improve marbling

Grant number: 19/23979-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2022
Effective date (End): December 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Nutrition and Feeding
Principal researcher:Danilo Domingues Millen
Grantee:Johnny Maciel de Souza
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Tecnológicas. Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Dracena. Dracena , SP, Brazil


The objective of the present study is to evaluate the transcriptome of the Longissimus Dorsi muscle (LD) in Nellore cattle, associated with softness and marbling characteristics, in order to find Differentially Expressed Genes (DEG), co-expression networks and metabolic pathways that regulate these characteristics, and correlate with the expression of genes in the gastrointestinal tract and rumen microbiome. 132 non-castrated Nellore cattle will be used, divided into groups of high and low Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) for marbling before being blocked by weight. The finishing diets will contain 84% concentrate and the treatments will be: T1) fine-ground corn; T2) high moisture corn grain silage; T3) Fine-ground corn + Calcium Salts of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (CSPFA); T4) high moisture corn grain silage + CSPFA; and T5) high moisture corn grain silage + CSPFA + zinc and organic chromium. The experimental design will be in completely randomized blocks, in a 2x2+1 factorial arrangement. Fat thickness, rib eye area and LD marbling will be measured. The animals will be slaughtered in a commercial slaughterhouse after 112 days of confinement. LD samples (between the 12th and 13th ribs) will be collected and analyzed for softness, color and lipid profile. In addition, samples of the LD, as well as fragments of the ruminal and cecal epithelia will be collected immediately after slaughter for further analysis of the transcriptome and proteomics. Samples of ruminal and cecal epithelia will also be analyzed for morphometry and histology. Samples of rumen content will be collected and destined for sequencing of microbial community and counting protozoa. (AU)

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