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See detailDifferential Expression of Genes and DNA Methylation associated with Prenatal Protein Undernutrition by Albumen Removal in an avian model
Willems, E.; Guerrero-Bosagna, C.; Decuypere, E. et al

in Scientific Reports (2016), 6

Previously, long-term effects on body weight and reproductive performance have been demonstrated in the chicken model of prenatal protein undernutrition by albumen removal. Introduction of such persistent ... [more ▼]

Previously, long-term effects on body weight and reproductive performance have been demonstrated in the chicken model of prenatal protein undernutrition by albumen removal. Introduction of such persistent alterations in phenotype suggests stable changes in gene expression. Therefore, a genomewide screening of the hepatic transcriptome by RNA-Seq was performed in adult hens. The albumendeprived hens were created by partial removal of the albumen from eggs and replacement with saline early during embryonic development. Results were compared to sham-manipulated hens and non-manipulated hens. Grouping of the differentially expressed (DE) genes according to biological functions revealed the involvement of processes such as 'embryonic and organismal development' and 'reproductive system development and function'. Molecular pathways that were altered were 'amino acid metabolism', 'carbohydrate metabolism' and 'protein synthesis'. Three key central genes interacting with many DE genes were identified: UBC, NR3C1, and ELAVL1. The DNA methylation of 9 DE genes and 3 key central genes was examined by MeDIP-qPCR. The DNA methylation of a fragment (UBC-3) of the UBC gene was increased in the albumen-deprived hens compared to the nonmanipulated hens. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that prenatal protein undernutrition by albumen removal leads to long-term alterations of the hepatic transcriptome in the chicken. [less ▲]

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See detailThe MC4R c.893G>A mutation: A marker for growth and leanness associated with boar taint odour in Belgian pig breeds
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Janssens, S.; Stinckens, A. et al

in Meat Science (2015), 101

Since surgical castration of male piglets without anaesthesia is under heavy societal pressure, finding a sustainable solution to reduce boar taint has become urgent. One way to circumvent this animal ... [more ▼]

Since surgical castration of male piglets without anaesthesia is under heavy societal pressure, finding a sustainable solution to reduce boar taint has become urgent. One way to circumvent this animal welfare violation is raising entire male pigs whilst selecting against the tainted phenotype through marker-assisted selection. Since slaughtering at a lower weight is often suggested to reduce boar taint, selection using a marker for that trait could be a promising strategy. Therefore, in this study a melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) mutation, frequently described in different pig breeds as marker for fat content, weight gain and feed intake, was examined in relation to boar taint in pig breeds used in Belgian pig farms. Although results suggest an association between this mutation and a boar taint odour score assigned by experts, no association was found between the mutation and the concentration of the individual chemical boar taint components androstenone, skatole and indole. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailDietary polyphenols reduce diarrhea in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infected post-weaning piglets
Verhelst, R.; Schroyen, Martine ULg; Buys, N. et al

in Livestock Science (2014), 160(1), 138-140

Earlier, we showed that some commercial plant derived polyphenol extracts can inactivate heat labile toxin (LT) of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) in vitro (Omnivin, and ALSOK), whereas others do ... [more ▼]

Earlier, we showed that some commercial plant derived polyphenol extracts can inactivate heat labile toxin (LT) of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) in vitro (Omnivin, and ALSOK), whereas others do not (Omnicoa). In this study, based on 40 three week weaned piglets, these three extracts were added to feed and tested for in vivo efficacy in a post-weaning diarrhea model. Piglets were divided in four treatment groups, and given a control diet or a diet supplemented with 1% of one of the three extracts. Half of each treatment group was infected with ETEC on days 6 and 7 post-weaning. Post-infection, rectal feces was assessed daily for diarrhea (as % fecal dry matter (DM)), ETEC excretion. Average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were determined. Post-infection, ETEC excretion was reduced by all three extracts compared to control feed, and significantly by Omnivin (p<0.004). Diarrhea was abolished by Omnivin and ALSOK, but not by Omnicoa. No differences were found for ADG, ADFI, and FCR, except for Omnicoa which depressed ADG post-infection significantly (p<0.005). The latter suggests Omnicoa to contain an anti-nutritional factor. The overall results for the different polyphenol extracts were consistent with the respective in vitro activities in the LT-inhibition assay. It is concluded that polyphenol extracts do widely differ in properties, some may have deleterious effects, but others can indeed reduce ETEC induced diarrhea most likely by inactivating LT in vivo. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailThe effect of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli F4ab,ac on early-weaned piglets: A gene expression study
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Goddeeris, B. M.; Stinckens, A. et al

in Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology (2013), 152(1-2), 87-92

Diarrhoea in neonatal and early-weaned piglets due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-F4 (ETEC-F4) is an important problem in the pig farming industry. There is substantial evidence for a genetic basis ... [more ▼]

Diarrhoea in neonatal and early-weaned piglets due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-F4 (ETEC-F4) is an important problem in the pig farming industry. There is substantial evidence for a genetic basis for susceptibility to ETEC-F4 since not all pigs suffer from diarrhoea after an ETEC-F4 infection. A region on SSC13 has been found to be in close linkage to the susceptibility of piglets for ETEC-F4ab,ac. Potential candidate genes on SSC13 have been examined and although some polymorphisms were found to be in linkage disequilibrium with the phenotype, the causative mutation has not yet been found. In this study we are looking at the expression of porcine genes in relation to ETEC-F4ab,ac. With the aid of the Affymetrix GeneChip Porcine Genome Array we were able to find differentially expressed genes between ETEC-F4ab,ac receptor positive (Fab,acR+) piglets without diarrhoea and F4ab,acR+ piglets with diarrhoea or F4ab,acR- animals. Since the susceptibility to ETEC-F4ab,ac was described as a Mendelian trait, it is not so surprisingly that only two differentially expressed genes, transferrin receptor (TFRC) and trefoil factor 1 (TFF1), came out of the analysis. Although both genes could pass for functional candidate genes only TFRC also mapped to the region on SSC13 associated with susceptibility for ETEC-F4, which makes TFRC a positional functional candidate gene. Validation by qRT-PCR confirmed the differential expression of TFRC and TFF1. In piglets without diarrhoea, the expression of both genes was higher in F4ab,acR+ than in F4ab,acR- piglets. Similarly, TFRC and TFF1 expression in F4ab,acR+ piglets without diarrhoea was also higher than in F4ab,acR+ piglets with diarrhoea. Consequently, although both genes might not play a role as receptor for F4 fimbriae, they could be of great importance during an ETEC-F4 outbreak. An upregulation of TFRC can be a consequence of the piglets ability to raise an effective immune response. An elevation of TFF1, a protein involved in mucin formation, may also affect the piglet's capability to cope with ETEC bacteria, rather than being a receptor for its fimbriae. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression of interleukin-4 receptor and ccl5 chemokine is not related to insect bite hypersensitivity in horses
Peeters, L. M.; Schroyen, Martine ULg; Coussé, A. et al

in Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (2013), 33(8), 667-669

Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) in horses represents a type I or sometimes a type IV hypersensitivity to salivary antigens from numerous Culicoides spp and some other insects. Until now, there has been ... [more ▼]

Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) in horses represents a type I or sometimes a type IV hypersensitivity to salivary antigens from numerous Culicoides spp and some other insects. Until now, there has been no curative treatment available, but there are clear indications that the susceptibility to IBH is partly heritable. Identification of equine genes that are associated with susceptibility to IBH could lead to the development of a marker-assisted selection method. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of functional candidate genes in relation to IBH. Based on literature, the interleukin-4 receptor (IL4R) and chemokine CCL5 (CCL5) genes were selected for examination by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). Expression levels were determined in 16 horses: 8 IBH-positive horses, all showing clinical IBH symptoms at sampling; and 8 IBH-negative horses, stabled at the same location (case-control set up). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were isolated from whole- blood samples, and expression levels of IL4R and CCL5 were measured. No differential expression was found for IL4R and CCL5 in PBMC between IBH-positive and IBH-negative horses (P=58 and P=63). Expression of CCL5 and IL4R in PBMC is not related to insect bite hypersensitivity in warmblood horses. Research toward a marker-assisted selection procedures could reduce IBH prevalence in horse populations by means of selection. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailE. coli heat labile toxin (LT) inactivation by specific polyphenols is aggregation dependent
Verhelst, R.; Schroyen, Martine ULg; Buys, N. et al

in Veterinary Microbiology (2013), 163(3-4), 319-324

Recently, polyphenol extracts were suggested to inhibit binding of Escherichia coli heat labile enterotoxin (LT) to its intestinal receptor GM1. Therefore, polyphenols are promising feed or food ... [more ▼]

Recently, polyphenol extracts were suggested to inhibit binding of Escherichia coli heat labile enterotoxin (LT) to its intestinal receptor GM1. Therefore, polyphenols are promising feed or food supplements to combat enterotoxigenic infections. Little is known of the precise mechanism, or the type of polyphenol required. Here, seven different polyphenols were tested in vitro (1) for inhibition of LT binding to GM1 (GM1-ELISA), (2) for LT inhibitory activity in the cAMP Vero-cell assay, and (3) by testing the aggregating properties of polyphenols with LT using molecular weight exclusion membrane filters, and by centrifugation techniques. Results showed only three out of seven polyphenols, pentagalloylglucose (PGG), epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) and gallocatechingallate (GCG), to effectively inhibit binding of LT to GM1, and to inhibit induction of cAMP in Vero cells, and that PGG is the most effective. Blocking of the GM1 receptor is unlikely as a mechanism because pre-incubation of GM1 with polyphenols had no effect. Co-incubation of polyphenols with forskolin did not interfere with cAMP production in Vero cells, showing that polyphenol activity is not directly related to cAMP. It is concluded that the inhibitory activities of these three polyphenols may coincide with the formation of large (>100kDa) LT-polyphenol aggregates. Enterotoxin inactivation appears to require a minimum of two galloyl moieties in polyphenol structure and the pentagalloyl PGG is the most effective. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailSelection of escherichia coli heat-labile toxin (LT) inhibitors using both the gm1-elisa and the cAMP Vero cell assay
Verhelst, R.; Schroyen, Martine ULg; Buys, N. et al

in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease (2013), 10(7), 603-607

Weaned piglets are very susceptible to diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. In the past, various natural components were proposed to have beneficial effects by reducing the effects of ... [more ▼]

Weaned piglets are very susceptible to diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. In the past, various natural components were proposed to have beneficial effects by reducing the effects of diarrheal infectious diseases in humans and animals, and thus may represent an alternative for the use of (prophylactic) antibiotics. Alternatives may inactivate enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin (LT) by interfering with toxin binding to the cellular receptor GM1. In this study, various plants and other natural substances were tested for inhibitory properties, in the GM1 binding assay, and in the LT-induced cAMP production in Vero cells. The toxic dose of each compound was determined in a cell viability assay, and the highest nontoxic concentrations were used in the GM1 and cAMP assays. Results demonstrated that only d-(+)-galactose, lactose, N-acetyl-d-galactosamine, and two tea extracts were able to inhibit the binding of LT to its GM1 receptor. In the cAMP assay, only the two tea extracts showed inhibitory activity. This shows that d-(+)-galactose, lactose, and N-acetyl-d-galactosamine can indeed inhibit LT binding to GM1 based on structural homology with GM1 in the absence of living cells. However, in the cAMP assay, d-(+)-galactose, and lactose, N-acetyl-d-galactosamine are apparently metabolized to below their effective inhibitory concentration, likely predicting limited practical applicability in vivo. Both tea extracts maintained their activity in the presence of cells. The active compounds in both are probably polyphenols, which are not easily metabolized, and most likely work by aggregating the toxin. In conclusion, the combination of methods used here is a convenient and fast method for preselecting natural substances containing potentially toxin-binding compounds. Furthermore, if antidiarrhea activity is attributed to compounds found inactive here, their activity is unlikely based on interference with toxin binding. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013. [less ▲]

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See detailThe search for the gene mutations underlying enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli F4ab/ac susceptibility in pigs: A review
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Stinckens, A.; Verhelst, R. et al

in Veterinary Research (2012), 43(1),

Diarrhoea due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli with fimbriae F4 (ETEC-F4) is an important problem in neonatal and just weaned piglets and hence for the pig farming industry. There is substantial ... [more ▼]

Diarrhoea due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli with fimbriae F4 (ETEC-F4) is an important problem in neonatal and just weaned piglets and hence for the pig farming industry. There is substantial evidence for a genetic basis for susceptibility to ETEC-F4 since not all piglets suffer from diarrhoea after an ETEC-F4 infection. It is assumed that the wild boar was originally ETEC-F4 resistant and that susceptibility towards ETEC arose after domestication. There are different phenotypes in the pig determined by which of the three existing F4 variants (F4ab, F4ac or F4ad) they are susceptible or resistant for. This suggests that several F4 receptors exist, expressed individually or in combination with each other on the brush border of the piglets small intestine. As such, the mucin-type glycoproteins (IMTGP) are described as F4ab/ac receptors, while the intestinal neutral glycospingolipid (IGLad) is proposed as an F4ad receptor. GP74 is a putative F4ab receptor. However, the specific genes that encode for the susceptibility are not yet known. In the past decades, linkage analyses revealed that the loci encoding for the receptor(s) for the two most frequent variants F4ab and F4ac were mapped to the 13th chromosome of the pig (Sus scrofa 13, SSC13). After fine mapping, the region of interest was mapped between two microsatellite markers, Sw207 and S0075, and interesting candidate genes surfaced. Numerous SNP analyses and a few expression studies on the three MUC-genes (MUC4, MUC13 and MUC20) and the transferrin receptor gene (TFRC) as well as on some other positional candidate genes have been performed in order to find the causative mutation for the ETEC-F4ab/ac receptor(s). However, until today, the exact mutation causing susceptibility to ETEC-F4 remains unknown. © 2012 Schroyen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailCYP2E1 and its relation with boar taint in Belgian pig breeds.
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Janssens, S.; Stinckens, A. et al

in Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences (2012)

[No abstract available]

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See detailSusceptibility of piglets to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli is not related to the expression of MUC13 and MUC20
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Stinckens, A.; Verhelst, R. et al

in Animal Genetics (2012), 43(3), 324-327

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is one of the most frequently isolated enteropathogens in production animals, especially pigs and calves. Economically, the swine industry is by far the most ... [more ▼]

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is one of the most frequently isolated enteropathogens in production animals, especially pigs and calves. Economically, the swine industry is by far the most affected by infections with ETEC because of mortality, morbidity and decreased growth rate of newborn and early-weaned piglets. After ingestion by the animal, these bacteria attach themselves to specific receptors on the small intestinal epithelium by means of proteinaceous surface appendages, the fimbriae. The F4 fimbriae, which attach to the F4 receptor, are the most studied. The aim of our study was to investigate gene expression in the small intestine of piglets of MUC13 and MUC20 in relation to animals with a different treatment towards or a different reaction on ETEC-F4ac by means of quantitative reverse transcription chain reaction (qRT/PCR). MUC13 and MUC20 are positional candidate genes for this F4ac receptor and are located in the region on SSC13q41 that segregates with the susceptibility to ETEC-F4ac. The condition of the small intestine is crucial when examining expression differences between different samples. Therefore, the expression of two genes, fatty-acid binding protein 2, intestinal (FABP2) and pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP), now known as regenerating islet-derived 3 alpha (REG3A) in the small intestine was simultaneously checked. FABP2, a standard for epithelial content, reflects the state of damage, whereas REG3A is a measure for inflammation in the small intestine. The four different substudies presented here suggest that expression of MUC13 and MUC20 is not related to the susceptibility of piglets to ETEC-F4ac. © 2011 The Authors, Animal Genetics © 2011 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics. [less ▲]

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See detailIFABP expression as diagnostic tool for integrity of epithelium.
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Stinckens, A.; Verhelst, R. et al

in Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences (2011)

[No abstract available]

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See detailIndirect effect of IGF2 intron3 g.3072G>A mutation on prolificacy in sows.
Stinckens, A.; Mathur, P.; Janssens, S. et al

in Animal Genetics (2010), 41(5), 493-8

A QTL located in the paternally expressed insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene is known to increase muscle growth and reduce fat deposition in pigs. This makes the QTL in IGF2 a good marker for use in ... [more ▼]

A QTL located in the paternally expressed insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene is known to increase muscle growth and reduce fat deposition in pigs. This makes the QTL in IGF2 a good marker for use in pig breeding programmes. However, care has to be taken as it is postulated that increased leanness and lowered fat deposition may have a negative effect on the prolificacy and longevity of sows. Selection of sire and dam lines for different alleles of the mutation in the paternally imprinted IGF2 gene could actually provide a solution to this problem. Therefore, in this study, the effect of the IGF2 QTL on prolificacy-related traits in sows was investigated. It was found that the paternal IGF2 wild-type allele was associated with higher reproduction performance in the sow. Moreover, it was also examined whether the difference in prolificacy in sows could be a consequence of differential IGF2 expression in the ovarian follicles of the sow or whether it is mainly a secondary effect caused by differences in fatness traits. Therefore, IGF2 expression was measured in follicles of different sizes from sows with different genotypes for the paternal IGF2 allele. It was observed that, however, while the size of the follicles was associated with follicular IGF2 expression level, the IGF2 genotype was not. It could be concluded that the difference in prolificacy of sows with a different paternal IGF2 genotype could be a secondary effect, resulting from differences in fat deposition. [less ▲]

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See detailThe effects of plant polyphenols on enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli adhesion and toxin binding
Verhelst, R.; Schroyen, Martine ULg; Buys, N. et al

in Livestock Science (2010), 133(1-3), 101-103

Pigs frequently encounter bacterial infections like enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Due to rising concerns about antibiotic resistance of bacteria, there is a large demand for natural ... [more ▼]

Pigs frequently encounter bacterial infections like enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Due to rising concerns about antibiotic resistance of bacteria, there is a large demand for natural alternatives to combat these ETEC infections. Plant polyphenols have been suggested to reduce both the binding of cholera toxin to the GM1 ganglioside and the adhesion of uropathogenic E. coli to F1 fimbriae. In this study different commercial natural polyphenol extracts were evaluated for their possible effect on ETEC. Out of the three polyphenol extracts tested two exert inhibitory effects on the heat-labile toxin binding and all three extracts reduced the binding of ETEC to brush borders. The presence of protein abolished labile toxin binding properties of polyphenols. This makes it unlikely that these polyphenols could be used as an actual feed additive to combat ETEC caused diarrhea. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantitative trait mutations in cattle, sheep and pigs: A review
Stinckens, A.; Schroyen, Martine ULg; Peeters, L. et al

in CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources (2010), 5

Most economically important traits in farm animals, such as daily gain, muscularity, meat quality, milk production, reproduction and others, are complex multifactorial traits that are controlled by an ... [more ▼]

Most economically important traits in farm animals, such as daily gain, muscularity, meat quality, milk production, reproduction and others, are complex multifactorial traits that are controlled by an unknown number of genes combined with environmental factors. Since these traits show a continuous distribution rather than discrete values as monogenic or qualitative traits do, they are called quantitative traits and a polymorphism that affects such a quantitative trait is called a quantitative trait mutation (QTM). During the last few decades, several QTMs for different economically important quantitative traits in farm animals, such as muscularity, meat quality and milk production, were discovered. Also, for various congenital disorders, causal polymorphisms could be found or are under investigation. However, for other quantitative traits, no such QTMs have been revealed so far. An explanation for this discrepancy lies in the extent of the effect of the different polymorphisms that underlie a certain quantitative trait since this effect can vary from very small to quite large (up to 25-30% of the total phenotypic variance of a particular trait). Although new, emerging cost-effective genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping techniques have become available, only QTMs that explain a large portion of the phenotypic variation are worth unravelling, especially in the light of genome-wide selection. In this review, the research for QTMs is positioned against these contemporary techniques. Moreover, an overview is given of, past and present, research efforts in identifying QTMs in farm animals and the incorporation of these polymorphisms in modern animal breeding. © CAB International 2009 (Online ISSN 1749-8848). [less ▲]

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See detailThe broiler breeder paradox: ethical, genetic and physiological perspectives, and suggestions for solutions.
Decuypere, E.; Bruggeman, V.; Everaert, Nadia ULg et al

in British poultry science (2010), 51(5), 569-79

1. Due to intensive selection, broiler chickens became the most efficient meat-producing animals because of their fast growth, supported by a virtually unlimited voluntary feed intake. These ... [more ▼]

1. Due to intensive selection, broiler chickens became the most efficient meat-producing animals because of their fast growth, supported by a virtually unlimited voluntary feed intake. These characteristics cause many problems in the management of broiler breeder hens because of the negative correlation between muscle growth and reproduction effectiveness. 2. This problem, namely the fast muscle growth versus reproduction health paradox, induces a second paradox, acceptable reproduction and health versus hunger stress and impaired welfare, because broiler breeder hens require dedicated programmes of feed restriction (1) to maximise egg and chick production and (2) to avoid metabolic disorders and mortality in broiler breeders. 3. Given that poultry selection is a global large-scale business and chickens are a prolific species, improvement in profit can only be obtained by selecting on feed conversion and/or for higher breast meat percentage, which will intensify the broiler-breeder paradox. 4. New feeding strategies are being studied, but it is questionable if the paradox can be solved by management tools alone. Because breeding and selection are long-term processes, involving animals, farmers, consumers, industry, environment etc., a more sustainable breeding goal needs to be determined by a multidisciplinary approach and an open debate between several actors in the discussion. 5. Using dwarf broiler breeder hens could be one alternative, because dwarf hens combine relatively good reproductive fitness with ad libitum feeding. Another possibility is to accept lower broiler productivity by assigning economic values to welfare and including integrity traits in an extended breeding goal. [less ▲]

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See detailMulti-trait animal model estimation of genetic parameters for linear type and gait traits in the Belgian warmblood horse
Rustin, M.; Janssens, S.; Buys, N. et al

in Journal of Animal Breeding & Genetics (2009), 126(5), 378--386

Summary Genetic parameters for the height at withers, 27 linear type and six linear gait traits were estimated for the Belgian warmblood horse. Observations on 987 mares, mostly 3 years old, were analysed ... [more ▼]

Summary Genetic parameters for the height at withers, 27 linear type and six linear gait traits were estimated for the Belgian warmblood horse. Observations on 987 mares, mostly 3 years old, were analysed using a multi-trait animal model. The statistical model included appraiser, age and location (date × place of appraisal) as fixed effects. Genetic parameters were estimated using a canonical transformation and an expectation-maximization restricted maximum likelihood algorithm with an additional deceleration step. Estimates of heritability for the 33 linear traits were between 0.15 and 0.55. Heritability of the height at withers was 0.34 ± 0.06. Estimated genetic correlations ranged from −0.60 to 0.98 with an average SE of 0.10. The highest positive correlations were found among traits of walk and among traits of trot. Volume and the quality of legs were the most negatively correlated. Estimated genetic parameters indicated that the linear scoring system is a valuable tool to assess conformation. The full (co)variance matrix is now available for breeding value estimation to support selection for conformation and gaits. [less ▲]

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See detailPlant polyphenol inhibits heat-labile enterotoxin binding in a non-specific way.
Verhelst, R.; Schroyen, Martine ULg; Buys, N. et al

in Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences (2008)

[No abstract available]

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See detailQuantification of B3GNT5 and B4GALT4 expression reveals no difference between piglets with or without diarrhea.
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Verhelst, R.; Niewold, T. A. et al

in Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences (2008)

[No abstract available]

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See detailCharacterization of the complete porcine MSTN gene and expression levels in pig breeds differing in muscularity.
Stinckens, A.; Luyten, T.; Bijttebier, J. et al

in Animal Genetics (2008), 39(6), 586-96

Myostatin (MSTN), a transforming growth factor beta superfamily member, is an essential factor for the growth and development of muscle mass. The protein functions as a negative regulator of muscle growth ... [more ▼]

Myostatin (MSTN), a transforming growth factor beta superfamily member, is an essential factor for the growth and development of muscle mass. The protein functions as a negative regulator of muscle growth and is related to the so-called double-muscling phenotype in cattle, where a series of mutations renders the gene inactive. One particular breed of pigs, the Belgian Pietrain, also shows a heavily muscled phenotype. The similarity of muscular phenotypes between the double-muscled cattle and Pietrain pigs indicated that MSTN may be a candidate gene for muscular hypertrophy in pigs. In this study, we sequenced and analysed the complete MSTN gene from 45 pigs of five different breeds, including the heavily muscled Pietrain breed at one extreme and the Meishan and Wild boar breeds at the other extreme. In total, 7626 bp of the porcine MSTN gene were sequenced, including the 5' and 3' UTR. Fifteen polymorphic loci were found, three of which were located in the promoter region, five in intron 1 and seven in intron 2. Most mutations were found when comparing the obtained MSTN sequence with porcine MSTN sequences already published. However, one polymorphism located at position 447 of the porcine MSTN promoter had a very high allele frequency in the Pietrain pig breed and disrupted a putative myocyte enhancer factor 3 binding site. Real-time PCR using Sybr Green showed that this mutation was associated with expression levels of the MSTN gene in m. longissimus dorsi at an age of 4 weeks. [less ▲]

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See detailThe RYR1 g.1843C>T mutation is associated with the effect of the IGF2 intron3-g.3072G>A mutation on muscle hypertrophy.
Stinckens, A.; Van den Maagdenberg, K.; Luyten, T. et al

in Animal Genetics (2007), 38(1), 67-71

Muscle growth is a complex phenomenon regulated by many factors, whereby net growth results from the combined action of synthesis and turnover. In pigs, two quantitative trait nucleotides (QTN) are known ... [more ▼]

Muscle growth is a complex phenomenon regulated by many factors, whereby net growth results from the combined action of synthesis and turnover. In pigs, two quantitative trait nucleotides (QTN) are known to have an important influence on muscle growth and fat deposition: one QTN is located in the ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) gene (RYR1 g.1843C>T) and the other, a paternally expressed QTN, is in the insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene (IGF2 intron3-g.3072G>A). The mutation in IGF2 abrogates in vitro interaction with a repressor, which leads to a threefold increase of IGF2 expression in post-natal muscle. The family of the calpains, a family of Ca(2+)-sensitive muscle endopeptidases, and their specific inhibitor calpastatin play an important role in post-natal protein degradation, also influencing muscle and carcass traits. This study investigated the possible interactions between the genotypes of the RYR1 and IGF2 QTN on IGF2 expression. Samples were taken from several muscles and from pigs at several ages, and messenger RNA expression levels were measured using a real-time quantification assay. IGF2 expression in m. longissimus dorsi of animals with mutations in both IGF2 and RYR1 was significantly lower than in animals that inherited the IGF2 mutation but were homozygous wildtype for RYR1. [less ▲]

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