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Fenomics of fetal programming effects on beef cattle production: a systemic approach

Grant number: 17/12105-2
Support type:Research Grants - Young Investigators Grants
Duration: March 01, 2018 - February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Genetics and Improvement of Domestic Animals
Principal researcher:Miguel Henrique de Almeida Santana
Grantee:Miguel Henrique de Almeida Santana
Home Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Heidge Fukumasu ; José Bento Sterman Ferraz ; Paulo Roberto Leme ; Pedro Ratto Lisboa Pires ; Saulo da Luz e Silva
Associated scholarship(s):21/03265-1 - Use of systems biology tools to evaluate the effects of fetal programming in beef cattle, BP.DR
21/03802-7 - Effects of fetal programming of Nellore steers on quality meat and muscle and fat metabolome, BP.MS
20/15192-6 - Microbiome and epithelial characterization of beef cattle under fetal programming, BP.MS
+ associated scholarships 20/15165-9 - Effects of fetal programming on growth of Nellore breed calves, BP.IC
20/11515-5 - Nutriepigenetics of muscle development in fetal programed beef cattle, BP.MS
20/12522-5 - Effects of fetal programming on the reproductive efficiency of Nellore heifers, BP.IC
19/22465-1 - Metabolic evaluation of feed efficiency of finishing Nellore steers, BP.IC
19/02310-3 - Evaluation of genes and metabolites of sexual, tissue and morphological development of Nellore cattle submitted to fetal programming, BP.MS
18/20754-3 - Metabolic effects of fetal programming in Nellore dams and calves evaluated by nitrogen isotopic fractionation, BP.IC
18/10503-3 - Training in the collection, processing and storage of biological samples for omics analysis, BP.TT
18/05805-0 - Body development of Nelore calves submitted to fetal programming, BP.IC
18/04188-8 - Fenomics of fetal programming effects on beef cattle production: a systemic approach, BP.JP - associated scholarships


Evidences that disturbances in critical phases of pre and postnatal life cause permanent effects on health and productivity in mammalian life, known as Fetal Programming (PF), are not novel in the scientific literature. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the mechanisms of these nutritional stimuli/deficiencies during gestation, especially the quantitative importance of the phenomenon in relation to its effects on the productive efficiency of cattle. In the specific case of Brazil, where the Nellore breed predominates, from the middle third of gestation, there is a nutritional deficit at this time where pastures no longer quali-quantitatively supply the necessary nutrients for the pregnant cow. Additionally, in the final third of gestation, when there is a greater demand of the fetus, the nutritional deficit is aggravated by the dry season. In the present project, the physiological, morphological and economic effects of nutritional stimuli during Nellore gestation on reproduction, performance, intake, feed efficiency, carcass characteristics and meat quality of their progenies will be studied by a systemic approach. We will evaluate 150 pregnant cows from a single bull. During gestation, ⅓ of the matrices will receive protein-energetic supplementation throughout gestation, another ⅓ of matrices only in the final third and ⅓ will not receive this nutritional stimulus. Cows and their offspring will be evaluated in life-cycle beef cattle production by system biology via physiological, morphological and omics methods (nutrigenomics, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics). In addition, the economic viability of the PF will be evaluated in the sale of the calf at weaning and in the income obtained at slaughter. The results of this project will help to determine the physiological mechanisms of PF throughout the production cycle of beef cattle; as well can pave the way for the development of new evaluation approaches that could positively affect beef cattle production. (AU)

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