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Identification of genes associated with heat stress in broilers by RNA-Seq

Grant number: 13/02105-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2013
Effective date (End): August 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Genetics and Improvement of Domestic Animals
Principal Investigator:Luiz Lehmann Coutinho
Grantee:Andrezza Maria Felício Ament
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


Heat stress affects broiler performance and is a major problem for the poultry industry, which decreases growth rate, increases mortality, and causes significant alterations in meat quality attributes. Thus, we aim to study the effects of heat stress on the chickens' physiological state using the technology of total RNA sequencing next generation (RNA-Seq). This technology will allow the identification of transcripts that are associated with different treatments (exposure to heat and dietary supplementation with vitamins C and E) and, at the same time, with the mechanisms of regulation of muscle growth and development, energy metabolism, immune and antioxidant system; and contributing to training human resources in this area. For this, at 28 days of age, the chickens were divided into three groups: heat stress (32 °C), thermo neutral (24 °C) and thermo neutral with pair feeding (24 °C with a limited amount of feed corresponding to the average consumed by chickens kept under heat stress) receiving or not dietary supplementation with vitamins C and E above recommended levels. Samples of Pectoralis major muscle collected 18 hours and 16 days after the start of heat stress from 16 and 24 animals, respectively, and sored at -80 C will be used for RNA sequencing. With the application of this recent technology for RNA sequencing, we expect to contribute to the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms that occur in skeletal muscle of broilers, during the growth and final phases, resulting from acute and chronic heat stress exposure, and to suggest strategies for resistant animals' selection or new approaches to reduce the effect of stress on performance and meat quality.

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