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Evaluation of genes and metabolites of sexual, tissue and morphological development of Nellore cattle submitted to fetal programming

Grant number: 19/02310-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Production
Principal Investigator:Miguel Henrique de Almeida Santana
Grantee:Guilherme Henrique Gebim Polizel
Home Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/12105-2 - Fenomics of fetal programming effects on beef cattle production: a systemic approach, AP.JP


Brazilian beef cattle is one of the most important commodities in world agribusiness. However, the nutritional deficit of bovine matrices during the gestational period is common, especially in the predominant Brazilian production system that is composed of the Cerrado-Brachiaria-Nelore trinomial. This deficit occurs because pastures no longer provide qualitatively and quantitatively the necessary nutrients for the cow, especially in the final third of gestation, when there is a greater demand of the fetus. Consequently the progeny can be permanently affected in their productivity, and may even compromise future generations, this prenatal nutritional insult or stimulus is called fetal programming (FP). The objective of this project will be to identify genes and metabolic pathways related to sexual precocity, body development and tissue differentiation of steers and heifers submitted to FP. One hundred and twenty Nelore animals, sons of a single bull, divided into three nutritional plans of their mothers during gestation: S of the cows received protein-energetic supplementation throughout gestation, another S of the matrices only in the final third and S did not receive this nutritional stimulus. The genes and metabolic pathways will be evaluated by transcriptomics (RNA-seq) and metabolomics (mass spectrometry), respectively. The sexual precocity of males and females will be evaluated by spermogram and characterization of the follicular population, respectively. The development of muscle tissue will be characterized by ultrasound monitoring and characterization of muscle fibers. Body development will be evaluated by periodic weighing. The results of this project could highlight the effects of prenatal nutrition on the productive and reproductive performance of Nelore cattle.