Within beef cattle, different strategies have been used in recent decades to improve production efficiency and quality of Nellore cuts (Bos indicus). There are no studies evaluating the effect of supplemented early weaning on gene co-expression in the striated muscle of Zebu calves. Thus, this study will aim to analyze the gene co-expression of the striated skeletal muscle of Nellore calves submitted to early weaning. For this, 8 male Nelore calves, not castrated, born in an interval of 20 days, offspring of contemporary mothers and of the same birth order, were used. These were weaned at 120 days of age, relocated to a paddock with Tifton 85 pasture and supplemented with concentrated feed until 205 days, when muscle tissue was collected through biopsy. Then, from aliquots of the Longissimus thoracis muscle, transcriptomes were generated with an average coverage of 18 million "reads" per sample, by means of RNA-Seq, from the 8 individuals. The gene co-expression analysis will be conducted considering the transcript count of the 8 samples through the WGCNA package in the R software environment. Its use will allow, through connectivity calculations, adjacency matrix, Pearson correlation and measures of topological overlap, the identification of networks and modules, which will be annotated regarding the biological processes and metabolic pathways in which they participate, using analyzes of functional enrichment of their genes. In addition to bringing information from gene modules, it will also be possible to identify hub-genes and regulatory genes in networks and modules. Thus, it will be possible to understand how the modification of nutrient intake in the postpartum phase influences the muscular energy metabolism of Zebu beef cattle.
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