Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems
Adapting the feed, the animal and the feeding techniques to improve the efficiency and sustainability of monogastric livestock production systems

Layers response to a suboptimal diet through phenotype and transcriptome changes in four tissues

Authors: 
Jehl F., Brenet M., Rau A., Désert C., Boutin M., Leroux S., Esquerré D., Klopp C., Gourichon D., Collin A., Pitel F., Zerjal T., Lagarrigue S.
Publication date: 
30 August 2018
Full title: 
Layers response to a suboptimal diet through phenotype and transcriptome changes in four tissues
Publishing information: 
EAAP 2018 69th Annual meeting
Video (YouTube): 
Abstract: 

Poultry meat and eggs are major sources of nutrients in human alimentation. The long production career of laying hens expose them to biotic or abiotic stressors, lowering their production. Understanding the mechanisms of stress adaptation is crucial for selecting robust animals and meeting the needs of a growing human population. In this study, financed by the French ChickStress and the European Feed-a-Gene programs, we compared the effects of a 15%-energy-reduced diet (feed stress, FS) vs. a commercial diet (control, CT) on phenotypic traits and adipose, blood, hypothalamus and liver transcriptomes in two feed-efficiency-diverging lines. Phenotypic traits showed differences between lines or diets, but no line × diet interactions. In the FS group, feed intake (FI) increased and hens had lower body- and abdominal adipose weight, compared to CT group. We found no differences in egg production or quality. At the transcriptomic level, 16461 genes were expressed in one or more tissues, 41% of which were shared among tissues. We found differentially expressed genes between lines or diet in all tissues, and almost no line × diet interactions. Focusing on diet, we found that adipose and liver transcriptomes were unaffected. In blood, pathways linked to amino-acids, monosaccharides, and steroid metabolisms were affected, while in the hypothalamus, changes were observed in fatty acids metabolism and endocannabinoid signaling. Given the similarities in egg production, the FS animals seem to have adapted to the stress by increasing their FI and mobilizing their adipose reserves. Increase in FI did not appear to affect liver’s metabolism, and the mobilization of adipose reserves was apparently not driven at the transcriptomic level. In blood, the pathways linked to metabolic processes suggest a metabolic role for this tissue in chicken, whose erythrocytes are nucleated and contain mitochondria. FI increase might be linked with the hypothalamic pathway of endocannabinoid signaling, which are lipid-based neurotransmitters notably involved in the regulation of appetite.

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