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Supplementation of grazing beef cows during gestation as a strategy to improve skeletal muscle development of the offspring

  • D. C. Marquez (a1), M. F. Paulino (a1), L. N. Rennó (a1), F. C. Villadiego (a2), R. M. Ortega (a1), D. S. Moreno (a1), L. S. Martins (a1), D. M. de Almeida (a1), M. P. Gionbelli (a3), M. R. Manso (a1), L. P. Melo (a1), F. H. Moura (a1) and M. S. Duarte (a1)...


The appropriate supply of nutrients in pregnant cows has been associated with the optimal development of foetal tissues, performance of their progeny and their meat quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate supplementation effects of grazing cows in different stages of gestation on skeletal muscle development and performance of the progeny. Thereby, 27 Nellore cows were divided into three groups (n=9 for each group) and their progeny as follows: UNS, unsupplemented during gestation; MID, supplemented from 30 to 180 days of gestation; LATE, supplemented from 181 to 281 days of gestation. The percentage composition of the supplement provided for the matrices was the following: ground corn (26.25%), wheat bran (26.25%) and soya bean meal (47.5%). The supplement was formulated to contain 30% CP. Supplemented matrices received 150 kg of supplement (1 and 1.5 kg/day for cows in the MID and LATE groups, respectively). After birth, a biopsy was performed to obtain samples of skeletal muscle tissue from calves to determine number and size of muscle fibres and for messenger RNA (mRNA) expression analysis. The percentage composition of the supplement provided for the progeny was the following: ground corn grain (30%), wheat bran (30%), soya bean meal (35%) and molasses (5%). The supplement was formulated to contain 25% CP and offered in an amount of 6 g/kg BW. Performance of the progeny was monitored throughout the suckling period. Means were submitted to ANOVA and regression, and UNS, MID and LATE periods of supplementation were compared. Differences were considered at P<0.10. Birth weight, average daily gain and weaning weight of the offspring did not differ among treatments (P>0.10). Similarly, no differences were observed between calves for nutrient intake (P>0.10). However, greater subcutaneous fat thickness (P=0.006) was observed in the calves of LATE group. The ribeye area (P=0.077) was greater in calves born from supplemented compared with UNS cows. The supplementation of pregnant cows did not affect the muscle fibre size of their progeny (P=0.208). On the other hand, calves born from dams supplemented at mid-gestation had greater muscle fibre number (P=0.093) compared with calves from UNS group. Greater mRNA expression of peroxysome proliferator-activated receptor α (P=0.073) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (P=0.003) was observed in the calves born from MID cows. Although strategic supplementation did not affect the BW of offspring, it did cause changes in carcass traits, number of myofibres, and mRNA expression of a muscle hypertrophy and lipid oxidation markers in skeletal muscle of the offspring.


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Supplementation of grazing beef cows during gestation as a strategy to improve skeletal muscle development of the offspring

  • D. C. Marquez (a1), M. F. Paulino (a1), L. N. Rennó (a1), F. C. Villadiego (a2), R. M. Ortega (a1), D. S. Moreno (a1), L. S. Martins (a1), D. M. de Almeida (a1), M. P. Gionbelli (a3), M. R. Manso (a1), L. P. Melo (a1), F. H. Moura (a1) and M. S. Duarte (a1)...


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