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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
To assess sociodemographic, nutritional and health conditions associated with vitamin D sufficiency among young Brazilian children living at different latitudes.
Cross-sectional analysis with a four-level model of inflammation to correct micronutrient concentrations. Prevalence ratios (PR; 95 % CI) were estimated for factors associated with vitamin D sufficiency (≥50 nmol/l), adjusting for child’s sex, age, skin colour, stunting and vitamin A+D supplementation.
Primary health-care units in four Brazilian cities located at lower (7°59′26·9016″S and 9°58′31·3864″S) and higher latitudes (16°41′12·7752″S and 30°2′4·7292″S).
In total 468 children aged 11–15 months were included in the analysis.
Only 31·8 % of children were vitamin D sufficient (concentration <30 nmol/l and <50 nmol/l among 32·9 and 68·2 %, respectively). Living at higher latitudes was associated with reduced prevalence of vitamin D sufficiency compared with lower latitudes (PR = 0·65; 95 % CI 0·49, 0·85). Maternal education ≥9 years positively influenced a sufficient vitamin D status in children. After correction for inflammatory status, each increase of 1 µmol/l in vitamin A concentration was associated with a 1·38-fold higher prevalence of vitamin D sufficiency (95 % CI 1·18, 1·61). Progressive decline in the prevalence of vitamin D sufficiency was associated with marginal and deficient status of vitamin A (Ptrend = 0·001).
Lower latitude, higher maternal education and vitamin A concentration were positively associated with vitamin D sufficiency in young Brazilian children. These findings are relevant for planning public health strategies for improving vitamin D status starting in early infancy.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
Expression of estrus near timed artificial insemination (TAI) is associated with greater fertility, and estrus detection could improve TAI fertility or direct TAI management, although accurate estrus detection can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate influence of estrus on pregnancy (artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI)) and to validate an alternative method to classify estrus/heat expression using tail chalking (HEATSC) in postpartum Bos indicus cows subjected to TAI in progesterone–estrogen-based protocols. In experiment 1 (Exp. 1), cows (5491) were subjected to visual observation of estrus after progesterone device removal, before TAI, and P/AI was evaluated according to estrus and body condition score (BCS). Cows received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate (EB). After 8 days, the device was removed and 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin was given. Later, animals in Exp. 1 received 1 mg EB and TAI 44 to 48 h. In the Exp. 2 – 3830 cows using similar protocol, received different ovulation inducers: 1 mg EB (n=1624) or 1 mg estradiol cypionate (EC; n=2206) on day 8 (D8). Cows were then marked with chalk, and HEATSC evaluated at TAI on D10 (HEATSC1 – no chalk removal=no estrus expression; HEATSC2 – partial chalk removal=low estrus expression; HEATSC3 – near complete/complete chalk removal=high estrus expression). In Exp. 1, cows showing estrus presented greater P/AI (48.4% v. 40.2%, P<0.05). In Exp. 2, P/AI (HEATSC1 – 40.0%; HEATSC2 – 49.7%; HEATSC3 – 60.9%; P<0.001), and larger follicle timed artificial insemination (LFTAI) (<0.001) varied according to HEATSC. There was no difference in P/AI (P=0.41) or LFTAI (P=0.33) according to ovulation inducer. Cows with greater BCS showed greater P/AI in both experiments (P<0.05). Estrus presence and greater HEATSC improved P/AI, and EC v. EB used promoted differential estrus manifestation (cows showing HEATSC2 and HEATSC3: 79.5% with EB v. 69.98% with EC use, P<0.001), however, with similar P/AI. The use of HEATSC in B. indicus cows subjected to TAI is useful to identify cows with greater estrus expression and consequently improved pregnancy rates in TAI, allowing the cows with low HEATSC to be targeted for additional treatments aimed at improving P/AI.
The use of tail chalk and estrus/heat expression scores (HEATSC) evaluation is instrumental in identifying cows with greater estrus expression and greater artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI) in cows submitted to timed artificial insemination (TAI), and cows with low or no estrus expression present lower P/AI. It was intended in this study to improve the pregnancy rates in TAI for Bos indicus beef cows, and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection was hypothesized to increase pregnancy rates in a TAI program for cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based protocols with low or no estrus expression, evaluated by HEATSC. Cows (n= 2284) received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate, after 8 days the device was removed and 1 mg estradiol cypionate, 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin was administered. All cows were marked with chalk and HEATSC evaluated (scales 1 to 3) at TAI performed on day 10. Animals with HEATSC1 and HEATSC2 (n= 937) received 100 μg de gonadorelin (GNRH group; n= 470), or 1 ml saline (Control group; n= 467), and cows with HEATSC3 (named HEAT group; n= 1347) received no additional treatment. The larger dominant follicle, evaluated on day 8and at TAI (day 10), was greater in HEAT group (P= 0.0145 and P <0.001, respectively). Corpus luteum (CL) area and progesterone concentration was evaluated on day 17, and CL area was larger in HEAT group, intermediary in Control and lower in GnRH group (Control= 2.68 cm2, GnRH= 2.37 cm2, HEAT group= 3.07 cm2, P <0.001). Greater progesterone concentrations were found in HEAT group than in Control and GnRH groups (Control= 4.74 ng/ml, GnRH= 4.29 ng/ml, HEAT group= 6.08 ng/ml, P<0.001). There was a difference in ovulation rate, greater in HEAT group than GnRH and Control groups (Control= 72.5%; GnRH= 81.25%; HEAT group= 90.71%; P= 0.0024). Artificial insemination pregnancy rates was greater in HEAT group (57.09% (769/1347) than in Control and GNRH groups, with positive effect of GnRH injection at the time of TAI in P/AI (Control= 36.18% (169/467), GnRH= 45.95% (216/470); P<0.0001). In conclusion, GnRH application in cows with low HEATSC (1 and 2) is a simple strategy, requiring no changes in TAI management to increase pregnancy rates in postpartum beef cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based TAI protocols, without reaching, however, the pregnancy rates of cows that demonstrate high estrus expression at the TAI.
We report on results obtained from experiments using specially prepared carbon substrates and treatment of the data by means of recently introduced theory. Medium Z grids with known parameters have been coated on top of pyrolytic carbon substrates to achieve well defined absorption geometries. The various copper grids exhibit satisfactory performance in terms of mechanical stability, homogeneity and uniformity of the coating. A detailed study of the measurement results shows that there is a more rapid increase of the associated C-Kα countrate from the coated samples compared to the pure elements and is attributed to the contribution of secondary enhancement effects, including those resulting from photoelectrons generated after the primary ionization.
To assess the nutritional status of folate and vitamin B12 with anaemia in young children.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at the primary health-care centres of four Brazilian cities. Folate and vitamin B12 were assessed by fluoroimmunoassay. Multilevel Poisson regression models were used to explore the association of folate and vitamin B12 status in relation to anaemia in young children.
Children (n 460) aged 11 to 15 months.
The median (interquartile range) of serum folate was 39·7 (28·8–55·3) nmol/l and only four children presented with folate deficiency (<10 nmol/l). Surprisingly, 30·9 % of children presented with serum folate concentrations above the upper limit of detectable values by the commercial kit used for analysis. The frequency of vitamin B12 deficiency (<148 pmol/l) was 15 % and it was inversely associated with the highest tertile of serum folate concentrations (P<0·001). Having high serum folate concentration (≥50·1 nmol/l) and vitamin B12≥148 pmol/l was associated with lower frequency of anaemia in these children (prevalence ratio=0·53; 95% CI 0·30, 0·92).
High frequency of elevated serum concentration of folate was found among young Brazilian children and 15 % of them had vitamin B12 deficiency. The combination of high serum folate and normal vitamin B12 status was associated with a lower frequency of anaemia in these children. Improvements in the current strategies to promote healthy food-based complementary feeding along with prevention and control of micronutrient deficiencies are recommended to improve children’s health.
The objective of this study was to determine the serotype distribution and antibiotic resistance of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) strains in children from Lima, Peru, before and after the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), which was introduced in the national immunisation program on 2009. We conducted a prospective, multicentre, passive surveillance IPD study during 2006–2008 and 2009–2011, before and right after the introduction of PCV7 in Peru. The study was performed in 11 hospitals and five private laboratories in Lima, Peru, in patients <18 years old, with sterile site cultures yielding Streptococcus pneumoniae. In total 159 S. pneumoniae isolates were recovered. There was a decrease in the incidence of IPD in children <2 years old after the introduction of PCV7 (18.4/100 000 vs. 5.1/100 000, P = 0.004). Meningitis cases decreased significantly in the second period (P = 0.036) as well as the overall case fatality rate (P = 0.025), including a decreased case fatality rate of pneumonia (16.3% to 0%, P = 0.04). PCV7 serotypes showed a downward trend. Vaccine-preventable serotypes caused 78.9% of IPD cases, mainly 14, 6B, 5, 19F and 23F. A non-significant increase in erythromycin resistance was reported. Our findings suggest that the introduction of PCV7 led to a significant decrease of IPD in children under 2 years old and in the overall case fatality rate.
This study aimed to calculate economic values (EVs) and economic selection indices for milk production systems in small rural properties. The traits 305-d milk yield in kg (MY), fat (FP) and protein (PP) percentage, daily fat (FY) and protein (PY) yield, cow live weight in kg (LW), calving interval (CI), and logarithm of daily somatic cell count (SCC) in milk were considered the goals and selection criteria. The production systems were identified from 29 commercial properties based on the inventory of revenues and costs and of zootechnical field data. Later, bioeconomic models were developed to calculate the productive performance, revenues, and costs concerning milk production to estimate EVs, which were calculated as the difference in annual profit with dairy production resulting from a change in one unit of the trait while keeping the others constant and dividing the value by the number of cows. After the EVs were known, ten economic selection indices were estimated for each system so they could be compared by modifying the selection criteria and calculating the relative importance of each selection criteria, the accuracy of the economic selection index, and response expected to the selection in USD, among other parameters. One of the systems detected was called less intensive (LS) and was characterized by having ten cows in lactation that produced 13·5 l/d and consumed 1·8 kg of concentrate/d. The second system detected was called more intensive (IS) and had 22 cows in lactation that produced 17·5 l/d and consumed 3·4 kg of concentrate/d. Monthly profits per cows in lactation of USD 2·60 and USD 68·77 were recorded for LS and IS, respectively. The EVs of the traits MY, FP, and PP were all positive, while for the other traits they were all negative in all situations. The best economic selection indices were those featuring selection criteria MY, LW, and CI, while the trait LW had the greatest importance in both systems. These results indicate that animal frame must be controlled in order to maximize the system's profit.
A point-prevalence study of antimicrobial use among inpatients at 5 public hospitals in Sri Lanka revealed that 54.6% were receiving antimicrobials: 43.1% in medical wards, 68.0% in surgical wards, and 97.6% in intensive care wards. Amoxicillin-clavulanate was most commonly used for major indications. Among patients receiving antimicrobials, 31.0% received potentially inappropriate therapy.
Protein is the most costly nutrient in fish feed, and while diets offered in the early stages of development typically have high levels of CP, they do not always correspond to the real requirements of the animals. Thus, research that seeks to learn the true nutritional requirements of fish is fundamental to improving commercial fish culture. The present study evaluated the protein requirements of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) under larviculture. Fish performance, gene expression for digestive enzymes and their enzymatic activity and stress response to air exposure were analyzed. Four experimental diets differing in CP level were formulated: 30%, 36%, 42% and 48%. Fish larvae were fed the experimental diets during development and sampled 10, 20 and 30 days after the beginning of the experiment for performance, gene expression and enzymatic activity. At sampling time 30, stress resistance was also evaluated by means of an air exposure test. At sampling time 10, CP levels between 36% and 48% could be used for a better performance. During this period, pepsinogen expression was greater for 30% CP, intermediate for 42% and lower for 36% and 48%. After this initial period, diets of between 30% and 42% CP are recommended for better performance. At sampling time 20, gene expression for digestive enzymes and their enzymatic activity were similar for all diets tested. At sampling time 30, the diet of 42% CP induced both greater pepsinogen expression and pepsin activity. Survival after the air exposure test after 30 days of feeding was influenced by CP level in the diet, with the highest survival being for fish fed with 36% CP. Taken together, the present results demonstrate that dietary CP influences digestive enzyme gene expression and activity, and suggest that the best CP levels for Nile tilapia larviculture vary depending on larval stage.
Ovarian biopsies from five health adult monkeys were collected by exploratory laparotomy. Preantral follicles (primordial, primary, and secondary) were classified as normal or degenerated and submitted to morphometric analysis in which granulosa cell counts and the areas of follicles, oocytes, and oocyte nuclei were measured. Ovarian fragments were also immunolabelled for the quantitative analysis of VEGFA and CD31 protein expression in the ovarian tissue and in the preantral follicles. In total, 213 preantral follicles was examined for morphometry and morphological classification. From this total, 20 (9.4%) were follicles enclosing two or more oocytes, i.e. multi-oocyte follicles (MOFs). From the 193 follicles enclosing only one oocyte, 46.3% were classified as primordial, 24,1% as transition, 23.3% as primary, and 6.3% as secondary follicles. The mean number of granulosa cells surrounding primordial, transition, primary, and secondary follicles was 9.2, 12.1, 18.7, and 45.3, respectively. Increase in oocyte diameter was observed from primary to secondary follicles, while the oocyte nucleus increased only when follicles reached the secondary stage. The expression of CD31 was strong in vessels, corpus luteum, and in normal oocytes and granulosa cells from preantral follicles at all developmental stages. Likewise, VEGFA expression was observed in vessels and preantral follicles (granulosa cells, the oocyte and the oocyte nucleus). We characterized the morphology, and morphometry and expression of angiogenic factors in normal and atretic preantral follicles from Sapajus apella. This description can support the analysis of follicular quality and survival after procedures such as transplantation and cryopreservation.
The outer stellar halo is home to a number of substructures that are remnants of former interactions of the Galaxy with its dwarf satellites. Triangulum-Andromeda (TriAnd) is one of these halo substructures, found as a debris cloud by Rocha-Pinto et al., (2004) using 2MASS M giants. Would be these structures related to dwarf galaxies or to the galactic disk? To uncover the nature of these stars we performed a high-resolution spectroscopic study (R = 40,000) along with a kinematic analysis using Gaia data. We determined the atmospheric parameters and chemical abundances of Ca and Mg for the 13 TriAnd candidate stars along with their respective orbits. Our results indicate that the TriAnd stars analyzed have a galactic nature but that these stars are not from the local thin disk.
In this paper, we determine the growth rate of the exponential radiation amplification in the ion-channel laser, where a relativistic electron beam wiggles in a focusing ion channel that can be created in a wakefield accelerator. For the first time the radiation diffraction, which can limit the amplification, is taken into account. The electron beam quality requirements to obtain this amplification are also presented. It is shown that both the beam energy and wiggler parameter spreads should be limited. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of the self-consistent ion-channel laser confirm our theoretical predictions.
Minerals are limiting factors in animal production, and the knowledge of mineral requirements for livestock is crucial to the success of a commercial enterprise. Hair sheep may have different mineral requirements than those presents by the international committees. A study was carried to evaluate the net calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu) requirements for the growth and maintenance of Brazilian Somali lambs. A total of 48 hair lambs (13.5±1.8 kg) aged 60±15 days were allocated to individual pens. Eight animals were slaughtered at the beginning of the experiment to serve as a reference group to estimate initial empty BW (EBW) and initial body composition. The remaining lambs (n=40) were assigned to a completely randomized design with eight replications in five levels of metabolizable energy (ME; 4.93, 8.65, 9.41, 10.12 and 11.24 MJ/kg DM). When the lambs of a given treatment reached an average BW of 28 kg, they were slaughtered. Initial body composition was used to calculate the retention of minerals. Mineral body composition was fit using a logarithmic equation in the form of a nonlinear model. The maintenance requirements were estimated from regressions of mineral retention in the empty body on mineral intake. The body mineral concentration decreased in lambs with a BW ranging from 15 to 30 kg. The net mineral requirements (100 g/day of average daily gain (ADG)) decreased from 0.52 to 0.51 g for Ca, 0.28 to 0.23 g for P, 0.02 to 0.02 g for Mg, 0.09 to 0.08 g for Na, 0.11 to 0.09 g for K, 1.30 to 1.08 mg for Zn, 3.77 to 3.22 mg for Fe, 0.08 to 0.06 mg for Mn and 0.09 to 0.08 mg for Cu when BW increased from 15 to 30 kg. The daily net requirements for maintenance per kilogram of BW were 30.13 mg of Ca, 27.58 mg of P, 1.26 mg of Mg, 4.12 mg of Na, 8.11 mg of K, 0.133 mg of Zn, 0.271 mg of Fe, 0.002 mg of Mn and 0.014 mg of Cu. The results of this study indicate that the net mineral requirements for weight gain and maintenance in Brazilian Somali lambs are different than the values that are commonly recommended by the main evaluation systems for feed and nutritional requirements for sheep. These results for the nutritional requirements of minerals may help to optimize mineral supply for hair sheep.
This experiment evaluated the impacts of supplementing a yeast-derived product (Celmanax; Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Princeton, NJ, USA) on productive and health responses of beef steers, and was divided into a preconditioning (days 4 to 30) and feedlot receiving phase (days 31 to 69). In all, 84 Angus × Hereford steers were weaned on day 0 (BW=245±2 kg; age=186±2 days), and maintained in a single group from days 0 to 3. On day 4, steers were allocated according to weaning BW and age to a 21-pen drylot (4 steers/pen). Pens were randomly assigned to (n=7 pens/treatment): (1) no Celmanax supplementation during the study, (2) Celmanax supplementation (14 g/steer daily; as-fed) from days 14 to 69 or (3) Celmanax supplementation (14 g/steer daily; as-fed) from days 31 to 69. Steers had free-choice access to grass-alfalfa hay, and were also offered a corn-based concentrate beginning on day 14. Celmanax was mixed daily with the concentrate. On day 30, steers were road-transported for 1500 km (24 h). On day 31, steers returned to their original pens for the 38-day feedlot receiving. Shrunk BW was recorded on days 4, 31 and 70. Feed intake was evaluated daily (days 14 to 69). Steers were observed daily (days 4 to 69) for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) signs. Blood samples were collected on days 14, 30, 31, 33, 35, 40, 45, 54 and 69, and analyzed for plasma cortisol, haptoglobin, IGF-I, and serum fatty acids. Preconditioning results were analyzed by comparing pens that received (CELM) or not (CONPC) Celmanax during the preconditioning phase. Feedlot receiving results were analyzed by comparing pens that received Celmanax from days 14 to 69 (CELPREC), days 31 to 69 (CELRECV) or no Celmanax supplementation (CON). During preconditioning, BRD incidence was less (P=0.03) in CELM v. CONPC. During feedlot receiving, average daily gain (ADG) (P=0.07) and feed efficiency (P=0.08) tended to be greater in CELPREC and CELRECV v. CON, whereas dry matter intake was similar (P⩾0.29) among treatments. No other treatment effects were detected (P⩾0.20). Collectively, Celmanax supplementation reduced BRD incidence during the 30-day preconditioning. Moreover, supplementing Celmanax tended to improve ADG and feed efficiency during the 38-day feedlot receiving, independently of whether supplementation began during preconditioning or after feedlot entry. These results suggest that Celmanax supplementation benefits preconditioning health and feedlot receiving performance in beef cattle.
The present study aimed to explore the molecular factors underlying differences in Calpain/Calpastatin proteolytic system in Nellore and Angus cattle. Longissimus muscle samples were collected in Nellore (n = 6; body weight (BW) = 373 ± 37·3 kg) and Angus (n = 6; BW = 383 ± 23·9 kg) cattle at slaughter for analysis of gene and protein expression, and Calpastatin enzyme activity. Additionally, the myofibrillar fragmentation index was used to quantify the extension of proteolysis in longissimus muscle samples. A greater myofibrillar fragmentation was observed in skeletal muscle of Angus compared with Nellore cattle. Conversely, no differences were found between breeds for mRNA expression of Calpain 1 (CAPN1) and Calpastatin (CAST). Similarly, no differences were observed for the abundance of Calpain and Calpastatin proteins between skeletal muscles of Nellore and Angus cattle. Despite the lack of differences in mRNA and protein abundance, a greater activity of Calpastatin was observed in skeletal muscle of Nellore compared with Angus cattle. These data indicate that the greater proteolysis in skeletal muscle of Angus compared with Nellore cattle is mainly driven by a greater Calpastatin activity rather than Calpain or Calpastatin mRNA and protein expression.
Recent studies with Nile tilapia have shown divergent results regarding the possibility of selecting on morphometric measurements to promote indirect genetic gains in fillet yield (FY). The use of indirect selection for fillet traits is important as these traits are only measurable after harvesting. Random regression models are a powerful tool in association studies to identify the best time point to measure and select animals. Random regression models can also be applied in a multiple trait approach to analyze indirect response to selection, which would avoid the need to sacrifice candidate fish. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the genetic relationships between several body measurements, weight and fillet traits throughout the growth period and to evaluate the possibility of indirect selection for fillet traits in Nile tilapia. Data were collected from 2042 fish and was divided into two subsets. The first subset was used to estimate genetic parameters, including the permanent environmental effect for BW and body measurements (8758 records for each body measurement, as each fish was individually weighed and measured a maximum of six times). The second subset (2042 records for each trait) was used to estimate genetic correlations and heritabilities, which enabled the calculation of correlated response efficiencies between body measurements and the fillet traits. Heritability estimates across ages ranged from 0.05 to 0.5 for height, 0.02 to 0.48 for corrected length (CL), 0.05 to 0.68 for width, 0.08 to 0.57 for fillet weight (FW) and 0.12 to 0.42 for FY. All genetic correlation estimates between body measurements and FW were positive and strong (0.64 to 0.98). The estimates of genetic correlation between body measurements and FY were positive (except for CL at some ages), but weak to moderate (−0.08 to 0.68). These estimates resulted in strong and favorable correlated response efficiencies for FW and positive, but moderate for FY. These results indicate the possibility of achieving indirect genetic gains for FW and by selecting for morphometric traits, but low efficiency for FY when compared with direct selection.
An experiment was carried to evaluate the energy and protein requirements for the growth and maintenance of lambs of different sex classes. In all, 38 hair lambs (13.0±1.49 kg initial BW and 2 months old) were allocated in a factorial design with diet restriction levels (ad libitum, 30% and 60% feed restriction) and sex classes (castrated and non-castrated males). Four animals from each sex class were slaughtered at the beginning of the trial as a reference group to estimate the initial empty BW and body composition. The remaining lambs were weighed weekly to calculate BW gain (BWG), and when the animals fed ad libitum reached an average BW of 30 kg, all of the experimental animals were slaughtered. Before slaughter, fasted BW (FBW) was determined after 18 h without feed and water. Feed restriction induced reductions in body fat and energy concentration, whereas water restriction showed the opposite effect, and the protein concentration was not affected. The increase in BW promoted increases in body fat and energy content, and these increases were greater in castrated lambs, whereas the protein content was similar between classes tending to stabilize. The net energy required for gain (NEg) and the net protein required for gain (NPg) were not affected by sex class; therefore, an equation was generated for the combined results of both castrated and non-castrated lambs. The NEg varied from 1.13 to 2.01 MJ/day for lambs with BW of 15 and 30 kg and BWG of 200 g. The NPg varied from 24.57 to 16.33 g/day for lambs with BW of 15 and 30 kg and BWG of 200 g. The metabolizable energy efficiency for gain (kg) was 0.37, and the metabolizable protein efficiency for gain (kpg) was 0.28. The net energy required for maintenance (NEm) and the net requirement of protein for maintenance (NPm) did not differ between castrated and non-castrated lambs, with values of 0.241 MJ/kg FBW0.75 per day and 1.30 g/kg FBW0.75 per day, respectively. The metabolizable energy efficiency for maintenance (km) was 0.60, and the efficiency of metabolizable protein use for maintenance (kpm) was 0.57. Nutritional requirements for growth and maintenance did not differ between castrated and non-castrated lambs. This study emphasizes the importance of updating the tables of international committees and of including data obtained from studies with sheep breeds raised in tropical conditions, with the purpose of improving the productive efficiency of the animals
In all, 60 Angus×Hereford heifers were ranked by age and BW (210±2 days and 220±2 kg) on day 0, and assigned to: (a) one of three drylot pens (10×14 m pens; 10 heifers/pen) resulting in a stocking density of 14 m2/heifer (HIDENS; n=3), or (b) one of three pastures (25 ha pastures; 10 heifers/pasture), resulting in a stocking density of 25 000 m2/heifer (LOWDENS; n=3). Pastures were harvested for hay before the beginning of this experiment, and negligible forage was available for grazing to LOWDENS heifers during the experiment (days 0 to 182). All heifers received the same limited-fed diet, which averaged (dry matter basis) 4.0 kg/heifer daily of hay and 3.0 kg/heifer daily of a corn-based concentrate. Heifer shrunk BW was recorded after 16 h of feed and water withdrawal on days −3 and 183 for BW gain calculation. On day 0, heifers were fitted with a pedometer behind their right shoulder. Each week, pedometer results were recorded and blood samples were collected for puberty evaluation via plasma progesterone. Plasma samples collected on days 0, 28, 56, 84, 112, 140, 161 and 182 were also analyzed for cortisol concentrations. On days 0, 49, 98, 147 and 182, hair samples were collected from the tail switch for analysis of hair cortisol concentrations. On days 28, 102 and 175, blood samples were collected for whole blood RNA isolation and analysis of heat shock protein (HSP) 70 and HSP72 mRNA expression. Heifers from LOWDENS had more (P<0.01) steps/week compared with HIDENS. No treatment effects were detected (P=0.82) for heifer BW gain. Plasma cortisol concentrations were greater (P⩽0.05) in LOWDENS compared with HIDENS heifers on days 84, 140, 161 and 182 (treatment×day interaction; P<0.01). Hair cortisol concentrations were greater (P<0.01) in HIDENS compared with LOWDENS heifers beginning on day 98 (treatment×day interaction; P<0.01). Heifers from LOWDENS had greater (P=0.04) mean mRNA expression of HSP72, and tended (P=0.09) to have greater mean mRNA expression of HSP70 compared with HIDENS. Heifers from HIDENS experienced delayed puberty attainment and had less (P<0.01) proportion of pubertal heifers on day 182 compared with LOWDENS (treatment×day interaction; P<0.01). In summary, HIDENS altered heifer stress-related and physiological responses, and delayed puberty attainment compared with LOWDENS.