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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Redefining Body Composition: Nutrients, Hormones and Genes in Meat Production

Authors
item Wray Cahen, Diane
item Kerr, David - UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
item Clover, Christina
item Steele, Norman

Submitted to: Annual Review of Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: December 4, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This paper is a comprehensive review of how nutritional, hormonal and genetic manipulation can affect body composition in livestock. Growth rate and body composition of livestock species can be optimized to produce leaner meat and to improve the efficiency of meat animal production. Traditional strategies have focused on genetic selection and cost effective eration formulation. Advances in understanding the mechanisms of growth and its control have led to additional opportunities for growth manipulation. These include nutritional manipulation, the use of growth promotants, and more recently, the ability to change the genetic potential through genetic engineering. Selection of appropriate genes for manipulation depends on understanding the mechanisms underlying the growth and development of embryonic muscle cells. Recent advances in genetic engineering techniques, including gene therapy and germline transgenesis, will likely hasten the genetic progress towards a leaner carcass composition in domestic livestoc and direct the focus of future research.

Technical Abstract: Growth rate and body composition of livestock species can be optimized to meet consumer needs for a leaner product and to improve the efficiency of meat animal production. Optimization strategies have traditionally focused on genetic selection and cost effective ration formulation to satisfy the genetic potential. Advances in understanding the mechanisms of growth and its control have led to additional opportunities for its manipulation. These include nutritional manipulation, the use of growth promotants, and more recently, the ability to change the genetic potential through genetic engineering. Selection of appropriate candidate genes for manipulation depends on understanding the mechanisms underlying differentiation and growth of embryonic muscle cells. Recent advances in genetic engineering techniques, including gene therapy and germline transgenesis, will likely hasten the genetic progress towards a leaner carcass composition in domestic livestock. Such strategies may prove to be more beneficial than the controlled enhancement of somatotropin expression.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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