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Effects on domestication and feeding on the avian melanocortin system
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10,5 credits / 16 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Domestication in chickens has made feed-restriction a necessity if broiler breeder hens should reach sexual maturity and be fertile. This is claimed to cause chronic hunger. To measure hunger the gene expression of the appetite regulators agouti-related peptide (AgRP), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) of the melanocortin system was quantified with qPCR. This was done in feed-restricted Red Junglefowl and compared with the gene expression of two strains of feed-restricted broilers, Ross 308 and Rowan Ranger, to detect possible effects on domestication on appetite regulation. POMC-expression was upregulated 2-fold in the feed-restricted Red Junglefowl. POMC-expression was downregulated by half in the feed-restricted Ross 308. AgRP/NPY-expression was upregulated 4-fold in feed-restricted Rowan Rangers. A comparison between the control groups (ad libitum fed) of the breeds showed that the NPY-expression was lower in Ross 308 and Rowan Ranger compared with the ancestor. Results show no difference in body weight of ad libitum fed and feed-restricted Red Junglefowl. Conclusions were that the feed-restricted Red Junglefowl was not properly restricted in food supply since no difference in body weight between the treatment groups was detected. The upregulation of POMC in the feed-restricted Red Junglefowl could be stress-linked influenced by the feeding type (scattering of food in litter). No conclusions of the impact of domestication on chicken’s appetite could be drawn. Domestication has probably had its impact by altering other signaling pathways of the melanocortin system than in the arcuate nucleus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 26 p.
Keyword [en]
Feed-restriction, hunger, arcuate nucleus, gene expression, avian melanocortin system, domestication, broiler, Red Junglefowl, stress
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129253ISRN: LITH-IFM-G-EX—16/3190--SEOAI: diva2:937165
Subject / course
Available from: 2016-06-15 Created: 2016-06-14 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved

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