Studies have revealed the molecular mechanism by which methionine regulates fat deposition in Peking duck

Beijing Duck Courtesy of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Recently, the research of the waterfowl breeding and nutrition innovation team of the Beijing Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences revealed the molecular mechanism of methionine regulating fat deposition in Beijing duck, which provides a theoretical basis for the rational use of methionine and the promotion of efficient and healthy breeding of meat ducks. The results were published in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology.

China is the world’s first meat duck breeding country, meat duck breeding accounted for more than 70% of the global total, the output value of more than 100 billion yuan. With the continuous development of large-scale and intensive breeding of meat ducks, excessive deposition of abdominal fat has brought a series of problems to China’s meat duck industry, such as increased feed consumption and decreased carcass rate, resulting in huge economic losses. Methionine plays an important role in regulating fat metabolism and deposition in meat ducks, but its mechanism is unclear.

The researchers, who were targeting Peking ducks in the late growth stage (15-42 days old), found that methionine deficiency can lead to slow growth, increased fat deposition, and revealed its internal regulatory mechanisms.

Studies have shown that on the one hand, methionine deficiency causes the oxidation of fatty acid β in the liver of Peking duck, the cycle of tricarboxylic acid, the electron transmission of the respiratory chain, the downregulation of genes and proteins related to glycogenesis of glycolysis, and the insufficient production of ATP in the body, resulting in poor growth and development in ducks; On the other hand, the expression of genes and proteins related to lipid breakdown in albumin and abdominal fat in duck liver was significantly downregulated, and then lipolysis and transport were blocked, which eventually led to an increase in duck abdominal fat deposition.

The research was supported by the National Waterfowl Industry Technology System and the Science and Technology Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. (Source: China Science Daily, Li Chen, Fu Songchuan)

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