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Title: Nutrient partitioning of Merino sheep divergently selected for genetic difference in resistance to 'Haemonchus contortus'
Contributor(s): Doyle, Emma  (author)orcid ; Kahn, Lewis  (author)orcid ; McClure, S J (author)
Publication Date: 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.06.028
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Abstract: This research was designed to determine if divergent genetic selection for resistance to 'Haemonchus contortus' had produced correlated changes in the metabolism of amino-nitrogen in the absence or presence of 'H. contortus' infection. Partitioning of amino acid-nitrogen between tissues was determined in 42 Merino weaner wethers from the CSIRO 'Haemonchus' selection flock, increased resistance to 'Haemonchus' (IRH), decreased resistance to 'Haemonchus' (DRH) and random bred control (C) selection lines. Weaner wethers were fed a restricted diet (9.8 MJ ME/kg DM, 86 g MP/kg DM) calculated to allow a gain of 125 g/d bodyweight throughout the experimental period and were either worm-free or trickle infected with 'H. contortus'. At 8 weeks post-infection animals were injected with ¹⁵N-labelled duckweed directly into the abomasums. Animals were euthanased at either 6 or 24 h after the injection to collect tissue samples for calculation of percentage recovery of ¹⁵N in tissue and to determine abomasal worm counts. Worm egg count and worm counts at week 8 of infection were lower in animals from the IRH line. IRH animals had a lower N digestibility, increased oxidation of amino acids and lower N balance but whole-body protein flux was unaffected. Amino acid metabolism, as assessed from ¹⁵N uptake and excretion in response to 'H. contortus' infection, differed between IRH and DRH animals. In IRH animals a greater recovery of ¹⁵N in the thymus and abomasal smooth muscle indicated greater partitioning of amino acids towards the immune response. In DRH animals an increased recovery of ¹⁵N in the spleen, in response to infection, may be a possible adaptation. It appears that divergent selection for worm egg count has not been associated with symmetrical changes in amino acid metabolism, but rather the partitioning of amino acid resources reflects each selection line's independent response to infection.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Veterinary Parasitology, 205(1-2), p. 175-185
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1873-2550
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300905 Veterinary epidemiology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830311 Sheep - Wool
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100413 Sheep for wool
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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