With escalating feed prices, increasing litter sizes, and ever-evolving disease challenges, the difficulties of transitioning pigs during the weaning process is a major priority for pork producers. While many studies have suggested nutritional or environmental interventions to help ease this transition, the root biological causes for differences in growth during the transition period are not well understood. Data from our laboratory shows that poor-transitioning pigs have lower rates of protein and lipid accretion (Jones et al., 2012). In this experiment, we investigated the metabolic basis for poor weaned-pig transition by comparing gene expression in the longissimus dorsi muscle and adipose tissue of pigs selected from the bottom 10th percentile for ADG and better-transitioning contemporaries (60-70th ADG percentile). Poor transitioning pigs had lower expression of genes related to muscle structure and function, higher expression of genes related to muscle protein degradation, and lower expression of genes related to glucose metabolism. Many of the gene expression differences between poor transitioning pigs and their contemporaries indicate that the reduced performance in poor transitioning pigs reared under commercial conditions may be related to low availability of energy and AA in low tADG pigs due to low feed intake.
For further information contact:
Dr. John Patience
Iowa State University
Department of Animal Science
201 Kildee Hall
Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-5132""
[email protected]