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Genetic selection has been very successful at significantly increasing BW and breast muscle proportion in commercial broiler and turkey strains. The mechanisms of breast muscle growth in poultry and the interactive effects of nutritional status and selection are not fully understood. The hypothesis underlying the current study is that feed restriction, simply as a vehicle for controlling early growth, would delay the temporal expression pattern of neonatal (nMyHC) and adult (aMyHC) fast skeletal muscle myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms in the pectoralis major muscle of turkey poults. The poultry growth model used to evaluate this hypothesis consisted of a randombred control turkey line (RBC2) that represents commercial turkeys of the 1960s and a line developed from the RBC2 by selection for BW at 16 wk of age (F line). The F line has significantly heavier breast muscles than the RBC2 concomitant with increased BW, but the proportion of breast muscle relative to BW is similar. A quantitative indirect ELISA using fast skeletal MyHC isoform specific monoclonal antibodies revealed no significant line differences in the temporal expression of posthatch fast skeletal muscle MyHC in ad libitum fed poults. Feed restriction, however, altered the temporal expression patterns of nMyHC and aMyHC in both F line and RBC2 poults compared with the poults fed ad libitum.


K Huffman, I Zapata, J M Reddish, M S Lilburn, M Wick. Feed restriction delays developmental fast skeletal muscle myosin heavy chain isoforms in turkey poults selected for differential growth. Poultry science. 2012 Dec;91(12):3178-83

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PMID: 23155028

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