- Animal Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, United States of America
- Animal behaviour , Animal nutrition modelling, Cattle production, Ruminant nutrition
Identifying cattle with superior growth feed efficiency through their natural 15N abundance and plasma urea concentration: a meta-analysis.
15N as a marker for feed efficiency in beef cattleRecommended by Marcos Marcondes based on reviews by Emilio Mauricio Ungerfeld and 1 anonymous reviewer
Identifying individuals with a more remarkable feed efficiency may positively affect the profitability and sustainability of the beef industry (Cruz et al., 2010; Basarab et al., 2013). However, although most international nutrient requirements systems predict animal feed efficiency, intake data is usually unavailable at the farm level, and ranking animals based on efficiency might be challenging. In this sense, using differences in the occurrence of isotopic N between animal and diet (Δ15Nanimal-diet) might become a natural biomarker to determine feed efficiency at the farm level. This methodology was firstly demonstrated by Guarnido-Lopez et al. (2021). In the present study by Cantalapiedra-Hijar et al. (2022), the authors evaluated the extent to which Δ15Nanimal-diet can be used as a marker for feed efficiency in beef animals. For this, a meta-analysis was conducted using a database including 759 individual records for performance and N isotopic discrimination measured in plasma or muscle (Δ15Nanimal-diet; n = 749) and plasma urea concentration (n = 659). The database was composed of 37% Charolais, 15% Simmental, and 40% of beef crossbreds. The results confirmed that Δ15Nanimal-diet could discriminate animals with at least 0.10 kg/kg difference in feed efficiency. Furthermore, the Δ15Nanimal-diet marker also successfully discriminated the feed efficiency of two animals from the same contemporary group if they differ by at least 0.06 kg/kg of FCE. However, when trying to predict feed efficiency, using the two candidate biomarkers did not improve estimates. Lastly, when data from biomarkers were combined with performance data, improvement in the predictions was observed. Nonetheless, the present results warrant more studies to evaluate the use of Δ15Nanimal-diet as a biomarker for feed efficiency since it could be used not only for feed efficiency discrimination but also in genetic selections.
Cantalapiedra-Hijar G, Morel I, Sepchat B, Chantelauze C, Miller GA, Duthie CA, Ortigues-Marty I, Dewhurst RJ (2022). Identifying cattle with superior growth feed efficiency through their natural 15N abundance and plasma urea concentration: A meta-analysis. Zenodo, 5783960, ver. 3 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer community in Animal Science. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5783960.
Cruz GD, Rodríguez-Sánchez JA, Oltjen JW, Sainz RD (2010). Performance, residual feed intake, digestibility, carcass traits, and profitability of Angus-Hereford steers housed in individual or group pens. J. Anim. Sci. 88:324-329. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2009-1932.
Basarab JA, Beauchemin KA, Baron VS, Ominski KH, Guan LL, Miller SP, Crowley JJ (2013). Reducing GHG emissions through genetic improvement for feed efficiency: effects on economically important traits and enteric methane production. Animal 7:303-315. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731113000888.
Guarnido-Lopez P, Ortigues-Marty I, Taussat S, Fossaert C, Renand G, Cantalapiedra-Hijar G (2021). Plasma proteins Δ15N vs. plasma urea as candidate biomarkers of between-animal variations of feed efficiency in beef cattle: Phenotypic and genetic evaluation. Animal 15:100318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.animal.2021.100318.