Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Conference Paper

Effects of energy and protein nutrition in the dam on embryonic development

M.C. Wiltbank, A. Garcia-Guerra, P.D. Carvalho, K.S. Hackbart, R.W. Bender, A.H. Souza, M.Z. Toledo, G.M. Baez, R.S. Surjus, R. Sartori

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This review highlights the importance of energy and protein nutrition of the dam on embryo production and embryo development. Fertility is reduced by greater negative energy balance post-partum as manifest by reductions in fertility and embryo quality associated with lower body condition score (BCS) but particularly with greater postpartum loss of BCS. In addition, excessive energy intake, particularly from high carbohydrate diets can reduce fertilization and embryo quality in some but not all circumstances. High protein diets have been found to reduce embryo quality by day 7 after breeding, possibly due to greater blood urea nitrogen, however this negative effect is not observed in all studies. Sufficient circulating concentrations of amino acids, particularly rate-limiting amino acids such as methionine and lysine are critical for optimal milk production. The rate-limiting amino acids may also impact embryonic development, perhaps through improved amino acid profiles in the uterine lumen. Methionine may also have direct epigenetic effects in the embryo by methylation of DNA. Future studies are needed to replicate previously observed positive and negative effects of energy, excess protein, and amino acid supplementation in order to provide further insight into how embryonic development can be rationally manipulated using nutritional strategies.


amino acids, embryo, energy, methionine, nutrition, protein.
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