Navigation Links
Diet prior to pregnancy determines sheep's gender
Date:6/8/2008

Maternal diet influences the chances of having male or female offspring. Research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology has demonstrated that ewes fed a diet enriched with polyunsaturated fats for one month prior to conception have a significantly higher chance of giving birth to male offspring.

This study was carried out by a team of researchers from the Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri and led by R Michael Roberts. Roberts explains how diet at the time of conception is the most important factor when it comes to influencing the sex of the offspring "Our study ruled out body condition, ewe weight, previous births, time of breeding, and likely dominance as reasons for the gender skewing. Rather, it was the composition of the diet consumed in the time period around conception that was responsible for this sex-ratio effect".

Polyunsaturated fats are essential nutrients. It is believed that the dietary ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fats has important biological effects, especially in terms of inflammation, immunity and central nervous system signalling. The omega-6 fats used in this study were protected from digestion by naturally occurring rumen bacteria to ensure that they would be absorbed through the intestines of the sheep.

In animal social groups where a small number of dominant males mate with a large number of females, it has been theorised that having male offspring would be of genetic advantage to a very healthy, well fed female, while females consuming a poorer diet would have greater genetic success by giving birth to female offspring. According to Roberts "Although this theory is attractive, former observations have often been contradictory, leading some to dismiss its relevance. This is the first experimental study in controlled conditions showing that supplementing maternal diet, in this case by increasing omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake, can skew the sex ratio towards males in a farm species."

These findings will be important to the livestock industry. As Roberts points out "Increasing the amount of fat in feed during the breeding period could provide a means of controlling the sex ratio of offspring born to a herd or flock."


'/>"/>

Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-763-14804
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Argonne-SRNL agreement supports critical DOE, national priorities
2. Scientists endure Arctic for last campaign prior to CryoSat-2 launch
3. New research offers prioritization plan for reducing nutrient pollution in feeder streams
4. A new analysis method allows to find out the sex of the baby from the second month of pregnancy
5. A new gene trigger for pregnancy disorder identified
6. Pregnancy is possible after cancer treatment
7. Exercise during pregnancy leads to a healthier heart in moms- and babies-to-be
8. Herpes virus link to complications in pregnancy
9. Life on Mars pregnancy test successfully launched
10. Low vitamin D during pregnancy linked to pre-eclampsia
11. Drug could improve pregnancy outcomes in wider range of women with insulin resistance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Biopharm Reports has carried ... use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). This ... profiled current practices, developments, trends and end-user plans ... growth and opportunities. These areas include growth in ... needs and innovation requirements, hyphenated NMR techniques, main ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. ... The global voice recognition biometrics market to grow at ... The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of ... market size, the report considers the revenue generated from the sales ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Jan. 18, 2017  In ... with respect to mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and Kalorama ... reasons for such acquisitions have been shifting. Generally, uncertainty ... and the U.S. has changed the acquisitions ... situation has resulted in companies buying partners outside of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Seventy-one members ... named Fellows of the Society this year, the Fellows Committee has announced. The ... of optics, photonics, and imaging as well as their service to the Society ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... Park ... free AFM Luncheon for all SPIE attendees and Park customers ... just one block from the San Jose Convention Center. The luncheon will feature ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... provider of women’s health, primary care, and specialty education, announced today it ... Education (ACCME). ACCME’s Accreditation with Commendation is a six-year accreditation and is ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive virtual ... announce the launch of a new scholarship for young scientists seeking a degree in ... is open to all high school seniors, 17 years or older; as well as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: