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Animal. 2013 Jun;7(6):965-73. doi: 10.1017/S1751731113000153. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

Chicken lines divergent for low or high abdominal fat deposition: a relevant model to study the regulation of energy metabolism.

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  • 1INRA, UR 83 Recherches Avicoles, F-37380 Nouzilly, France.


Divergent selection of chickens for low or high abdominal fat (AF) but similar BW at 63 days of age was undertaken in 1977. The selection programme was conducted over seven successive generations. The difference between lines was then maintained constant at about twice the AF in the fat line as in the lean line. The aims of the first studies on these divergent chicken lines were to describe the growth, body composition and reproductive performance in young and adult birds. The lines were then used to improve the understanding of the relationship between fatness and energy and protein metabolism in the liver, muscle and adipose tissues, as well as the regulation of such metabolism at hormonal, gene and hypothalamic levels. The effects on muscle energy metabolism in relation to meat quality parameters were also described. This paper reviews the main results obtained with these lines.

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