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J Anim Sci. 2013 Sep;91(9):4540-6. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5963. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

Effect of pig breed and dietary protein level on selected fatty acids and stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase protein expression in longissimus muscle and subcutaneous fat.

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Unidade de Investigação em Produção e Saúde Animal, L-INIA, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, Polo de Investigação da Quinta da Fonte Boa, 2005-048 Vale de Santarém, Portugal.


The aims of the study were 1) to investigate effects of a low protein diet on fatty acids content and composition of the LM and subcutaneous adipose tissue in 3 genetically diverse breeds, Large White × Landrace, Alentejano, and Bizaro, and 2) to determine whether the effect of the low protein diet of fatty acid composition is associated with dietary modulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) protein expression. The experiments were conducted on 12 Large White × Landrace, 12 Alentejano, and 10 Bízaro female and male pigs. The average animal BW at the beginning of experiments was 40.8, 40.7, and 38.3 kg for Large White × Landrace, Alentejano, and Bízaro, respectively, and the BW of animals at slaughter was 90 kg. The diets contained 202 or 169 g/kg DM of CP (high and low protein diets, respectively) and were balanced in essential AA. The diets were fed until the animals reached 90 kg BW (approximately 73 d). It was established that Large White × Landrace pigs had a less (P = 0.001) total fatty acid content in subcutaneous adipose tissue when compared with Alentejano and Bízaro and less (P < 0.001) intramuscular fat (IMF) content when compared with Alentejano. There was a positive relationship between SCD protein expression in the LM and MUFA content (r = 0.627, P = 0.029) and SCD protein expression and total muscle fatty acids content (r = 0.725, P = 0.008) in Large White × Landrace but not in Alentejano and Bizaro breeds. It has been suggested that SCD protein expression is associated with regulation of fat deposition only in breeds with genetic predisposition to a low IMF content.

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