Propolis alleviates the negative effects of heat stress on egg production, egg quality, physiological and immunological aspects of laying Japanese quail.
ABSTRACT: The present work was carried out to investigate the effects of dietary propolis supplementation to laying Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) on egg production, egg quality, physiological and immunological aspects under heat stress conditions. A total of 200, 21-day-old, Japanese quail females were distributed equally into standard wired cages in two identical environmentally-controlled rooms (10 cages per room, 10 birds per cage). From 29-70 d of age, the quail birds in the first room remained at a normal temperature of 24°C (C group), whereas the quail birds in the second room were kept under heat stress at 35°C (HS group). Each group was further assigned to 2 propolis subgroups (5 cages per subgroup); one of them received a basal diet without propolis supplementation (-PR subgroup), while, the other received 1 g propolis/ kg basal diet (+PR subgroup). In the present study, performance and egg production of laying quail were significantly (P<0.001) impaired by HS treatment and improved by the PR treatment. Similarly, the negative and positive effects of HS and PR, respectively, were appeared on the egg shell thickness and yolk index. Stress indicators in laying quail were significantly (P<0.001) increased by HS, while, PR significantly (P<0.05) moderated these levels in the HS+PR group when compared to the HS-PR quail group. In addition to the positive impact of PR on the plasma levels of calcium, phosphorus, and albumin, it also normalized the plasma levels of alanine aminotransferase and cholesterol in the heat-stressed quail birds. Moreover, the quail birds in the HS groups expressed lower immunological aspects than those in the C group, while, the addition of propolis to the diets enhanced the immune status of laying quail birds under HS conditions. These results strongly suggest that dietary propolis supplementation could be a successful attempt to maintain the performance and egg production of laying Japanese quail at convenient levels under heat stress conditions.
Project description:Heat stress is one of the most detrimental confrontations in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, causing considerable economic losses in poultry production. Propolis, a resinous product of worker honeybees, possesses several biological activities that could be used to alleviate the deleterious effects of high environmental temperature on poultry production. The current study was aimed at evaluating the effects of propolis supplementation to Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) diets on the production performance, intestinal histomorphology, relative physiological and immunological parameters, and selected gene expression under heat stress conditions. Three hundred one-day-old Japanese quail chicks were randomly distributed into 20 wired-cages. At 28 d of age, the birds were divided into 2 temperature treatment groups; a normal at 24°C (C group) and a heat stress at 35°C (HS group). The birds in each group were further assigned to 2 subgroups; one of them was fed on a basal diet without propolis supplementation (-Pr subgroup) while the other was supplemented with propolis (+Pr subgroup). Production performance including body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were measured. The intestinal histomorphological measurements were also performed for all treatment groups. Relative physiological parameters including body temperature, corticosterone hormone level, malondialdehyde (MDA) and free triiodothyronine hormone (fT3), as well as the relative immunological parameters including the total white blood cells count (TWBC's), heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio and lymphocyte proliferation index, were also measured. Furthermore, the mRNA expression for toll like receptor 5 (TLR5), cysteine-aspartic protease-6 (CASP6) and heat shock proteins 70 and 90 (Hsp70 and Hsp90) genes was quantified in this study. The quail production performance was significantly (P<0.05) impaired by HS treatment, while Pr treatment significantly improved the quail production performance. The villus width and area were significantly (P<0.05) lower in the HS compared to the C group, while Pr treatment significantly increased crypts depth of quail. A negative impact of HS treatment was observed on the physiological status of quail; however, propolis significantly alleviated this negative effect. Moreover, quail of the HS group expressed lower immunological parameters than C group, while propolis enhanced the immune status of the quail. The relative mRNA expression of TLR5 gene was down-regulated by HS treatment while it was up-regulated by the Pr treatment. Furthermore, the positive effects of propolis in HS-quail were evidenced by normalizing the high expressions of CASP6 and Hsp70 genes when compared to the C group. Based on these results, the addition of propolis to quail diets as a potential nutritional strategy in order to improve their performance, especially under heat stress conditions, is recommended.
Project description:This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of three concentrations of the Moringa oleifera seed powder as a feed supplement on the productive performance and egg quality traits of laying Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) exposed to heat stress. The expression patterns of the genes estrogen receptors (ESR2), follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), prolactin receptor (PRLR), and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR) were estimated in ovaries, using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. A total of 200 laying quail aged seven weeks were randomly allocated to the following four experimental groups-the control (CNT), T1, T2, and T3 groups; each group comprised 50 quail females with 5 replicates (10 per group). The CNT group was fed a basal diet, whereas the T1, T2, and T3 groups were fed the basal diet supplemented with 0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.3% M. oleifera seed powder, respectively. The results revealed that the T3 group showed the highest hen-day egg production (%) as well as the highest egg yolk index. Feed intake and feed conversion ratio improved significantly (p < 0.05) with increased concentrations of the M. oleifera seed powder supplementation. Furthermore, the mRNA expressions of ESR2, FSHR, and STAR increased significantly in the T3 group, compared to those in the CNT group. Alterations in ovarian gene expressions corresponded to the reproductive patterns of the treated Japanese quail. Thus, it was concluded that the supplementation of the Japanese quail feed with 0.3% M. oleifera seed powder during the laying period might enhance resistance to heat stress and consequently improve egg productivity.
Project description:Accumulating evidences indicate that the hypothalamic neuropeptide orexins or hypocretins are involved in stress-induced responses in mammals. Recently, we found that orexin is expressed and secreted from avian muscle cells, however its regulation is still unknown. In this study, we investigated the effect of heat and oxidative stress, the most challenging stressors in poultry production, on the expression of orexin system in quail muscle tissues and myoblast cell lines. Four week-old genetically selected susceptible and resistant Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix Japonica) lines were exposed to acute heat stress (HS, 37°C for 1.5 h) or maintained at thermoneutral conditions (24°C). Quail myoblast (QM7) cell line was exposed to heat stress (45°C) for 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 h. The control cells were maintained at 37°C. The cells were also treated with several doses of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, 10-200 ?M) or 4-Hydroxynonenal (4-HNE, 10-30 ?M) as oxidative stress. Untreated cells were used as controls. Acute HS significantly induced the expression of HSP70 and down-regulated orexin system in both quail muscle tissue and QM7 cells. Similarly, H2O2 but not 4-HNE treatment significantly increased HSP70 protein levels and dysregulated the expression of orexin and its related receptors in a dose-dependent manner in QM7 cells. Transient overexpression of HSP70 down-regulated the expression of orexin system in QM7 cells. Taken together, these data indicate that orexin may be a key player in stress response in avian muscle by demonstrating that heat and oxidative stress alter the expression of orexin system in quail muscle. This effect might be mediated through HSP70. Unraveling the upstream regulators and downstream effectors of orexin in avian muscle merits further in depth investigations.
Project description:Variation in fertilization success underlies sexual selection, yet mating does not guarantee fertilization. The relationship between natural inseminations and fertilization success is essential for understanding sexual selection, yet that relationship and its underlying mechanisms are poorly understood in sperm-storing vertebrates such as birds. Here the relationship is analyzed in mating trials using Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), which show striking variation in the fertilizing success of inseminations. Failures of males' inseminations to fertilize eggs were mainly due to failures prior to sperm-egg contact. Fertilization probabilities on any given day were unrelated to whether the female had laid an egg the previous day, arguing against stimulation of sperm release from sperm storage tubules by the events of the daily egg-laying cycle. Instead, an unfertilized egg laid between two fertilized eggs predicted a longer sperm storage interval. Both sexes gained similar numbers of fertilized eggs by mating with a second partner the next day, but males, unlike females in a previous study, did not gain by having two females to mate with at the same time. Instead, they were both behaviorally and sperm limited, whereas females gain by mating twice in quick succession. Even double inseminations often failed to fertilize any eggs, and multiple matings would be needed for an entire clutch to be fertilized with high certainty. Paradoxically, this low and probabilistic fertilization success co-occurs with other notable characteristics of male quail suggestive of past sexual selection for increased success, including vigorous copulatory behavior, forced copulations, foamy secretion aiding in sperm competition, large testes and unusual sperm morphology.
Project description:1. Studies were carried out in vitro with the livers of Japanese quail that had been fed from hatching on diets supplying their full requirements for vitamin D. 2. 25-Hydroxycholecalciferol was the major metabolite when liver homogenates of egg-laying female and oestrogen-treated quail of both sexes were incubated with [3H]cholecalciferol. 3. Very little 25-hydroxycholecalciferol was generated from liver homogenates of adult male and immature quail. Instead the cholecalciferol was converted into one or more compounds less polar than 25-hydroxycholecalciferol and into a number of highly polar metabolites, some of which were water-soluble. 4. Oestrogen not only stimulated the 25-hydroxylation of cholecalciferol but also protected both cholecalciferol and 25-hydroxycholecalciferol from degradation by the enzymic pathways active in immature and male birds. 5. These actions of oestrogen may be of physiological significance in relation to the high requirements of laying birds for 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol to support the intense metabolism of calcium associated with egg-shell calcification.
Project description:One hundred and sixty-eight 11-week-old laying quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were fed one of the following three diets: (1) control: basal diet with no lentil (Lens culinaris L.) byproduct; (2) inclusion of 10% lentil byproduct; (3) inclusion of 20% lentil byproduct. In the recent years, colour sorting machines are used in order to separate red lentils according to their colours. The goal is to select the items which are discoloured, not as ripe as required, or still with hull even after dehulling of lentil seed. During the sorting, a new byproduct called "sorting byproduct" leftover is obtained. The byproduct is cleaner and is of a higher quality than other lentil byproducts. This experiment was conducted to study the effects of the inclusion of different levels of lentil byproduct on laying quail performance. The experimental treatment included 10% or 20% lentil byproduct in the diet, and this was fed to quails aged between 11 and 22 weeks. The inclusion of 10% and 20% levels of lentil byproduct in the diet significantly increased egg production, but feed intake and feed conversion ratio were not significantly affected. Egg weight decreased significantly following the inclusion of 20% lentil byproduct. The inclusion of lentil byproduct in the diet increased the deposition of yellow yolk pigments and decreased malonaldehyde formation in the yolk.
Project description:The present study aims to investigate the maternal origin and genetic diversity of laying-type Japanese quail lines based on partial sequences (453 base pairs) of a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region. A total of 478 individuals from 12 lines were sequenced and six different haplotypes with eight variable sites were identified. All haplotypes, two of which were identical to previously reported sequences, were typical for the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and were distinct from those of the common quail (Coturnix coturnix) in a phylogenetic analysis including other published haplotypes. One haplotype was distributed in the majority of individuals (84.9%, 406/478) across all lines. Within each line, 72.5-100% of individuals had this predominant haplotype. The second most common haplotype was detected in 12.8% (61/478) individuals. These two haplotypes accounted for 97.7% of all individuals. The remaining four haplotypes were distributed with a low frequency; these were observed in five, three, two, and one individuals across all lines, respectively. All lines showed a low degree of haplotype diversity ranging from 0.0000 to 0.4321. Genetic differentiation indexes (F ST) were not significant in approximately 80% pairwise comparisons of lines. The results suggest limited maternal origin and low mtDNA diversity of laying-type quail lines and may reflect their breeding history where the present gene pool was rooted in a small number of founders.
Project description:One hundred and eighty 7-week-old laying quail were fed various diets over a 12-week period. The diets included a control diet (without essential oil mixture (EOM) or antibiotics (ANTs)), a basal diet including EOM (24 mg/kg feed), and a basal diet including an ANT (avilamycin, 10 mg/kg feed). Each treatment comprised 4 replications with 4 cages (15 quail per cage), amounting to 60 quail per treatment group. Diets (in mash form) and water were provided for ad libitum consumption. EOM consisted of 6 different essential oils derived from the following herbs: oregano (Origanum sp.), laurel leaf (Laurus nobilis L.), sage leaf (Salvia triloba L.), myrtle leaf (Myrtus communis), fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare), and citrus peel (Citrus sp.). In comparison with the control diet, adding supplements such as EOM and ANTs to the basal diet increased egg production in quail (P < 0.001). However, egg production was similar between EOM and ANT treatment groups. Moreover, there were no differences between the treatment groups with regard to egg weight. Feed intake was not affected by EOM or ANT supplementation, whereas feed conversion ratio was significantly improved by EOM and ANT supplementation. Thus, we concluded that EOM has beneficial effects as a dietary supplement on egg production and feed conversion ratio.
Project description:Recently in Japan, approximately six million quails were primarily being reared for commercial egg production. It is believed that almost all commercial quails in the country became extinct during World War II, and that the present commercial gene pool was restored from the limited number of surviving birds. The present study evaluates the genetic diversity within and differentiation between 12 laying-type Japanese quail lines on the basis of 45 microsatellite genotypes. The mean number of alleles per locus and the expected heterozygosity within a quail line were 5.22-5.69 and 0.601-0.618, respectively. These results showed that laying-type quail lines in the present study exhibited a higher degree of genetic diversity than experimental quail lines in a previous study. Pairwise genetic differentiations (F ST) between lines were significant but weak (F ST=0.0028-0.0254; 57.6%), and no significant differentiations were found between the remainder. This was also confirmed by genetic clustering analyses, in which individuals did not form independent clusters consistent with their line origins. The results of the present study indicate relatively high genetic diversity within and no clear genetic differentiation between laying-type quail lines. Absence of genetic differentiation may reflect the breeding history of laying-type quails.
Project description:Since cinnamon has vitamins and minerals in addition to antioxidants compounds in its chemical composition studies have shown the potential of cinnamon supplementation on some important characteristics in the performance of birds. Thus, this study was conducted under the hypothesis that the inclusion of cinnamon in the laying quail diet could influence the performance of the birds through the expression of genes related to antioxidant activity and lipid metabolism. To test this hypothesis, 144 Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) with an initial age of 18 weeks and average weight of 133g were distributed in a completely randomized design with two treatments: no cinnamon supplementation (NCS-control group) and with supplementation of 9g/kg of cinnamon powder (CPS). The experiment lasted for 84 days. At the end of the experimental period, six animals from each treatment were euthanized by cervical dislocation, blood was collected and organs weighed. Liver tissue was collected for gene expression and biochemical analyses. We observed a significant effect of cinnamon inclusion on the weight of the pancreas (P = 0.0418), intestine (P = 0.0209) and ovary (P = 0.0389). Lower weights of the pancreas and intestine, and a higher ovary weight was observed in birds receiving the CPS diet. Quails fed with cinnamon supplementation also had better feed conversion per egg mass (2.426 g /g, P = 0.0126), and higher triglyceride (1516.60 mg/dL, P = 0.0207), uric acid (7.40 mg/dL, P = 0.0003) and VLDL (300.40 mg/dL, P = 0.0252) contents. A decreased content of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and lower catalase activity was observed in the liver of quails from the CPS diet (0.086 nmoles/mg PTN, and 2.304 H2O2/min/mg PTN, respectively). Quails from the CPS group presented significantly greater expression of FAS (fatty acid synthase, 36,03 AU), ACC (Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase, 31.33 AU), APOAI (apolipoprotein A-I, 803,9 AU), ESR2 (estrogen receptor 2, 0.73 AU) SOD (superoxide dismutase, 4,933.9 AU) and GPx7 (glutathione peroxidase 7, 9.756 AU) than quails from the control group. These results allow us to suggest that cinnamon powder supplementation in the diet of laying quails can promote balance in the metabolism and better performance through the modulation of antioxidant activity and the expression of genes related to lipid metabolism.