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Role of fatty acids in gene expression in sheep pregnancy

Research Scholar

Jose Roque Jimenez, PhD candidate in animal science, Universidad Autónoma De San Luis Potosí (Mexico)
Alejandro E. Relling, faculty mentor


  • Hometown: San Luis Potosí, Mexico
  • Degrees received: Master of Science in animal science, Universidad Autónoma De San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

What is the issue or problem addresses in your research?

In the sheep industry, postnatal effects of maternal nutrition could have important implications on growth, productivity and reproduction of the offspring. Maternal nutrition is considered a major intrauterine environmental factor in fetal development. One strategy can be the use of fatty acids in the maternal diet. Excessive or insufficient fatty acid intake during pregnancy can use metabolic adaptions that affect the organism growth.

What methodology did you use in your research?

The present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of fatty acids (PUFA and MUFA) supplementation in twelve ewes on mRNA concentration and offspring birth weight of the lambs. Forty-five of pregnancy the samples of placenta and fetal liver were taken for the ewes through cesarean. The samples were homogenized and isolated using TRI Reagent and the RNA was cleaned using MiniprepKit.RNA extractions were running in digital multiplexed gene expression analysis using the NanoStringnCounter system.

What are the purpose/rationale and implications of your research?

First, to know the biology the transport of fatty acids to placenta and the fetus, since there is little information about the role of the fatty acids in pregnancy. Second, the different mRNA concentrations of the different types of genes can be the answer to explain the role of the fatty acids (PUFA and MUFA) in fetal development. Finally, all of this can be used to create models for nutrition and health in all mammals.