Maternal nutrition affects muscle development in puppies — CAPES

Thaís Correia Costa holds a degree in Animal Sciences from the Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio Mesquita Filho (Unesp), Masters and Doctorate in Animal Sciences from the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV). The researcher received a CAPES grant from the Institutional Internationalization Program (print) in washington state university (UNITED STATES). In her work, she investigated how maternal nutrition of ruminants during gestation affects offspring development and was nominated for the Young Scholar Award from the American Society for Animal Science.

What is your research about?
The main objective of my doctoral research was to study the impact of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on the developmental trajectory of the offspring. Broadly, the goal is to understand the mechanisms that govern an individual’s intrauterine developmental trajectory and how they are modified by maternal nutrition during pregnancy.

Do we already have results? Is it possible to measure them?
Yes! The results of all the experiments of my doctoral project have already been published in scientific journals specialized in animal sciences. In all, there were four articles, one of which was a summary, which addressed the broad subject of the object of study of my research.

The research combines basic and applied sciences, bringing the problems observed in the field as motivation to understand the mechanisms that govern muscle growth and development in production animals. Thus, based on the results observed, it is possible to apply supplementation strategies during the gestation of ruminant females that allow a better development of the muscle tissue of the offspring and, thus, to optimize postnatal production for the production of quality meat. .

What is the culmination of your research?
Nutritional restriction at different periods of pregnancy has different impacts on the energy metabolism of newborn muscle tissue. Based on this work, we have shown that the muscle tissue of goat womb offspring that suffer from restriction in the first half of pregnancy has limitations in energy production, which has a great impact on the survival of the offspring. newborns during the first days of life, as well as an impact on your ability to grow muscle, which affects your productive efficiency. In another work that I developed during my research, we demonstrated that calves born to mothers with diets containing adequate levels of protein during pregnancy exhibit greater muscle tissue deposition, which consequently influences the amount of meat to be produced at slaughter.

How can your research contribute to society?
The work I have developed involves methodologies to assess the mechanisms that govern alterations in skeletal muscle development with the aim of enabling the development of new production technologies. In addition, the topic of my doctoral research has taken more and more space in the field of animal feed and production, and based on the published results, it has become possible to adopt decision-making processes. decisions that impact the efficiency of the ruminant. manufacturing system. .

His research has been awarded prizes. What is its importance for research?
This year, I have been selected to receive the Young Scholar Award from the American Society for Animal Science, which will take place in July in Albuquerque, USA. This award is considered a great prestige by the world scientific community in the field of animal sciences. I am flattered to be able to receive this award as a way to recognize all the work and effort during my doctorate, in addition to being able to represent my country and all my teammates. I believe this award can bring greater visibility to Brazilian science and opportunities for other researchers in the field.

How important is the CAPES scholarship in your career?
The CAPES scholarship was essential for me to stay in the city of Viçosa during my master’s and doctorate and to carry out part of my doctoral research in a renowned institution abroad, which opened doors and opportunities to other researchers in the region.

Image caption:
Picture 1: Goat sector facilities at the Federal University of Viçosa (Photo: Personal Archives)

Banner and image 2: Thaís Costa, CAPES fellow at UFV in the laboratory. Visualization of bovine skeletal muscle under a light microscope (Photo: Personal Archives)

The Coordination for the Development of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) is an agency attached to the Ministry of National Education (MEC).
(Brasilia – CGCOM/CAPES press room)
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