There can be considerable variation in the performance of individual lambs grazing on the same pasture. Gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF/MS) was used to profile the relative abundances of metabolites in plasma from growing lambs to determine any correlation effects between plasma metabolites and liveweight gain. Analysis of relative abundance of 336 analyte clusters and liveweight gain revealed that the growth rates of female lambs were significantly positively correlated with 5 analyte clusters and negatively correlated with 5 other analyte clusters. Growth rates of male lambs were likewise significantly positively correlated with 9 analyte clusters and negatively with 5 analyte clusters. Analytes identified as being associated with lamb growth rate included the amino acids valine, methionine, phenylalanine, cystine and asparagine, and oxalic acid, phenylacetic acid, and phosphoric acid. A number of currently unidentified analytes were significantly correlated with growth rate. Stepwise regression of the analytes on lamb growth rate yielded relationships that accounted for 48% and 58% of the variation in female and male lamb growth rates, respectively. This study demonstrated that by using GC-TOF/MS in combination with multivariate statistical techniques it is possible to correlate the presence of specific analytes in sheep plasma with growth rate.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Jan 2010|
- Diet composition
- Lamb nutrition
- Management regime
- Metabolite markers