Selection for Growth and Precocity Alters Muscle Metabolism in Nellore Cattle
To clarify the relationship between beef genetic selection for growth and precocity with muscle metabolism and metabolites, we performed metabolomic analysis using Longissimus lumborum (LL) muscle from Nellore cattle with divergent selection for these traits (high growth, HG; low growth, LG; high precocity, HP; low precocity, LP). Genetic potential for growth affected muscle protein and energetic metabolism. HG animals had a high concentration of arginine, carnosine, and leucine compared to LG animals. HP animals presented a high concentration of glutamine, betaine, creatinine, isoleucine, carnitine, acetyl carnitine, and lower levels of glucose compared to LP animals, affecting protein and fatty acid metabolism. Intensity of selection (high or low) was correlated with changes in protein metabolism, and the type of selection (growth or precocity) affected fat metabolism. In conclusion, both HG and HP appear to be correlated with a high concentration of protein metabolites and changes in protein metabolic pathways, while selection for precocity is more correlated with changes in fat metabolism compared to animals selected for growth.