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Prokaryotic expression and active immunisation against recombinant-derived prolactin fusion protein on broodiness and egg-laying in Wanxi-white goose

Posted on 27. March, 2015.

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Seasonal laying and strong broodiness in the Wanxi-white goose (Anser anser), a Chinese indigenous breed, result in its low production of eggs. It is assumed that the onset of broodiness is one of the major factors responsible for egg production. Therefore, eliminating broodiness might be an effective means to improve the reproductive performance.

Broodiness in poultry results from the combination of a variety of hormones or factors within the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis. It is thought that the oestrogen produced by the ovaries during egg laying acts on the hypothalamus to stimulate the secretion of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and other neurotransmitters that act on the pituitary gland to promote the secretion of prolactin (PRL) thus contribute to broody behaviour. PRL is a hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, and previous studies have shown that plasma PRL levels directly correlated with broodiness in fowl. While plasma concentration level of PRL reached its peak will trigger the onset of broodiness, while the broodiness behaviour will promote the secretion of PRL in return, and thus a high level of PRL maintains broodiness behaviour. Injections of PRL in turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) during the laying period can quickly induce broody behaviour, whereas artificial termination of broody behaviour in turkeys or bantam hens resulted in a sharp decline in plasma PRL levels.
These studies indicated that changes of plasma PRL level are the key factor mediating the onset and maintenance of broodiness in poultry.
In the present study, the authors had two aims. First, they sought to produce a recombinant PRL expression system (rPRL) for use in immunising Wanxi-white geese. Second they wanted to determine whether immunisation could decrease broodiness and/or increase egg production in this species.

Read the full article in Avian Biology Research, Volume 8, Number 1, February 2015, pp. 54-58.

Authors: Chen Xingyong, Wang Min, Li Rou and Geng Zhaoyu
College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, 230036, P. R. China

Keywords: Wanxi-white goose, prolactin, prokaryotic expression, active immunisation, broodiness, egg production


Image: Electrophoresis image of the RT-PCR products of the coding domain of goose prolactin. M, Marker; 1, 2, RT-PCR products of prolactin