Research into the effects of conventional broiler growth and the effects of diet on broiler muscle began with a study entitled, “The effects of an alternative diet regimen with natural methionine ingredients on white striping breast myopathy in broiler chickens.” In this collaborative study between our laboratory and the laboratory of Dr. Annie King, we found that white striping of broiler breast muscle declined, thus improving the muscle quality, in the diet containing natural methionine ingredients. We theorize that differences in growth between the broilers also led to the differences in striping. In examining the muscle cells at the molecular level, we determined that the conventional diet for these birds produced greater expression of markers for fat deposition and inflammation. A link to the study can be found here: https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pey327
Recently we received funding from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association to further examine the mechanisms contributing to white striping in an examination of the birds’ muscles from hatching to market weight. We will employ histological analyses and transcriptomics to better resolve mechanisms contributing to and associated with white striping in broilers fed a conventional broiler growth diet.