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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.20.0750    [Accepted] Published online February 15, 2021.
Effects of prolonged photoperiod on growth performance, serum lipids and meat quality of Jinjiang cattle in winter
Yan Yu1  , Jingyun Qiu1  , Jincheng Cao1  , Yingying Guo1  , Hui Bai1  , Shengjuan Wei1  , Peishi Yan1,* 
Department of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Correspondence:  Peishi Yan,Email: yanps@hotmail.com
Received: 30 October 2020   • Revised: 26 December 2020   • Accepted: 2 February 2021
This study was conducted to investigate the potential effects of prolonged photoperiod on the serum lipids, carcass traits, and meat quality of Jinjiang cattle during winter.
Thirty-four Jinjiang bulls aged between 14 and 16 months were randomly assigned to two groups that were alternatively subjected to either natural daylight +4 h supplemental light (long photoperiod, LP) or natural daylight (natural photoperiod, NP) for 96 days. The potential effects on the levels of serum lipids, carcass traits, meat quality, and genes regulating lipid metabolism in the intramuscular fat (IMF) of the cattle were evaluated.
Jinjiang cattle kept under LP showed significant increase in both dry matter intake (DMI) and backfat thickness. the serum glucose (Glu) and the plasma leptin levels were significantly reduced, while that of melatonin and insulin were observed to be increased. The crude fat contents of biceps femoris muscle and longissimus dorsi muscle were higher in LP than in NP group. In longissimus dorsi muscle, the proportions of C17:0 and C18:0 were significantly higher but that of the C16:1 was found to be significantly lower in LP group. The relative mRNA expressions in IMF of longissimus dorsi muscle, the lipid synthesis genes(proliferator-activated receptor gamma, PPAR γ; fatty acid-binding protein,FABP4) and the fatty acid synthesis genes(Acetyl-coa carboxylase, ACACA; fatty acid synthetase, FASN; 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, AGPAT) were significantly up-regulated in LP group(P < 0.05); whereas the hormone-sensitive lipase(HSL) and stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1(SCD1) were significantly down-regulated in LP than in NP group.
Prolonged photoperiod significantly altered the growth performance, hormonal levels, gene expression and fat deposition in Jinjiang cattle. It suggested that the LP improved the fat deposition by regulating the levels of different hormones and genes related to lipid metabolism, thereby improving the fattening of Jinjiang cattle during winter.
Keywords: Photoperiod; Jinjiang Cattle; Serum Lipids; Meat Quality; Gene Expression

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