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https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0241    [Accepted] Published online August 25, 2021.
Plasma metabolites associated with physiological and biochemical indexes indicate the effect of caging stress on mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos)
Chao Zheng1,2  , Yan Wu1  , Zhen Hua Liang1  , Jin Song Pi1  , Shi Bin Cheng1  , Wen Zhuo Wei  , Jing Bo Liu2  , Li Zhi Lu3  , Cheng feng Li4  , Hao Zhang1,* 
1Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Embryo Engineering and Molecular Breeding, Wuhan, 430064, China
2School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang, 621010, China
3Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou, 310021, China
4Hubei Shendan Healthy Food Co..Ltd, Anlu, 432600, China
Correspondence:  Hao Zhang, Tel: +86-027-87156122, Fax: None, Email: 15172520011@163.com
Received: 24 May 2021   • Revised: 22 June 2021   • Accepted: 23 July 2021
Cage rearing has critical implications for the laying duck industry because it is convenient for feeding and management. However, caging stress is a type of chronic stress that induces maladaptation. Environmental stress responses have been extensively studied, but no detailed information is available about the comprehensive changes in plasma metabolites at different stages of caging stress in ducks. We designed this experiment to analyze the effects of caging stress on performance parameters and oxidative stress indexes in ducks.
Furthermore, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS) was used to determine the changes in metabolites in duck plasma at 5 (CR5), 10 (CR10), and 15 (CR15) days after cage rearing and traditional breeding (TB). The associated pathways of differentially altered metabolites were analyzed using KEGG database.
The results of this study indicate that caging stress decreased performance parameters, and the plasma T-SOD levels were increased in the CR10 group compared with the other groups. In addition, 1431 metabolites were detected. Compared with the TB group, 134, 381 and 190 differentially produced metabolites were identified in the CR5, CR10 and CR15 groups, respectively. The results of principal component analysis (PCA) show that the selected components sufficiently distinguish the TB group and CR10 group. KEGG analysis results revealed that the differentially altered metabolites in duck plasma from the CR5 and TB groups were mainly associated with ovarian steroidogenesis, biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids, and phenylalanine metabolism.


In this study, the production performance, blood indexes, number of metabolites and PCA were compared to determine effect of the caging stress stage on ducks. We inferred from the aforementioned experimental results that caging-stressed ducks were in the sensitive phase in the first 5 days after caging, caging for approximately 10 days was an important transition phase, and then the duck continually adapted.
Keywords: Mallard Duck; Caging Stress; Production Performance; Plasma Index; Plasma Metabolites
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