Selection for litter size has the greatest impact over the other economically important traits when increasing the profitability of mink farmers. The blood metabolic fingerprint of 11 mink dams with good reproduction (GR), yielding a high litter size and 10 mink dams with poor reproduction (PR), yielding a low litter size from the Canadian Centre for Fur Animal Research at Dalhousie University was measured to characterize the metabolic phenotype underlying litter size. No clearly distinctive phenotypes could be assigned to the two groups, however, patterns were observed within each group. Five spectral bins showed significant differences between two groups, where a larger NMR signal intensity was seen in the GR group. These patterns of difference will be further investigated in future studies to identify the single metabolites associated with litter size. To the best of our knowledge, the current study is one of the first metabolomics studies in mink and this study confirms the potential of metabolomics technology for detection of biomarkers in mink. Keywords: metabolomics, American mink, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), principal component analysis (PCA), reproductive performance.

Shannon Spencer, Akos Kenez, Yuri Montaholi, Younes Miar

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Biology - Reproduction 1, , 932, 2018
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