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Genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and... avian health?

An example of a protein structure. | Wikimedia Commons, Matt Howard
An example of a protein structure. | Wikimedia Commons, Matt Howard
October 17, 2016

The “omics” sciences sound something like an extrasensory experience, but they exist and they are real. At Biomin’s World Nutrition Forum in Vancouver, Canada, last week, there were presentations about these technologies and their relationship with avian intestinal health.

Omics, namely, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics allow for a deeper knowledge of the cellular metabolism of living organisms. With traditional methods of microbiology and histology – researcher Franz Waxenecker says – we know what it is in the intestine, but these new sequencing technologies give us information about what cells actually do.

How do 'omics' affect poultry production?

What do these omics have to do with poultry production? This has to do with the fact that intestinal health is a key point in animal performance. Animal production, as we know it, is putting a lot of pressure to the animal, which has given rise to major challenges regarding intestinal health, nutrient digestibility and disruption of the intestine’s barrier function.

In addition, poultry production now faces the challenge of producing without antibiotic growth promoters. This drives a change in ways of thinking: to see everything as a whole. Scientists said that it is necessary to understand what happens at the cellular level. The so-called omics have been applied to the study of antibiotic resistance and the effect of new growth promoters on bacteria, among other things.

With this in mind, I think we are witnessing changes in our way of producing poultry, different from what we have done so far. What do you think?

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