Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Animal Science


Animal Science


Daniel Peterson


Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) have been shown to have remarkable yet inconsistent metabolic effects in mice, rats, hamsters, chickens, cattle, and humans. In particular, effects on lipogenesis vary with tissue, physiological state and specie. In this study we tested the hypothesis that CLA would differentially affect ducks of the same genetic background but of differing age. Growing (7 wk) and maintenance (11 wk) Moulard ducks were grouped by age and fed a standard diet supplemented with either 5% soybean oil (control) or 5% CLA isomer mixture. Animals were harvested after 3 weeks or 6 weeks for assessment of body composition including adipose, liver, viscera, and empty carcass weight. Serum nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) and glucose concentrations were evaluated, and gene targets were cloned from the duck to use in quantifying mRNA abundance for genes involved in lipogenesis (fatty acid synthase, FAS; acetyl-CoA carboxylase, ACC) and lipid oxidation (carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1, CPT-1) in liver tissue from maintenance animals. After 3 weeks, the growing CLA group exhibited a 24% decrease in dissectible adipose tissue (P < 0.05) while maintenance animals showed no significant diet effect. After 6 weeks, the growing CLA group exhibited a 20% increase in liver mass compared to the control (P < 0.05), but no diet effect on adipose tissue. Maintenance animals receiving dietary CLA had a 42% decrease in adipose tissue mass after 6 weeks, increased serum NEFA, ACC and CPT-1 mRNA after 3 and 6 weeks (P < 0.05), and increased FAS mRNA after 3 weeks of treatment (P < 0.05). These data indicate that CLA have potent effects on lipid metabolism in ducks, but that these effects differ dependent on physiological age.