Cuticle deposition improves the biosecurity of eggs through the laying cycle and can be measured on hatching eggs without compromising embryonic development

Bain, M. M. , Zheng, J., Zigler, M., Whenham, N., Quinlan-Pluck, F., Jones, A. C., Roberts, M., Icken, W., Olori, V. E. and Dunn, I. C. (2019) Cuticle deposition improves the biosecurity of eggs through the laying cycle and can be measured on hatching eggs without compromising embryonic development. Poultry Science, 98(4), pp. 1775-1784. (doi:10.3382/ps/pey528) (PMID:30476345)

Bain, M. M. , Zheng, J., Zigler, M., Whenham, N., Quinlan-Pluck, F., Jones, A. C., Roberts, M., Icken, W., Olori, V. E. and Dunn, I. C. (2019) Cuticle deposition improves the biosecurity of eggs through the laying cycle and can be measured on hatching eggs without compromising embryonic development. Poultry Science, 98(4), pp. 1775-1784. (doi:10.3382/ps/pey528) (PMID:30476345)

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Abstract

The cuticle is part of the egg's natural defense and it can be improved by genetic selection. Prior to adoption of this measurement in breeding programs, questions that need to be addressed are whether improved cuticle deposition will result in a reduced risk of eggs becoming contaminated and whether selection for this trait will have any unintended consequences on the incubation process. Bacterial penetration experiments were carried out using eggs from a pedigree line of broiler breeders (BB) and Rhode Island Red (RIR) layers. Within the natural variation in cuticle deposition in each line, a good cuticle was shown to reduce an egg's susceptibility to penetration by Escherichia coli (BB, P = 0.023) and Salmonella typhimurium (RIR, P < 0.001). Deglycosylation of cuticle proteins had little effect on their antimicrobial activity. The effect of bird age on cuticle deposition was also examined. Shell color decreased with age as anticipated; however, we found no evidence that cuticle deposition decreases with age, at least up to 50 wk. A thicker cuticle could affect the water vapor conductance (WPC) of hatching eggs. The WPC of eggs was, therefore, measured on eggs selected from the top and tail of the cuticle distribution, this time in a Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) pedigree line. Broiler breeder eggs were also tested. No evidence of a relationship between cuticle deposition and WPC was found for LSL or BB eggs. Cuticle deposition measurements require eggs to be stained. Here, we show that this has no adverse effect on embryo development at d 12 of incubation. Thus, we conclude that cuticle deposition is important in preventing bacterial penetration of eggs in genetically divergent breeds of chicken and that the measurement can be practically incorporated into breeding programs. This will contribute to improving the biosecurity of eggs by reducing vertical and horizontal transmission of potentially zoonotic and pathogenic organisms from parent to offspring.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The work presented in this manuscript was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Lohmann Tierzucht, and Aviagen through the BBSRC LINK grant BB/K0070921/1 “Cute-Egg.” The Roslin Institute is funded with a BBSRC institute strategic program grant BB/J004316/1.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Roberts, Professor Mark and Zheng, Dr Jiangxia and Bain, Professor Maureen
Authors: Bain, M. M., Zheng, J., Zigler, M., Whenham, N., Quinlan-Pluck, F., Jones, A. C., Roberts, M., Icken, W., Olori, V. E., and Dunn, I. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Poultry Science
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0032-5791
ISSN (Online):1525-3171
Published Online:24 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Poultry Science Association Inc.
First Published:First published in Poultry Science 98(4): 1775-1784
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
597231Cute-Egg, improvement of eggshell cuticle quality to reduce vertical transmission of zoonotic and pathogenic organismsMaureen BainBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/K006096/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED