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Structure and age-dependant development of the turkey liver: A comparative study on a highly selected and a wild-type turkey line

Hünigen, H., Mainzer, K., Hirschberg, R.M., Custodis, P., Gemeinhardt, O., Masri, S.A., Richardson, K.C., Hafez, H.M. and Plendl, J. (2016) Structure and age-dependant development of the turkey liver: A comparative study on a highly selected and a wild-type turkey line. Journal of Poultry Science, 95 (4). pp. 901-911.

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In this study the macroscopic and microscopic structure of the liver of a fast growing, meat-type turkey line (British United turkeys BUT Big 6, n = 25) and a wild-type turkey line (Wild Canadian turkey, n = 48) were compared at the age of 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 wk. Because the growth plates of long bones were still detectable in the 20-week-old wild-type turkeys, indicating immaturity, a group of 8 wild-type turkeys at the age of 24 wk was included in the original scope of the study. Over the term of the study, the body and liver weights of birds from the meat-type turkey line increased at a faster rate than those of the wild-type turkey line. However, the relative liver weight of the meat-type turkeys declined (from 2.7 to 0.9%) to a greater extent than that of the wild-type turkeys (from 2.8 to 1.9%), suggesting a mismatch in development between muscle weights and liver weights of the meat-type turkeys. Signs of high levels of fat storage in the liver were detected in both lines but were greater in the wild-type turkey line, suggesting a better feed conversion by the extreme-genotype birds i.e., meat-type birds. For the first time, this study presents morphologic data on the structure and arrangement of the lymphatic tissue within the healthy turkey liver, describing two different types of lymphatic aggregations within the liver parenchyma, i.e., aggregations with and without fibrous capsules. Despite differences during development, both adult meat-type and adult wild-type turkeys had similar numbers of lymphatic aggregations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Copyright: © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.
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