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Endocrine and molecular regulation mechanisms of the reproductive system of Hungarian White geese investigated under two artificial photoperiodic programs

Zhu, H.X., Liu, X.Q., Hu, M.D., Lei, M.M., Chen, Z., Ying, S.J., Yu, J.N., Dai, Z.C., Shi, Z.D.
Theriogenology 2019 v.123 pp. 167-176
eggs, estradiol, feathers, follicle-stimulating hormone, geese, hypothalamus, luteinizing hormone, meat, neurosecretory system, oviposition, photoperiod, progesterone, reproductive system
Hungarian White geese are regarded as good producers of meat, eggs, and feathers, but specific lighting schedules are required to improve their egg-laying performance. This study reveals the neuroendocrine regulatory mechanisms that govern the reproductive activities and egg-laying performances of Hungarian White geese. The results indicated that increasing the daily photoperiod from a short 8 h period to either 11 h or 14 h initiated reproduction. Egg-laying rates increased faster in the 14 h group, peaking (48.2%) on day 33 as compared to the peak (52.67%) reached on day 53 in the 11 h group. Changes to the plasma estradiol and progesterone concentrations produced similar patterns in the two groups. In the hypothalamus, OPN5, Dio2, c-Fos, and GnRH-I expression levels showed similar sequential increases and decreases. Changes in GnIH and VIP expression levels were the opposite to those of GnRH-I, but the levels peaked earlier under the 14 h photoperiod conditions. Pituitary LH beta and FSH beta expression levels increased at slower rates but remained significantly higher in the 11 h group than in the 14 h group. However, pituitary PRL expression increased considerably earlier and was higher in 14 h geese than in 11 h geese, which was opposite to the observed egg-laying rate patterns. An increase from a short to a relatively long photoperiod (11 h) regulated the neuroendocrine system and led to reproductive activities being sustained for a longer period, which resulted in high egg-laying performances.