A very informative collection of abstracts on all amino acids was presented at the Poultry Science Association annual meeting
The role of methionine not just as a protein building block, but as a functional nutrient, received considerable attention during the most recent Poultry Science Association (PSA) 2021 annual meeting. Indeed, methionine has a central role in the glutathione peroxidase antioxidant system that is believed to be triggered during thermal stress. Adding extra methionine to feed for heat-stressed broilers was one very interesting approach.
Of course, the relationship of amino acids with each other and lysine continues to be in the spotlight as genetics continue to change. It was really refreshing to see new research on amino acid requirements for newly introduced genetic lines.
Finally, the role and levels of branch-chain amino acids – valine, leucine, and isoleucine – was another hot topic. This is a reflection of the fact that these amino acids are already commercially available in feed grade, at least valine and isoleucine. Also, the negative effects of excess leucine (often from using high levels of DDGS) places extra pressure on nutritionists to understand the requirements of birds regarding these amino acids, which all interact with each other.
All in all, there was a very informative collection of abstracts on all amino acids – something that would make my late professor, Dr. D. H. Baker from the University of Illinois, really happy. Despite broilers being a most common animal in the animal industry, research to fine tune its performance and efficiency through nutrition seems to be keeping pace with new advances in genetics and new ingredients.
I must repeat that I really enjoy participating in such virtual events because I can attend sessions at my own mode and pace. The networking is missing, but that is what expo events are for. I truly hope that scientific meetings will continue to be made virtually available.