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ANR FatInteger : Lipid metabolism flexibility

a levier by which animal may adapt to changes

ANR FatInteger : Lipid metabolism flexibility
Body fat content and its distribution are important issues in animal production. The FATINTEGER project was proposed to gain knowledge around lipid metabolism, which regulates fat storage and its partition between animal tissues.

This project aims to better understand the relationships between gene expression patterns, body composition and growth, with the identification of the master elements. Biomarkers of adiposity, which could be further used for animal monitoring during growth, are also searched. Novel bioinformatics tools to integrate and summarize molecular information in a comprehensive way are developed.

Experimentally-induced plasticity of body composition

Divergent lines for feed efficiency or body composition are compared in growing pigs and chicken. These lines are fed diets differing in feed energy sources (cereals or lipids and by-products), each providing a same level of metabolizable energy and crude proteins. Then, the cellular actors and master elements acting together in regulating body fat content and partition are analyzed.

Networks among cellular actors


Transcriptional and biochemical large datasets are acquired in key tissues (adipose tissues, muscle, liver) and the blood. Statistical and bioinformatics methods are used to find the genes that work together, their upstream regulators, and relationships with phenotypes. Molecular actors are also observed by gene evolution between mammals and other vertebrates, to help in choosing specific or generic candidates for forthcoming feeding or genetic schemes.
Specific responses to diets involved both energy and protein metabolisms
The responses to diets are clearly different between species. In chicken, there were no dietary-related differences in growth performance and fat contents. This means that chicken are able to synthetize a same amount of lipids beside differences in dietary fat content. In pigs, the diets altered growth and body composition. In both species, not only energy metabolism but also protein metabolisms were affected, which underscores interconnections between the two in the use of feed energy and in the control of body composition.

Coordination and partners

This program is coordinated by UMR PEGASE and is funded by the French National Agency for Research (ANR).
He started on March 2012 and is expected to end on March 2015. More than 30 people are associated with physiological, phylogenetics, statistics and bio-informatics skills

  • INRA : PEGASE (Rennes) ; URA and PRC (Tours)
  • CNRS : IRISA (Rennes)
  • AGROCAMPUS ouest : LMA-IRMAR (Rennes)

More information available at:

Farm feed findings. In International Innovation : Environment. pp 73-75. Aout 2013


Florence Gondret (florence.gondret[at]
UMR PEGASE, Domaine de la Prise, 35590 Saint Gilles, France