Document Type : Original Article


1 Animal Physiology Division, Reproductive Physiology Laboratory, ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bengaluru, India

2 Department of Biochemistry, Jain University, Bengaluru, India

3 Department of Animal Production, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria

4 ICAR - National Fellow, Animal Physiology Division, Reproductive Physiology Laboratory, Bengaluru, India

5 Animal Physiology Division, ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bengaluru, India

6 Director, ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bengaluru, India.


The effect of dietary calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) supplementation on serum biochemical parameters, steroid hormones, gene expression, and the sex ratio was investigated in female New Zealand white rabbits. A total of 25 rabbits were allocated into five treatment groups: The control group was fed with regular pellet feed, whereas, treatment groups were supplemented with Ca and Mg: T1 (0.40% and 0.01%), T2 (0.60% and 0.02%), T3 (0.80% and 0.03%) and T4 (1.00% and 0.04%), respectively. The rabbits were subjected to three breeding cycles. The T3 group skewed towards females (65.33%) from all three breeding. There was elevated Ca concentration in T3 (15.26 ± 0.77 mg dL-1) and T4 (15.61 ± 0.82 mg dL-1) groups compared to the control. The concentration of estradiol was significantly high in T3 and T4 groups at 0.5 days post-coitus (dpc) and T2, T3 and T4 groups at 21dpc. Testosterone was significantly high in T4 group at 0.50 dpc and T2 and T4 group at 21dpc. The expression of 13 genes was studied in the oviduct. Genes such as OVGP1, CCT4, ANXA2 and TLR4 were up-regulated and positively correlated with the female sex ratio. The molecular functions and pathways of up-regulated genes were suggestive of their role in fertilization such as sperm selection, sperm storage, immune regulation, implantation and early embryonic development. The variations in the serum electrolytes, steroid hormones and gene expression might have an impact on the skewing process.


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