Muscle Biology and Growth – Program

Understanding cellular processes in skeletal muscle and their effects on the organism

The research contributes to better understanding of regulation and modulation of cellular processes in skeletal muscle and associated tissue including the consequences for growth, metabolism and, animal health. Healthy skeletal muscle is of physiological importance for the farm animal itself but also basis for a sustainable meat production. The projects are embedded in the program areas and can be summarized in following themes:

Cellular signals from muscle and fat and their effects on body composition

The regulation of body composition in farm animals is the result of a complex processes in which signal molecules from muscle and fat cells are involved. Aim of the investigations is the identification of adipokines and myokines and the effects of breed, feeding and further factors on their secretion.
Furthermore, basic mechanisms of the modulation of function and composition of skeletal muscle and their effects on animal health and meat quality are in the focus of research.

Myogenesis as process in development, growth and plasticity of skeletal muscle

Focal points of this topic are molecular and cellular regulatory mechanisms of differentiation and growth of skeletal muscle in farm animals and model organisms.
The characterization of myogenic processes under consideration of myogenic and progenitor cells at different ontogenetic stages are of special interest. Isolated satellite cells from different farm animal species are used as primary cells for simulation of myogenesis in vitro.

Linking intracellular lipid metabolism and muscular adaptation

Muscular plasticity as a basis for functional and/or structural adaptations of the tissue to internal and external stimuli is a prerequisite for the development and maintenance of skeletal musculature of farm animals. Of particular interest is the elucidation of cellular functions of lipids, including physiological and molecular basics of lipid transport and storage.

Myogenesis in different aquaculture species

Knowledge concerning myogenesis in fish derives from a limited number of species so far. Therefore, investigation of myogenic processes in a variety of important aquaculture fish species is one focus of the group. Muscle stem cell populations will be identified and characterized. Furthermore, effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on fish growth and flesh quality will be analyzed.