Seasonal variations in thermoregulatory patterns enable Morada Nova sheep to adapt to Brazilian semi-arid

Wilma Emanuela da Silva, Jacinara Hody Gurgel Morais Leite, Wallace Sóstene Tavares da Silva, Renato Diógenes Macedo Paiva, José Ernandes Rufino de Sousa, Débora Andréa Evangelista Façanha

Abstract


The present study aimed evaluate possible modifications of thermoregulatory morphophysiological responses of Morada Nova sheep throughout the year in 4 properties of the nucleus of participatory genetic breeding. In the months of March, June, September and December, respiratory rate (RR), rectal temperatures (RT) and surface (ST) were recorded as well as the environmental variables air temperature (airT), relative humidity (RH) wind (Ws). Calculated the radiant heat load (RHL) and the Black Globe Humidity Index (BGHI). The coat thickness was measured and hair samples were collected and determined hair density, hair length and hair diameter. Blood collection was collected for determination of T3 and total T4 concentrations. In the rainy season, which includes the months of March and June, higher values of RR and RT, probably due to the combination of high RH, associated to RHL, BGHI and airT were recorded, as these hamper loss and heat. All values of RT independent of month and flocks remained within values considered normal for the species. September and December are inserted in the dry season, with a low RH factor that can facilitate heat loss through evaporation. In these months, lower values of RT and RR were observed when compared to the rainy season, lower values of RR were recorded between 40 and 60 mov.min-1 . The secretion of thyroid hormones was greater in the environmental conditions considered more comfortable. The homeothermia was maintained by Morada Nova sheep at different times evaluated as indicated by the normal physiological parameters. The rainy season was considered the most stressful for the animals, since they used a more intense set of variables in order to thermoregulate and maintain the homeothermia, which justifies the importance of providing shelters, with the objective of reducing the overheating, even in view of their great adaptive capacity, already demonstrated in previous studies. Changes in the coat characteristics were observed during all the months of the year, assisting for either physical protection or heat dissipation and could therefore be indicated as a thermotolerance phenotypic marker with the potential to be used as selection criteria in breeding programs and conservation of resistant animals to heat.

Keywords


Adaptive characteristics; Coat characteristics; Phenotypic markers.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2019v40n4p1577

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
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DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
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