Feather HSP70 Expression: A Novel Non-Invsive Marker for Heat Stress in Poultry


Heat stress is one of the most challenging stressors to poultry production. Chickens do not have sweat glands and do not cope well with high environmental temperature . Heat stress is devastating to poultry from its strong effects on welfare, growth, feed efficiency, meat quality, resistance to disease, and mortality. Most strategies used to evaluate stress levels in chickens are invasive based on blood sampling or internal tissue collection after animal euthanasia.

The invention consists of using feather HSP 70 gene and protein expression as non-invasive strategy to assess and monitor stress levels induced by heat load in chickens. As the growing feathers regenerate, this strategy would allow measurement during a time-course and dynamic change of stress levels in the same individual without biopsy or animal euthanasia.

This invention shows that HSP70 expression in feather is a reliable and accurate indicator to monitor stress induced by heat load in chickens. Furthermore, this strategy is not invasive, relatively not expensive, rapid (few hours by qPCR, and 1-2 days by Western blot), and allows an evaluation of the dynamic change and time-course of stress levels in the same individual.


Patent Information:
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Provisional United States 62/549,751 8/24/2017   8/24/2018
Animal Agriculture
For Information, Contact:
Bryan Renk
Associate Director for Technology Commercialization
University of Arkansas TCO
Sami Dridi
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