Jaime Elizondo explains that epigenetics turn gene expression on or off due to environmental stimuli, such as stress, drugs, food, temperature, relative humidity, etc. (Read: A Closer Look at Epigenetics)
These changes of expression do not affect the gene chain of certain genes, but can explain heredity and the adaptation of certain animals to changes in their environment.
Profitentes says that what the producer can do with this information is “choose the best animals, based on what we show and what we observe.”
For this reason, the name of nutritional adaptation should be considered, which refers to the ability of an animal to maintain good body condition under more demanding and lower quality feeding, that is, to remain in good condition when other animals drop. weight
This is essential for maximum productivity per hectare and is also affected by individual appetite.
In hot climates, it can be noted how some cows and their breeds cannot tolerate the heat generated in the rumen, when digesting the high fiber of the grass, in addition to the moist heat of the earth, from where these animals want to enter. water all day, losing weight and low productivity.
“For the reason that cattle need climatic adaptation and nutritional adaptation, they are resistant to parasites and diseases, taking into account that this is also due to the inheritance of epigenetic changes,” says Elizondo. (Read: Did you know you have a soft calf?)
This means that some species have adapted to a lower quality of diet and can somehow continue it without losing their body condition genes, while other animals do not have this nutritional adaptation and lose weight and productivity.
According to Elizondo, this refers to people, because “it has been shown that the grandchildren of people affected by the famine, which occurred in Ireland many years ago, when the annual crop failed, suffer signs of hunger, even though they ate well.” . This proves that difficult times of nutrition have an impact on the offspring”.
In addition, it has been established by scientists that epigenetic changes can be inherited for up to three generations, and if you continue to choose the right drivers, you can continue to inherit those changes for many generations.
This is the reason why once animals have been identified that could express themselves in the environment at the lowest cost, these characteristics can be propagated throughout the herd.