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Mutant Wheat Boosts Phosphorous Content In Chicken Feed

March 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Denmark have developed a new variety of wheat that, among other benefits, improves phosphorous digestion in broiler chickens. Minerals such as phosphorus are often tightly bound in phytate. The enzyme phytase helps to break down phytate, increasing mineral availability. Cereals contain genes that code for phytase activity, but not enough to break down phytates in any useful amounts. The Danish researchers discovered a mutant wheat variety that expresses the phytase genes more powerfully, resulting in increased phytase activity. They optimized the variety – dubbed HIGHPHY – and found that in chickens, digestion of calcium and phosphorus went up 14.6 and 22.8 percent, respectively, resulting in stronger legs.
D. Scholey et al., "P and Ca digestibility is increased in broiler diets supplemented with the high-phytase HIGHPHY wheat", Animal, March 31, 2017, © The Animal Consortium
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