The effect of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) on insulin-like growth factor 1 gene expression in the rumen tissue of Kermani sheep.

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor of Animal Science Department, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman

2 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.


Fennel from the Apiaceae family is one of the most important medicinal plants that has strong antimicrobial, liver protective and antioxidant properties and has been used by humans since ancient times. The results of various studies on domestic animals have proven that adding the fennel in the diet of animals, increases digestion and growth efficiency, It improves carcass efficiency and small intestine weight and length , improves performance and health status, and improves feed conversion and body weight. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of fennel feeding on IGF1 gene expression in the rumen tissue of Kermani lambs for the first time.
Materials and methods
In this research, 30 Kermani male lambs weighing 27.5 ± 0.45 kg (eight months old) were used. After the end of the study period, the investigated animals were slaughtered for sampling and the rumen weight was recorded. Total RNA was extracted from the rumen tissue and then cDNA was synthesized. The quality of RNA and cDNA was measured using electrophoresis on agarose gel. The Pfaffl et al. method was used to analyze the Real Time PCR data.
Empty rumen weight in animals fed with fennel (780 g) was lower than animals fed with diet without fennel (890 g) (P < 0.05). The extracted total RNA was of good quality, complete, and healthy, and had two bands with sizes of S28 and S18. Electrophoresis of the amplification results of target (IGF1) and reference (GAPDH) genes in rumen tissue on agarose gel showed that the band size for the target gene is 265 bp and for the reference gene is 76 bp. By increasing the level of feeding with fennel, there was a significant increase in IGF1 gene proliferation in rumen tissue (p<0.05). The maximum expression of IGF1 gene was when the animals were fed with a diet containing 2% fennel.
The findings of the present study show that fennel can be used with a beneficial effect on IGF1 gene expression in the rumen in the diet of sheep to improve production functions (by stimulating the growth and development of the rumen). Although according to the findings of the current research, it can be confirmed that fennel can be used for various purposes in sheep breeding, but in future research, in order to reach a definite result, it is better to consider diverse and more complex physiological and epigenetic conditions.


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