Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair/Advisor

Susan Duckett

Committee Member

James Klotz

Committee Member

Celina Checura

Committee Member

Teri Bruce

Committee Member

Ann Foley


Muscle tissue is vital to animal survival and economically essential to livestock producers. Reduced muscle growth can occur from various reasons, including genetics, nutrition, and the pre and postnatal environment. Understanding the mechanisms behind muscle growth can aid in developing strategies to increase muscle mass. Several methods to increase muscle mass in livestock animals are currently being pursued, including nutrition, hormonal therapy, and genetic selection. One newly developing avenue is using miRNA technologies to change the expression of protein-coding genes. miRNA are a type of RNA that regulate over half of protein-coding gene expression. Here we evaluate muscle characteristics such as the miRNA and mRNA transcriptome and myofiber features during pre and postnatal development. Satellite cell, the muscle stem cell, aspects are examined for Texel sheep, who possess a mutation that creates a miRNA target and increased muscle mass. Lastly, we evaluate the effect of altering endogenous miRNA expression with agomiRs and antagomiRs on satellite cells in culture and longissimus tissue in vivo.

Author ORCID Identifier


Available for download on Saturday, August 31, 2024