Effects of Dietary Methionine Levels on Choline Requirements of Starter White Pekin Ducks

  • Wen, Z.G. (Feed research institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Tang, J. (Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Xie, M. (Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Yang, P.L. (Feed research institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Hou, S.S. (Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Received : 2015.09.03
  • Accepted : 2016.01.07
  • Published : 2016.12.01


A $2{\times}5$ factorial experiment, using 2 dietary methionine levels (0.28% and 0.48%) and 5 dietary choline levels (0, 394, 823, 1,239, and 1,743 mg/kg), was conducted to study the effects of dietary methionine status on choline requirements of starter white Pekin ducks from 7 to 28 days of age. Four hundred eighty 7-d-old male White Pekin ducks were randomly allotted to ten dietary treatments, each containing 6 replicate pens with 8 birds per pen. At 28 d of age, weight gain, feed intake, and feed/gain were measured and the legs of all ducks from each pen were examined for incidence of perosis. Perosis and growth depression were observed in choline-deficient ducks and supplementation of choline reduced perosis and significantly increased weight gain and feed intake regardless of dietary methionine levels (p<0.05). In addition, significant positive effects of dietary methionine supplementation on weight gain, feed intake, and feed/gain were observed at any choline level (p<0.05). Supplementation of 1,743 mg/kg choline in diets alleviated the depression of weight gain and feed intake caused by methionine deficiency at 0.28% methionine level. The interaction between choline and methionine influenced weight gain and feed intake of ducks (p<0.05). At 0.28% methionine level, 1,743 mg/kg choline group caused 4.92% and 3.23% amount of improvement in weight gain and feed intake compared with 1,239 mg/kg choline group, respectively. According to the broken-line regression, the choline requirements of starter Pekin ducks for weight gain and feed intake were 1,472 and 1,424 mg/kg at 0.28% methionine level and 946 and 907 mg/kg at 0.48% methionine level, respectively. It suggested the choline recommendations of starter Pekin ducks on a semi-purified diet were 1448 mg/kg at 0.28% methionine level and 927 mg/kg at 0.48% methionine level, respectively. Compared with the adequate methionine level, menthionine deficiency markedly increased the choline requirements of ducks.


  1. AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists). 2000. Official Methods of Analysis. 17th edn. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
  2. Baker, D., K. M. Halpin, G. Czarnecki, and C. Parsons. 1983. The choline-methionine interrelationship for growth of the chick. Poult. Sci. 62:133-137.
  3. Bernard, R. and J. M. Demers. 1949. Lipotropic activity of choline, betaine, and methionine in ducklings. Can. J. Res. 27:281-289.
  4. Blair, M. E., L. M. Potter, B. A. Bliss, and J. R. Shelton. 1986. Methionine, choline, and sulfate supplementation of practicaltype diets for young turkeys. Poult. Sci. 65:130-137.
  5. Blusztajn, J. K. and R. J. Wurtman. 1983. Choline and cholinergic neurons. Science 221:614-620.
  6. Bornstein, S. and B. Lipstein. 1964. Methionine supplementation of practical broiler rations: II. The value of added methionine in chick starter rations. Br. Poult. Sci. 5:175-186.
  7. Chen, L. X., S. R. Zhang, and G. W. Yue. 1991. A study on the methionine requirement of Jianchang duck and Tianfu$\times$Jianchang crossbred duck. J. Sichuan Agric. Univ. 4:630-642.
  8. Emmert, J. L. and D. H. Baker. 1997. A chick bioassay approach for determining the bioavailable choline concentration in normal and overheated soybean meal, canola meal and peanut meal. J. Nutr. 127:745-752.
  9. Evans, R. J., E. I. Robertson, M. Rhian, and L. A. Wilhelm. 1942. The development of perosis in turkey poults and its prevention. Poult. Sci. 21:422-429.
  10. Harms, R. H. and R. D. Miles. 1984. Effect of supplemental methionine and potassium sulfate on the choline requirement of the turkey poult. Poult. Sci. 63:1464-1466.
  11. Hollenbeck, C. B. 2010. The importance of being choline. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 110:1162-1165.
  12. Jiang, G. Z., M. Wang, W. B. Liu, G. F. Li, and Y. Qian. 2013. Dietary choline requirement for juvenile blunt snout bream, Megalobrama amblycephala. Aquac. Nutr. 19:499-505.
  13. Kasper, C. S., M. R. White, and P. B. Brown. 2000. Choline is required by tilapia when methionine is not in excess. J. Nutr. 130:238-242.
  14. Ketola, H. G. and M. C. Nesheim. 1974. Influence of dietary protein and methionine levels on the requirement for choline by chickens. J. Nutr. 104:1484-1489.
  15. Kita, K., S. Matsunami, and J. Okumura. 1996. Relationship of protein synthesis to mRNA levels in the muscle of chicks under various nutritional conditions. J. Nutr. 126:1827-1832.
  16. Li, Z., L. B. Agellon, and D. E. Vance. 2005. Phosphatidylcholine homeostasis and liver failure. J. Biol. Chem. 280:37798-37802.
  17. Li, Z., G. Wu, R. B. Sher, Z. Khavandgar, M. Hermansson, G. A. Cox, M. R. Doschak, M. Murshed, F. Beier, and D. E. Vance. 2014. Choline kinase beta is required for normal endochondral bone formation. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1840:2112-2122.
  18. Lien, T. F. and D. F. Jan. 1999. The effect on the lipid metabolism of Tsaiya ducks when high levels of choline or methionine are added to the ducks' diet. Asian Australas. J. Anim. Sci. 12:1090-1095.
  19. Mai, K., L. Xiao, Q. Ai, X. Wang, W. Xu, W. Zhang, Z. Liufu, and M. Ren. 2009. Dietary choline requirement for juvenile cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Aquaculture 289:124-128.
  20. Miles, R. D., N. Ruiz, and R. H. Harms. 1983. The interrelationship between methionine, choline, and sulfate in broiler diets. Poult. Sci. 62:495-498.
  21. Molitoris, B. A. and D. H. Baker. 1976. The choline requirement of broiler chicks during the seventh week of life. Poult. Sci. 55:220-224.
  22. NRC (National Research Council). 1994. Nutrient Requirements of Poultry. 9th rev. edn. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, USA.
  23. Ohta, Y. and T. Ishibashi. 1995. Effect of dietary glycine on reduced performance by deficient and excessive methionine in broilers. Nippon Kakin Gakkaishi 32:81-89.
  24. Pesti, G. M., N. J. Benevenga, A. E. Harper, and M. L. Sunde. 1981. Factors influencing the assessment of the availability of choline in feedstuffs. Poult. Sci. 60:188-196.
  25. Pesti, G. M., A. E. Harper, and M. L. Sunde. 1980. Choline/methionine nutrition of starting broiler chicks. Three models for estimating the choline requirement with economic considerations. Poult. Sci. 59:1073-1081.
  26. Quillin, E. C., G. F. Combs, R. D. Creek, and G. L. Romoser. 1961. Effect of choline on the methionine requirements of broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 40:639-645.
  27. Robbins, K. R., A. M. Saxton, and L. L. Southern. 2006. Estimation of nutrient requirements using broken-line regression analysis. J. Anim. Sci. 84:E155-E165.
  28. SAS Institute. 2003. SAS User's Guide: Statistics Version 9.0. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA.
  29. Setoue, M., S. Ohuchi, T. Morita, and K. Sugiyama. 2008. Choline deprivation induces hyperhomocysteinemia in rats fed low methionine diets. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. 54:483-490.
  30. Sterling, K. G., G. M. Pesti, and R. I. Bakalli. 2003. Performance of broiler chicks fed various levels of dietary lysine and crude protein. Poult. Sci. 82:1939-1947.
  31. Standardization Administration of China. 2000. Determination of Amino Acids in Feeds. Standards Press of China, Beijing, China.
  32. Wen, Z. G., J. Tang, S. S. Hou, Y. M. Guo, W. Huang, and M. Xie. 2014. Choline requirements of white Pekin ducks from hatch to 21 days of age. Poult. Sci. 93:3091-3096.
  33. Wessler, I., H. Kilbinger, F. Bittinger, and C. J. Kirkpatrick. 2001. The biological role of non neuronal acetylcholine in plants and humans. Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 85:2-10.
  34. Wu, G. and D. A. Davis. 2005. Interrelationship among methionine, choline, and betaine in channel catfish ictalurus punctutus. J. World Aquac. Soc. 36:337-345.
  35. Zeisel, S. H. and J. K. Blusztajn. 1994. Choline and human nutrition. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 14:269-296.
  36. Zhai, Q. H., X. F. Dong. J. M. Tong, Y. M. Guo, and Y. E. Bao. 2013. Long-term effects of choline on productive performance and egg quality of brown-egg laying hens. Poult. Sci. 92:1824-1829.