Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Fatty acid composition of lipid stores of captive european quails (Coturnix C. coturnix) in spring

Abstract : There is a great variability in migratory and reproductive phenotypes of European quail, Coturnix c. coturnix, that allows us to distinguish between diferente palearctic populations, namely in the western part of its breeding range. Consequently, subpopulations of diferente physiological statuses may overlap, especially in the median part of the distribution range of the species (e.g. in Portugal). Until now only morphophysiological criteria (the width of the subcutaneous pectoral lipid band and the moult stage) have been used to distinguish between different physiological stages but they were insufficiente concerning the distinction of migratory statuses. In February-April 1993, we studied the fatty acid composition of lipid stores of 31 captive males, maintained under a short (n=12) or long (n=21) photoperiod after a winter sexual rest, as new criterion. We collected subcutaneous lipid (triacylglycerol) samples in the interclavicular or furcular region in birds characteristic of each Spring stage of life cycle (wintering, fattening, migration and breeding). Fatty acids were separated and identified by gas-liquid chromatography (GLC). in all stages, the major fatty acid was oleic acid [C18:1(n-9)] (about 50%), followed by palmitic acid (C16:0) (20-30%), linoleic acid [C18:2(n-6)] (11-20%), palmitoleic acid [C16:1(n-7)] (6-10%), stearic acid (C18:0) (4-6%) and cis-vaccenic acid [C18:1(n-7)] (about 2%). Fatty acid composition of the triacylglycerols collected in the wintering stage was different from that of the other stages, and especially from that of the fattening stage. In contrast to the fattening stage, the wintering stage was characterised by higher percentages of stearic, linoleic and palmitic acids, and by lower percentages of palmitoleic and oleic acids. The other stages showed a considerable overlap of their fatty acid profiles. However, there was a similarity between the profiles of the migratory and fattening stages, and also between the breeding and wintering stages. The fatty acid composition may vary with various factors (food, absorption, interactions between acids, etc.), but, in the fattening and migration stages, the birds have a considerable enzymatic capacity to increase the unsaturation degree of the triacylglycerols. Then, to be used as a criterion of their migration status, the fatty acid composition analysis of the lipid stores must be further investigated.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Umr6552 Ethos Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, July 15, 2016 - 10:55:30 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:34:14 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01345692, version 1


David José Dominguez Gonçalves, Jean-Charles Guyomarc'H, Antonio Paulo Fontoura. Fatty acid composition of lipid stores of captive european quails (Coturnix C. coturnix) in spring. Game & Wildlife Science, Office National de la Chasse, 2001, 18 (3-4), pp.531-543. ⟨hal-01345692⟩



Les métriques sont temporairement indisponibles