Improved broiler phosphorus utilization and transporter gene expression

The University of Queensland

  • Project code: PRJ-009784

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Monday, July 6, 2015

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 3-Contributing to efficient and secure chicken production systems


Phosphorus (P) is an expensive feed ingredient and there is a scarcity of global P reserves. There is a need to improve P utilization by broilers. The use of phytase has significantly improved P utilisation by increasing phytate digestion and therefore the amount of P available for absorption but we know from our previous work that the efficiency of P absorption in broilers is low. The aim of this project is therefore to maximise P absorption by delineating the interrelationship between dietary P levels, dietary phytase addition and gene expression, especially transporter genes. This will allow us to develop dietary strategies to enhance P absorption and will lead to improved P utilization, reduced costs of production and lower environmental impact of poultry waste.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The University of Queensland

Objective Summary

The overall aim of the project is to improve the efficiency of P absorption by manipulating diets to increase P transporter gene expression in broilers. To address this aim, the following research questions will be investigated:
•What is the relationship of dietary P level to P transporter gene expression and how does this influence P utilization?
•How do dietary concentrations of P and phytase influence P transporter gene expression?
•Does calcium have a role in modulating P transporter gene expression?
•Does manipulating diets at an early age stimulate the expression of transporter gene and improve dietary P utilization throughout the broiler’s growth cycle?