Applications of Myostatin in Poultry and Aquaculture - A Review

Ayoola John Shoyombo1, Yakubu Abdulmojeed2, Olubunmi Olayinka Alabi1, Mustapha Ayodele Popoola3, Ekemini Moses Okon1, *, Damilare Olaniyi Arije1
1 Department of Animal Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, Landmark University, P.M.B. 1001 Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria
2 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Shab-Lafia Campus, 950101, Lafia, Nigeria
3 Research and Development, Office of the Executive Secretary, TETFUND, Nigeria

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© 2022 Shoyombo et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Animal Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, Landmark University, P.M.B. 1001 Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria; E-mails:;


Polymorphism is an important component of animal genetic improvement. As a result, myostatin gene is largely involved in muscle formation and growth and is a great candidate gene for increased growth of muscle in animals. Myostatin negates the growth of muscle cells and is found across species. Literature shows various applications and importance of myostatin in poultry and aquaculture production. In poultry, variations in the myostatin gene have been linked to growth characteristics. In aquaculture, myostatin influences the enhancement of the muscle tissues of fish. Besides, myostatin plays a role in increasing the lipid content of muscle, lowering circulating glucose levels, and hepatosomatic index in fish. Studies on zebrafish as a model species have confirmed myostatin involvement in the muscle development of fish. Its expression is not limited to skeletal muscle but also occurs in the liver, brain, and other organs. In the myostatin-b-deficient zebrafish, the size of visceral adipose tissues shrank, and more lipids have been observed to accumulate in skeletal muscle than in wild-type fish. The inhibition or complete depletion of functional myostatin is known to cause the “double-muscled” in several cattle breeds and similar traits in other species. However, the “double-muscled” animals have captured the attention of breeders and researchers due to the enhanced muscular tissues; associated with productivity issues. For instance, the effect of myostatin inhibition has been associated with egg production. When compared to wild-type, myostatin homozygous mutant birds had a significantly delayed commencement of egg production in layers. It is therefore imperative to increase the knowledge of myostatin molecular genetics and bioactivity in various tissues in the poultry and aquaculture sector. This will enable improved productivity and enhanced contribution of animal-sourced proteins from both sectors of animal production.

Keywords: Polymorphism, Myostatin, Poultry, Aquaculture, Double muscle, Productivity.