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The goal of this experiment was to examine effects of diets supplemented with exogenous inosine monophosphate (IMP) on the growth performance, flavor compounds, enzyme activity and gene expression of chicken. A total of 1,500 healthy, 1-day-old male 3-yellow chickens were used for a 52-d experimental period. Individuals were randomly divided into 5 groups (group I, II, III, IV, V) with 6 replicates per group, and fed a basal diet supplemented with 0.0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3% IMP, respectively. There was no significant response to the increasing dietary IMP level in average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG), and feed:gain ratio (F/G) (P ≥ 0.05). IMP content of the breast and thigh muscle showed an exponential and linear response to the increasing dietary IMP level (P < 0.05), the highest IMP content was obtained when the diet with 0.3% and 0.2% exogenous IMP was fed. There were significant effects of IMP level in diet on free amino acids (FAA) (exponential, linear and quadratic effect, P < 0.05) and delicious amino acids (DAA) (quadratic effect, P < 0.01) content in breast muscle. FAA and DAA content in thigh muscle showed an exponential and linear response (P < 0.05), and quadratic response (P < 0.01) to the increasing dietary IMP level, the highest FAA and DAA content was obtained when the diet with 0.2% exogenous IMP was fed. Dietary IMP supplementation had a quadratic effect on 5′-NT and the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzyme activity in the breast muscle (P < 0.05), and the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) enzyme activity in the thigh muscles increased exponentially and linearly with increasing IMP level in diet (exponential effect, P = 0.061; linear effect, P = 0.059). Cyclohydrolase (ATIC) gene expression in thigh muscle had a quadratic response to the increasing dietary IMP level (P < 0.05), 0.2% exogenous IMP group had the highest (AMPD1) gene expression of the breast muscle and ATIC gene expression of the thigh muscle. These results indicate that dietary IMP did not affect the growth performance of chicken, the diet with 0.2 to 0.3% exogenous IMP is optimal to improve the meat flavor quality in chicken.