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Research Call

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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13 S 519 Teagasc (UCD, NUIG, ICBF) €1,219,444

Project Title:

A multidisciplinary approach for the development of accurate biological markers of feed efficiency in cattle and pigs

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Mark McGee

Project Abstract

Feed efficient animals are central to profitable, sustainable and efficient Irish beef and pig production. A major constraint to genetic progress in feed efficiency (FE) is the difficulty and enormous expense of measuring it directly. Therefore, robust cost-effective molecular-based biomarkers of FE are necessary. This multidisciplinary study aims to: 1) determine the existence of genotype x environment interactions and the repeatability of FE measures in growing beef cattle both within and across diet types, 2) Identify key gene expression profiles and biological pathways underlying improved FE and 3) Discover robust DNA-based biomarkers for FE, in both beef cattle and pigs. Bovine (both within & across diet type) and porcine models divergent in FE will be developed. Transcriptomic next generation sequencing analysis will be conducted on key biological samples to identify differential gene expression profiles between efficient and inefficient animals. Data will be combined with complementary physiological and proteomic analyses, and interpreted using bioinformatical tools under a systems biology framework. Key genes regulating FE will be identified for polymorphism discovery and will be sequenced to identify genetic variants. These variants will be tested within large, well-phenotyped populations for association with FE. DNA-based biomarkers for FE in beef and pigs will result.

Final Report:

Not available yet.