Recent Advances in Livestock Functional Genomics: Focus on Performance and Animal Welfare

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 8276

Special Issue Editors

Department of BioScience and Technology for Food, Agriculture and Environment, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy
Interests: milk quality; fatty acid; lipids quality and lipid oxidation in animal products; gene expression; animal nutrition; sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Faculty of Bioscience and Technology for Food and Agriculture, University of Teramo, Via Renato Balzarini 1, 64100 Teramo, TE, Italy
Interests: animal nutrition; animal product quality; sustainable animal production; rumen microbiota
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

In the last few decades, research on livestock physiology has undergone significant improvement as a direct consequence of the strengthening of molecular investigation techniques (high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques, array technology and protein analysis). For instance, the sequencing of farm animal genomes led to the development of a large set of polymorphisms in key genes associated with livestock performances and qualitative aspects of animal production. 

More recently, strategy based on the evaluation of the whole transcriptome profiling showed very useful in the identification of several molecular indicators which may be associated with animal growth, and may lead to predict the production performances. Specifically, the analysis at the mRNA level proved to be very efficient in highlighting variations in gene expression induced by the application of experimental breeding protocols and in particular as a consequence of variations in the feeding strategies. 

Thus, the scope of this Special Issue is to collect studies focused on the characterization of molecular aspects associated with the quality of animal production and animal welfare, with particular regard to the role of diet in influencing gene expression. Particular attention will be given to studies that will integrate molecular analysis with biochemical evaluations at the protein level, and that will correlate findings with those deriving from the qualitative analysis of animal products.

Prof. Giuseppe Martino
Dr. Ianni Andrea
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • livestock
  • genomics
  • transcriptomics
  • nutrigenomics
  • proteomics
  • computational biology
  • animal breeding
  • product quality

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 319 KiB  
Article
Determining Heat Stress Effects of Multiple Genetic Traits in Tropical Dairy Cattle Using Single-Step Genomic BLUP
Vet. Sci. 2022, 9(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci9020066 - 03 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2601
Abstract
Heat stress is becoming a significant problem in dairy farming, especially in tropical countries, making accurate genetic selection for heat tolerance a priority. This study investigated the effect of heat stress manifestation on genetics for milk yield, milk quality, and dairy health traits [...] Read more.
Heat stress is becoming a significant problem in dairy farming, especially in tropical countries, making accurate genetic selection for heat tolerance a priority. This study investigated the effect of heat stress manifestation on genetics for milk yield, milk quality, and dairy health traits with and without genomic information using single-step genomic best linear unbiased prediction (ssGBLUP) and BLUP in Thai−Holstein crossbred cows. The dataset contained 104,150 test-day records from the first lactation of 15,380 Thai−Holstein crossbred cows. A multiple-trait random regression test-day model on a temperature−humidity index (THI) function was used to estimate the genetic parameters and genetic values. Heat stress started at a THI of 76, and the heritability estimates ranged from moderate to low. The genetic correlation between those traits and heat stress in both BLUP methods was negative. The accuracy of genomic predictions in the ssGBLUP method was higher than the BLUP method. In conclusion, heat stress negatively impacted milk production, increased the somatic cell score, and disrupted the energy balance. Therefore, in dairy cattle genetic improvement programs, heat tolerance is an important trait. The new genetic evaluation method (ssGBLUP) should replace the traditional method (BLUP) for more accurate genetic selection. Full article
18 pages, 7453 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Population Structure for Resistance and Susceptibility to Mastitis in Braunvieh Cattle
Vet. Sci. 2021, 8(12), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci8120329 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2409
Abstract
Mastitis is a disease that causes significant economic losses, since resistance to mastitis is a difficult trait to be improved due to its multifactorial occurrence. Therefore, our objective was to characterize a Mexican Braunvieh cattle population for genetic resistance and susceptibility to mastitis. [...] Read more.
Mastitis is a disease that causes significant economic losses, since resistance to mastitis is a difficult trait to be improved due to its multifactorial occurrence. Therefore, our objective was to characterize a Mexican Braunvieh cattle population for genetic resistance and susceptibility to mastitis. We used 66 SNP markers for 45 candidate genes in 150 animals. The average heterozygosity was 0.445 ± 0.076, a value higher than those reported for some European breeds. The inbreeding coefficient was slightly negative for resistance to subclinical (−0.058 ± 0.055) and clinical (−0.034 ± 0.076) mastitis, possibly due to low selection for the immunological candidate genes that influence these traits. The genotypic profiles for the candidate loci per K-means group were obtained, as well as the group distribution through the graphics of the principal component analysis. The genotypic profiles showed high genetic diversity among groups. Resistance to clinical mastitis had the lowest presence of the heterozygous genotypes. Although the percentage of highly inbred animals (>50%) is up to 13.3%, there are highly heterozygous groups in terms of the studied traits, a favorable indicator of the presence of genetic diversity. The results of this study constitute evidence of the genetic potential of the Mexican Braunvieh population to improve mastitis-related traits. Full article
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14 pages, 3312 KiB  
Article
SOD1 Gene Silencing Promotes Apoptosis and Suppresses Proliferation of Heat-Stressed Bovine Granulosa Cells via Induction of Oxidative Stress
Vet. Sci. 2021, 8(12), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci8120326 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2678
Abstract
Heat stress (HS) compromises dairy cattle reproduction by altering the follicular dynamics, oocyte maturation, and normal physiological function of ovarian granulosa cells (GCs), eventually resulting in oxidative damage and cell apoptosis. To protect the cells from oxidative damage, the Superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1 [...] Read more.
Heat stress (HS) compromises dairy cattle reproduction by altering the follicular dynamics, oocyte maturation, and normal physiological function of ovarian granulosa cells (GCs), eventually resulting in oxidative damage and cell apoptosis. To protect the cells from oxidative damage, the Superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) degraded the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to oxygen (O2) and water. The objective of the current study was to investigate the impact of SOD1 silencing on intracellular ROS accumulation, cell viability, MMP, hormone synthesis (P4, E2), cell proliferation, and apoptosis in GCs under HS. The mechanistic role of SOD1 regulation in the heat-stressed GCs was explored. SOD1 gene was successfully silenced in GCs and confirmed at both transcriptional and translational levels. We found that silencing of SOD1 using siRNA under HS aggravated intracellular accumulation of reactive oxygen species, apoptosis, disrupted the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), altered transition of the cell cycle, and impaired synthesis of progesterone (P4) and estrogen (E2) in GCs. The associative apoptotic, steroidogenic, and cell cycle genes (BAX, Caspase-3, STAR, Cyp11A1, HSP70, PCNA, and CyclinB1) were used to confirm the results. These results identify a novel role of SOD1 in the modulation of bovine ovarian GC apoptosis, which provides a target for improving the fertility of heat-stressed dairy cows in summer. Full article
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