Now showing items 1-20 of 3135

    • Genetic variability in the feeding behavior of crossbred growing cattle and associations with performance and feed efficiency

      Kelly, David N; Sleator, Roy D; Murphy, Craig P; Conroy, Stephen B; Berry, Donagh P; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Ireland; 17/S/235 (GreenBreed) (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-10-21)
      The objectives of the present study were to estimate genetic parameters for several feeding behavior traits in growing cattle, as well as the genetic associations among and between feeding behavior and both performance and feed efficiency traits. An additional objective was to investigate the use of feeding behavior traits as predictors of genetic merit for feed intake. Feed intake and live-weight data on 6,088 growing cattle were used of which 4,672 had ultrasound data and 1,548 had feeding behavior data. Feeding behavior traits were defined based on individual feed events or meal events (where individual feed events were grouped into meals). Univariate and bivariate animal linear mixed models were used to estimate (co)variance components. Heritability estimates (± SE) for the feeding behavior traits ranged from 0.19 ± 0.08 for meals per day to 0.61 ± 0.10 for feeding time per day. The coefficient of genetic variation per trait varied from 5% for meals per day to 22% for the duration of each feed event. Genetically heavier cattle, those with a higher daily energy intake (MEI), or those that grew faster had a faster feeding rate, as well as a greater energy intake per feed event and per meal. Better daily feed efficiency (i.e., lower residual energy intake) was genetically associated with both a shorter feeding time per day and shorter meal time per day. In a validation population of 321 steers and heifers, the ability of estimated breeding values (EBV) for MEI to predict (adjusted) phenotypic MEI was demonstrated; EBVs for MEI were estimated using multi-trait models with different sets of predictor traits such as liveweight and/or feeding behaviors. The correlation (± SE) between phenotypic MEI and EBV for MEI marginally improved (P < 0.001) from 0.64 ± 0.03 to 0.68 ± 0.03 when feeding behavior phenotypes from the validation population were included in a genetic evaluation that already included phenotypic mid-test metabolic live-weight from the validation population. This is one of the largest studies demonstrating that significant exploitable genetic variation exists in the feeding behavior of young crossbred growing cattle; such feeding behavior traits are also genetically correlated with several performance and feed efficiency metrics. Nonetheless, there was only a marginal benefit to the inclusion of time-related feeding behavior phenotypes in a genetic evaluation for MEI to improve the precision of the EBVs for this trait.
    • Molecular-genetic characterization of human parvovirus B19 prevalent in Kerala State, India

      Seetha, Dayakar; Pillai, Heera R.; Nori, Sai Ravi Chandra; Kalpathodi, Sanu Ghosh; Thulasi, Vineetha P.; Nair, Radhakrishnan R.; Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-05-05)
      Background Human parvovirus B19V is a DNA virus, and a member of the family Parvoviridae, that causes various clinical manifestations, from asymptomatic to persistent infection that is associated with different autoimmune diseases. The parvovirus B19 evolves with a very high mutation rate that is closer to those of existing RNA viruses. Globally circulating B19V is currently classified into three genotypes, but their distribution is not spatially and temporally correlated. Except for a few recent reports on B19V entry into the human host and its genetic diversity, there is a lack of sufficient studies on this virus from distinct geographical locations and no clear understanding of its evolution has been documented. Methods To better understand the evolution of the Human parvo B19V virus from India's southern part, a geographically distinct location with no reports of B19V genomes, we have screened for B19V in 456 suspected cases using VP1/2 surface marker genes, and its characteristics were studied in detail. Amongst 456 clinically suspected B19V samples, 7.2% (33/456) were found positive by nested PCR (nPCR) were subsequently validated by real-time PCR, Sanger sequencing, and metagenome analysis. Results Human parvovirus B19 infection was shown among 33 of 456 patients when tested by nPCR; 30 among these were also positive by qPCR and were subsequently confirmed by sequencing 75% nPCR positive samples and 76% qPCR positive samples were from patients with age. ≥ 50 years respectively (Additional file 1: Table S1). The complete VP1/2 gene assembly from the South Indian strain showed three novel mutations (T122A, V128I, I283V), which might significantly impact the stability and virulence of the B19V virus circulating in this part of the world. These mutations might be crucial for its adaptive evolutionary strategies facilitating the spread and infectivity potential of the virus. In maximum likelihood phylogeny of VP1/2 sequences, the South Indian B19V strain forms a separate clade closer to the existing genotype two strains circulating worldwide. Conclusion Our study contributes to a better understanding of the human parvovirus's genetic and evolutionary characteristics in South India. Also, it highlights the possibility that a positive selection pressure acting on VP1/2 could increase the survival and replication capabilities of the viruses.
    • The influence of animal species, gender and tissue on the structural, biophysical, biochemical and biological properties of collagen sponges

      Sorushanova, Anna; Skoufos, Ioannis; Tzora, Athina; Mullen, Anne Maria; Zeugolis, Dimitrios I.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship; Teagasc/Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; European Research Council; 2014045; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-01-21)
      Although collagen type I is extensively used in biomedicine, no study to-date has assessed how the properties of the produced scaffolds are affected as a function of species, gender and tissue from which the collagen was extracted. Herein, we extracted and characterised collagen from porcine and bovine, male and female and skin and tendon tissues and we subsequently fabricated and assessed the structural, biophysical, biochemical and biological properties of collagen sponges. All collagen preparations were of similar purity and free-amine content (p > 0.05). In general, the porcine groups yielded more collagen; had higher (p < 0.05) denaturation temperature and resistance to enzymatic degradation; and lower (p < 0.05) swelling ratio and compression stress and modulus than the bovine groups of the same gender and tissue. All collagen preparations supported growth of human dermal fibroblasts and exhibited similar biological response to human THP-1 monocytes. These results further illustrate the need for standardisation of collagen preparations for the development of reproducible collagen-based devices.
    • Sire contribution to fertilization failure and early embryo survival in cattle

      O'Callaghan, E.; Sánchez, J.M.; McDonald, M.; Kelly, A.K.; Hamdi, M.; Maicas, C.; Fair, S.; Kenny, D.A.; Lonergan, P.; Science Foundation Ireland; et al. (American Dairy Science Association, 2021-06)
      Despite passing routine laboratory tests of semen quality, bulls used in artificial insemination (AI) exhibit a significant range in field fertility. The objective of this study was to determine whether subfertility in AI bulls is due to issues of sperm transport to the site of fertilization, fertilization failure, or failure of early embryo or conceptus development. In experiment 1, Holstein-Friesian bulls (3 high fertility, HF, and 3 low fertility, LF) were selected from the national population of AI bulls based on adjusted fertility scores from a minimum of 500 inseminations (HF: +4.37% and LF: −12.7%; mean = 0%). Superovulated beef heifers were blocked based on estimated number of follicles at the time of AI and inseminated with semen from HF or LF bulls (n = 3–4 heifers per bull; total 19 heifers). Following slaughter 7 d later, the number of corpora lutea was counted and the uteri were flushed. Recovered structures (oocytes/embryos) were classified according to developmental stage and stained with 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole to assess number of cells and accessory sperm. Overall recovery rate (total structures recovered/total corpora lutea) was 52.6% and was not different between groups. Mean (± standard error of the mean) number of embryos recovered per recipient was 8.7 ± 5.2 and 9.4 ± 5.5 for HF and LF, respectively. Overall fertilization rate of recovered structures was not different between groups. However, more embryos were at advanced stages of development (all blastocyst stages combined), reflected in a greater mean embryo cell number on d 7 for HF versus LF bulls. Number of accessory sperm was greater for embryos derived from HF than for LF bulls. The aim of experiment 2 was to evaluate the effect of sire fertility on survival of bovine embryos to d 15. Day 7 blastocysts were produced in vitro using semen from the same HF (n = 3) and LF (n = 3) bulls and transferred in groups of 5–10 to synchronized heifers (n = 7 heifers per bull; total 42 heifers). Conceptus recovery rate on d 15 was higher in HF (59.4%,) versus LF (45.0%). Mean length of recovered conceptuses for HF bulls was not affected by fertility status. In conclusion, while differences in field fertility among AI sires used in this study were not reflected in fertilization rate, differences in embryo quality were apparent as early as d 7. These differences likely contributed to the higher proportion of conceptuses surviving to d 15 in HF bulls.
    • Modulation, microbiota and inflammation in the adult CF gut: A prospective study

      Ronan, NJ; Einarsson, GG; Deane, J; Fouhy, F; Rea, M; Hill, C; Shanahan, F; Elborn, JS; Ross, RP; McCarthy, M; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2022-09)
      Background Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has prominent gastrointestinal and pancreatic manifestations. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulation on, gastrointestinal inflammation, pancreatic function and gut microbiota composition in people with cystic fibrosis (CF) and the G551D-CFTR mutation. Methods Fourteen adult patients with the G551D-CFTR mutation were assessed clinically at baseline and for up to 1 year after treatment with ivacaftor. The change in gut inflammatory markers (calprotectin and lactoferrin), exocrine pancreatic status and gut microbiota composition and structure were assessed in stool samples. Results There was no significant change in faecal calprotectin nor lactoferrin in patients with treatment while all patients remained severely pancreatic insufficient. There was no significant change in gut microbiota diversity and richness following treatment. Conclusion There was no significant change in gut inflammation after partial restoration of CFTR function with ivacaftor, suggesting that excess gut inflammation in CF is multi-factorial in aetiology. In this adult cohort, exocrine pancreatic function was irreversibly lost. Longer term follow-up may reveal more dynamic changes in the gut microbiota and possible restoration of CFTR function.
    • Reagent Free Electrochemical-Based Detection of Silver Ions at Interdigitated Micro Electrodes Using in Situ pH Control

      Wasiewska, Luiza Adela; Seymour, Ian; Patella, Bernardo; Burgess, Catherine; Duffy, Geraldine; O'Riordan, Alan; Science foundation Ireland; 6/RC/3835 (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2020-07-10)
      Silver ions, the most toxic form of silver, can be present in drinking water due to their release from silver nanoparticles which are widely used in consumer products. Due to their adverse health effects, a quick portable approach for detection in drinking water is needed. Herein we report on the development of an electrochemical sensor for silver ions detection in tap water using linear sweep voltammetry with in situ pH control; enabled by closely space interdigitated electrode arrays. The in situ pH control approach, allows the pH of a test solution to be tailored to pH 3 thereby eliminating the current need for acid addition. A calibration curve between 0.2 - 10 µM was established for silver detection in sodium acetate when 1.25 V and 1.65 V was applied at the protonator electrode during deposition and stripping, respectively, as a proof of concept study. For the final application in tap water, 1.65 V was applied at the protonator electrode during deposition and stripping. The chlorine ions, present in tap water as a consequence of the disinfection process, facilitated the silver detection and no additional electrolyte had to be added. Combination of complexation of silver ions with chlorine coupled with in situ pH control resulted in linear calibration range between 0.25 and 2 µM in tap water without the need for acidification.
    • Early life nutrition affects the molecular ontogeny of testicular development in the young bull calf

      Coen, Stephen; Keogh, Kate; Lonergan, Patrick; Fair, Sean; Kenny, David (Research Square Platform LLC, 2022-05-25)
      Enhanced early life nutrition accelerates sexual development in the bull calf through neuroendocrine-signalling mediated via the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. Our aim was to assess the impact of contrasting feeding regimes in bull calves during the first 12 weeks of life on the testes transcriptome and proteome. Holstein-Friesian bull calves were offered either a high (HI) or moderate (MOD) plane of nutrition, designed to support target growth rates of 1.0 and 0.5 kg/day, respectively. At 12 weeks of age all calves were euthanized, testicular parenchyma sampled, and global transcriptome (miRNAseq and mRNAseq) and proteome analyses undertaken. Bioinformatic analyses revealed 7 differentially expressed (DE) miRNA and 20 DE mRNA. There were no differentially abundant proteins between the two dietary groups. Integration of omics results highlighted a potential role for the cadherin gene, CDH13, in earlier reproductive development. Furthermore, co-regulatory network analysis of the proteomic data revealed CDH13 as a hub protein within a network enriched for processes related to insulin, IGF-1, androgen and Sertoli cell junction signalling pathways as well as cholesterol biosynthesis. Overall, results highlight a potential role for CDH13 in mediating earlier reproductive development as a consequence of enhanced early life nutrition in the bull calf.
    • Validation and robustness testing of a HPLC method for the determination of avermectins and moxidectin in animal liver samples using an alumina column clean-up

      Danaher, Martin; O’Keeffe, Michael; Glennon, Jeremy D.; Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Republic of Ireland, (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2000-09-15)
      A multi-residue method has been developed for the quantitative determination of moxidectin, abamectin, doramectin and ivermectin in liver samples, with capability for qualitative identification of the presence of eprinomectin. Liver samples are extracted with isooctane, followed by clean-up on alumina-N solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridges. Extracts are derivatised and determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection. The method was validated using bovine liver fortified at levels of 4 and 20 μg kg−1 with the drugs. The mean recovery from bovine liver ranged between 90 and 96%. The intra and inter-assay variations showed RSD typically of <5% and <10%, respectively. The procedure was applied also to ovine and porcine liver, giving similar results. A robustness study, carried out on the alumina clean-up step, indicated that the step is relatively insensitive to method changes. However, significant differences overall were found for the type of alumina and/or commercial SPE cartridge used. The limit of quantitation of the method is 2 μg kg−1 (ppb).
    • An association analysis of sow parity, live-weight and back-fat depth as indicators of sow productivity

      Lavery, A.; Lawlor, P.G.; Magowan, E.; Miller, H.M.; O’Driscoll, K.; Berry, D.P.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; University of Leeds (Elsevier BV, 2019)
      Understanding how critical sow live-weight and back-fat depth during gestation are in ensuring optimum sow productivity is important. The objective of this study was to quantify the association between sow parity, live-weight and back-fat depth during gestation with subsequent sow reproductive performance. Records of 1058 sows and 13 827 piglets from 10 trials on two research farms between the years 2005 and 2015 were analysed. Sows ranged from parity 1 to 6 with the number of sows per parity distributed as follows: 232, 277, 180, 131, 132 and 106, respectively. Variables that were analysed included total born (TB), born alive (BA), piglet birth weight (BtWT), pre-weaning mortality (PWM), piglet wean weight (WnWT), number of piglets weaned (Wn), wean to service interval (WSI), piglets born alive in subsequent farrowing and sow lactation feed intake. Calculated variables included the within-litter CV in birth weight (LtV), pre-weaning growth rate per litter (PWG), total litter gain (TLG), lactation efficiency and litter size reared after cross-fostering. Data were analysed using linear mixed models accounting for covariance among records. Third and fourth parity sows had more (P<0.05) TB, BA and heavier BtWT compared with gilts and parity 6 sow contemporaries. Parities 2 and 3 sows weaned more (P<0.05) piglets than older sows. These piglets had heavier (P<0.05) birth weights than those from gilt litters. LtV and PWM were greater (P<0.01) in litters born to parity 5 sows than those born to younger sows. Sow live-weight and back-fat depth at service, days 25 and 50 of gestation were not associated with TB, BA, BtWT, LtV, PWG, WnWT or lactation efficiency (P>0.05). Heavier sow live-weight throughout gestation was associated with an increase in PWM (P<0.01) and reduced Wn and lactation feed intake (P<0.05). Deeper back-fat in late gestation was associated with fewer (P<0.05) BA but heavier (P<0.05) BtWT, whereas deeper back-fat depth throughout gestation was associated with reduced (P<0.01) lactation feed intake. Sow back-fat depth was not associated with LtV, PWG, TLG, WSI or piglets born alive in subsequent farrowing (P>0.05). In conclusion, this study showed that sow parity, live-weight and back-fat depth can be used as indicators of reproductive performance. In addition, this study also provides validation for future development of a benchmarking tool to monitor and improve the productivity of modern sow herd.
    • Detection of stx2 from Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) by a surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) sensor using recycled silicon chips

      Yang, Yuqing; Adela Wasiewska, Luiza; Burgess, Catherine M.; Duffy, Geraldine; Lovera, Pierre; O'Riordan, Alan; European Union; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-12-15)
      In this research, a selective, cost-efficient, and highly sensitive Ag nanostructure Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) sensor was developed as a methodological approach to rapidly detect a targetss-DNA (stx2) in STEC (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli). The Ag nanostructure-based SERS substrate was functionalized by two types of thiols: thiol-ss-DNA for bonding target ss-DNA and 6-Mercapto-1-hexanol (HS(CH2)6OH) for blocking the Ag nanostructure surface. Methylene Blue (MB) was used as a Raman marker to quantify target ss-DNA, as well as a model molecule to characterize the electrodeposited Ag nanostructure SERS substrate. Ag nanostructure SERS substrates showed good sensitivity and repeatability towards MB detection, with a LOD = 0.3158 μM, and RSD = 12.48% (at 45 different random points for 0.1 μM MB). More importantly, the Ag nanostructure/ss-DNA SERS substrate showed good selectivity towards STEC O157 stx2 target DNA, as well as good linearity and sensitivity towards its detection in a buffer solution. A limit of detection of 0.4900 aM and a wide linear range from 1 aM to 100 pM were demonstrated. The SERS sensors were able to identify target DNA (stx2) in a STEC strain and the study showed proof of principle that SERS substrate has potential as a cost-effective, highly selective, highly sensitive DNA and bacteria sensor without the aid of DNA amplification. With further development and validation, this methodological approach has the potential for point-of-use detection for instance on a farm or in the food industry.
    • Effects of pen faeces and feed contamination in biomarkers determination in oral fluid of pigs

      Franco-Martínez, Lorena; Ortín-Bustillo, Alba; Rubio, Camila P.; Escribano, Damián; López-Arjona, Marina; García-Manzanilla, Edgar; Cerón, José J.; Martínez-Subiela, Silvia; Tvarijonaviciute, Asta; Tecles, Fernando; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-12-20)
      The present study aims to evaluate the possible effects of the presence of pen faeces and feed on the measurement of a panel of biomarkers in porcine oral fluid. For this, clean porcine oral fluid was pooled and incubated with two different concentrations of pen faeces or feed representing a high or low level of contamination with each material. In addition, these pools were aliquoted and subjected to centrifugation, filtration or chemical clarification to evaluate if these techniques could revert the effects of those contaminants in biomarker evaluation. A panel of 21 biomarkers that assessed stress, inflammation, immune system and redox homeostasis among others, were measured for all aliquots. Changes of statistical relevance (p < 0.05) in oral fluid contaminated with pen faeces or feed versus untreated samples were observed for all methods employed with the exception of adenosine deaminase (ADA) and creatine kinase (CK) in oral fluid contaminated with pen faeces or feed. Pen faeces did not affect the measurement of haptoglobin, superoxide dismutase, CK, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), ADA and cortisol (when the latter is measured by chemiluminescence); while uric acid, LDH, CK, ADA, and hydrogen peroxide methods were not affected by the presence of feed in oral fluid. The effects of centrifugation, filtration or chemical clarification with chitosan in these contaminated samples were modest and for most cases did not caused baseline levels on the measured biomarkers. In conclusion, the presence of pen faeces or feed in porcine oral fluid can interfere with the results obtained when analytes are measured.
    • Low temperature microfiltration of skim milk: Impact of membrane type, configuration and concentration factor on serum protein permeation efficiency

      Subhir, Surabhi; McSweeney, Paul L.H.; Fenelon, Mark; Tobin, John T.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; FIRM, 15/F/683 (Elsevier, 2023-02-28)
      Protein transmission, permeate flux and energy consumption during MF of skim milk was evaluated at 7 °C using two discrete 800 kDa polymeric MF membranes. Filtration trials determined optimum process parameters (i.e., transmembrane pressure and volume concentration factor) and membrane configuration (in-series or in-parallel) to maximise serum protein permeation. This study demonstrated that a combination of higher VCF (3) and lower TMP (75 kPa), with an in-parallel membrane configuration resulted in the most efficient rate of permeation of serum protein per kg of permeate produced. However, from an energy perspective, an in-parallel configuration with a TMP of 75 kPa and a lower VCF2 was the most efficient process, consuming between 1.28 and 1.57 kW h kg−1 of crude protein permeated. Additionally, the permeation of serum β-casein at low temperature was governed by the uniformity of the pore size distribution in discrete MF membranes with the same nominal molecular mass cut-off.
    • An investigation of extracellular vesicles in bovine colostrum, first milk and milk over the lactation curve

      Santoro, Jessie; Mukhopadhya, Anindya; Oliver, Charlotte; Brodkorb, Andre; Giblin, Linda; O'Driscoll, Lorraine; Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine, Ireland; Science Foundation Ireland; 17/F/234; 16/RC/3835 VistaMilk (Elsevier, 2023-02-01)
      Extracellular vesicles (EVs) in milk have claimed benefits ranging from conveying immunological privilege to infants to being suitable as natural delivery vehicles for therapeutic drugs. However, a longitudinal study of bovine EVs quantities and characteristics in colostrum (COL), first milk (FM) and throughout the lactation curve of mature milk (MM) had never been performed and so was our aim. COL, FM and 9 months of MM samples were collected. Caseins -overlapping size with EVs- were removed. EVs were collected by density gradient ultracentrifugation and characterised by SDS-PAGE, Bradford assay, nanoparticle tracking analysis, immunoblotting, imaging flow cytometry analysis, and transmission electron microscopy. COL and FM had substantially more EVs than MM, with COL enriched in small EVs. No significant differences were observed between months 1–9 of MM. Altogether, although COL and FM are particularly rich sources of EVs, mature milk throughout the lactation curve is also an abundant source of intact EVs.
    • Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the microbiota-gut–brain axis

      Seira Oriach, Clara; Robertson, Ruairi C.; Stanton, Catherine; Cryan, John F.; Dinan, Timothy G.; Science Foundation Ireland; Health Research Board of Ireland; Sea Change Strategy, NutraMara programme; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in Ireland; SFI/12/RC/2273; et al. (Elsevier, 2016-04-30)
      Recent research has provided strong evidence for the role of the commensal gut microbiota in brain function and behaviour. Many potential pathways are involved in this bidirectional communication between the gut microbiota and the brain such as immune mechanisms, the vagus nerve and microbial neurometabolite production. Dysbiosis of gut microbial function has been associated with behavioural and neurophysical deficits, therefore research focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies to treat psychiatric disorders by targeting the gut microbiota is rapidly growing. Numerous factors can influence the gut microbiota composition such as health status, mode of birth delivery and genetics, but diet is considered among the most crucial factors impacting on the human gut microbiota from infancy to old age. Thus, dietary interventions may have the potential to modulate psychiatric symptoms associated with gut–brain axis dysfunction. Further clinical and in vivo studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying the link between nutrition, gut microbiota and control of behaviour and mental health.
    • Investigation of breakage behavior and its effects on spray-dried agglomerated whey protein-lactose powders: Effect of protein and lactose contents

      Han, Jie; Fitzpatrick, John; Cronin, Kevin; Maidannyk, Valentyn; Miao, Song; Teagasc; 0153 (Elsevier, 2022-09-22)
      Particle breakage of dairy powders occurs easily during many processes, reducing the powder functionality. The characteristics of particles and the applied stress from processing conditions on the particles are 2 main factors that can be manipulated to reduce breakage. In this study, we explored the effect of whey protein and lactose contents on dynamic breakage in agglomerated whey protein-lactose powders to provide useful information, in terms of particle characteristics, for controlling unwanted dairy powder breakage. A series of model agglomerates with different whey protein:lactose ratios were produced under the same spray-drying conditions, through a pilot plant trial. We evaluated physical characteristics, composition, and structure of samples; analyzed dynamic breakage under different mechanical stresses; and investigated the rehydration and water adsorption properties of model powders before and after breakage. The particle size and irregularity of agglomerates with more lactose was significantly higher than of samples that contained more protein. This resulted in higher particle breakage during dynamic breakage for samples with more lactose. The breakage of agglomerates was affected by the moisture content of powders and fatigue, where particle breakage happens when mechanical loads, lower than the strength of particles, occur multiple times. Breakage changed the morphology and surface composition of particles and decreased particle size. It also decreased the dispersibility of powders and increased the wetting time of wettable samples but decreased the wetting time of powders with poor wettability. Breakage accelerated time-dependent crystallization and decreased the crystallization temperature but did not affect the glass transition temperature of samples. Thus, under the same drying conditions, composition of powders significantly affected breakage, mainly by altering the physical properties of their particles, which resulted in deteriorated functionality.
    • Ammonia emissions from agriculture and their contribution to fine particulate matter: A review of implications for human health

      Wyer, Katie E.; Kelleghan, David B.; Blanes-Vidal, Victoria; Schauberger, Günther; Curran, Thomas P.; Irish Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine; 2019R554 (Elsevier, 2022-12-01)
      Atmospheric ammonia (NH3) released from agriculture is contributing significantly to acidification and atmospheric NH3 may have on human health is much less readily available. The potential direct impact of NH3 on the health of the general public is under-represented in scientific literature, though there have been several studies which indicate that NH3 has a direct effect on the respiratory health of those who handle livestock. These health impacts can include a reduced lung function, irritation to the throat and eyes, and increased coughing and phlegm expulsion. More recent studies have indicated that agricultural NH3 may directly influence the early on-set of asthma in young children. In addition to the potential direct impact of ammonia, it is also a substantial contributor to the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) fraction (namely the US and Europe); where it accounts for the formation of 30% and 50% of all PM2.5 respectively. PM2.5 has the ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and cause long term illnesses such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer. Hence, PM2.5 causes economic losses which equate to billions of dollars (US) to the global economy annually. Both premature deaths associated with the health impacts from PM2.5 and economic losses could be mitigated with a reduction in NH3 emissions resulting from agriculture. As agriculture contributes to more than 81% of all global NH3 emissions, it is imperative that food production does not come at a cost to the world's ability to breathe; where reductions in NH3 emissions can be easier to achieve than other associated pollutants.
    • Hoof lesions in partly housed pasture-based dairy cows

      Browne, N.; Hudson, C.D.; Crossley, R.E.; Sugrue, K.; Huxley, J.N.; Conneely, M.; Dairy Research Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Scholarship (Elsevier, 2022-09-27)
      Lameness is a symptom of a painful disorder affecting the limbs, which impacts dairy cow welfare and productivity. Lameness is primarily caused by hoof lesions. The prevalence of different lesion types can differ depending on environmental conditions and farm management practices. The aims of this observational study were to establish the cow-level and herd-level lesion prevalence during both housing and grazing periods in a partly housed, pasture-based system, establish the prevalence of lesions always associated with pain (“alarm” lesion), identify the lesions associated with a higher lameness score, determine relationships between lesions, and identify risk factors for digital dermatitis. On 98 farms during the grazing period and on 74 of the same farms during the housing period, every cow was lameness scored (0–3 lameness scoring scale), and the hind hooves of lame cows (score 2 and 3) were examined (maximum 20 cows per visit) and the prevalence of each lesion type recorded. To gather data on potential predictors for the risk factor analysis, a questionnaire with the farmer was conducted on lameness management practices and infrastructure measurements were taken at each visit. Cow-level data were also collected (e.g., parity, breed, milk yield, and so on). Noninfectious lesions were found to be more prevalent than infectious lesions in this system type. The most prevalent lesion types during both grazing and housing periods were white line separation, sole hemorrhages and overgrown claws; all remaining lesions had a cow-level prevalence of less than 15%. The cow-level prevalence of alarm lesions was 19% during the grazing period and 25% during the housing period; the most prevalent alarm lesion was sole ulcers during both periods. We found significantly more foreign bodies within the hoof sole (grazing = 14%, housing = 7%) and overgrown claws (grazing = 71%, housing = 55%) during the grazing period compared with the housing period. Cows with foul of the foot, sole ulcer, white line abscess, toe necrosis or an amputated claw had higher odds of being more severely lame, compared with mildly lame. The strongest correlation between lesions were between toe necrosis and digital dermatitis (r = 0.40), overgrown claws and corkscrew claws (r = 0.33), and interdigital hyperplasia and digital dermatitis (r = 0.31) at herd level. At the cow level, the strongest correlation was between overgrown claws and corkscrew claws (r = 0.27), and digital dermatitis and heel erosion (r = 0.22). The farmers' perception of the presence of digital dermatitis (and lameness) was significantly correlated with the actual presence of digital dermatitis recorded. Additional risk factors for the presence of digital dermatitis were cow track and verge width near the collecting yard, and stone presence on the cow tracks. Results from this study help further our understanding of the causes of lameness in partly housed, pasture-based dairy cows, and can be used to guide prevention and treatment protocols.
    • Detection of Genomic Imprinting for Carcass Traits in Cattle Using Imputed High-Density Genotype Data.

      Kenny, David; Sleator, Roy D; Murphy, Craig P; Evans, Ross D; Berry, Donagh P; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; RSF 17/S/235; 16/RC/3835; VistaMilk (Frontiers, 2022-07-15)
      Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon defined as the silencing of an allele, at least partially, at a given locus based on the sex of the transmitting parent. The objective of the present study was to detect the presence of SNP-phenotype imprinting associations for carcass weight (CW), carcass conformation (CC) and carcass fat (CF) in cattle. The data used comprised carcass data, along with imputed, high-density genotype data on 618,837 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 23,687 cattle; all animal genotypes were phased with respect to parent of origin. Based on the phased genotypes and a series of single-locus linear models, 24, 339, and 316 SNPs demonstrated imprinting associations with CW, CC, and CF, respectively. Regardless of the trait in question, no known imprinted gene was located within 0.5 Mb of the SNPs demonstrating imprinting associations in the present study. Since all imprinting associations detected herein were at novel loci, further investigation of these regions may be warranted. Nonetheless, knowledge of these associations might be useful for improving the accuracy of genomic evaluations for these traits, as well as mate allocations systems to exploit the effects of genomic imprinting.
    • Alteration of Physicochemical Properties and Heating Stability of Reconstituted Acid Whey Powder by Calcium Chelating Salts

      Purwanti, Nanik; Mulcahy, Shane; Murphy, Eoin; Enterprise Ireland; EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions; MF20180049; 713654 (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023-09-08)
      Trisodium citrate (TSC) and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium salt (Na2-EDTA) were applied in reconstituted acid whey powder (AWP) at 20% w/w, which mimicked acid whey concentration during industrial whey processing. Physicochemical properties and heat stability of the AWP suspensions with 0–50 mM TSC and Na2-EDTA at pH 6.2 were investigated. TSC-containing suspensions prior to heating had decreasing Ca2+ activity, levels of sedimentation, and subtle reduction of aggregate size with increasing TSC concentrations (0–50 mM). Unheated Na2-EDTA-containing suspensions had lower levels of sedimentation and smaller aggregate sizes than unheated TSC-containing suspensions; however, reduction of Ca2+ activity was only observed up to 20 mM Na2-EDTA. Stronger effects of Na2-EDTA than TSC on levels of sediment, viscosity, and aggregate size of AWP suspensions were observed after heating, except for 50 mM Na2-EDTA. A remarkable difference between TSC and Na2-EDTA addition was the nature of aggregates formed in heated suspensions. TSC-containing suspensions contained larger aggregates than corresponding Na2-EDTA-containing suspensions, which exhibited increasing shear thinning behavior as a function of concentration. In contrast, the smaller aggregates in the corresponding Na2-EDTA-containing suspension showed shear thickening. The inverse relationship between aggregate size and levels of sediment for TSC-containing suspensions post-heat treatment may indicate the formation of loose aggregates that resist sedimentation.
    • Selecting Milk Spectra to Develop Equations to Predict Milk Technological Traits

      Frizzarin, Maria; Gormley, Isobel Claire; Casa, Alessandro; McParland, Sinéad; Science Foundation Ireland; 18/SIRG/5562; 16/RC/3835 (VistaMilk) (MDPI AG, 2021-12-11)
      Including all available data when developing equations to relate midinfrared spectra to a phenotype may be suboptimal for poorly represented spectra. Here, an alternative local changepoint approach was developed to predict six milk technological traits from midinfrared spectra. Neighbours were objectively identified for each predictand as those most similar to the predictand using the Mahalanobis distances between the spectral principal components, and subsequently used in partial least square regression (PLSR) analyses. The performance of the local changepoint approach was compared to that of PLSR using all spectra (global PLSR) and another LOCAL approach, whereby a fixed number of neighbours was used in the prediction according to the correlation between the predictand and the available spectra. Global PLSR had the lowest RMSEV for five traits. The local changepoint approach had the lowest RMSEV for one trait; however, it outperformed the LOCAL approach for four traits. When the 5% of the spectra with the greatest Mahalanobis distance from the centre of the global principal component space were analysed, the local changepoint approach outperformed the global PLSR and the LOCAL approach in two and five traits, respectively. The objective selection of neighbours improved the prediction performance compared to utilising a fixed number of neighbours; however, it generally did not outperform the global PLSR.