Now showing items 1-20 of 1770

    • Carcass characteristics of cattle differing in Jersey proportion

      Berry, Donagh P.; Judge, Michelle; Evans, R. D.; Buckley, Frank; Cromie, A. R.; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; Meat Technology Ireland; Enterprise Ireland; 16/RC/3835; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-09-27)
      Comparison of alternative dairy (cross-)breeding programs requires full appraisals of all revenues and costs, including beef merit. Few studies exist on carcass characteristics of crossbred dairy progeny originating from dairy herds as well as their dams. The objective of the present study was to quantify, using a national database, the carcass characteristics of young animals and cows differing in their fraction of Jersey. The data set consisted of 117,593 young animals and 42,799 cows. The associations between a combination of sire and dam breed proportion (just animal breed proportion when the dependent variable was on cows) with age at slaughter (just for young animals), carcass weight, conformation, fat score, price per kilogram, and total carcass value were estimated using mixed models that accounted for covariances among herdmates of the same sex slaughtered in close proximity in time; we also accounted for age at slaughter in young animals (which was substituted with carcass weight and carcass fat score when the dependent variable was age at slaughter), animal sex, parity of the cow or dam (where relevant), and temporal effects represented by a year-by-month 2-way interaction. For young animals, the heaviest of the dairy carcasses were from the mating of a Holstein-Friesian dam and a Holstein-Friesian sire (323.34 kg), whereas the lightest carcasses were from the mating of a purebred Jersey dam to a purebred Jersey sire which were 46.31 kg lighter (standard error of the difference = 1.21 kg). The young animal carcass weight of an F1 Holstein-Friesian × Jersey cross was 20.4 to 27.0 kg less than that of a purebred Holstein-Friesian animal. The carcass conformation of a Holstein-Friesian young animal was 26% superior to that of a purebred Jersey, translating to a difference of 0.78 conformation units on a scale of 1 to 15. Purebred Holstein-Friesians produced carcasses with less fat than their purebred Jersey counterparts. The difference in carcass price per kilogram among the alternative sire-dam breed combinations investigated was minimal, although large differences existed among the different breed types for overall carcass value; the carcass value of a Holstein-Friesian animal was 20% greater than that of a Jersey animal. Purebred Jersey animals required, on average, 21 d longer to reach a given carcass weight and fat score relative to a purebred Holstein-Friesian. The difference in age at slaughter between a purebred Holstein-Friesian animal and the mating between a Holstein-Friesian sire with a Jersey dam, and vice versa, was between 7.0 and 8.9 d. A 75.8-kg difference in carcass weight existed between the carcass of a purebred Jersey cow and that of a Holstein-Friesian cow; a 50% Holstein–Friesian-50% Jersey cow had a carcass 42.0 kg lighter than that of a purebred Holstein-Friesian cow. Carcass conformation was superior in purebred Holstein-Friesian compared with purebred Jersey cows. Results from this study represent useful input parameters to populate simulation models of alternative breeding programs on dairy farms, and to help beef farmers evaluate the cost-benefit of rearing, for slaughter, animals differing in Jersey fraction.
    • The effect of exogenous glucose infusion on early embryonic development in lactating dairy cows

      Leane, S.; Herlihy, Mary M.; Curran, F.; Kenneally, J.; Forde, Niamh; Simintiras, Constantine A.; Sturmey, Roger G.; Lucy, Matt C.; Lonergan, P.; Butler, Stephen T.; et al. (American Dairy Science Association, 2018-09-27)
      The objective of this study was to examine the effect of intravenous infusion of glucose on early embryonic development in lactating dairy cows. Nonpregnant, lactating dairy cows (n = 12) were enrolled in the study (276 ± 17 d in milk). On d 7 after a synchronized estrus, cows were randomly assigned to receive an intravenous infusion of either 750 g/d of exogenous glucose (GLUC; 78 mL/h of 40% glucose wt/vol) or saline (CTRL; 78 mL/h of 0.9% saline solution). The infusion period lasted 7 d and cows were confined to metabolism stalls for the duration of the study. Coincident with the commencement of the infusion on d 7 after estrus, 15 in vitro-produced grade 1 blastocysts were transferred into the uterine horn ipsilateral to the corpus luteum. All animals were slaughtered on d 14 to recover conceptuses, uterine fluid, and endometrial tissue. Glucose infusion increased circulating glucose concentrations (4.70 ± 0.12 vs. 4.15 ± 0.12 mmol/L) but did not affect milk production or dry matter intake. Circulating β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were decreased (0.51 ± 0.01 vs. 0.70 ± 0.01 mmol/L for GLUC vs. CTRL, respectively) but plasma fatty acids, progesterone, and insulin concentrations were unaffected by treatment. Treatment did not affect either uterine lumen fluid glucose concentration or the mRNA abundance of specific glucose transporters in the endometrium. Mean conceptus length, width, and area on d 14 were reduced in the GLUC treatment compared with the CTRL treatment. A greater proportion of embryos in the CTRL group had elongated to all length cut-off measurements between 11 and 20 mm (measured in 1-mm increments) compared with the GLUC treatment. In conclusion, infusion of glucose into lactating dairy cows from d 7 to d 14 post-estrus during the critical period of conceptus elongation had an adverse impact on early embryonic development.
    • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis as a natural anti-listerial agent in the mushroom industry

      Dygico, Lionel K.; O'Connor, Paula M.; Hayes, Maria; Gahan, Cormac G M; Grogan, Helen; Burgess, Catherine; Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine; 14F881 (Elsevier, 2019-01-28)
      Mushroom growth substrates from different commercial producers of mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) were screened for the presence of bacteria with potential for use as biocontrol agents for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in the mushroom production environment. Eight anti-listerial strains were isolated from different sources and all were identified using 16s rRNA gene sequencing as Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. Whole-genome sequencing of the Lc. lactis isolates indicated that strains from different sites and substrate types were highly similar. Colony MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry found that these strains were Nisin Z producers but inhibitory activity was highly influenced by the incubation conditions and was strain dependant. The biofilm forming ability of these strains was tested using a crystal violet assay and all were found to be strong biofilm formers. Growth of Lc. lactis subsp. lactis using mixed-biofilm conditions with L. monocytogenes on stainless steel resulted in a 4-log reduction of L. monocytogenes cell numbers. Additional sampling of mushroom producers showed that these anti-listerial Lc. lactis strains are commonly present in the mushroom production environment. Lc. lactis has a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) status and therefore has potential for use as an environmentally benign solution to control L. monocytogenes in order to prevent product contamination and to enhance consumer confidence in the mushroom industry.
    • Effects of domestic cooking process on the chemical and biological properties of dietary phytochemicals

      Zhao, Chao; Liu, Yuanyuan; Lai, Shanshan; Cao, Hui; Guan, Yi; San Cheang, Wai; Liu, Bin; Zhao, Kewei; Miao, Song; Riviere, Céline; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-01-07)
      Foods are good sources of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers as well as phytochemicals, which are beneficial for the human body as nutritional supplements. The nutritional value (crude fibers, crude proteins, crude fats, flavonols, carotenoids, polyphenols, glucosinolate, chlorophyll, and ascorbic acid) and biological or functional properties (antioxidant activity, anticancer activity, or anti-mutagenic activity) of foods can be well retained and protected with the appropriate cooking methods. The chemical, physical and enzyme modifications that occur during cooking will alter the dietary phytochemical antioxidant capacity and digestibility. This paper reviewed the recent advances on the effects of domestic cooking process on the chemical and biological properties of dietary phytochemicals. Furthermore, the possible mechanisms underlying these changes were discussed, and additional implications and future research goals were suggested. The domestic cooking process for improving the palatability of foods and increasing the bioavailability of nutrients and bioactive phytochemicals has been well supported.
    • A comparison of pilot-scale supersonic direct steam injection to conventional steam infusion and tubular heating systems for the heat treatment of protein-enriched skim milk-based beverages

      Kelleher, Clodagh M.; Tobin, John T.; O'Mahony, James A.; Kelly, Alan L.; O'Callaghan, Donal; McCarthy, Noel; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship programme; 10 RD TMFRC 703 (Elsevier, 2019-01-04)
      Direct supersonic steam injection, direct steam infusion, and indirect tubular heating were each applied to protein-enriched skim milk-based beverages with 4, 6 and 8% (w/w) total protein, and the effect of final heat temperature on the physical properties of these beverages was investigated. Supersonic steam injection resulted in significantly lower levels of denaturation of β-lactoglobulin (34.5%), compared to both infusion (76.3%) and tubular (97.1%) heating technologies. Viscosity, particle size and accelerated physical stability of formulations did not differ significantly between the heating technologies, while noticeable colour differences due to heat treatment (mainly attributed to increasing b* value) were observed, particularly for tubular heating. Overall, the extent of protein denaturation in high-protein dairy products was significantly influenced by the particular heating technology applied. The application of supersonic steam injection technology, with rapid heating and high shear characteristics, may enable differenciated product characteristics for ready-to-drink ambient-delivery high-protein dairy beverages. Industrial relevance: The design and application of novel direct supersonic steam injection technology was comprehensively studied and found to provide significant benefits over direct steam infusion and indirect tubular heating technologies for skim milk-based protein beverages. This type of injection heating system resulted in heat-treated formulations with lower levels of denatured whey proteins, compared to tubular and infusion heating, offering an alternative opportunity to the industry in terms of producing shelf-stable dairy protein beverages.
    • Physicochemical properties and issues associated with trypsin hydrolyses of bovine casein-dominant protein ingredients

      Lim, Aaron S. L.; Fenelon, Mark A.; McCarthy, Noel; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11/F/061 (Elsevier, 2019-06-06)
      Milk protein concentrate (MPC) and sodium caseinate (NaCas) were hydrolysed using the enzyme trypsin and the subsequent physical properties of the two ingredients were examined. Trypsin hydrolysis was carried out at pH 7 and at 45 °C on 11.1% (w/w) protein solutions. Heat inactivation of trypsin was carried out when the degree of hydrolysis reached either 10 or 15%. Size-exclusion chromatography and electrophoresis confirmed a significant reduction in protein molecular weight in both ingredients. However, whey proteins in MPC were more resistant to trypsin hydrolysis than casein. Oil-in-water emulsions were prepared using intact or hydrolysed protein, maltodextrin, and sunflower oil. Protein hydrolysis had a negative effect on the subsequent physical properties of emulsions, compared with non-hydrolysed proteins, with a larger particle size (only for NaCas stabilised emulsions), faster creaming rate, lower heat stability, and increased sedimentation observed in hydrolysed protein emulsions.
    • Influence of calcium-binding salts on heat stability and fouling of whey protein isolate dispersions

      Hebishy, Essam; Joubran, Yousef; Murphy, Eoin; O'Mahony, James A.; Enterprise Ireland; Technology Centres programme; TC/2014/0016 (Elsevier, 2018-12-31)
      The effect of the calcium-binding salts (CBS), trisodium citrate (TSC), tripotassium citrate (TPC) and disodium hydrogen phosphate (DSHP) at concentrations of 1–45 mm on the heat stability and fouling of whey protein isolate (WPI) dispersions (3%, w/v, protein) was investigated. The WPI dispersions were assessed for heat stability in an oil bath at 95 °C for 30 min, viscosity changes during simulated high-temperature short-time (HTST) and fouling behaviour using a lab-scale fouling rig. Adding CBS at levels of 5–30 mm for TSC and TPC and 25–35 mm for DSHP improved thermal stability of WPI dispersions by decreasing the ionic calcium (Ca2+) concentration; however, lower or higher concentrations destabilised the systems on heating. Adding CBS improved heat transfer during thermal processing, and resulted in lower viscosity and fouling. This study demonstrates that adding CBS is an effective means of increasing WPI protein stability during HTST thermal processing.
    • ‘Smart farming’ in Ireland: A risk perception study with key governance actors

      Regan, Áine; Teagasc; 0387 (Elsevier, 2019-02-14)
      As research and innovation around Smart Farming further advances, there is a need to consider the impact of these technologies including the socio-economic, behavioural and cultural issues that may arise from their adoption. The current study explores the perceived risks and benefits arising from the development of Smart Farming in Ireland and in particular focuses on the different interpretations ascribed to risk issues by different actors. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 21 actors who through their professional positions have some level of responsibility for the growth of Smart Farming in Ireland. Although the participants in the current study were largely in agreement about the benefits presented by Smart Farming for Irish agriculture and society, they held different interpretations and opinions when discussing identified risks. The main concerns related to consumer rejection of technologies, inequitable distribution of risks and benefits within the farming community, adverse socio-economic impacts of increased farmer-technology interactions, and ethical threats presented by the collection and sharing of farmers’ data. The current study reinforces how ambiguity can surround the discussion of risks as individuals form perceptions based on divergent value judgements. The findings reinforce the call for discourse-based management of risks and the embedding of frameworks such as Responsible Research and Innovation within Smart Farming.
    • Plane of nutrition affects the phylogenetic diversity and relative abundance of transcriptionally active methanogens in the bovine rumen

      McGovern, Emily; McCabe, Matthew; Cormican, Paul; Popova, Milka; Keogh, Kate; Kelly, Alan K; Kenny, David A.; Waters, Sinead M. (Springer Nature, 2017-10-12)
      Methane generated during enteric fermentation in ruminant livestock species is a major contributor to global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. A period of moderate feed restriction followed by ad libitum access to feed is widely applied in cattle management to exploit the animal’s compensatory growth potential and reduce feed costs. In the present study, we utilised microbial RNA from rumen digesta samples to assess the phylogenetic diversity of transcriptionally active methanogens from feed-restricted and non-restricted animals. To determine the contribution of different rumen methanogens to methanogenesis during dietary restriction of cattle, we conducted high-throughput mcrA cDNA amplicon sequencing on an Illumina MiSeq and analysed both the abundance and phylogenetic origin of different mcrA cDNA sequences. When compared to their unrestricted contemporaries, in feed-restricted animals, the methanogenic activity, based on mcrA transcript abundance, of Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii clade increased while the methanogenic activity of the Methanobrevibacter ruminantium clade and members of the Methanomassiliicoccaceae family decreased. This study shows that the quantity of feed consumed can evoke large effects on the composition of methanogenically active species in the rumen of cattle. These data potentially have major implications for targeted CH4 mitigation approaches such as anti-methanogen vaccines and/or tailored dietary management.
    • Recombinant Incretin-Secreting Microbe Improves Metabolic Dysfunction in High-Fat Diet Fed Rodents

      Ryan, Paul M; Patterson, Elaine; Kent, Robert M.; Stack, Helena; O’Connor, Paula M.; Murphy, Kiera; Peterson, Veronica L.; Mandal, Rupasri; Wishart, David S.; Dinan, Timothy G.; et al. (Springer Nature, 2017-10-19)
      The gut hormone glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and its analogues represent a new generation of anti-diabetic drugs, which have also demonstrated propensity to modulate host lipid metabolism. Despite this, drugs of this nature are currently limited to intramuscular administration routes due to intestinal degradation. The aim of this study was to design a recombinant microbial delivery vector for a GLP-1 analogue and assess the efficacy of the therapeutic in improving host glucose, lipid and cholesterol metabolism in diet induced obese rodents. Diet-induced obese animals received either Lactobacillus paracasei NFBC 338 transformed to express a long-acting analogue of GLP-1 or the isogenic control microbe which solely harbored the pNZ44 plasmid. Short-term GLP-1 microbe intervention in rats reduced serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides and triglyceride-rich lipoprotein cholesterol substantially. Conversely, extended GLP-1 microbe intervention improved glucose-dependent insulin secretion, glucose metabolism and cholesterol metabolism, compared to the high-fat control group. Interestingly, the microbe significantly attenuated the adiposity associated with the model and altered the serum lipidome, independently of GLP-1 secretion. These data indicate that recombinant incretin-secreting microbes may offer a novel and safe means of managing cholesterol metabolism and diet induced dyslipidaemia, as well as insulin sensitivity in metabolic dysfunction.
    • Data file: confusion matrices from pilot study of methodology for the development of farmland habitat reports for sustainability assessments

      Finn, John A.; Moran, Patrick; Teagasc; 6793 (2020-03-09)
      This Excel data file provides the confusion matrices associated with a publication in the Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research. This file contains four worksheets: 'High vs Low matrix', 'Level II matrix', 'Level III matrix' and 'Level III matrix (HH)'. Each worksheet presents the area of different habitat classes (as in Fossitt 2000) as determined by a desk-based study of remote sensing imagery, and compared with area of habitat classes as determined by a field-based survey (ground-truthing). The publication by John A. Finn and Patrick Moran is titled 'A pilot study of methodology for the development of farmland habitat reports for sustainability assessments'.
    • Effects of castration and slaughter age on the fatty acid composition of ovine muscle and adipose tissue from two breeds

      Gravador, Rufielyn S.; Moloney, Aidan P; Brunton, Nigel; Gkarane, Vasiliki; Allen, Paul; Fahey, Alan G; Claffey, Noel A.; Diskin, Michael G.; Farmer, Linda J.; Monahan, Frank J; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-10-04)
      Fatty acids (g/100 g total fatty acids) in M. longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) and total branched chain fatty acids (μg/g fat) in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) of rams and castrates from Scottish Blackface (SB) or Texel × Scottish Blackface (T × SB) lambs, slaughtered at mean ages of 196, 242, 293, 344 or 385 days were determined. Lambs were fed pasture prior to a 36-day finishing period on a barley/maize-based concentrate ration. The intramuscular fat content (IMF; %) was higher (P < 0.001) in castrates than in rams and in SB compared to T × SB lambs (P < 0.001). The proportions of c9-C18:1 and total monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) were higher (P < 0.001) in LTL of castrates than rams. The proportions of C18:2n-6 and total n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were lower (P = 0.001) in LTL of castrates compared to rams related to differences in IMF content. The proportions of C14:0, C16:0, c9-C18:1 and total MUFA were higher (P < 0.05), while the proportions of C18:2n-6, C20:4n-6, C20:5n-3, total PUFA, n-6 and n-3 PUFA were lower (P < 0.05), in SB than in T × SB lambs, which was related to differences in IMF content. There was a higher (P < 0.001) proportion of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) c9,t11-C18:2 in LTL from SB compared to T × SB. The effects of slaughter age on the proportions of fatty acids in LTL did not show a clear trend. The concentration of 4-methylnonanoic acid was higher (P = 0.002) in SAT of rams than castrates, particularly in older lambs. Despite the differences in the muscle fatty acid composition due to gender, slaughter age or breed of lambs, the ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFA (≤3.11) was within the dietary recommendation of <4.0 for human health.
    • Effects of lipids on the water sorption, glass transition and structural strength of carbohydrate-protein systems

      Maidannyk, Valentyn A.; Lim, Aaron S. L.; Auty, Mark A.; Roos, Yrjô H.; Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine; 11-F-001; 15-F-679 (Elsevier, 2018-10-03)
      Encapsulant systems are gaining wide practical interest due to their functional and nutritional properties. This paper was focusing on understanding structural relaxations in that systems near glass transition temperature. Freeze-dried trehalose-whey protein isolate-sunflower oil systems with various ratios of the last were used as a carbohydrate-protein-lipid food model. The Guggenheim-Anderson-de Boer (GAB) water sorption relationship was used as a tool to model water sorption isotherms. The glass transition temperature was obtained by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Structural α-relaxation temperatures were measured by dynamical mechanical analyses (DMA), dielectric analysis (DEA) and combined to cover a broad range for strength assessment. The microstructure was characterized by optical light microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The C1 and C2 constants for Williams-Landel-Ferry (WLF) equation and structural strength parameter were calculated for each system. The effect of sunflower oil and water contents on strength of carbohydrate-protein system was analyzed. Strength shows decreasing with increasing of lipid concentration in the mixtures and more complex dependence on the water content in a system.
    • Associations between colostrum management, passive immunity, calf-related hygiene practices, and rates of mortality in preweaning dairy calves

      Barry, John; Bokkers, Eddie A.M.; Berry, Donagh P.; de Boer, Imke J.M.; McClure, J. Trenton; Kennedy, Emer; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Elsevier, 2019-09-11)
      Calves are particularly vulnerable to health issues before weaning and experience high rates of mortality. Poor colostrum quality or substandard colostrum management, combined with poor hygiene, can increase disease susceptibility, contributing to elevated mortality rates. This study aimed to assess colostrum and calf management together with subsequent mortality rates in preweaning calves. Forty-seven Irish spring-calving, pasture-based dairy herds were enrolled in the study. To investigate whether colostrum and hygiene practices change as the calving season progresses, each farm was visited in both the first and last 6 wk of the calving season. The concentration of IgG in 250 colostrum samples and 580 calf serum samples was determined by radial immunodiffusion assay. Mean colostrum IgG concentration was 85 mg/mL, and mean calf serum IgG concentration was 30.9 and 27.1 mg/mL, respectively, in the first and last 6 wk of the calving season. Smaller herd size and younger age at sampling were associated with higher calf serum IgG concentration. Dairy breed calves were associated with higher serum IgG concentrations compared with beef breed calves; no association was detected based on sex. For feeding equipment hygiene, we assessed the presence of protein residues and found that hygiene levels tended to worsen from the first to the final 6 wk of the calving season. We found no association between feeding equipment hygiene and herd size or 28-d calf mortality rate. Colostrum and calf management practices were not associated with either calf serum IgG concentration or 28-d calf mortality rate. We found that IgG concentration in colostrum produced in Irish dairy herds was generally good, although large variation existed, emphasizing the need for assessment of colostrum before feeding. Results also suggested that hygiene practices associated with calf rearing can be improved, particularly in the latter half of the calving season.
    • Anti-Müllerian hormone in grazing dairy cows: Identification of factors affecting plasma concentration, relationship with phenotypic fertility, and genome-wide associations

      Gobikrushanth, M.; Purfield, Deirdre C; Canadas, E. R.; Herlihy, Mary M.; Kenneally, J.; Murray, Margaret; Kearney, Francis; Colazo, M. G.; Ambrose, D. J.; Butler, Stephen T.; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-09-11)
      The objectives of this study were to (1) characterize the distribution and variability of plasma anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) concentration; (2) evaluate factors associated with phenotypic variation in plasma AMH; (3) examine the associations between categories of plasma AMH and reproductive outcomes [pregnancy to first artificial insemination (P/AI), and pregnancy rates within 21, 42, and 84 d after the mating start date (MSD)]; (4) estimate pedigree and genomic heritability for plasma AMH; and (5) identify and validate SNP associated with phenotypic variation in plasma AMH. Plasma AMH concentration (pg/mL) was determined from a blood sample collected (mean ± standard deviation) 10 ± 2 d after first insemination at detected estrus (IDE) in 2,628 first- and second-parity Irish dairy cows. Overall, plasma AMH had a positively skewed distribution with mean (± standard deviation), median, minimum, and maximum concentrations of 326 ± 231, 268, 15, and 2,863 pg/mL, respectively. Plasma AMH was greatest for Jersey, followed by Holstein × Jersey, Holstein × Norwegian Red, and Holstein cows (410, 332, 284, and 257 pg/mL, respectively). Second-parity cows had greater plasma AMH than first-parity cows (333 vs. 301 pg/mL, respectively). Samples collected at 7 and 8 d after first IDE had lesser plasma AMH than those collected on d 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 after first IDE (291 and 297 vs. 317, 319, 331, 337, and 320 pg/mL). Plasma AMH was not associated with either body condition score at first IDE or the interval from calving to MSD. Cows were categorized into low (≤150 pg/mL; n = 526; lowest 20%), intermediate (>150 to ≤461 pg/mL; n = 1,576; intermediate 60%), and high AMH (>461 pg/mL; n = 526; highest 20%) groups based on plasma AMH, and associations with reproductive outcomes were tested. Cows with high and intermediate plasma AMH had 1.42- and 1.51-times-greater odds of becoming pregnant within 84 d after the MSD than those with low plasma AMH (90.3 and 90.8 vs. 86.8%, respectively); however, P/AI and pregnancy rate within 21 and 42 d after the MSD did not differ among AMH categories. Plasma AMH was moderately heritable (pedigree heritability of 0.40 ± 0.06 and genomic heritability of 0.45 ± 0.05), and 68 SNP across Bos taurus autosomes 7 and 11 were associated with phenotypic variation in plasma AMH. Out of 68 SNP, 42 were located in a single quantitative trait locus on Bos taurus autosome 11 that harbored 6 previously identified candidate genes (NR5A1, HSPA5, CRB2, DENND1A, NDUFA8, and PTGS) linked to fertility-related phenotypes in dairy cows.
    • Evaluation of the n-alkane technique for estimating herbage dry matter intake of dairy cows offered herbage harvested at two different stages of growth in summer and autumn

      Wright, Marliene; Lewis, Eva; Garry, B.; Galvin, Norann; Dunshea, Frank; Hannah, M.C.; Auldist, Martin J.; Wales, W.J.; Dillon, Pat; Kennedy, Emer; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-11-10)
      The n-alkane technique for estimating herbage dry matter intake (DMI) of dairy cows was investigated in this experiment. Eight Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were offered perennial ryegrass ad libitum that had been harvested at two different herbage masses and during two different seasons, in order to assess the effect of herbage mass and season on the accuracy of the n-alkane technique. Two pre-harvested herbage mass treatments (low, target 1500 kg DM/ha versus high, target 4000 kg DM/ha, measured above 4 cm), were investigated in a crossover factorial arrangement within each of two seasons (summer versus autumn), in Ireland. Each season consisted of two periods, each 12 days in length. Cows were housed in individual metabolism stalls to allow for accurate determination of measured DMI. Herbage DMI was estimated, with the n-alkane technique, by dosing cows twice daily with a C32 n-alkane. Pre-harvest herbage mass and season did not affect the n-alkane estimated DMI, although lack of season and herbage mass effects may have been masked by variation that occurred between swards within the same herbage mass and season. However, there were a number of differences between summer and autumn in the fecal recovery rates of a number of n-alkanes suggesting that the effect of season requires further investigation prior to the application of recovery rates from literature values when investigating diet selection and botanical composition. Overall, the n-alkane technique provided good estimates of DMI; the discrepancy had a standard deviation due to sward of 1.2 and 1.0 kg DM/cow per day, and hence potential bias of up to twice this, and a measurement error standard deviation of 1.3 and 1.0 kg DM/cow per day, for the C33/C32 and C31/C32 n-alkane pair methods respectively. Two n-alkane pairs were tested, and C33/C32 n-alkane provided the most precise estimates of DMI, compared with the C31/C32 n-alkane pair. This research provides some strong evidence for future use of the n-alkane technique including that the accuracy of the technique has not been influenced by contemporary changes to herbage management, is not affected by seasonal changes, and overall is an accurate and precise technique for estimating DMI.
    • Genetic parameters for animal mortality in pasture-based, seasonal-calving dairy and beef herds

      Ring, Siobhan C.; Evans, R. D.; Doherty, Michael L.; Berry, Donagh P.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 14/S/801 (Elsevier, 2018-11-09)
      In the absence of informative health and welfare phenotypes, breeding for reduced animal mortality could improve overall health and welfare, provided genetic variability in animal mortality exists. The objective of the present study was to estimate genetic (and other) variance components for animal mortality in pasture-based, seasonal-calving dairy and beef herds across multiple life stages as well as to quantify the genetic relationship in mortality among life stages. National mortality records were available for all cattle born in the Republic of Ireland. Cattle were grouped into three life stages based on age (0 to 30 days, 31 to 365 days, 366 to 1095 days) whereas females with ≥1 calving event were also grouped into five life stages, based on parity number (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5), considering both the initial 60 days of lactation and a cow's entire lactation period, separately. The mean mortality prevalence ranged from 0.70 to 5.79% in young animals and from 0.53 to 3.86% in cows. Variance components and genetic correlations were estimated using linear mixed models using 21,637 to 100,993 records. Where heritability estimates were different from zero, direct heritability estimates for mortality in young animals (≤1095 days) ranged from 0.006 to 0.040, whereas the genetic standard deviation ranged from 0.015 to 0.034. The contribution of a maternal genetic effect to mortality in young animals was evident up to 30 days of age in dairy herds, but this was only the case in preliminary analysis of stillbirths in beef herds. Based on the estimated genetic standard deviation in the present study, the incidence of mortality in young animals could be reduced through breeding by up to 3.4 percentage units per generation. For cows, direct heritability estimates for mortality, where different from zero, ranged from 0.003 to 0.049. The genetic standard deviation for mortality in cows ranged from 0.005 to 0.016 during the initial 60 days of lactation and ranged from 0.011 to 0.032 during the cow's entire lactation. Genetic correlations among the age groups as well as between the age groups and cow parities had high standard errors. Genetic correlations among the cow parities were moderate to strongly positive (ranging from 0.66 to 0.99) and mostly different from zero. Results from the present study can be used to inform genetic evaluations for mortality in young animals and in cows as well as the potential genetic gain achievable.
    • Chronic intermittent hypoxia disrupts cardiorespiratory homeostasis and gut microbiota composition in adult male guinea-pigs

      Lucking, Eric F.; O'Connor, Karen M.; Strain, Conall R.; Fouhy, Fiona; Bastiaanssen, Thomaz F.S.; Burns, David P.; Golubeva, Anna V.; Stanton, Catherine; Clarke, Gerard; Cryan, John F.; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-11-13)
      Background: Carotid body (peripheral oxygen sensor) sensitisation is pivotal in the development of chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH)-induced hypertension. We sought to determine if exposure to CIH, modelling human sleep apnoea, adversely affects cardiorespiratory control in guinea-pigs, a species with hypoxia-insensitive carotid bodies. We reasoned that CIH-induced disruption of gut microbiota would evoke cardiorespiratory morbidity. Methods: Adult male guinea-pigs were exposed to CIH (6.5% O2 at nadir, 6 cycles.hour−1) for 8−1 for 12 consecutive days. Findings: CIH-exposed animals established reduced faecal microbiota species richness, with increased relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and reduced relative abundance of Firmicutes bacteria. Urinary corticosterone and noradrenaline levels were unchanged in CIH-exposed animals, but brainstem noradrenaline concentrations were lower compared with sham. Baseline ventilation was equivalent in CIH-exposed and sham animals; however, respiratory timing variability, sigh frequency and ventilation during hypoxic breathing were all lower in CIH-exposed animals. Baseline arterial blood pressure was unaffected by exposure to CIH, but β-adrenoceptor-dependent tachycardia and blunted bradycardia during phenylephrine-induced pressor responses was evident compared with sham controls. Interpretation: Increased carotid body chemo-afferent signalling appears obligatory for the development of CIH-induced hypertension and elevated chemoreflex control of breathing commonly reported in mammals, with hypoxia-sensitive carotid bodies. However, we reveal that exposure to modest CIH alters gut microbiota richness and composition, brainstem neurochemistry, and autonomic control of heart rate, independent of carotid body sensitisation, suggesting modulation of breathing and autonomic homeostasis via the microbiota-gut-brainstem axis. The findings have relevance to human sleep-disordered breathing.
    • Monitoring molecular composition and digestibility of ripened bresaola through a combined foodomics approach

      Picone, Gianfranco; De Noni, Ivano; Ferranti, Pasquale; Nicolai, Maria Adalgisa; Alamprese, Cristina; Trimigno, Alessia; Brodkorb, Andre; Portmann, Reto; Pihlanto, Anne; El, Sedef Nehir; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-11-14)
      In this work, the effects of maturation time and simulated gastrointestinal digestion on the molecular and peptide profiles of “Bresaola Valtellina” were assessed through the foodomics approach, in this case food proteomics and peptidomics combined to other analytical and biological assays, aiming at depicting a holistic food quality. Human digestion of this Italian cured meat product was simulated using an in vitro static protocol and the degree of proteolysis and the in vitro bioactivity of the soluble free compounds in the digestates were evaluated by biochemical assays, e.g. SDS-PAGE, size exclusion HPLC, HPLC/MS, 1H NMR, enzymatic and antioxidant activities. The obtained results demonstrated that in vitro gastrointestinal digestion contributed to a considerable release of myofibrillar proteins by the muscle tissue. Data from SDS-PAGE, peptidomic and size exclusion HPLC assays showed that the in vitro digestion largely degraded proteins of muscle tissue to peptides smaller than 250 Da. The released peptides were likely responsible for the inhibitory activity on amylolytic enzymes and for the antioxidant properties elicited by the gastric digestates of Bresaola. Overall, the results demonstrated the negligible role of ripening in making meat proteins more bioaccessible, whereas they confirmed the highly in vitro digestibility of meat proteins from Bresaola. This study represents a new approach merging proteomics and foodomics to evaluate the effect of ripening and in vitro digestion on the bioactivity and bioaccessibility of proteins and peptides of meat products.
    • Physical and interfacial characterization of phytosterols in oil-in-water triacylglycerol-based emulsions

      Zychowski, Lisa; Mettu, Srinivas; Dagastine, Raymond; Kelly, Alan L.; O’Mahony, James A.; Auty, Mark; Teagasc (Elsevier, 2018-11-16)
      Phytosterols possess the ability to significantly lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood, but their bioaccessibility is highly dependent upon the solubility of the phytosterol within the carrier matrix. Currently, there is a limited amount of knowledge on how phytosterols interact at oil-water interfaces, despite research indicating that these interfaces could promote the crystallization of phytosterols and thus decrease bioaccessibility. In order to fill this knowledge gap, this work expands upon a previously studied emulsion system for encapsulating phytosterols and addresses whether phytosterols can crystalize at an oil-in-water emulsion interface. Images from multiple microscopic techniques suggest interfacial phytosterol crystallization in 0.6% phytosterol-enriched emulsions, while interfacial tension results and calculated models showed that whey protein and phytosterols had a synergistic effect on interfacial tension. A deeper understanding of the interfacial behavior of phytosterols in emulsions can provide the functional food and pharmaceutical industry with the knowledge needed to design more bioaccessible phytosterol-enriched products.