Now showing items 1-20 of 1546

    • Functional Land Management: Bridging the Think-Do-Gap using a multi-stakeholder science policy interface

      O'Sullivan, Lilian; Wall, David; Creamer, Rachel E.; Bampa, Francesca; Schulte, Rogier P. O.; European Union; National Development Plan 2007–2013.; 635201; 677407; 13S468 (Springer, 2017-11)
      Functional Land Management (FLM) is proposed as an integrator for sustainability policies and assesses the functional capacity of the soil and land to deliver primary productivity, water purification and regulation, carbon cycling and storage, habitat for biodiversity and recycling of nutrients. This paper presents the catchment challenge as a method to bridge the gap between science, stakeholders and policy for the effective management of soils to deliver these functions. Two challenges were completed by a wide range of stakeholders focused around a physical catchment model—(1) to design an optimised catchment based on soil function targets, (2) identify gaps to implementation of the proposed design. In challenge 1, a high level of consensus between different stakeholders emerged on soil and management measures to be implemented to achieve soil function targets. Key gaps including knowledge, a mix of market and voluntary incentives and mandatory measures were identified in challenge 2.
    • Investigation into the bio-physical constraints on farmer turn-out-date decisions using remote sensing and meteorological data.

      Green, Stuart; Teagasc; Goddard Space Flight Center; Washington Space Grant Consortium (2019)
      Grass is the most common landcover in Ireland and covers a bigger percentage (52%) of the country than any other in Europe. Grass as fodder is Ireland’s most important crop and is the foundation of its most important indigenous industry, agriculture. Yet knowledge of its distribution, performance and yield is scant. How grass is nationally, on a farm by farm, year by year basis managed is not known. In this thesis the gaps in knowledge about grassland performance across Ireland are presented along with arguments on why these knowledge gaps should be closed. As an example the need for high spatial resolution animal stocking rate data in European temperate grassland systems is shown. The effect of high stocking density on grass management is most apparent early in the growing season, and a 250m scale characterization of early spring vegetation growth from 2003-2012, based on MODIS NDVI time series products, is constructed. The average rate of growth is determined as a simple linear model for each pixel, using only the highest quality data for the period. These decadal spring growth model coefficients, start of season cover and growth rate, are regressed against log of stocking rate (r2 19 = 0.75, p<0.001). This model stocking rate is used to create a map of grassland use intensity in Ireland, which, when tested against an independent set of stocking data, is shown to be successful with an RMSE of 0.13 Livestock Unit/ha for a range of stocking densities from 0.1 to 3.3 Livestock Unit/ha. This model provides the first validated high resolution approach to mapping stocking rates in intensively managed European grassland systems. There is a demonstrated a need for a system to estimate current growing conditions. Using the spring growth model constructed for estimating stocking density a new style of grass growth progress anomaly map in the time-domain was developed. Using the developed satellite dataset 1 and 12 years of ground climate station data in Ireland, NDVI was modelled against time as a proxy for grass growth This model is the reference for estimating current seasonal progress of grass growth against a ten year average. The model is developed to estimate Seasonal Progress Anomalies in the Time domain (SPAT), giving a result in terms of “days behind” and “days ahead” of the norm. SPAT estimates for 2012 and 2013 are compared to ground based estimates from 30 climate stations and have a correlation coefficient of 0.897 and RMSE of 15days. The method can successfully map current grass growth trends compared to the average and present this information to the farmer in simple everyday language. This is understood by the author to be the first validated growth anomaly service, and the first for intensive European grasslands. The decisions on when to turn out cattle (the turn out date (TOD)) from winter housing to spring grazing is an important one on Irish dairy farms which has significant impacts on operating costs on the farm. To examine the relationship of TOD to conditions, the National Farm Survey (NFS) of Ireland database was geocoded and the data on turn out dates from 199 farms across Ireland over five years was used. A fixed effects linear panel data model was employed to explore the association between TOD and conditions, as it allows for unobserved variation between farmers to be ignored in favour of modelling the variance year on year. The environmental variables used in the analysis account for 38% of the variance in the turn out dates on farms nationwide. National seasonal conditions dominate over local variation, and for every week earlier grass grows in spring, farmers gain 3.7 days in grazing season but ignore 3.3 days of growth that could have been used. Every 100mm extra rain in spring means TOD is a day later and every dry day leads to turn out being half a day earlier. A well-drained soil makes TOD 2.5 days earlier compared to a poorly drained soil and TOD gets a day later for every 16km north form the south coast. This work demonstrates that precision agriculture 1 driven by optical and radar satellite data is closer to being a reality in Europe driven by enormous amounts of free imagery from NASA and the ESA Sentinel programs coupled with open source meteorological data and models and new developments in data analytics.
    • The effect of ovine milk fermentation on the antithrombotic properties of polar lipids

      Lordan, Ronan; Walsh, Aaron M.; Crispie, Fiona; Finnegan, Laura; Cotter, Paul D.; Zabetakis, Ioannis; Enterprise Ireland; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland; IP-2016-0488Y (Elsevier, 2019-01-24)
      The effect of fermentation on the antithrombotic properties of polar lipids in ovine milk has been assessed through the production of yoghurts. The total lipids (TL), total neutral lipids (TNL), and total polar lipids (TPL) were extracted. The fatty acid profiles of all yoghurt polar lipids were analysed by GC-MS. The levels of MUFA increased in the fatty acids of the polar lipids, but there was a reduction in PUFA as milk was fermented to yoghurt. The bioactivity of each lipid extract was assessed against platelet-activating factor (PAF) induced platelet aggregation. All yoghurt polar lipids exhibited potent antithrombotic activities with IC50 values ranging from 45 to 77 µg. Shotgun metagenomics determined the species-level microbial composition and functional potential of the yoghurts. Yoghurts containing L. acidophilus seem to correlate with greater bioactivity. Several phospholipid biosynthetic genes have been identified in the most antithrombotic yoghurts. This study has demonstrated that fermentation enhances the antithrombotic properties of yoghurt polar lipids against PAF.
    • Ash dieback in Ireland – A review of European management options and case studies in remedial silviculture

      Short, Ian; Hawe, Jerry; Woodland Trust NI; COFORD; Teagasc (Society of Irish Foresters, 2018)
      Ash dieback, caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is developing rapidly across the island of Ireland. Ireland’s ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) woodlands, particularly first rotation plantations, are quite unique and are at particular risk of very rapid decline. Urgent action is required in order to minimise the economic, ecological and social impact of the disease. However, for this to happen forest owners require guidance regarding potential positive management interventions. This article outlines the wider, mainly European, experience of remedial silviculture. It presents three case studies on existing remedial silviculture trials in Ireland. In the absence of silvicultural research data specific to the evolving situation with ash dieback, this article explores the potential benefits of positive practical actions which may minimise the impact of the disease. Despite the seriousness of the situation, such silvicultural activity may even result in a positive economic outcome. It is hoped that by beginning to document potential mitigatory management options, this paper may bring some reassurance to owners and managers of ashdominated woodlands.
    • The fatty acid profile and stable isotope ratios of C and N of muscle from cattle that grazed grass or grass/clover pastures before slaughter and their discriminatory potential

      Moloney, Aidan; O'Riordan, Edward; Schmidt, O.; Monahan, F. J. (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-11-09)
      Consumption of grazed pasture compared to concentrates results in higher concentrations, in beef muscle, of fatty acids considered to be beneficial to human health. Little information is available on the influence of the type of grazed forage. Our objectives were to determine 1) the effect of inclusion of white clover in a grazing sward on the fatty acid profile of beef muscle and 2) the potential of the fatty acid profile and stable isotope ratios of C and N to discriminate between beef from cattle that grazed grass-only or grass/clover swards before slaughter. A total of 28 spring-born Charolais steers grazed from March until slaughter in October, either on a perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) sward that received approximately 220 kg N/ha or a perennial ryegrass–white clover (Trifolium repens L.) sward that received 50 kg N/ha. The longissimus muscle from cattle finished on grass/clover had a higher (P < 0.05) proportion of C18:2 and C18:3 but a lower (P < 0.05) proportion of conjugated linoleic acid and δ15N value than animals finished on the grass-only sward. Discriminant analysis using the fatty acid data showed that, after cross-validation, 80.7% of grass/clover and 86.1% of grass-only muscle samples were correctly classified. Discriminant analysis using the stable isotope data showed that, after cross-validation, 95.7% of grass/clover and 86.5% of grass-only muscle samples were correctly classified. Inclusion of white clover in pasture is likely to have little effect on healthiness of meat for consumers. However, changes in fatty acids and stable isotopes can be used to distinguish between grass/clover-fed and grass-only-fed beef.
    • Effects of mycorrhizal inoculation and digestate fertilisation on triticale biomass production using fungicide-coated seeds

      Caruso, C.; Maucieri, C.; Barco, A.; Barbera, A. C.; Borin, M.; PSR Regione Veneto; 2307827 (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-09-07)
      Crop fertilisation management using organic wastes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation can play a crucial role in the sustainability of agroecosystems. However, in conventional agricultural systems, agrochemicals like fungicides could reduce the positive effect of AMF. The aim of this study was to evaluate the agronomic (biomass production) and environmental (soil CO2 emission) effects of AMF inoculation and digestate spreading on triticale cultivation using commercial seeds coated with fungicide. The field experiment was conducted in 2014–2015 at the University of Padua’s experimental farm (Italy), adopting a split-plot design, where the main plot factor was AMF inoculation (inoculated vs. uninoculated) and the subplot factor was fertilisation treatment (no fertilisation (NF), digestate liquid fraction (DL), digestate solid fraction (DS), mineral fertilisation (MF)). Low AMF root colonization was observed, likely due to the effect of fungicide; the only significant effect of AMF inoculation was a lower shoot density. Dry biomass production was significantly higher in the MF treatment (21.8 ± 1.04 Mg/ha) and lower in the NF treatment (14.5 ± 0.73 Mg/ha) compared to DS and DL treatments, which were not significantly different with an average yield of 17.2 ± 2.10 Mg/ha. During the cropping season, soil CO2 emissions were not significantly affected by either AMF inoculation or fertilisation treatment. The median value of soil CO2 emissions was 447.3 mg/m2 per hour.
    • Evaluating the effect of storage conditions on milk microbiological quality and composition

      Paludetti, L.F.; Jordan, Kieran; Kelly, A. L.; Gleeson, David (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-07-19)
      In this study, the effect of storage temperature (2 or 4°C) on the composition of milk and microbiological load was investigated over 96 h. Milk samples were collected from farm bulk milk tanks after one complete milking and stored at 2 or 4°C over 96 h. Total bacterial count (TBC), psychrotrophic bacterial count (PBC) and proteolytic bacterial count (PROT) were affected by storage time and temperature and varied significantly between farms (P < 0.05). The levels of TBC, PBC and PROT bacterial count increased from 4.37 to 6.15 log cfu/mL, 4.34 to 6.44 log cfu/mL and 3.72 to 4.81 log cfu/mL, respectively, when the milk was stored for 96 h at 2°C. The milk samples stored at 4°C had higher increases in these bacterial counts after 72 h in comparison to milk samples stored at 2°C. The casein fraction content was lower in milk samples stored at 4°C, which could be due to high levels of PROT bacteria or enzyme activity in these samples. Milk stored for 96 h at 2°C has less impact on composition or processability parameters compared to milk stored at 4°C.
    • Effect of biostimulants on cold resistance and productivity formation in winter rapeseed and winter wheat

      Gaveliiene, V.; Pakalniškytė, L.; Novickienė, L.; Balčiauskas, L. (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-10)
      The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of biostimulants on the resistance to freezing under laboratory-controlled cold conditions and on the growth, development, overwintering and productivity of winter rapeseed and winter wheat in natural field experiments. The effect of free amino acids, macroelements and microelements that contain biostimulants Ruter AA, Terra Sorb and Razormin was tested on cultivars of rapeseed, ‘Hornet H’, and winter wheat, ‘Skagen’ and ‘Kovas’, applying morphometrical methods. We found that biostimulants applied to rapeseed at BBCH 13–14 stage and to wheat at BBCH 14–15 stage under controlled cold stress conditions increased the freezing tolerance of seedlings. Biostimulants more actively increased the freezing resistance of rapeseed seedlings at –5°C compared to that of wheat seedlings. The temperature of –7°C was mortal to rape seedlings, while the resistance of wheat seedlings increased under the influence of the tested biostimulants compared to that of the control seedlings. In natural field experiments, these biostimulants produced a significant effect on plant growth in autumn, acclimation to the cold, plant overwintering, vegetation renewal and, due to this, formation of productivity elements. The effects of Razormin (200 mL/ha), Terra Sorb (2 L/ha) and Ruter AA (1 L/ha) were significantly higher on growth parameters of winter wheat compared to the productivity of winter rapeseed.
    • Fortification of milk with phytosterol and its effect on sensory and physicochemical properties

      Nagarajappa, V.; Battula, S. N.; Arora, S.; Naik, L. N.; National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, India (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018-08-31)
      Phytosterols are a group of lipophilic steroid alcohols found in plants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol when supplemented in the diet. A commercial phytosterol preparation was added to milk in the form of an oil-in-water emulsion. For the preparation of an emulsion, diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides was used as an emulsifier and butteroil was used as a source of fat. Three emulsion formulations, i.e. A (8% phytosterols), B (10% phytosterols) and C (12% phytosterols), were prepared in which the levels of emulsifier (6.5%) and butteroil (10%) were kept constant, and each emulsion was added to milk at a rate of 5% (w/w). Based on sensory evaluation, B-emulsion formulation was selected for fortification of milk. The phytosterol content of the fortified milk determined by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography was 410.8 mg/100 g. No significant loss in the initial content of phytosterol was observed after 1 week of storage. Sensory and physicochemical analyses indicated that significant differences were not observed between control and fortified milk samples up to 7 days of refrigerated storage. The present study suggests that it is feasible to add phytosterol as a functional ingredient in milk in the form of water-soluble emulsion to enhance health benefits of consumers. Two servings of such fortified milk per day provide almost the entire recommended daily requirement of phytosterol.
    • Development of a benchmarking system for Irish beef farms using data envelopment analysis

      Finneran, Eoghan; Crosson, Paul (2013)
      Agricultural extension trends have involved greater use of collaborative “discussion group” dissemination approaches. These discussion groups involve regular participatory meetings between a consistent cohort of farmers and extension practitioners with occasional input from industry and research stakeholders. In Ireland, policy change, small farm scale and low incomes are some of the factors incentivising beef farmers and industry to seek increased whole-farm income efficiency. Whole-farm comparative analysis may provide a means of identifying and explaining efficiency drivers at farm level. This article describes the development of BEEFMARK, a benchmarking model with potential to act as a tool to facilitate farmer-farmer and farmer-adviser group learning within discussion groups. BEEFMARK utilised Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to measure beef farm income and scale efficiency and to identify and characterise efficient peer farms which act as benchmarks for similarly structured, but lower efficiency farms. Market derived gross output (€) per livestock unit was positively associated with farm efficiency while greater overhead and concentrate feed expenditure was negatively associated with income and scale efficiency.
    • Supports for Farmers

      Unknown author (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2018)
      The objective of this publication is to provide up-to-date information to help improve the situation of farmers in rural Ireland. It is intended to provide up-to-date information to help improve the situation of farmers and people involved in providing services to the farming community and is based on our understanding of current regulation and practice. The information in this guide is intended as a general guide only and is not a legal interpretation.
    • Regulation of intestinal growth in response to variations in energy supply and demand

      Nilaweera, Kanishka N.; Speakman, J. R.; Science Foundation Ireland; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); SFI/16/BBSRC/3389; BB/P009875/1 (Wiley, 2018-12-03)
      The growth of the intestine requires energy, which is known to be met by catabolism of ingested nutrients. Paradoxically, during whole body energy deficit including calorie restriction, the intestine grows in size. To understand how and why this happens, we reviewed data from several animal models of energetic challenge. These were bariatric surgery, cold exposure, lactation, dietary whey protein intake and calorie restriction. Notably, these challenges all reduced the adipose tissue mass, altered hypothalamic neuropeptide expression and increased intestinal size. Based on these data, we propose that the loss of energy in the adipose tissue promotes the growth of the intestine via a signalling mechanism involving the hypothalamus. We discuss possible candidates in this pathway including data showing a correlative change in intestinal (ileal) expression of the cyclin D1 gene with adipose tissue mass, adipose derived‐hormone leptin and hypothalamic expression of leptin receptor and the pro‐opiomelanocortin gene. The ability of the intestine to grow in size during depletion of energy stores provides a mechanism to maximize assimilation of ingested energy and in turn sustain critical functions of tissues important for survival.
    • Lactic Acid Bacteria and Bifidobacteria with Potential to Design Natural Biofunctional Health-Promoting Dairy Foods

      Linares, Daniel M.; Gómez, Carolina; Renes, Erica; Fresno, José M.; Tornadijo, María E.; Ross, R Paul; Stanton, Catherine; Science Foundation Ireland (Frontiers, 2017-05-18)
      Consumer interest in healthy lifestyle and health-promoting natural products is a major driving force for the increasing global demand of biofunctional dairy foods. A number of commercial sources sell synthetic formulations of bioactive substances for use as dietary supplements. However, the bioactive-enrichment of health-oriented foods by naturally occurring microorganisms during dairy fermentation is in increased demand. While participating in milk fermentation, lactic acid bacteria can be exploited in situ as microbial sources for naturally enriching dairy products with a broad range of bioactive components that may cover different health aspects. Several of these bioactive metabolites are industrially and economically important, as they are claimed to exert diverse health-promoting activities on the consumer, such as anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative, immune-modulatory, anti-cholesterolemic, or microbiome modulation. This review aims at discussing the potential of these health-supporting bacteria as starter or adjunct cultures for the elaboration of dairy foods with a broad spectrum of new functional properties and added value.
    • An Immortalized Genetic Mapping Population for Perennial Ryegrass: A Resource for Phenotyping and Complex Trait Mapping

      Velmurugan, Janaki; Milbourne, Dan; Connolly, Vincent; Heslop-Harrison, J. S.; Anhalt, Ulrike C. M.; Lynch, M. B.; Barth, Susanne; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Frontiers, 2018-05-31)
      To address the lack of a truly portable, universal reference mapping population for perennial ryegrass, we have been developing a recombinant inbred line (RIL) mapping population of perennial ryegrass derived via single seed descent from a well-characterized F2 mapping population based on genetically distinct inbred parents in which the natural self-incompatibility (SI) system of perennial ryegrass has been overcome. We examined whether it is possible to create a genotyping by sequencing (GBS) based genetic linkage map in a small population of the F6 generation of this population. We used 41 F6 genotypes for GBS with PstI/MspI-based libraries. We successfully developed a genetic linkage map comprising 6074 SNP markers, placing a further 22080 presence and absence variation (PAV) markers on the map. We examined the resulting genetic map for general and RIL specific features. Overall segregation distortion levels were similar to those experienced in the F2 generation, but segregation distortion was reduced on linkage group 6 and increased on linkage group 7. Residual heterozygosity in the F6 generation was observed at a level of 5.4%. There was a high proportion of chromosomes (30%) exhibiting the intact haplotype of the original inbred parents of the F1 genotype from which the population is derived, pointing to a tendency for chromosomes to assort without recombining. This could affect the applicability of these lines and might make them more suitable for situations where repressed recombination is an advantage. Inter- and intra-chromosomal linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis suggested that the map order was robust. We conclude that this RIL population, and subsequent F7 and F8 generations will be useful for genetic analysis and phenotyping of agronomic and biological important traits in perennial ryegrass.
    • The Structural and Functional Capacity of Ruminal and Cecal Microbiota in Growing Cattle Was Unaffected by Dietary Supplementation of Linseed Oil and Nitrate

      Popova, Milka; McGovern, Emily; McCabe, Matthew; Martin, Cécile; Doreau, Michel; Arbre, Marie; Meale, Sarah J.; Morgavi, Diego P.; Waters, Sinead M.; INRA; French ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development; French ministry of National Education, Higher Education, and Research; FACCE-JPI (Frontiers, 2017-05-24)
      Microorganisms in the digestive tract of ruminants differ in their functionality and ability to use feed constituents. While cecal microbiota play an important role in post-rumen fermentation of residual substrates undigested in the rumen, limited knowledge exists regarding its structure and function. In this trial we investigated the effect of dietary supplementation with linseed oil and nitrate on methane emissions and on the structure of ruminal and cecal microbiota of growing bulls. Animals were allocated to either a CTL (control) or LINNIT (CTL supplemented with 1.9% linseed and 1.0% nitrates) diet. Methane emissions were measured using the GreenFeed system. Microbial diversity was assessed using amplicon sequencing of microbial genomic DNA. Additionally, total RNA was extracted from ruminal contents and functional mcrA and mtt genes were targeted in amplicon sequencing approach to explore the diversity of functional gene expression in methanogens. LINNIT had no effect on methane yield (g/kg DMI) even though it decreased methane production by 9% (g/day; P < 0.05). Methanobrevibacter- and Methanomassiliicoccaceae-related OTUs were more abundant in cecum (72 and 24%) compared to rumen (60 and 11%) irrespective of the diet (P < 0.05). Feeding LINNIT reduced the relative abundance of Methanomassiliicoccaceae mcrA cDNA reads in the rumen. Principal component analysis revealed significant differences in taxonomic composition and abundance of bacterial communities between rumen and cecum. Treatment decreased the relative abundance of a few Ruminococcaceae genera, without affecting global bacterial community structure. Our research confirms a high level of heterogeneity in species composition of microbial consortia in the main gastrointestinal compartments where feed is fermented in ruminants. There was a parallel between the lack of effect of LINNIT on ruminal and cecal microbial community structure and functions on one side and methane emission changes on the other. These results suggest that the sequencing strategy used here to study microbial diversity and function accurately reflected the absence of effect on methane phenotypes in bulls treated with linseed plus nitrate.
    • Grazing of dairy cows on pasture versus indoor feeding on total mixed ration: Effects on low-moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheese yield and quality characteristics in mid and late lactation

      Gulati, Arunima; Galvin, Norann; Hennessy, Deirdre; McAuliffe, Stephen; O’Donovan, Michael; McManus, Jennifer J.; Fenelon, Mark; Guinee, Timothy P.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; Dairy Levy Research Trust; 11/sf/309 (Elsevier for American Dairy Science Association, 2018-08-16)
      This study investigated the effects of 3 dairy cow feeding systems on the composition, yield, and biochemical and physical properties of low-moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheese in mid (ML; May–June) and late (LL; October–November) lactation. Sixty spring-calving cows were assigned to 3 herds, each consisting of 20 cows, and balanced on parity, calving date, and pre-experimental milk yield and milk solids yield. Each herd was allocated to 1 of the following feeding systems: grazing on perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) pasture (GRO), grazing on perennial ryegrass and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) pasture (GRC), or housed indoors and offered total mixed ration (TMR). Mozzarella cheese was manufactured on 3 separate occasions in ML and 4 in LL in 2016. Feeding system had significant effects on milk composition, cheese yield, the elemental composition of cheese, cheese color (green to red and blue to yellow color coordinates), the extent of flow on heating, and the fluidity of the melted cheese. Compared with TMR milk, GRO and GRC milks had higher concentrations of protein and casein and lower concentrations of I, Cu, and Se, higher cheese-yielding capacity, and produced cheese with lower concentrations of the trace elements I, Cu, and Se and higher yellowness value. Cheese from GRO milk had higher heat-induced flow and fluidity than cheese from TMR milk. These effects were observed over the entire lactation period (ML + LL), but varied somewhat in ML and LL. Feeding system had little, or no, effect on gross composition of the cheese, the proportions of milk protein or fat lost to cheese whey, the texture of the unheated cheese, or the energy required to extend the molten cheese. The differences in color and melt characteristics of cheeses obtained from milks with the different feeding systems may provide a basis for creating points of differentiation suited to different markets.
    • A Pathogen-Responsive Leucine Rich Receptor Like Kinase Contributes to Fusarium Resistance in Cereals

      Thapa, Ganesh; Gunupuru, Lokanadha R.; Hehir, James G.; Kahla, Amal; Mullins, Ewen; Doohan, Fiona M.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; 11/S/103; 10/IN.1/B3028; 14IA2508 (Frontiers, 2018-06-26)
      Receptor-like kinases form the largest family of receptors in plants and play an important role in recognizing pathogen-associated molecular patterns and modulating the plant immune responses to invasive fungi, including cereal defenses against fungal diseases. But hitherto, none have been shown to modulate the wheat response to the economically important Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease of small-grain cereals. Homologous genes were identified on barley chromosome 6H (HvLRRK-6H) and wheat chromosome 6DL (TaLRRK-6D), which encode the characteristic domains of surface-localized receptor like kinases. Gene expression studies validated that the wheat TaLRRK-6D is highly induced in heads as an early response to both the causal pathogen of FHB disease, Fusarium graminearum, and its’ mycotoxic virulence factor deoxynivalenol. The transcription of other wheat homeologs of this gene, located on chromosomes 6A and 6B, was also up-regulated in response to F. graminearum. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of the barley HvLRRK-6H compromised leaf defense against F. graminearum. VIGS of TaLRRK-6D in two wheat cultivars, CM82036 (resistant to FHB disease) and cv. Remus (susceptible to FHB), confirmed that TaLRRK-6D contributes to basal resistance to FHB disease in both genotypes. Although the effect of VIGS did not generally reduce grain losses due to FHB, this experiment did reveal that TaLRRK-6D positively contributes to grain development. Further gene expression studies in wheat cv. Remus indicated that VIGS of TaLRRK-6D suppressed the expression of genes involved in salicylic acid signaling, which is a key hormonal pathway involved in defense. Thus, this study provides the first evidence of receptor like kinases as an important component of cereal defense against Fusarium and highlights this gene as a target for enhancing cereal resistance to FHB disease.
    • A Novel Multivariate Approach to Phenotyping and Association Mapping of Multi-Locus Gametophytic Self-Incompatibility Reveals S, Z, and Other Loci in a Perennial Ryegrass (Poaceae) Population

      Thorogood, Daniel; Yates, Steven; Manzanares, Chloé; Skot, Leif; Hegarty, Matthew; Blackmore, Tina; Barth, Susanne; Studer, Bruno; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Swiss National Science Foundation; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; BB/J004405/1; PP00P2 138988 (Frontiers, 2017-08-02)
      Self-incompatibility (SI) is a mechanism that many flowering plants employ to prevent fertilisation by self- and self-like pollen ensuring heterozygosity and hybrid vigour. Although a number of single locus mechanisms have been characterised in detail, no multi-locus systems have been fully elucidated. Historically, examples of the genetic analysis of multi-locus SI, to make analysis tractable, are either made on the progeny of bi-parental crosses, where the number of alleles at each locus is restricted, or on crosses prepared in such a way that only one of the SI loci segregates. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) possesses a well-documented two locus (S and Z) gametophytic incompatibility system. A more universal, realistic proof of principle study was conducted in a perennial ryegrass population in which allelic and non-allelic diversity was not artificially restricted. A complex pattern of pollinations from a diallel cross was revealed which could not possibly be interpreted easily per se, even with an already established genetic model. Instead, pollination scores were distilled into principal component scores described as Compatibility Components (CC1-CC3). These were then subjected to a conventional genome-wide association analysis. CC1 associated with markers on linkage groups (LGs) 1, 2, 3, and 6, CC2 exclusively with markers in a genomic region on LG 2, and CC3 with markers on LG 1. BLAST alignment with the Brachypodium physical map revealed highly significantly associated markers with peak associations with genes adjacent and four genes away from the chromosomal locations of candidate SI genes, S- and Z-DUF247, respectively. Further significant associations were found in a Brachypodium distachyon chromosome 3 region, having shared synteny with Lolium LG 1, suggesting further SI loci linked to S or extensive micro-re-arrangement of the genome between B. distachyon and L. perenne. Significant associations with gene sequences aligning with marker sequences on Lolium LGs 3 and 6 were also identified. We therefore demonstrate the power of a novel association genetics approach to identify the genes controlling multi-locus gametophytic SI systems and to identify novel loci potentially involved in already established SI systems.
    • Estrogen-mediated gut microbiome alterations influence sexual dimorphism in metabolic syndrome in mice

      Kaliannan, Kanakaraju; Robertson, Ruairi C; Murphy, Kiera; Stanton, Catherine; Kang, Chao; Wang, Bin; Hao, Lei; Bhan, Atul K; Kang, Jing X; Sansun Life Sciences; Fortune Education Foundation (Biomed Central, 2018-11-13)
      Background Understanding the mechanism of the sexual dimorphism in susceptibility to obesity and metabolic syndrome (MS) is important for the development of effective interventions for MS. Results Here we show that gut microbiome mediates the preventive effect of estrogen (17β-estradiol) on metabolic endotoxemia (ME) and low-grade chronic inflammation (LGCI), the underlying causes of MS and chronic diseases. The characteristic profiles of gut microbiome observed in female and 17β-estradiol-treated male and ovariectomized mice, such as decreased Proteobacteria and lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, were associated with a lower susceptibility to ME, LGCI, and MS in these animals. Interestingly, fecal microbiota-transplant from male mice transferred the MS phenotype to female mice, while antibiotic treatment eliminated the sexual dimorphism in MS, suggesting a causative role of the gut microbiome in this condition. Moreover, estrogenic compounds such as isoflavones exerted microbiome-modulating effects similar to those of 17β-estradiol and reversed symptoms of MS in the male mice. Finally, both expression and activity of intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP), a gut microbiota-modifying non-classical anti-microbial peptide, were upregulated by 17β-estradiol and isoflavones, whereas inhibition of IAP induced ME and LGCI in female mice, indicating a critical role of IAP in mediating the effects of estrogen on these parameters. Conclusions In summary, we have identified a previously uncharacterized microbiome-based mechanism that sheds light upon sexual dimorphism in the incidence of MS and that suggests novel therapeutic targets and strategies for the management of obesity and MS in males and postmenopausal women.
    • Blood parameters as biomarkers in a Salmonella spp. disease model of weaning piglets

      Barba-Vidal, Emili; Buttow Roll, Victor Fernando; Garcia Manzanilla, Edgar; Torrente, Carlos; Moreno Muñoz, Jose Antonio; PeÂrez, Jose Francisco; Martin-Orue, Susana Maria; Spanish Ministry of Education and Science; Laboratorios Ordesa S.L.; CNPQ Brazil; AGL 2012-31924 (PLOS, 2017-10-26)
      Background The weaning pig is used as an experimental model to assess the impact of diet on intestinal health. Blood parameters (BP) are considered a useful tool in humans, but there is very scarce information of such indicators in the weaning pig. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the use of different BP as indicators in an experimental model of salmonellosis. Methodology Seventy-two 28-day-old piglets were divided into four groups in a 2x2 factorial arrangement, with animals receiving or not a probiotic combination based on B. infantis IM1® and B. lactis BPL6 (109 colony forming units (cfu)/d) and orally challenged or not a week later with Salmonella Typhimurium (5x108 cfu). Blood samples of one animal per pen (N = 24) were taken four days post-inoculation for the evaluation of different BP using an I-stat® System and of plasmatic concentrations of zinc, iron and copper. Principal findings Results reported marginal deficiencies of zinc in piglets at weaning. Moreover, plasmatic zinc, copper and iron presented good correlations with weight gain (r 0.57, r -0.67, r 0.54 respectively; P < 0.01). Blood electrolytes (Na+, Cl- and K+) decreased (P < 0.01) only when the performance of the animals was seriously compromised and clinical symptoms were more apparent. Acid-base balance parameters such as HCO3-, TCO2 and BEecf significantly correlated with weight gain, but only in the challenged animals (r -0.54, r -0.55, and r -0.51, respectively; P < 0.05), suggesting metabolic acidosis depending on Salmonella infection. Glucose was affected by the challenge (P = 0.040), while Htc and Hgb increased with the challenge and decreased with the probiotic (P < 0.05). Furthermore, correlations of Glu, Htc and Hgb with weight gain were observed (P < 0.05). Overall, BP could be regarded as simple, useful indexes to assess performance and health of weaning piglets.