Now showing items 1-20 of 2234

    • Diversity of Gut Microbiota and Bifidobacterial Community of Chinese Subjects of Different Ages and from Different Regions

      Yang, Bo; Yan, Shuang; Chen, Yang; Ross, R. Paul; STANTON, CATHERINE; Zhao, Jianxin; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Wei; National Natural Science Foundation of China; National First-Class Discipline Program of Food Science and Technology; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-07-24)
      Gut microbiota composition and functionality are closely linked to host health. In this study, the fecal microbiota and bifidobacterial communities of 111 healthy volunteers from four regions of China of varying age profiles (Child, 1–5 years; Young, 18–50 years; Elder, 60–80 years; Longevity, ≥90 years) were investigated via high-throughput sequencing. Canonical analysis revealed that the gut microbiota, as well as bifidobacteria profiles of the subjects, clustered according to their regions and age. Eight genera were shared among all subjects, however, certain genera distributed differently in subjects grouped by region and age. Faecalibacterium was enriched in samples from Zhongxiang, unclassified Ruminococcaceae and Christensenellaceae were enriched in the Longevity group, and Bifidobacterium was enriched in Child. Within Bifidobacterium, B. longum was the most abundant species in almost all samples except for Child, in which B. pseudocatenulatum was the most abundant. Additionally, the abundances of B. adolescentis and B. dentium were lower in Child. In conclusion, our results suggest that geography and age affect the structure of the gut microbiota, as well as Bifidobacterium composition, and this variation may greatly associate with the metabolic and immune changes that occur during the process of aging.
    • Genetic Analysis Using a Multi-Parent Wheat Population Identifies Novel Sources of Septoria Tritici Blotch Resistance

      Riaz, Adnan; KockAppelgren, Petra; Hehir, James Gerard; Kang, Jie; Meade, Fergus; Cockram, James; Milbourne, Dan; Spink, John; Mullins, Ewen; Byrne, Stephen; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-08-04)
      Zymoseptoria tritici is the causative fungal pathogen of septoria tritici blotch (STB) disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) that continuously threatens wheat crops in Ireland and throughout Europe. Under favorable conditions, STB can cause up to 50% yield losses if left untreated. STB is commonly controlled with fungicides; however, a combination of Z. tritici populations developing fungicide resistance and increased restrictions on fungicide use in the EU has led to farmers relying on fewer active substances. Consequently, this serves to drive the emergence of Z. tritici resistance against the remaining chemistries. In response, the use of resistant wheat varieties provides a more sustainable disease management strategy. However, the number of varieties offering an adequate level of resistance against STB is limited. Therefore, new sources of resistance or improved stacking of existing resistance loci are needed to develop varieties with superior agronomic performance. Here, we identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) for STB resistance in the eight-founder “NIAB Elite MAGIC” winter wheat population. The population was screened for STB response in the field under natural infection for three seasons from 2016 to 2018. Twenty-five QTL associated with STB resistance were identified in total. QTL either co-located with previously reported QTL or represent new loci underpinning STB resistance. The genomic regions identified and the linked genetic markers serve as useful resources for STB resistance breeding, supporting rapid selection of favorable alleles for the breeding of new wheat cultivars with improved STB resistance.
    • The Impact of Formulation on Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and meso-Zeaxanthin Bioavailability: A Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study

      Green-Gomez, Marina; Prado-Cabrero, Alfonso; Moran, Rachel; Power, Tommy; Gómez Gómez-Mascaraque, Laura; Stack, Jim; Nolan, John N.; Howard Foundation UK; Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) President’s scholarship program (MDPI AG, 2020-08-18)
      Lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z), and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ) have been the focus of research and commercial interest for their applications in human health. Research into formulations to enhance their bioavailability is merited. This 6 month randomised placebo-controlled trial involving 81 healthy volunteers compared the bioavailability of different formulations of free L, Z, and MZ in sunflower or omega-3 oil versus L, Z, and MZ diacetates (Ld, Zd, and MZd) in a micromicellar formulation. Fasting serum carotenoids, macular pigment, and skin carotenoid score were analysed at baseline and 6 months. Serum L, Z, and MZ concentrations increased in all active interventions compared to placebo (p < 0.001 to p = 0.008). The diacetate micromicelle formulation exhibited a significantly higher mean response in serum concentrations of Z and MZ compared to the other active interventions (p = 0.002 to 0.019). A micromicellar formulation with solubilised Z and MZ diacetates is a promising technology advancement that enhances the bioavailability of these carotenoids when compared to traditional carotenoid formulations (ISRCTN clinical trial registration number: ISRCTN18206561)
    • A Whey Fraction Rich in Immunoglobulin G Combined with Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis ATCC 15697 Exhibits Synergistic Effects against Campylobacter jejuni

      Quinn, Erinn M.; Kilcoyne, Michelle; Walsh, Dan; Joshi, Lokesh; Hickey, Rita M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (MDPI AG, 2020-06-29)
      Evidence that whey proteins and peptides have health benefits beyond basic infant nutrition has increased dramatically in recent years. Previously, we demonstrated that a whey-derived immunoglobulin G-enriched powder (IGEP) enhanced adhesion of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis ATCC 15697 (B. infantis) to HT-29 cells. In this study, we investigated the synergistic effect of IGEP-treated B. infantis on preventing the attachment of highly invasive Campylobacter jejuni 81–176 (C. jejuni) to intestinal HT-29 cells. The combination decreased the adherence of C. jejuni to the HT-29 cells by an average of 48% compared to the control (non-IGEP-treated B. infantis). We also confirmed that treatment of IGEP with sodium metaperiodate, which disables the biological recognition of the conjugated oligosaccharides, reduced adhesion of B. infantis to the intestinal cells. Thus, glycosylation of the IGEP components may be important in enhancing B. infantis adhesion. Interestingly, an increased adhesion phenotype was not observed when B. infantis was treated with bovine serum-derived IgG, suggesting that bioactivity was unique to milk-derived immunoglobulin-rich powders. Notably, IGEP did not induce growth of B. infantis within a 24 hours incubation period, as demonstrated by growth curves and metabolite analysis. The current study provides insight into the functionality of bovine whey components and highlights their potential in positively impacting the development of a healthy microbiota.
    • Detection of Novel QTLs for Late Blight Resistance Derived from the Wild Potato Species Solanum microdontum and Solanum pampasense

      Meade, Fergus; Hutten, Ronald; Wagener, Silke; Prigge, Vanessa; Dalton, Emmet; Kirk, Hanne Grethe; Griffin, Denis; Milbourne, Dan; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; IPM Potato Group; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-06-30)
      Wild potato species continue to be a rich source of genes for resistance to late blight in potato breeding. Whilst many dominant resistance genes from such sources have been characterised and used in breeding, quantitative resistance also offers potential for breeding when the loci underlying the resistance can be identified and tagged using molecular markers. In this study, F1 populations were created from crosses between blight susceptible parents and lines exhibiting strong partial resistance to late blight derived from the South American wild species Solanum microdontum and Solanum pampasense. Both populations exhibited continuous variation for resistance to late blight over multiple field-testing seasons. High density genetic maps were created using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, enabling mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for late blight resistance that were consistently expressed over multiple years in both populations. In the population created with the S. microdontum source, QTLs for resistance consistently expressed over three years and explaining a large portion (21–47%) of the phenotypic variation were found on chromosomes 5 and 6, and a further resistance QTL on chromosome 10, apparently related to foliar development, was discovered in 2016 only. In the population created with the S. pampasense source, QTLs for resistance were found in over two years on chromosomes 11 and 12. For all loci detected consistently across years, the QTLs span known R gene clusters and so they likely represent novel late blight resistance genes. Simple genetic models following the effect of the presence or absence of SNPs associated with consistently effective loci in both populations demonstrated that marker assisted selection (MAS) strategies to introgress and pyramid these loci have potential in resistance breeding strategies.
    • Effectiveness of current hygiene practices on minimization of Listeria monocytogenes in different mushroom production‐related environments

      Pennone, Vincenzo; Dygico, Kenneth Lyonel; Coffey, Aidan; Gahan, Cormac G.M.; Grogan, Helen; McAuliffe, Olivia; Burgess, Catherine M.; Jordan, Kieran; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 14/F/881 (Wiley, 2020-05-20)
      Background: The commercial production of Agaricus bisporus is a three stage process: 1) production of compost, also called “substrate”; 2) production of casing soil; and 3) production of the mushrooms. Hygiene practices are undertaken at each stage: pasteurization of the substrate, hygiene practices applied during the production of casing soil, postharvest steam cookout, and disinfection at the mushroom production facilities. However, despite these measures, foodborne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, are reported in the mushroom production environment. In this work, the presence of L. monocytogenes was evaluated before and after the application of hygiene practices at each stage of mushroom production with swabs, samples of substrate, casing, and spent mushroom growing substrates. Results: L. monocytogenes was not detected in any casing or substrate sample by enumeration according to BS EN ISO 11290-2:1998. Analysis of the substrate showed that L. monocytogenes was absent in 10 Phase II samples following pasteurization, but was then present in 40% of 10 Phase III samples. At the casing production facility, 31% of 59 samples were positive. Hygiene improvements were applied, and after four sampling occasions, 22% of 37 samples were positive, but no statistically significant difference was observed (p > .05). At mushroom production facilities, the steam cookout process inactivated L. monocytogenes in the spent growth substrate, but 13% of 15 floor swabs at Company 1 and 19% of 16 floor swabs at Company 2, taken after disinfection, were positive. Conclusion: These results showed the possibility of L. monocytogenes recontamination of Phase III substrate, cross-contamination at the casing production stage and possible survival after postharvest hygiene practices at the mushroom growing facilities. This information will support the development of targeted measures to minimize L. monocytogenes in the mushroom industry.
    • Towards More Sustainable Meat Products: Extenders as a Way of Reducing Meat Content

      Pintado, Tatiana; Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo (MDPI AG, 2020-08-03)
      The low efficiency of animal protein (meat products) production is one of the main concerns for sustainable food production. However, meat provides high-quality protein among other compounds such as minerals or vitamins. The use of meat extenders, non-meat substances with high protein content, to partially replace meat, offers interesting opportunities towards the reformulation of healthier and more sustainable meat products. The objective of this review is to give a general point of view on what type of compounds are used as meat extenders and how they affect the physicochemical and sensory properties of reformulated products. Plant-based ingredients (pulses, cereals, tubers and fruits) have been widely used to replace up to 50% of meat. Mushrooms allow for higher proportions of meat substitution, with adequate results in reduced-sodium reformulated products. Insects and by-products from the food industry are novel approaches that present an opportunity to develop more sustainable meat products. In general, the use of meat extenders improves the yield of the products, with slight sensory modifications. These multiple possibilities make meat extenders’ use the most viable and interesting approach towards the production of healthier meat products with less environmental impact.
    • The Effect of Compositional Changes Due to Seasonal Variation on Milk Density and the Determination of Season-Based Density Conversion Factors for Use in the Dairy Industry

      Parmar, Puneet; Lopez-Villalobos, Nicolas; Tobin, John T.; Murphy, Eoin; McDonagh, Arleen; Crowley, Shane V.; Kelly, Alan L.; Shalloo, Laurence; Enterprise Ireland; Science Foundation Ireland; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-07-27)
      The objective of this study was to determine the effect of seasonal variation on milk composition and establish an algorithm to predict density based on milk composition to enable the calculation of season-based density conversion calculations. A total of 1035 raw whole milk samples were collected from morning and evening milking of 60 spring-calving individual cows of different genetic groups, namely Jersey, Elite HF (Holstein–Friesian) and National Average HF, once every two weeks for a period of 9 months (March–November, 2018). The average mean and standard deviation for milk compositional traits were 4.72 ± 1.30% fat, 3.85 ± 0.61% protein and 4.69 ± 0.30% lactose and density was estimated at 1.0308 ± 0.002 g/cm3 . The density of the milk samples was evaluated using three methods: a portable density meter, DMA 35; a standard desktop version, DMA 4500M; and an Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC) method using 100-mL glass pycnometers. Statistical analysis using a linear mixed model showed a significant difference in density of milk samples (p < 0.05) across seasonal and compositional variations adjusted for the effects of days in milk, parity, the feeding treatment, the genetic group and the measurement technique. The mean density values and standard error of mean estimated for milk samples in each season, i.e., spring, summer and autumn were 1.0304 ± 0.00008 g/cm3 , 1.0314 ± 0.00005 g/cm3 and 1.0309 ± 0.00007 g/cm3 , respectively.
    • Investigation of Raman Spectroscopy (with Fiber Optic Probe) and Chemometric Data Analysis for the Determination of Mineral Content in Aqueous Infant Formula

      Zhao, Ming; Shaikh, Saif; Kang, Renxi; Markiewicz-Keszycka, Maria (MDPI AG, 2020-07-22)
      This study investigated the use of Raman spectroscopy (RS) and chemometrics for the determination of eight mineral elements (i.e., Ca, Mg, K, Na, Cu, Mn, Fe, and Zn) in aqueous infant formula (INF). The samples were prepared using infant formula powder reconstituted to concentrations of 3%–13% w/w (powder: water) (n = 83). Raman spectral data acquisition was carried out using a non-contact fiber optic probe on the surface of aqueous samples in 50–3398 cm−1. ICP-AES was used as a reference method for the determination of the mineral contents in aqueous INF samples. Results showed that the best performing partial least squares regression (PLSR) models developed for the prediction of minerals using all samples for calibration achieved R2CV values of 0.51–0.95 with RMSECVs of 0.13–2.96 ppm. The PLSR models developed and validated using separate calibration (n = 42) and validation (n = 41) samples achieved R2CVs of 0.93, 0.94, 0.91, 0.90, 0.97, and 0.94, R2Ps of 0.75, 0.77, 0.31, 0.60, 0.84, and 0.80 with RMSEPs of 3.17, 0.29, 3.45, 1.51, 0.30, and 0.25 ppm for the prediction of Ca, Mg, K, Na, Fe, and Zn respectively. This study demonstrated that RS equipped with a non-contact fiber optic probe and combined with chemometrics has the potential for timely quantification of the mineral content of aqueous INF during manufacturing.
    • Fertility of frozen sex-sorted sperm at 4 × 106 sperm per dose in lactating dairy cows in seasonal-calving pasture-based herds

      Maicas, C.; Holden, S.A.; Drake, E.; Cromie, A.R.; Lonergan, P.; Butler, S.T.; Irish Dairy Levy Trust; Munster Bovine; Meat Industry Ireland; Glanbia; et al. (American Dairy Science Association, 2019-09-23)
      The objective was to evaluate the reproductive performance of frozen sex-sorted sperm at 4 × 106 sperm per dose (SexedULTRA 4M, Sexing Technologies, Navasota, TX) relative to frozen conventional sperm in seasonal-calving pasture-based dairy cows. Semen from Holstein-Friesian (n = 8) and Jersey (n = 2) bulls was used. Four of the Holstein bulls used were resident at or near a sex-sorting laboratory (Cogent, UK, or ST Benelux, the Netherlands). The remaining 6 bulls were located at studs in Ireland. For these 6 bulls, ejaculates were collected, diluted with transport medium, and couriered to Cogent in parcel shippers. Transit time from ejaculation to arrival at the sorting laboratory was 6 to 7 h. For all bulls, ejaculates were split and processed to provide frozen conventional sperm (CONV) at 15 × 106 sperm per straw and frozen sex-sorted (SS) sperm at 4 × 106 sperm per straw and used to inseminate lactating dairy cows after spontaneous estrus. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed by ultrasound scanning (n = 7,246 records available for analysis). Generalized linear mixed models were used to examine effects on pregnancy per AI (P/AI) at first artificial insemination, with sperm treatment (CONV vs. SS), bull (n = 10), and treatment × bull interaction as the fixed effects, and herd (n = 142) as a random effect. Overall, P/ AI was greater for cows inseminated with CONV than for those inseminated with SS (59.9% vs. 45.5%; 76.0% relative to CONV). This study was not designed to compare resident bulls vs. shipped ejaculates, but the magnitude of the difference between P/AI achieved by CONV and SS was apparently less for resident bulls (60.3% vs. 50.2%) than for shipped ejaculates (58.6% vs. 40.7%). We discovered a treatment × bull interaction for shipped ejaculates (P/AI ranged from 45 to 86% relative to CONV) but not for the resident bulls (P/AI ranged from 81 to 87% relative to CONV). Relative P/AI of SS compared with CONV was greater in cows with high or average fertility potential (76.1% and 78.3%, respectively) than in cows with low fertility potential (58.1%). In 33.1% of the enrolled herds, the P/AI achieved with SS was 90% or more of the P/ AI achieved with CONV; this was mainly explained by herds in which SS performed exceptionally well but CONV performed poorly. In conclusion, SS had lower overall P/AI compared with CONV; however, P/AI achieved with SS was dependent on the bull, fertility potential of the cow, and herd. Strategies to improve the P/AI with SS in seasonal-calving pasture-based lactating dairy cows require further research.
    • Associations between postpartum phenotypes, cow factors, genetic traits, and reproductive performance in seasonal-calving, pasture-based lactating dairy cows

      Rojas Canadas, E.; Herlihy, M.M.; Kenneally, J.; Grant, J.; Kearney, F.; Lonergan, P.; Butler, S.T.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; RSF 13S528 (American Dairy Science Association, 2020-01)
      The objective of this study was to evaluate associations between corpus luteum (CL) status, uterine health, body condition score (BCS), metabolic status, parity, genetic merit for fertility traits, and reproductive performance in pasture-based dairy cows managed for seasonal reproduction. First- and second-lactation (n = 2,600) spring-calving dairy cows from 35 dairy farms located in Ireland were enrolled in the study. Farms were visited every 2 wk, and animals that were at wk 3 (range: 14–27 d in milk) and wk 7 (range: 42–55 d in milk) postpartum were examined. Body condition score was measured using a 1-to-5 scale in 0.25-point increments. Transrectal ultrasound examination was performed at wk 3 and 7 postpartum to determine presence or absence of CL and ultrasound reproductive tract score (scale of G1–G4). Blood samples were collected at each visit, and the concentrations of glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and fatty acids (FA) were analyzed using enzymatic colorimetry. Animals were grouped into 3 BCS categories [low (≤2.5), target (2.75–3.25), and high (≥3.5)], 2 CL categories (present or absent), 2 uterine health status categories (normal or abnormal), and 3 metabolic status categories [good (high glucose, low FA and BHB), poor (low glucose, high FA and BHB), and moderate (all other combinations)]. Fisher's exact test was used to test for associations between variables and was supplemented by logistic regression. More cows with a CL at wk 7 were served during the first 21 d of the breeding period compared with cows without a CL. Cows classified as having a uterine score of G3 or G4 at wk 3 and 7 had lower odds of pregnancy establishment during the breeding period compared with animals with a uterine score of G1 or G2. Animals with low BCS at wk 7 had lower odds of pregnancy establishment than cows with a target BCS. Cows classified as having good metabolic status at both wk 3 and wk 7 had greater odds of pregnancy establishment during the first 21 d of the breeding season than those classified as having poor metabolic status. Overall, primiparous cows had greater reproductive performance than second-parity cows. Animals in the quartiles with the best predicted transmitting ability for survival and calving interval had better reproductive performance compared with animals in the other quartiles. Cows that had better genetic merit for fertility traits and good metabolic status, achieved target BCS, and had a favorable ultrasound reproductive tract score and a CL present at wk 7 postpartum had superior reproductive performance.
    • Farm health and safety adoption through engineering and behaviour change

      McNamara, J; Griffin, P; Phelan, J; Field, W.E.; Kinsella, J (2019)
      The agriculture sector is one of the most hazardous occupations worldwide. The EU farming population is predominantly self-employed, who are largely outside the scope of EU occupational safety and health (OSH) legislation. Utilising effective communications approaches to transmit clear messages is a possible way of motivating farmer OSH adoption. The Public Health Model (PHM) of accident causation conceptualises an accident as occurring due to multiple interacting physical and human factors while the Social-Ecologic Framework enhances the PHM by defining various levels of the social environment which are influential on persons’ OSH actions. A knowledge gap exists in how farmers conceptualise accident causation. The aim of this study is to report findings of a Score Card exercise conducted among Irish farmers (n = 1,151) to reveal knowledge on farmers’ conceptualisation of accident causation where farmers ranked in order of importance up to five causes of farm accidents. First ranked items related to ‘machinery/ vehicles’, ‘organisational’ and ‘livestock’ as accident causation factors (92%). Overall rankings for up to five ranked causes identified six causes: ‘machinery/ vehicles’, ‘organisational’, ‘livestock’, ‘slurry related’, ‘trips, falls, buildings-related’ and ‘electrical’ (96.5%). The study data indicated that farmers’ perceptions of accident causes were inaccurate when compared with objective fatal farm accident data. The study concluded that communicating accurate and contemporary OSH messages to farmers has potential to assist with farm accident prevention. Based on the multiple and interacting risk factors arising in agriculture it is suggested that more elaborate study of farm accident prevention is warranted.
    • Core fecal microbiota of domesticated herbivorous ruminant, hindgut fermenters, and monogastric animals

      O’ Donnell, Michelle M.; Harris, Hugh M. B.; Ross, R. Paul; O'Toole, Paul W.; Science Foundation Ireland; 07/ IN.1/B1780 (Wiley, 2017-08-22)
      In this pilot study, we determined the core fecal microbiota composition and overall microbiota diversity of domesticated herbivorous animals of three digestion types: hindgut fermenters, ruminants, and monogastrics. The 42 animals representing 10 animal species were housed on a single farm in Ireland and all the large herbivores consumed similar feed, harmonizing two of the environmental factors that influence the microbiota. Similar to other mammals, the fecal microbiota of all these animals was dominated by the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla. The fecal microbiota spanning all digestion types comprised 42% of the genera identified. Host phylogeny and, to a lesser extent, digestion type determined the microbiota diversity in these domesticated herbivores. This pilot study forms a platform for future studies into the microbiota of nonbovine and nonequine domesticated herbivorous animals.
    • WO 2018/114971 A1 A method for producing beads

      Brodkorb, Andre; Haque, Kamrul; Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority (2020-10-19)
      The current invention relates to a method for producing beads. In particular, the current invention relates to a method for producing microbeads. The invention also relates to a microbead preparation produced by the method of the invention.
    • AgriBenchmark: Benchmarking Sustainable Nutrient Management on Irish Farms

      Murphy, Paul N.C.; Thomas, Ian; Buckley, Cathal; Kelly, Edel; Dillon, Emma; Hennessy, Thia; Environmental Protection Agency (2020-10-14)
      AgriBenchmark explored the possibilities for benchmarking of nutrient management performance on Irish farms. Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) data (2008–2015; 1446 farms) were used to characterise and explore the potential for improvement of farm nutrient management performance and resultant aspects of environmental and economic sustainability through the derivation of three key performance indicators (KPIs) at the farm-gate level: farm nutrient balance (kgha–1), nutrient use efficiency (NUE; %) and profitability (gross margin; €ha–1). In this report, the farm nutrient balance is defined as the farm-gate nutrient imports (fertiliser, feed, animals, etc.) minus the exports (animals, crops, wool and milk). A positive balance (surplus) is considered to represent a nutrient source pressure in terms of the risk of nutrient losses to the wider environment. The data and analyses in this report cover the main, more intensive agricultural systems in Ireland (excluding pig and poultry farms) and are representative of, on average, 61% of farms nationally and 76% of the total utilised agriculture area (UAA; excluding commonage).
    • Associations between postpartum fertility phenotypes and genetic traits in seasonal-calving, pasture-based lactating dairy cows

      Rojas Canadas, E.; Herlihy, M.M.; Kenneally, J.; Grant, J.; Kearney, F.; Lonergan, P.; Butler, Stephen; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; RSF13S528 (Elsevier for American Dairy Science Association, 2019-10-01)
      The objective of this study was to evaluate the associations between corpus luteum (CL) status, uterine health, body condition score (BCS), metabolic status, and parity at wk 3 and 7 postpartum in seasonal-calving, pasture-based, lactating dairy cows. The associations between those phenotypes and individual genetic traits were also evaluated. First- and second-parity spring-calving lactating dairy cows (n = 2,600) from 35 dairy farms in Ireland were enrolled. Farms were visited every 2 weeks; cows that were at wk 3 (range 14 to 27 DIM) and wk 7 (range 42 to 55 DIM) postpartum were examined. Body condition score was measured using a scale of 1 to 5 with 0.25 increments. Transrectal ultrasound examination was performed at wk 3 and 7 postpartum to determine presence or absence of CL and ultrasound reproductive tract score. Blood samples were collected at each visit and the concentrations of glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and fatty acids (FA) were analyzed by using enzymatic colorimetry. Cows were grouped into 3 BCS categories [low (≤2.5), target (≥2.75 and ≤3.25), and high (≥3.5)]; 2 CL status categories: (present or absent); 2 uterine health status (UHS) categories (normal and abnormal); and 3 metabolic status categories [good (high glucose, low fatty acids and BHB), poor (low glucose, high fatty acids and BHB), and moderate (all other combinations)]. Fisher's exact test was used to test associations between variables and was supplemented by logistic regression. We found associations between UHS (wk 3 and 7), BCS (wk 3 and 7), parity (wk 3 and 7) metabolic status (wk 3), and predicted transmitting ability for calving interval (PTA for CIV; wk 3) and CL status. Cows that had abnormal UHS, low BCS, primiparity, and poor metabolic status, and were in the quartile with the greatest PTA for CIV were less likely to have had CL present at wk 3 and 7 postpartum. We also found associations between CL status (wk 3 and 7), BCS (wk 3 and 7), parity (wk 3 and 7), and PTA for CIV (wk 3) and UHS. Cows that did not have a CL present had low BCS, primiparity, and that were in the quartile with greatest PTA for CIV, had a greater risk of abnormal UHS at wk 3 and 7 postpartum. We observed strong associations between CL status, UHS, BCS, metabolic status, parity, and individual genetic traits at wk 3 and 7 postpartum in seasonal-calving, pasture-based lactating dairy cows. Achieving target BCS and good metabolic status, and selecting cows based on PTA for CIV, are all expected to increase the likelihood of hastening the resumption of estrous cyclicity and enhancing uterine health during the postpartum period.
    • Using a reaction‐diffusion model to estimate day respiration and reassimilation of (photo)respiredCO2in leaves

      Berghuijs, Herman N. C.; Yin, Xinyou; Ho, Q. Tri; Retta, Moges A.; Nicolaï, Bart M.; Struik, Paul C.; the BioSolar Cells programme; Research Council of the KU Leuven; project C16/ 16/002 (Wiley, 2019-05-11)
      Methods using gas exchange measurements to estimate respiration in the light (day respiration Rd) make implicit assumptions about reassimilation of (photo)respired CO2; however, this reassimilation depends on the positions of mitochondria. We used a reaction-diffusion model without making these assumptions to analyse datasets on gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and anatomy for tomato leaves. We investigated how Rd values obtained by the Kok and the Yin methods are affected by these assumptions and how those by the Laisk method are affected by the positions of mitochondria. The Kok method always underestimated Rd. Estimates of Rd by the Yin method and by the reaction-diffusion model agreed only for nonphotorespiratory conditions. Both the Yin and Kok methods ignore reassimilation of (photo)respired CO2, and thus underestimated Rd for photorespiratory conditions, but this was less so in the Yin than in the Kok method. Estimates by the Laisk method were affected by assumed positions of mitochondria. It did not work if mitochondria were in the cytosol between the plasmamembrane and the chloroplast envelope. However, mitochondria were found to be most likely between the tonoplast and chloroplasts. Our reaction-diffusion model effectively estimates Rd, enlightens the dependence of Rd estimates on reassimilation and clarifies (dis)advantages of existing methods.
    • Methodological Framework for Modelling the Impact of the Agriculture to Forestry Land Use Change at the Farm Level

      O'Donoghue, Cathal; Ryan, Mary; Environmental Protection Agency (2020-10-13)
      There is a growing literature on the use of microsimulation models for agriculture, forestry and land use change (Richardson et al., 2014). Much of this literature addresses issues related to productivity and incomes (O’Donoghue, 2014), however consistent with an increasing global focus on sustainability, there is also increasing interest in combining analyses of both economic and environmental impacts (Ramilan et al., 2011). A sub-field of agricultural microsimulation addresses issues associated with land-use change from agriculture to forestry and vice versa (Ryan and O’Donoghue, 2019; Phimmavong & Keenan, 2020) and vice versa. The former transition is particularly important as it helps to mitigate significant carbon emissions from agriculture. This paper describes the development of a model that incorporates both economic and environmental dimensions of the land-use change from agriculture to forestry.
    • Milk adulteration with acidified rennet whey: a limitation for caseinomacropeptide detection by high-performance liquid chromatography

      de Pádua Alves, Érika; de Alcântara, Anna Laura D'Amico; Guimarães, Anselmo José Klaechim; de Santana, Elsa Helena Walter; Botaro, Bruno Garcia; Fagnani, Rafael; Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior; Fundação Nacional de Desenvolvimento do Ensino Superior Particular (Wiley, 2018-03-02)
      BACKGROUND High‐performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is widely employed to determine the caseinomacropeptide (CMP) index and to detect milk tampering with rennet whey. Prior to HPLC analysis, CMP is subject to a trichloracetic acid isolation, causing further soluble proteins in the sample to precipitate. On this basis, we aimed to determine whether rennet whey acidification could adversely affect the HPLC sensitivity with respect to detecting this peptide. RESULTS As hypothesized, the CMP index from milk with added acidified rennet whey was, on average, half that quantified from milk with added rennet whey. Moreover, the quantum satis of acidified whey added to milk sufficient to demonstrate a HPLC CMP > 30 mg L–1 was 94% greater than that required for this threshold to be reached with rennet whey. CONCLUSION Milk tampering with acidified rennet whey may limit the analytical sensitivity of the reversed‐phase HPLC employed for the screening of CMP and, ultimately, disguise the fraudulent addition of whey to milk. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry
    • Intra-Group Lethal Gang Aggression in Domestic Pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus)

      Camerlink, Irene; Chou, Jen-Yun; Turner, Simon P.; European Cooperation in Science and Technology; Scottish Government Strategic Research (MDPI AG, 2020-07-28)
      Intraspecific coalitional aggression is rare among all species, especially within stable social groups. We report here numerous cases of intraspecific lethal gang aggression within stable groups of domestic pigs. The objective was to describe this extreme aggression and to identify potential causes. Management data were collected from farms with (n = 23) and without (n = 19) gang aggression. From one farm, 91 victims were assessed for skin injuries and body condition score. Lethal gang aggression was significantly associated with deep straw bedding, which may be related to various other factors. Gang aggression tended to occur more in winter, and was unrelated to genetic line, breeding company, group size or feed type. It occurred equally in female-only and mixed sex groups (male-only groups were not represented), from around eight weeks of age. Injuries typically covered the whole body and were more severe on the front of the body. Victims who survived had a lower body condition score and fewer injuries than victims found dead. There are still many unknowns as to why this abnormal social behaviour occurs and it deserves further research attention, both for its applied relevance to animal welfare as for the evolutionary background of lethal gang aggression.