Now showing items 21-40 of 2028

    • Effect of non-thermal plasma technology on microbial inactivation and total phenolic content of model liquid food and black pepper grains

      Charoux, Clementine M.G.; Free, Louis; Hinds, Laura M.; Vijayaraghavan, Rajani K.; Daniels, Stephen; O'Donnell, Colm P.; Tiwari, Brijesh; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. (Elsevier, 2019-10-12)
      The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of cold plasma technology on the growth and survival rates of vegetative cells and spores, and total phenolic content of black pepper grains. Plasma treatment was carried out using a non-thermal plasma jet system operating at 20 kHz using atmospheric air at a flow of 11 L/min. Two matrices were used, a model liquid food system and black pepper grains, both inoculated with Bacillus subtilis vegetative cells and spores. The samples were treated at 15 and 30 kV for 3–20 min. The plate count method was used to observe the colony-forming units at selected storage times i.e. at 1, 24 and 48 h post treatment at 4 °C. The highest log reduction was observed at 24 h post treatment, i.e. 2.92 log reduction. A 1 log reduction was achieved in the case of black pepper inoculated with spores for all selected storage times. No significant differences in total phenolic content were observed between treated and non-treated samples (p > 0.05). Optical emission spectroscopy was used to detect reactive species which could be responsible for cell death. Atomic oxygen, atomic nitrogen, hydroxyl radicals, nitrite oxide and nitrate were detected in light emitted from the plasma. Cell membrane damage caused by non-thermal plasma technology was observed using scanning electron microscopy. This study concludes that cold plasma technology has potential for industry application in food processing to reduce microbial loads in dried foods with limited impacts on food quality.
    • Clay illuviation provides a long-term sink for C sequestration in subsoils

      Torres-Sallan, Gemma; Schulte, Rogier P.; Lanigan, Gary; Byrne, Kenneth; Reidy, Brian; Simó, Iolanda; Six, Johan; Creamer, Rachel; Irish Soil Information System project; Teagasc; et al. (Springer Nature, 2017-04-06)
      Soil plays a key role in the global carbon (C) cycle. Most current assessments of SOC stocks and the guidelines given by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) focus on the top 30 cm of soil. Our research shows that, when considering only total quantities, most of the SOC stocks are found in this top layer. However, not all forms of SOC are equally valuable as long-term stable stores of carbon: the majority of SOC is available for mineralisation and can potentially be re-emitted to the atmosphere. SOC associated with micro-aggregates and silt plus clay fractions is more stable and therefore represents a long-term carbon store. Our research shows that most of this stable carbon is located at depths below 30 cm (42% of subsoil SOC is located in microaggregates and silt and clay, compared to 16% in the topsoil), specifically in soils that are subject to clay illuviation. This has implications for land management decisions in temperate grassland regions, defining the trade-offs between primary productivity and C emissions in clay-illuviated soils, as a result of drainage. Therefore, climate smart land management should consider the balance between SOC stabilisation in topsoils for productivity versus sequestration in subsoils for climate mitigation.
    • Schmallenberg virus: a systematic international literature review (2011-2019) from an Irish perspective

      Collins, Áine B; Doherty, Michael L; Barrett, Damien J; Mee, John F; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Biomed Central, 2019-10-09)
      In Autumn 2011, nonspecific clinical signs of pyrexia, diarrhoea, and drop in milk yield were observed in dairy cattle near the German town of Schmallenberg at the Dutch/German border. Targeted veterinary diagnostic investigations for classical endemic and emerging viruses could not identify a causal agent. Blood samples were collected from animals with clinical signs and subjected to metagenomic analysis; a novel orthobunyavirus was identified and named Schmallenberg virus (SBV). In late 2011/early 2012, an epidemic of abortions and congenital malformations in calves, lambs and goat kids, characterised by arthrogryposis and hydranencephaly were reported in continental Europe. Subsequently, SBV RNA was confirmed in both aborted and congenitally malformed foetuses and also in Culicoides species biting midges. It soon became evident that SBV was an arthropod-borne teratogenic virus affecting domestic ruminants. SBV rapidly achieved a pan-European distribution with most countries confirming SBV infection within a year or two of the initial emergence. The first Irish case of SBV was confirmed in the south of the country in late 2012 in a bovine foetus. Since SBV was first identified in 2011, a considerable body of scientific research has been conducted internationally describing this novel emerging virus. The aim of this systematic review is to provide a comprehensive synopsis of the most up-to-date scientific literature regarding the origin of SBV and the spread of the Schmallenberg epidemic, in addition to describing the species affected, clinical signs, pathogenesis, transmission, risk factors, impact, diagnostics, surveillance methods and control measures. This review also highlights current knowledge gaps in the scientific literature regarding SBV, most notably the requirement for further research to determine if, and to what extent, SBV circulation occurred in Europe and internationally during 2017 and 2018. Moreover, recommendations are also made regarding future arbovirus surveillance in Europe, specifically the establishment of a European-wide sentinel herd surveillance program, which incorporates bovine serology and Culicoides entomology and virology studies, at national and international level to monitor for the emergence and re-emergence of arboviruses such as SBV, bluetongue virus and other novel Culicoides-borne arboviruses.
    • Mining Milk for Factors which Increase the Adherence of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis to Intestinal Cells

      Quinn, Erinn M.; Slattery, Helen; Thompson, Aoife P.; Kilcoyne, Michelle; Joshi, Lokesh; Hickey, Rita M.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (MDPI, 2018-12-03)
      Bifidobacteria play a vital role in human nutrition and health by shaping and maintaining the gut ecosystem. In order to exert a beneficial effect, a sufficient population of bifidobacteria must colonise the host. In this study, we developed a miniaturised high-throughput in vitro assay for assessing the colonising ability of bacterial strains in human cells. We also investigated a variety of components isolated from different milk sources for their ability to increase the adherence of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis ATCC 15697, a common member of the gastrointestinal microbiota of breastfed infants, to HT-29 cells. Both conventional and miniaturised colonisation assays were employed to examine the effect of 13 different milk-derived powders on bacterial adherence, including positive controls which had previously resulted in increased bifidobacterial adherence (human milk oligosaccharides and a combination of 3′- and 6′-sialylactose) to intestinal cells. Immunoglobulin G enriched from bovine whey and goat milk oligosaccharides resulted in increased adhesion (3.3- and 8.3-fold, respectively) of B. infantis to the intestinal cells and the miniaturised and conventional assays were found to yield comparable and reproducible results. This study highlights the potential of certain milk components to favourably modulate adhesion of bifidobacteria to human intestinal cells.
    • The Effect of Organic Acid, Trisodium Phosphate and Essential Oil Component Immersion Treatments on the Microbiology of Cod (Gadus morhua) during Chilled Storage

      Smyth, Conor; Brunton, Nigel P.; Fogarty, Colin; Bolton, Declan J.; Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; 13F458 (MDPI, 2018-12-08)
      Spoilage is a major issue for the seafood sector with the sale and exportation of fish limited by their short shelf-life. The immediate and storage effects of immersion (30 s at 20 °C) with 5% (w/v) citric acid (CA), 5% (v/v) lactic acid (LA), 5% (w/v) capric acid (CP) and 12% trisodium phosphate (TSP) (experiment 1) and essential oil components (EOC) (1% (v/v) citral (CIT), 1% (v/v) carvacrol (CAR), 1% (w/v) thymol (THY) and 1% (v/v) eugenol (EUG)) (experiment 2) on the concentrations of indicator (total viable counts (TVC) (mesophilic and psychrophilic) and total Enterobacteriaceae counts (TEC)), and spoilage organisms (Pseudomonas spp., lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Brochothrix thermosphacta, Photobacterium spp. and hydrogen sulphide producing bacteria (HSPB)) on cod (Gadus morhua) (stored aerobically at 2 °C) was investigated. There was no significant reduction for most treatment-bacteria combinations, with the following exceptions; TSP and TVCm (time t = 6), TSP and TVCp (t = 6), CP and LAB (t = 6, 8 and 10), CP and Br. thermosphacta (t = 4, 6, 8, 10, 14 and 16), TSP and Photobacterium spp. (t = 4), CAR and Br. thermosphacta (t = 6) and CAR and HSPB (t = 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18). Although the majority of treatments did not significantly (P > 0.05) reduce bacterial counts, the limited success with CP and CAR warrants further investigation.
    • Assessment of RNAlater® as a Potential Method to Preserve Bovine Muscle Proteins Compared with Dry Ice in a Proteomic Study

      Zhu, Yao; Mullen, Anne Maria; Rai, Dilip K; Kelly, Alan L.; Sheehan, David; Cafferky, Jamie; Hamill, Ruth M; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; NFFQ0017 (MDPI, 2019-02-05)
      RNAlater® is regarded as a potential preservation method for proteins, while its effect on bovine muscle proteins has rarely been evaluated. Bovine muscle protein samples (n = 12) collected from three tender (Warner–Bratzler shear force: 30.02–31.74 N) and three tough (Warner–Bratzler shear force: 54.12–66.25 N) Longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) samples, preserved using two different sampling preservation methods (RNAlater® and dry ice), at two post mortem time points (day 0 and day 14), were characterized using one-dimensional electrophoresis. Fourteen bands with molecular weights ranging from 15 to 250 kDa were verified, both in the dry ice and RNAlater® storage groups, at each time point, using image analysis. A shift from high to low molecular weight fragments, between day 0 and day 14, indicated proteolysis of the muscle proteins during post mortem storage. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analyses and database searching resulted in the identification of 10 proteins in four bands. Protein profiles of muscle preserved in RNAlater® were similar to those of muscle frozen on dry ice storage, both at day 0 and day 14. The results demonstrate that RNAlater® could be a simple and efficient way to preserve bovine muscle proteins for bovine muscle proteomic studies
    • Genetic merit for fertility traits in Holstein cows: VI. Oocyte developmental competence and embryo development

      Moore, Stephen G.; Cummins, Sean B; Mamo, Solomon; Lonergan, P.; Fair, Trudee; Butler, Stephen T.; National Development Plan; Dairy Levy Ireland (Elsevier, 2019-03-07)
      The hypothesis of this study was that cows with good genetic merit for fertility traits (Fert+) would produce oocytes and embryos of greater quality than cows with poor genetic merit for fertility traits (Fert−) and that mRNA expression of candidate genes would reflect the observed differences in quality. The aim of the study, therefore, was to determine the effect of genetic merit for fertility traits on morphological classification and mRNA abundance of key genes in immature oocytes and cumulus cells following ovum pick-up and in embryos following superovulation, artificial insemination (AI), and uterine flushing. In experiment 1, 17 Fert+ and 11 Fert− cows, ranging from 54 to 84 d in milk, were submitted to ovum pick-up on 4 occasions during a 2-wk period. Recovered cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) were morphologically graded. Oocytes and cumulus cells were separated, and mRNA abundance of genes associated with oocyte developmental competence was measured. There was no effect of genotype on the distribution of COC grades or on the mRNA abundance of the candidate genes in grade 1 COC. In experiment 2, 20 Fert+ and 19 Fert− cows, ranging from 71 to 189 d in milk, were submitted to superovulation and AI. The uteri of cows that responded to the superovulation protocol (17 Fert+ and 16 Fert− cows) were nonsurgically flushed 7 d postovulation. Recovered embryos were morphologically graded, and mRNA abundance of genes associated with embryo development was measured in grade 1 blastocysts. The response to the superovulation protocol was assessed by counting the number of codominant follicles on the day of AI, which was similar for both genotypes (22.0 ± 9.7 and 19.8 ± 8.2 for Fert+ and Fert− cows, respectively). There was no effect of genotype on the proportion of transferable embryos recovered or on the mRNA abundance of the candidate genes tested in the grade 1 blastocysts. Of the total embryos classified as blastocysts, however, the Fert+ cows tended to have a greater proportion of grade 1 blastocysts compared with Fert− cows (90% vs. 64%, respectively). In conclusion, genetic merit for fertility traits had a no effect on mRNA abundance of the candidate genes that were examined in immature oocytes and cumulus cells and in embryos recovered after superovulation. The observed differences in morphological blastocyst quality following superovulation would suggest that the superior reproductive performance of Fert+ cows could arise during the later stages of embryo development from d 7 until maternal recognition of pregnancy.
    • Candidate genes associated with the heritable humoral response to Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis in dairy cows have factors in common with gastrointestinal diseases in humans

      McGovern, S. P.; Purfield, Deirdre C; Ring, Siobhan C.; Carthy, T. R.; Graham, David A.; Berry, Donagh P.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; 14/IA/2576; 16/RC/3835 (Elsevier, 2019-03-07)
      Infection of cattle with bovine paratuberculosis (i.e., Johne's disease) is caused by Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) and results in a chronic incurable gastroenteritis. This disease, which has economic ramifications for the cattle industry, is increasing in detected prevalence globally; subclinically infected animals can silently shed the bacterium into the environment for years, exposing contemporaries and hampering disease-control programs. The objective of the present study was to first quantify the genetic parameters for humoral response to MAP in dairy cattle. This was followed by a genome-based association analysis and subsequent downstream bioinformatic analyses from imputed whole genome sequence SNP data. After edits, ELISA test records were available on 136,767 cows; analyses were also undertaken on a subset of 33,818 of these animals from herds with at least 5 MAP ELISA-positive cows, with at least 1 of those positive cows being homebred. Variance components were estimated using univariate animal and sire linear mixed models. The heritability calculated from the animal model for humoral response to MAP using alternative phenotype definitions varied from 0.02 (standard error = 0.003) to 0.05 (standard error = 0.008). The genome-based associations were undertaken within a mixed model framework using weighted deregressed estimated breeding values as a dependent variable on 1,883 phenotyped animals that were ≥87.5% Holstein-Friesian. Putative susceptibility quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified on Bos taurus autosome 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, and 29; mapping the most significant SNP to genes within and overlapping these QTL revealed that the most significant associations were with the 10 functional candidate genes KALRN, ZBTB20, LPP, SLA2, FI3A1, LRCH3, DNAJC6, ZDHHC14, SNX1, and HAS2. Pathway analysis failed to reveal significantly enriched biological pathways, when both bovine-specific pathway data and human ortholog data were taken into account. The existence of genetic variation for MAP susceptibility in a large data set of dairy cows signifies the potential of breeding programs for reducing MAP susceptibility. Furthermore, the identification of susceptible QTL facilitates greater biological understanding of bovine paratuberculosis and potential therapeutic targets for future investigation. The novel molecular similarities identified between bovine paratuberculosis and human inflammatory bowel disease suggest potential for human therapeutic interventions to be translated to veterinary medicine and vice versa.
    • Influence of Supplemental Feed Choice for Pasture-Based Cows on the Fatty Acid and Volatile Profile of Milk

      O'Callaghan, Tom F.; Mannion, David; Apopei, Diana; McCarthy, Noel A.; Hogan, Sean A.; Kilcawley, Kieran N; Egan, Michael; Irish Dairy Levy; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (MDPI, 2019-04-22)
      The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a variety of supplemental feeds on the composition and quality of milk in a pasture-based dairy system. Four pasture-supplemented feeding systems were compared: Group 1 supplementation with 16% crude protein parlour concentrate (CONC); Group 2 supplementation with palm kernel expeller plus parlour concentrate (PKE); Group 3 supplemented with soya hulls plus parlour concentrate (SOYA); Group 4 was supplemented with molassed beet pulp plus parlour concentrate (BEET). Supplemental feeding system was demonstrated to have a significant effect on the size of native casein micelles and the gelation properties of milks. While CONC feeding produced significantly higher casein micelle size, gel strength (Young’s Modulus) was significantly negatively correlated with casein micelle size. Supplemental feeding system had a significant effect on a number of fatty acids (FA) and indices derived therefrom, including total saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, de novo produced FA, omega 3, and omega 6 FA. The volatile profile of milks was also affected by supplemental feed choice, whereby multivariate analysis demonstrated that the CONC diet was distinctly different to that of the PALM, SOYA, and BEET milks. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that it is possible to distinguish milks from different pasture-supplemented feeding systems by their FA profile.
    • Variable response to phosphorus mitigation measures across the nutrient transfer continuum in a dairy grassland catchment

      Murphy, Paul N. C.; Mellander, Per-Erik; Melland, A. R.; Buckley, Cathal; Shore, Mairead; Shortle, Ger; Wall, David; Treacy, Mark; Shine, Oliver; Mechan, Sarah; et al. (Elsevier, 2015-04-20)
      Phosphorus (P) loss from soils to water can be a major pressure on freshwater quality and dairy farming, with higher animal stocking rates, may lead to potentially greater nutrient source pressures. In many countries with intensive agriculture, regulation of P management aims to minimise these losses. This study examined the P transfer continuum, from source to impact, in a dairy-dominated, highly stocked, grassland catchment with free-draining soils over three years. The aim was to measure the effects of P source management and regulation on P transfer across the nutrient transfer continuum and subsequent water quality and agro-economic impacts. Reduced P source pressure was indicated by: (a) lower average farm-gate P balances (2.4 kg ha−1 yr−1), higher P use efficiencies (89%) and lower inorganic fertilizer P use (5.2 kg ha−1 yr−1) relative to previous studies; (b) almost no recorded P application during the winter closed period, when applications were prohibited, to avoid incidental transfers; and (c) decreased proportions of soils with excessive P concentrations (32–24%). Concurrently, production and profitability remained comparable with the top 10% of dairy farmers nationally with milk outputs of 14,585 l ha−1, and gross margins of € 3130 ha−1. Whilst there was some indication of a response in P delivery in surface water with declines in quick flow and interflow pathway P concentrations during the winter closed period for P application, delayed baseflows in the wetter third year resulted in elevated P concentrations for long durations and there were no clear trends of improving stream biological quality. This suggests a variable response to policy measures between P source pressure and delivery/impact where the strength of any observable trend is greater closer to the source end of the nutrient transfer continuum and a time lag occurs at the other end. Policy monitoring and assessment efforts will need to be cognisant of this.
    • Alum Activates the Bovine NLRP3 Inflammasome

      Harte, Ciaran; Gorman, Aoife L.; McCluskey, S.; Carty, Michael; Bowie, Andrew G.; Scott, C. J.; Meade, Kieran G; Lavelle, Ed C.; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Science Foundation Ireland; et al. (Frontiers, 2017-11-09)
      There has been a move away from vaccines composed of whole or inactivated antigens toward subunit-based vaccines, which although safe, provide less immunological protection. As a result, the use of adjuvants to enhance and direct adaptive immune responses has become the focus of much targeted bovine vaccine research. However, the mechanisms by which adjuvants work to enhance immunological protection in many cases remains unclear, although this knowledge is critical to the rational design of effective next generation vaccines. This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms by which alum, a commonly used adjuvant in bovine vaccines, enhances IL-1β secretion in bovine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Unlike the case with human PBMCs, alum promoted IL-1β secretion in a subset of bovine PBMCs without priming with a toll-like receptor agonist. This suggests that PBMCs from some cattle are primed to produce this potent inflammatory cytokine and western blotting confirmed the presence of preexisting pro-IL-1β in PBMCs from a subset of 8-month-old cattle. To address the mechanism underlying alum-induced IL-1β secretion, specific inhibitors identified that alum mediates lysosomal disruption which subsequently activates the assembly of an NLRP3, ASC, caspase-1, and potentially caspase-8 containing complex. These components form an inflammasome, which mediates alum-induced IL-1β secretion in bovine PBMCs. Given the demonstrated role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in regulating adaptive immunity in murine systems, these results will inform further targeted research into the potential of inflammasome activation for rational vaccine design in cattle.
    • The effect of target postgrazing height on sward clover content, herbage yield, and dairy production from grass-white clover pasture

      Phelan, Paul; Casey, Imelda A.; Humphreys, James; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; RSF 07-511 (Elsevier, 2013-01-16)
      White clover (Trifolium repens) is an important legume for grazed grassland that can increase the profitability and environmental sustainability of milk production. Previous experiments on mown grass-clover plots suggest that low postgrazing heights (PGH) can increase sward clover content and herbage production. However, this has not been tested in actual strip or rotational grazing systems with dairy cows. Furthermore, lowering PGH in grass-only swards (typically perennial ryegrass without white clover) has previously been associated with reduced milk yields per cow. The objective of this experiment was to investigate the effect of PGH by dairy cows on clover content, herbage production, and milk production from strip-grazed grass-white clover swards in Ireland. Three target PGH treatments of 4, 5, and 6 cm were in place for entire grazing seasons (February to November) for 3 consecutive years (2007 to 2009). Each treatment had a mean of 21 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows that strip-grazed a mean annual area of 10.2 ha. Postgrazing height was measured twice a day with a rising plate meter, and cows were moved to the next strip once the target PGH was reached. Annual fertilizer nitrogen input was 90 kg of N/ha for each treatment. The PGH treatment did not significantly affect annual milk yield (6,202 kg/cow), solids-corrected milk yield (6,148 kg/cow), fat, protein, or lactose yields (265, 222, and 289 kg/cow, respectively), cow liveweight (592 kg) or body condition score (3.01). The PGH treatment also had no significant effect on sward white clover content (196 g/kg). However, herbage production of both grass and clover were significantly higher with the 4-cm PGH treatment compared with the 6-cm treatment. Mean annual herbage yields were 11.1, 10.2, and 9.1 t of organic matter (OM)/ha for the 4-, 5-, and 6-cm PGH treatments, respectively. The lower herbage production in the 6-cm PGH treatment resulted in lower annual silage production, greater housing requirements, and a substantially higher net silage deficit (−1,917 kg of OM/cow) compared with the 5- or 4-cm treatments (−868 and −192 kg of OM/cow, respectively). Grazing to a PGH of 4 cm is therefore recommended for grass-white clover swards.
    • β-Defensins: Farming the Microbiome for Homeostasis and Health

      Meade, Kieran G; O'Farrelly, Cliona; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11/S/104 (Frontiers, 2019-01-15)
      Diverse commensal populations are now regarded as key to physiological homeostasis and protection against disease. Although bacteria are the most abundant component of microbiomes, and the most intensively studied, the microbiome also consists of viral, fungal, archael, and protozoan communities, about which comparatively little is known. Host-defense peptides (HDPs), originally described as antimicrobial, now have renewed significance as curators of the pervasive microbial loads required to maintain homeostasis and manage microbiome diversity. Harnessing HDP biology to transition away from non-selective, antibiotic-mediated treatments for clearance of microbes is a new paradigm, particularly in veterinary medicine. One family of evolutionarily conserved HDPs, β-defensins which are produced in diverse combinations by epithelial and immune cell populations, are multifunctional cationic peptides which manage the cross-talk between host and microbes and maintain a healthy yet dynamic equilibrium across mucosal systems. They are therefore key gatekeepers to the oral, respiratory, reproductive and enteric tissues, preventing pathogen-associated inflammation and disease and maintaining physiological normality. Expansions in the number of genes encoding these natural antibiotics have been described in the genomes of some species, the functional significance of which has only recently being appreciated. β-defensin expression has been documented pre-birth and disruptions in their regulation may play a role in maladaptive neonatal immune programming, thereby contributing to subsequent disease susceptibility. Here we review recent evidence supporting a critical role for β-defensins as farmers of the pervasive and complex prokaryotic ecosystems that occupy all body surfaces and cavities. We also share some new perspectives on the role of β-defensins as sensors of homeostasis and the immune vanguard particularly at sites of immunological privilege where inflammation is attenuated.
    • Non-canonical Inflammasome-Mediated IL-1β Production by Primary Endometrial Epithelial and Stromal Fibroblast Cells Is NLRP3 and Caspase-4 Dependent

      Kelly, Paul; Meade, Kieran G; O'Farrelly, Cliona; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 13/S/472 (Frontiers, 2019-02-05)
      Inflammation of the post-partum uterus is a normal physiological event, crucial for tissue involution and repair. However, in the bovine, some cows fail to resolve this inflammation, resulting in endometritis, which compromises fertility. Earlier work has identified upregulated expression of the potent inflammatory cytokine IL-1β early post-partum, in cows which subsequently develop endometritis. As a result, targeting IL-1β expression holds potential as a novel treatment for this disease, yet the regulatory mechanisms contributing to IL-1β expression in the bovine endometrium remain unknown. To investigate this, endometrial tissue samples were obtained 7 and 21 days post-partum (DPP) from cows that were diagnosed with endometritis at 21 DPP and cows that experienced a physiological level of inflammation throughout involution. IL-1β was measured by qPCR, ELISA, and immunohistochemistry. Seven DPP, endometrial IL-1β protein levels were significantly higher in animals that proceeded to develop endometritis at 21 DPP. IL-1β production could be detected in luminal and glandular epithelium, in underlying stromal fibroblasts as well as infiltrating immune cells. To investigate the mechanisms regulating IL-1β expression, primary endometrial epithelial cells, stromal fibroblasts and PBMCs were stimulated with LPS and the inflammasome activator nigericin. Stromal fibroblast cells were particularly potent producers of IL-1β. Basolateral LPS stimulation of polarized epithelial cells induced IL1B mRNA and a previously undescribed IL-1β protein isoform, with preferential protein secretion into the apical compartment. Key inflammasome components [nod-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3), nima-related kinase-7 (NEK7), apoptosis speck like protein containing a CARD (ASC), and gasdermin-D] were expressed by endometrial cells following stimulation. Endometrial cell stimulation in the presence of NLRP3 receptor (MCC950) and pan-caspase (Z-VAD-FMK) inhibitors blocked IL-1β production, demonstrating its dependence on the NLRP3 inflammasome and on caspase activity. Furthermore, caspase-4 specific siRNA prevented IL-1β production, confirming that inflammasome activation in endometrial cells is caspase-4 but not caspase-1 dependent, as shown in other species. Identifying the tissue- and species-specificity of inflammasome assembly and activation has critical relevance for our understanding of inflammation and suggests new therapeutic targets to enhance the resolution of inflammatory pathologies including endometritis in cattle.
    • Food texture as affected by ohmic heating: Mechanisms involved, recent findings, benefits, and limitations

      Gavahian, Mohsen; Tiwari, Brijesh; Chu, Yan-Hwa; Ting, Yuwen; Farahnaky, Asgar; Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan; 107-EC-17-A-22-0332; 108-EC-17-A-22-0332 (Elsevier, 2019-02-10)
      Background: Food texture is an important quality characteristic that affects sensory perception and consumer satisfaction. Thermal processing applies to food material for several reasons including palatability improvement and shelf life extension. Ohmic heating is an energy- and time-saving technique that was previously proposed as an alternative to conventional heating methods in the food industry. Scope and approach: Investigating the effects of ohmic processes on food quality parameters, such as texture, is an important step towards the industrial adaptation of ohmic heating technology. This review focuses specifically on the effects of ohmic heating on food texture and tries to elucidate the mechanisms behind the changes in textural attributes during an ohmic process as compared to the classical heating method. Key findings and conclusions: Achieving a predefined product texture in a shorter time and the uniformity of product texture are among the benefits of ohmic heating. However, several challenges (e.g. the possibility of negative effects on the chemical composition of the product and high capital investment) should be addressed for the industrial adoption of this emerging technology.
    • Prevalence of exposure to bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) and bovine herpesvirus-1 (BoHV-1) in Irish dairy herds

      Sayers, Riona; Byrne, Nicky; O'Doherty, Eugene; Arkins, S.; Irish Dairy Levy Fund (Elsevier, 2015-03-05)
      Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) and bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) are contagious bovine viral agents. The objectives of this study were to use quarterly bulk milk and ‘spot’ testing of unvaccinated youngstock to establish the national prevalence of exposure to BVDV and/or BoHV-1 in Irish dairy herds. Seasonality of bulk milk ELISA results was also examined. From a geographically representative population of 305 dairy herds, 88% and 80% of herds yielded mean annual positive bulk milk readings for BVDV and BoHV-1, respectively. Of these, 61% were vaccinated against BVDV and 12% against BoHV-1. A total of 2171 serum samples from weanlings having a mean age of 291 days yielded 543 (25%) seropositive for BVDV, and 117 (5.4%) seropositive for BoHV-1. A significant seasonal trend in bulk milk antibody ELISA readings and herd status was recorded for BVDV, with more herds categorised as positive in the latter half of the year.
    • Genome-Wide microRNA Binding Site Variation between Extinct Wild Aurochs and Modern Cattle Identifies Candidate microRNA-Regulated Domestication Genes

      Braud, Martin; Magee, David A.; Park, Stephen D. E.; Sonstegard, Tad S.; Waters, Sinéad M.; MacHugh, David E.; Spillane, Charles; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; et al. (Frontiers, 2017-01-31)
      The domestication of cattle from the now-extinct wild aurochs (Bos primigenius) involved selection for physiological and behavioral traits, with underlying genetic factors that remain largely unknown. Non-coding microRNAs have emerged as key regulators of the spatio-temporal expression of target genes controlling mammalian growth and development, including in livestock species. During the domestication process, selection of mutational changes in miRNAs and/or miRNA binding sites could have provided a mechanism to generate some of the traits that differentiate domesticated cattle from wild aurochs. To investigate this, we analyzed the open reading frame DNA sequence of 19,994 orthologous protein-coding gene pairs from extant Bos taurus genomes and a single extinct B. primigenius genome. We identified miRNA binding site polymorphisms in the 3′ UTRs of 1,620 of these orthologous genes. These 1,620 genes with altered miRNA binding sites between the B. taurus and B. primigenius lineages represent candidate domestication genes. Using a novel Score Site ratio metric we have ranked these miRNA-regulated genes according to the extent of divergence between miRNA binding site presence, frequency and copy number between the orthologous genes from B. taurus and B. primigenius. This provides an unbiased approach to identify cattle genes that have undergone the most changes in miRNA binding (i.e., regulation) between the wild aurochs and modern-day cattle breeds. In addition, we demonstrate that these 1,620 candidate domestication genes are enriched for roles in pigmentation, fertility, neurobiology, metabolism, immunity and production traits (including milk quality and feed efficiency). Our findings suggest that directional selection of miRNA regulatory variants was important in the domestication and subsequent artificial selection that gave rise to modern taurine cattle.
    • Milk production per cow and per hectare of spring-calving dairy cows grazing swards differing in Lolium perenne L. ploidy and Trifolium repens L. composition

      McClearn, Bríd; Gilliland, Trevor J.; Delaby, Luc; Guy, Clare; Dineen, Michael; Coughlan, Fergal; McCarthy, Brian; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Dairy Research Ireland (Elsevier, 2019-07-10)
      Grazed grass is the cheapest feed available for dairy cows in temperate regions; thus, to maximize profits, dairy farmers must optimize the use of this high-quality feed. Previous research has defined the benefits of including white clover (Trifolium repens L.) in grass swards for milk production, usually at reduced nitrogen usage and stocking rate. The aim of this study was to quantify the responses in milk production of dairy cows grazing tetraploid or diploid perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.; PRG) sown with and without white clover but without reducing stocking rate or nitrogen usage. We compared 4 grazing treatments in this study: tetraploid PRG-only swards, diploid PRG-only swards, tetraploid with white clover swards, and diploid with white clover swards. Thirty cows were assigned to each treatment, and swards were rotationally grazed at a farm-level stocking rate of 2.75 cows/ha and a nitrogen fertilizer rate of 250 kg/ha annually. Sward white clover content was 23.6 and 22.6% for tetraploid with white clover swards and diploid with white clover swards, respectively. Milk production did not differ between the 2 ploidies during this 4-yr study, but cows grazing the PRG-white clover treatments had significantly greater milk yields (+596 kg/cow per year) and milk solid yields (+48 kg/cow per year) compared with cows grazing the PRG-only treatments. The PRG-white clover swards also produced 1,205 kg of DM/ha per year more herbage, which was available for conserving and buffer feeding in spring when these swards were less productive than PRG-only swards. Although white clover is generally combined with reduced nitrogen fertilizer use, this study provides evidence that including white clover in either tetraploid or diploid PRG swards, combined with high levels of nitrogen fertilizer, can effectively increase milk production per cow and per hectare.
    • An examination of the effects of labor efficiency on the profitability of grass-based, seasonal-calving dairy farms

      Deming, J.; Kinsella, Jim; O'Brien, Bernadette; Shalloo, Laurence; Dairy Research Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Elsevier, 2019-06-27)
      The seasonality of grass-based, seasonal-calving dairy systems results in disproportionately higher labor demands during the spring, when cows are calving, than in the remaining seasons. This study aimed to (1) examine the relationship between labor efficiency and profitability; (2) investigate strategies to reduce the hours worked per day by the farmer, family, and farm staff in the spring by having certain tasks outsourced; and (3) quantify the economic implications of those strategies. Data from an existing labor efficiency study on Irish dairy farms were used in conjunction with economic performance data from the farms. Tasks that required the highest level of farm labor per day in the spring were identified and hypothetical strategies to reduce the farm hours worked per day were examined. A stochastic budgetary simulation model was then used to examine the economic implications of employing these strategies and the effects of their use in conjunction with a proportionate increase in cow numbers that would leave the hours worked per day unchanged. The strategies were to use contractors to perform calf rearing, machinery work, or milking. Contracting out milking resulted in the greatest reduction in hours worked per day (5.6 h/d) followed by calf rearing (2.7 h/d) and machinery work (2 h/d). Reducing the hours worked per day by removing those tasks had slight (i.e., <5%) negative effects on profitability; however, maintaining the farm hours worked per day while utilizing the same strategies and increasing herd sizes resulted in profitable options. The most profitable scenario was for farms to increase herd size while contracting out milking.
    • Antimicrobial activity of natural compounds against listeria spp. and their effects on sensory attributes in salmon (Salmo salar) and cod (Gadus morhua)

      Pedrós-Garrido, Selene; Clemente, Isabel; Calanche, J. B.; Condón-Abanto, Santiago; Beltrán, J. A.; Lyng, J. G.; Brunton, N.; Bolton, Declan J.; Whyte, Paul; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-07-15)
      The application of natural preservatives on fresh fish has potential to extend shelf-life. In the present study, 8 essential oils (EOs) (lemon, lemongrass, lime, garlic, onion, oregano, thyme and rosemary) and 3 organic acids (OAs) (ascorbic, citric and lactic) were evaluated. The antimicrobial activity of these compounds was tested in-vitro against four confirmed Listeria spp. isolated from retail skin-packed salmon and cod. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) were established for each compound. Then, a sensory evaluation was performed by a panel of ‘expert assessors’ on cooked fish treated with all of the OAs and any 4 EOs with a MIC <0.8%. A series of descriptors were assigned to characterize the combination of each compound with cooked salmon or cod. The highest antimicrobial effect against all Listeria spp. was observed for lactic acid (0.31–2.5%), but treatment with this compound resulted in the development of organoleptically unacceptable changes in salmon or cod. The most acceptable OAs for salmon and cod were ascorbic acid (1.25%) and citric acid (0.63%) respectively, which were shown to enhance certain organoleptic characteristics. The most effective EO against all Listeria strains evaluated was oregano oil (0.2%) and it was considered suitable as a treatment for salmon. In contrast, none of the EOs tested was organoleptically acceptable in combination with cod because of their strong odours and flavours that masked the fresh attributes associated with this fish.