Harnessing cattle genetics to improve health

Lab rotation project description

BLOTT rotation 1

  • Weeks 1-2 Analyses of SNP data
  • Week 3-6 Identify key genotypes and collate associated health data.
  • Week 7 lab report/write up and presentation of results to lab group

EGAN/LEIGH rotation 2 or 3

  • Weeks 1-2 Learn techniques for isolation of bovine macrophage, from animals/genotypes identified in rotation1, from milk and bacterial culture and strain identification (confirmation of genetic lesions, if rotation 2) by PCR.
  • Weeks 3-6 Conduct assays to show the response of bovine milk macrophage to species of bacteria associated with bovine mastitis. Using ELISA to determine the host response to a virulent strain of one key mastitis pathogen S. uberis, and attenuated mutants.
  • Week 7 lab report/write up and presentation of results to lab groupThis activity will complement our existing research on the initial interaction between pathogen and host during intramammary infection.

COFFEY rotation 2 or 3

  • Weeks 1-2 Learn techniques for isolation of bovine macrophage (cell culture) from animals of genotypes identified in rotation 1 and confirmation of identified SNPs (if rotation 2) by PCR (molecular biology).
  • Weeks 3-6 Stimulate cells with Mycobacterium bovis BCG and investigate mycobacterial-specific response of cattle of different genotypes (cell biology) using semi/QPCR (molecular biology)
  • Week 7 Present data at lab meeting and write report.

Fact file

Research theme

  • Molecules, cells and organisms
  • Agriculture and Food Security

Location

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Rotation

Contact

Tracey Coffey
tracey.coffey@nottingham.ac.uk

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

2nd supervisor


BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships
 

Linked PhD Project Outline

The current GB Dairy Cattle Welfare Strategy states the key priorities the dairy industry faces, and these include lameness, calves and youngstock (particularly their survival and growth rate) and mastitis. With bovine tuberculosis (bTB) remaining a key concern for farmers, the potential to impact on the incidence of key diseases could improve farm productivity and animal health and welfare.

The dairy industry has harnessed estimated breeding values and more recently genetics to select for animals with better production values to the detriment of health and reproduction. Endemic infectious diseases, such as bTB and mastitis, pose particular challenges as these are diseases for which traditional control strategies, by their designation as endemic, are not sufficient. Hence, alternative or complementary control strategies are required and breeding for increased host resistance to infection or disease is one such approach. We have funding from the Future Food Beacon to complement phenotypic data being collected within the CDSI to genotype each animal in the herd using the Bovine High Density (HD) genotyping BeadChip (>700K SNPs with median gap spacing <3kb) and produce an associated DNA biobank. This proposal aims to genotype the existing (projected) herd focussing on animals in parity 1 (current heifers), new heifers as they calve in over the next 12 months and the resulting female calves (>400 animals in total).This project will take this resource and mine the data to identify the key genotypes associated with the herd, isolate immune cells from representative animals and determine their pathogen-specific response to key bovine pathogens. Macrophages isolated from representative animals of the genotypes identified will be stimulated by a range of pathogenic bacterial species of differing virulence and the resulting host response analysed. The project will also investigate the role of the inflammasome in the macrophage response. It builds on previous studies which used a candidate gene approach, on pathogen recognition receptors, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and immune markers, CXCL8, and identified genotypes which differed in their response to key pathogens.This project has the potential to contribute to an understanding of the genetic basis for susceptibility/resistance to key bovine diseases, namely mastitis and bTB, and provide an insight into the role of the inflammasome in the host response to these key pathogens.

Triangle Project with:

Tracey Coffey - tracey.coffey@nottingham.ac.uk - School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

James Leigh - james.leigh@nottingham.ac.uk - School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Sharon Egan - sharon.egan@nottingham.ac.uk - School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Sarah Blott - sarah.blott@nottingham.ac.uk - School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

 
 

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 8466946
Email: bbdtp@nottingham.ac.uk