Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Texas A&M research produces tools to study stallions' subfertility

27.08.2010
Subfertility of breeding stallions — meaning the horses are less able to sire foals — is a well-recognized problem that has caused multi-million-dollar losses in the equine industry, experts say. Texas A&M researchers believe they are making progress in solving the problem by using an approach that might provide tools and resources necessary to study subfertility without causing stallions the angst of providing testicular samples for testing.

They have developed protocols to isolate RNA—which carries the information of genes in DNA — from stallion sperm and testis biopsies so that genetic factors associated with this condition can be identified.

Researchers from the Departments of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS) and Large Animal Clinical Sciences had their results published online in the journal Theriogenology. The leading author of the published research is Dr. Terje Raudsepp, an assistant professor from VIBS, and the first author is Dr. Pranab J. Das, a postdoctoral research assistant from the same department.

The RNA isolation technique from stallion sperm is believed to lead to the discovery of fertility biomarkers that could improve breeding procedures and raise thoroughbred race horses.

"Because of the structure of horse breeding, where one stallion covers many mares, the economy of the breeding industry is more sensitive to the fertility of the stallion than the mare," Das says.

"During past decades, several organized studies have been conducted to understand the role of various environmental, behavioral and physiological factors affecting fertility in horses," adds Raudsepp, the project leader. "However, very little is known about the genetic factors associated with stallion fertility, and genetic factors of male fertility involve the interplay of hundreds of genes."

Obtaining testis tissue by surgery could harm the horse, so the research team studied an alternative — RNA isolation from sperm — which is non-invasive.

But RNA isolation from sperm has several challenges, the researchers say. "RNA quantity in a sperm cell is low, and sperm are highly condensed cells," they explain.

The Texas A&M team overcame these challenges and developed protocols that are specific to the species and to the various sources of sperm, including fresh ejaculates, flash frozen, cooled ejaculates and others.

"The team has started to identify the genes whose messengers are present in stallion sperm and to associate these genes with known fertility issues and sperm functions," the researchers say. "This knowledge is necessary for the next stage of research, which aims to identify differences in gene profiles between normal and subfertile or infertile stallions.

"Now, breeding stallions are selected mainly on the basis of their pedigree, looks and performance," the researchers add. "But in the future, we may be able to select them based on their reproductive potential. The published paper on RNA isolation from stallion sperm sets a necessary foundation to initiate these studies."

The research was conducted in the labs of Drs. Terje Raudsepp and Bhanu Chowdhary , both of whom are well-known for their research in studying the horse genome, including contributions to developing whole-genome maps and obtaining the complete sequence of the horse genome. Close collaboration with theriogenologists Drs. Dickson Varner and Charles Love at the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences was equally critical to the success of this research.

About research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents an annual investment of more than $582 million, which ranks third nationally for universities without a medical school, and underwrites approximately 3,500 sponsored projects. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.

Contact: Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or keith-randall@tamu.edu; or Terje Raudsepp, Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, at (979) 862-2879 or TRaudsepp@cvm.tamu.edu; or Miao Jingang, News & Information Services, at miaojingang@tamu.edu. For more news about Texas A&M University, go to http://tamunews.tamu.edu.

Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamutalk.

Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>