Efforts by Mike MacNeil, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) geneticist at the agency's Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Mont., are designed to equip South Africa's scientists with better research tools to help cattle breeders and farmers in remote, underdeveloped areas. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.
Much of the research focuses on Nguni (pronounced en-GOO-nee) cattle, an indigenous breed popular among poor and emerging farmers in South Africa because of its fertility, tolerance to harsh conditions, resistance to ticks and tolerance to tick-borne diseases. In a recent study, MacNeil and his colleagues examined ways to address a chronic problem: Nguni that are too small and deposit too much fat before reaching market weight, making them undesirable for commercial feedlot operations.
They examined factors that breeders could consider in trying to improve progeny of their Nguni cows by mating them with larger and beefier Angus and Charolais bulls. The resulting crossbred ideally would retain the Nguni toughness and adaptability, but would take on the improved beef aspects of the Angus and Charolais sires. The research, published in the South African Journal of Animal Science, built on MacNeil's work at Fort Keogh on development of crossbreeding systems and breeding objectives for U.S. domestic breeds.
Olivia Mapholi, a scientist with the South African Agricultural Research Council who studied under MacNeil at Fort Keogh, continues to consult him as she searches for quantitative trait loci (QTLs), or areas of the cattle genome, that confer the ability to tolerate tick-borne diseases. Mapholi is crossing tick-resistant Nguni with tick-susceptible Angus and is looking for genes that confer resistance to ticks. Her research could benefit beef production in any part of the world where ticks are a problem, including the United States.
Read more about this research in the October 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
Dennis O'Brien | EurekAlert!
Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State
How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Medical Engineering
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences