Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sheep worms’ Nemesis - selective breeding

21.01.2004


Long-term research by CSIRO Livestock Industries has proved that selectively breeding sheep for worm resistance can significantly reduce Australian farmers’ traditional reliance on drenching products in high rainfall areas.



Coordinator of the Nemesis project, CSIRO’s Amy Bell, says that over a two-year monitoring period, merino weaners bred for parasitic worm resistance within the project’s demonstration flock required seven fewer drenches to maintain worm levels equivalent to normally bred merinos.

"That result was also achieved without compromising the animals’ comparative production levels," Ms Bell says.


"The research shows that by reducing reliance on worming medicines and allowing a mix of control strategies, it is possible, and indeed practical, to provide sheep producers with sustainable options for worm control."

The research also highlighted the need for sheep farmers to constantly monitor their flocks for signs of worm infestation.

"For example, if a mob of sheep is walked for 300-400 metres and an otherwise healthy looking animal falls over, there’s a fair chance worms are a problem," Ms Bell says.

"Monitoring the worm burdens of sheep is time and money-effective because an informed decision to drench, or not to drench, can be made based on a combination of the results of monitoring programs, current weather information and paddock history," she says.

"When we grazed our resistant weaners alongside susceptible and randomly bred weaners, the resistant line had no production advantage. In other words, as the non-resistant sheep kept putting worm eggs back onto the pasture, the resistant sheep devoted energy to fending off the worm challenge as well as into weight gain," she said.

However, over the longer term in the demonstration flock, the production levels of animals selectively bred for worm resistance proved to be superior.

"For example, from joining to weaning, the worm resistant breeding ewes recorded an average of 4kg live-weight gain over their unselected counterparts."

Lower levels of pasture contamination also meant the worm resistant ewes could devote more of their energy to producing wool.

"Perhaps the most telling result was that these breeding ewes did not have to be drenched at all during the two years of the study, even when lambing or lactating," she says.

More information:

Amy Bell, CSIRO Livestock Industries, 02 6776 1399
Web: www.csiro.au/nemesis

Media assistance:

Rob Nethery, CSIRO Livestock Industries, mobile: 0427 701 389

Bill Stephens | CSIRO
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au/index.asp?type=mediaRelease&id=Prnemesis

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?
10.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>