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!
Back to Nature: Palm oil plantations are being turned back into protected rainforest
21.03.2019 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
The inner struggle of the evening primrose: Chloroplasts are caught up in an evolutionary arms race
14.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie
Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.
Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...
The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks
Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...
Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.
Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
24.04.2019 | Trade Fair News
23.04.2019 | Information Technology
23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences