1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The purpose of this agreement between ARS and TEAGASC is to strengthen the collaborations as appropriate in areas of mutual interest within the broad scope of crop and animal production and protection, food safety, nutrition, agricultural utilization and bioenergy, and natural resources and sustainable agriculture through cooperative research programs and exchanges.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The Participants intend to encourage and facilitate direct contacts among appropriate institutions and specialists and work toward long-term cooperation in agricultural research and development programs. Individual projects may be developed between the Participants which outline specific research projects. Agricultural research areas may be undertaken as mutually determined by the Participants. To facilitate the cooperative research effort(s) described, ARS and TEAGASC intends to assign such members of its staff to specific projects as may be mutually determined, as well as aid in planning and developing projects of mutual interest.
3. Progress Report:
ARS collaborations with TEAGASC continued to be very fruitful this year. 1) ARS and TEAGASC are cooperating under an agreement with the goal of determining the gene expression changes in immune cells during the progression of mastitis using state-of-the-art RNA sequencing technology. This is to provide a comprehensive molecular understanding of the effect of an infection on the bovine immune system. This understanding is a necessary precursor to the next generation of therapeutics that will be based on our understanding of cellular functions at the genetic level. Collaborators have completed this initial phase of this project, the infection and isolation of immune cells for analysis of RNA, DNA, and protein changes during infection. (2) ARS collaborated with the Animal & Bioscience Research Department of AGRIC, Teagasc in Ireland to analyze transcriptomes of immune cells isolated from cattle infected with BVDV. (3) ARS is collaborating informally with the School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University (DCU) and the Food Safety Department, Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Institute, Dublin, in the area of recombinant antibodies for analytical food safety. Based on cell lines provided by the ARS scientist, the Dublin groups have prepared antibody-like molecules that can be expressed in bacteria and used for immunoaffinity isolation and immunosensor detection technologies applied to foodborne contaminants. The cooperation involves exchange visits by ARS and DCU scientists to assist with the implementation of this antibody technology.