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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Research Project #442523

Research Project: Biophotonics – Emerging Imaging Technologies for Food Animal Research

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Project Number: 6066-31320-017-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 7, 2022
End Date: Jul 6, 2027

Objective:
1. Develop approaches for cellular and tissue biophotonic imaging using nanoparticles and/or photon emitting technologies. 1.A. Improve gamete and embryo quality using biophotonics and nanoparticles. 1.B. Develop animal model organoid systems related to reproductive and nutrient transferring tissues to better model in vivo physiological and biochemical properties. 2. Investigate paternal contributions and/or environmental variations in conceptus developmental and subsequent offspring survivability, health, and growth. 2.A. Evaluate the effects of seminal plasma uterine priming on post-natal calf growth and metabolism. 2.B. Determine the effects of a compromised bovine vaginal microbiome at parturition on dam performance and neonatal outcomes. 2.C. Mitochondria patterns in gametes and implications to embryo-fetal development. 3. Improve animal health using biophotonic sensors to monitor physiologic processes and disease resurgence, and develop nanoparticles as an alternative to antibiotic use. 3.A. Livestock semen quality improvement. 3.B. Bioluminescence monitoring of intravaginal drug delivery to reduce incidence of calving difficulty in cattle. 3.C. Photonic imaging for rapid diagnosis of disease. 3.D. Photonic imaging for improved reproductive efficiency.

Approach:
The project will improve gamete and embryo quality by characterizing the molecular events governing oogenesis and folliculogenesis in mammals using new in vivo and in vitro approaches. Animal model organoid systems related to reproductive and nutrient transferring tissues will be developed to better model in vivo physiological and biochemical properties. The project will evaluate the effects of seminal plasma uterine priming on post-natal calf growth and metabolism. We will determine the effects of a compromised bovine vaginal microbiome at parturition on dam performance and neonatal outcomes. We will identify investigate maternal and paternal mitochondrial patterns in gametes and implications to embryo-fetal development. The project will utilize novel compounds as antibiotic alternatives to improve livestock semen quality. Bioluminescence monitoring of intravaginal drug delivery will be used to reduce the incidence of calving difficulty in cattle. Finally, photonic imaging such as near-infrared spectroscopy will be used for rapid diagnosis of disease and improvement of reproductive efficiency.