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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Nutrition, Growth and Physiology » Research » Research Project #444393

Research Project: Identification of Genetic Predictors and Molecular Indicators of Liver Abscesses in Beef Cattle

Location: Nutrition, Growth and Physiology

Project Number: 3040-31000-102-003-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2023
End Date: May 31, 2028

The objectives of this research are to determine the molecular characteristics and phenotypic measurements associated with the development of liver abscesses in beef cattle; to identify SNPs from RNA-sequence and whole genome sequence that are associated with liver abscesses to create a liver abscess genotyping panel; and to use a marker assisted management nutritional mitigation strategy to reduce the incidence of liver abscesses in animals with a genetic predisposition for them.

The hypothesis for this research is that there are molecular markers that will correlate with the timing of development of liver abscesses, and genomic markers that increase the likelihood of an animal developing liver abscesses. ARS will evaluate the genome for DNA variation; the transcriptome and metabolome of blood and liver for molecular profiles over time; the blood for hematology, liver function enzymes, and cytokine profiles; the rumen content for variation in the microbiome; along with the feed efficiency and ultrasound data to obtain a more complete evaluation of the development of liver abscesses. ARS will also evaluate an alternative nutrition strategy to reduce liver abscesses in animals with high genetic potential to develop them, and will monitor these animals for the development of liver abscesses using the newly identified biological or molecular markers.