Biotechnology Research Programme

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BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH PROGRAMME

Efficient reproduction is of the utmost importance for sustainable improvement of animal productivity and is a critical factor influencing the economic viability of livestock farmers

  • Low fertility is one of the primary constraints hindering the effectiveness of livestock production in developing countries.
  • This could be due to Nutrition, Disease or Physiological problems.

This forms the Research thrust of the Programme.

RESEARCH THRUST

  • REPRODUCTIVE PHYSIOLOGY
  • NUTRITION- REPRODUCTION INTERACTIONS
  • DISEASES AND REPRODUCTION INTERACTION
  • BIOTECHNOLOGY

UMBRELLA RESEARCH PROTOCOLS

THEME 1:     REPRODUCTIVE PHYSIOLOGY

Sub-themes:

  1. Pubertal studies.
  2. Post-partum physiology.
  3. Environmental studies.
  4. Reproductive behaviour (Male & Female).

THEME  2:    NUTRITION AND REPRODUCTION INTERACTION

Sub-themes:

  1. Role of micro-nutrients in
  2. Protein supplementation on reproduction.
  3. The role of vitamins on reproduction.
  4. Development of strategies for the improvement of reproductive efficiency  in agro-pastoral systems.

THEME  3:    DISEASES AND REPRODUCTION INTERACTION

Sub-themes:      1.            Studies on abortificient agents.

  1. Effect of diseases on reproduction.
  2. The use of ethnoveterinary natural products on reproductive  

                                              Diseases.

THEME 4:     BIOTECHNOLOGY

Sub-themes:      1.            Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer.

  1. In-vitro fertilization.
  2. Improvement of reproductive efficiency through the use of synchronizing agents and hormones.
  3. Evaluation of different laboratory techniques.
  4. Semen evaluation, sexing, processing and storage.

COMPLETED STUDIES IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF REPRODUCTIVE BIOTECHNOLOGY

Studies on Nutrition- Reproduction Interaction for improvement of Livestock production

  • the development and dissemination of cost-effective and sustainable feed supplementation packages which are based on locally available feed resources
  • The effect of plane of nutrition on puberty, semen characteristics of Bunaji and Friesian. Bunaji bulls.
  • The effect of feeding two levels of protein on semen characteristics of Friesian x Bunaji cross bred and Bunaji bulls.
  • The effect of protein intake on body weight, scrotal circumference and semen production of Bunaji bulls and their Friesian crosses in Nigeria.
  • Serum biochemical components of Zebu bulls and their Friesian crosses fed two planes of protein.
  • Blood levels of testosterone in Zebu bulls during the peripubertal period.
  • The effects of feed restriction and realimentation on growth and reproductive function of Bokoloji bulls.
  • Testosterone Profiles, Semen Characteristics And Gonadal Sperm Reserves Of Yankassa Rams Fed Graded Levels Of Protein
  • Semen Characteristics, Gonadal And Epidydimal Sperm Reserve, Heamatological Parameters, Serum Testosterone, Electrolytes And Total Proteins Profile In Nigerian Donkeys.
  • Hormonal Profiles Of Indigenous Jennies During The Post Partum Period.
  • Estrus Behavioural Patterns And Hormonal Changes During The Estrous Cycle Of Indigenous Jennie

Reproductive Physiology
These studies have aimed at decreasing:

  • the age at attaining puberty and first parturition,
  • interval from parturition to conception,
  • Calving/Lambing interval
  • increasing conception rate, litter size, and productive life
  • peri-parturient mortality

are the key targets and crucial factors in improving livestock productivity.

Studies to this effect include;

  • Effects of bull exposure on onset of puberty in Bunaji and Friesian x Bunaji cross heifers.
  • The influence of bull biostimulation and season on puberty and post-partum ovarian function in cattle.
  • Plasma progesterone concentrations during the estrus cycle and following fertile and non-fertile inseminations of Zebu heifers.
  • The effect of human chorionic gonadotrophin on the fertility rates of artificial insemination Zebu cows.
  • Onset of puberty and estrous cycle phenomena in Yankasa ewes as monitored by plasma progesterone concentrations.
  • Ovulation rate response of Yankasa ewes to pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin.
  • Effect of PMSG with or without HCG on time of estrus, ovulation rate and progesterone concentrations of progestagen-treated Yankasa ewes.
  • Effect of time of gonadotrophin releasing hormone injection on ovulation rates in Yankasa sheep.
  • Effect of time of gonadotrophin releasing hormone injection on ovulation rates in Yankasa sheep.
  • Ovarian function and timing of ovulation in Yankasa ewes.
  • Fertility rates and hormone concetration of Yankasa ewes treated with pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG).
  • Behavioural estrus in Bunaji and Sokoto Gudali cows following indication of estrus with prostagladinF2 alpha.
  • Peripheral plasma progesterone levels in Bunaji and Sokoto Gudali (Zebu) cows after synchronization of estrus with prostagladinF2 alpha.
  • Influence of management and season of breeding on pregnancy rate of Zebu cattle in an artificial insemination programme.
  • Fertility rates of indigenous Nigerian cattle to artificial insemination synchronization estrus with prostagladinF2 alpha.
  • Determination of optimum time for fixed-time artificial insemination.
  • Effect of inter-treatment interval and of the stage of the oestrus cycle on ostrus response of Nigeria Zebu cows to prostagladinF2 alpha and injection.
  • Pregnancy diagnosis in animals.
  • Determination of embryonic mortality rate in artificially inseimanted zebu cattle following treatment with prostagladinF2 alpha.
  • Oestrus response and fertility following synchronization with PRID.
  • Determination of the incidence of late embryonic mortality (LEM) rate and repeat breeder (RB) syndrome rate in artificially inseminated Bunaji cows following oestrus synchronization.
  • Intervals between calving and resumption of ovarian activities in Bunaji cattle.
  • Uterine involution and bacteriological investigations of the postpartum uterus of suckled and non-suckled cows.
  • Pregnancy rate of suckled and non-suckled cows as determined by rectal palpation.
  • Induction of ovulation in suckled Bunaji cows.
  • Determination of the interval from estrus to the pre-ovulation surge of lutenizing hormone (LH) and ovulation in Bunaji cattle.
  • Postpartum reproductive activities of Bunaji cows under different pastoral management systems.
  • Postpartum reproductive activities of the red Sokoto goats under a native farming systems.
  • Postpartum reproductive activities of the Yankasa sheep under native farming system.
  • Effect of pre-partum supplementation on postpartum reproductive activities of Bunaji cows.
  • Serum progesterone concentration during the oestrus cycle and gestation in Bunaji cows.
  • Diagnosis of early pregnancy, early embryonic death and silent estrus using semen with progesterone concentration in Bunaji (Zebu) cows.
  • Interval between calving and first observable oestrus in postpartum Bunaji cows.
  • Serum progesterone profiles during the postpartum period in indigenous zebu cows.
  • Incidence of silent estrus in postpartum Bunaji cows.
  • Inverse relationship between skim milk progesterone profile and somatic cell counts in Bunaji zebu cows.
  • Manifestation and detection of estrus in Bunaji and Sokoto Gudali cows.
  • Normal ovulation rates and embryo survival and litter size of indigenous sheep and goats as determined from abattoir and field studies.

Biotechnology

- use of modern reproductive techniques to bring about sustainable increases in animal productivity
Reproductive hormones monitoring using  RIA and ELISA techniques have provided a better understanding of the reproductive physiology of livestock species

  • identification and amelioration of limiting factors affecting reproductive efficiency,
  • provision of diagnostic tools to ensure proper AI timing and to monitor ovarian cyclicity,
  • identification of anoestrus and non-pregnant females.
  • improve efficiency of inseminators,
  • minimize human errors in heat detection
  • determine fertility of sires.
  • Study the efficacy of progestagens for estrous synchronization and the effects of various gonadotrophin treatments on ovulation and pregnancy rates in livestock.
  • Development of Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) procedures for detection of antibodies to infections with Trypanosoma species and Brucella abortus in livestock

Diseases and Reproduction interaction

  • Disruption of eostrus and conception in the acute phase of Fasciola gigantica infections in Yankasa ewes
  • The Pathology observed in Yankasa sheep with  Fasciola gigantica infections.
  • Reproductive effects of experimental Fasciola gigantica infection in Yankasa ewes during first trimester of pregnancy.
  • The Reproductive Performance of Sheep carrying Natural Infections of Gastro-Intestinal Nematodes
  • Gonadal and Extragonadal Sperm Reserves of Yankasa Rams Experimentally Infected with Fasciola gigantica in Zaria, Nigeria.
  • Interrelationship between Fasciola Eggs Count, Haematological Parameters, Liver and Testicular Pathology of Yankasa Rams Experimentally Infected with Fasciola gigntica in Zaria, Nigeria
  • Survey of ethnoveterinary practices in Nigeria.
  • Brucellosis in sheep and goats: Serological and bacteriological study.
  • Bacteriological, serological and biotyping of bovine brucellae from Livestock Investigation and Breeding Centres (LIBC).
  • Serological study of brucellosis in local fowls in northern Nigeria.
  • Immunological response of zebu calves to S.19 Brucella vaccination.
  • Milk borne pathogens from milk and milk products.
  • Semen bacterial flora of Rhode Island Breeder cocks from a farm in Zaria.

New areas of Research:

APPLIED MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

  1. Recombinant DNA research and gene mapping
  2. Methods of DNA sequencING
  3. Transfer of cloned DNA
  4. Molecular Diagnostics
  5. Vaccine biotechnology
  6. Bioinformatics
  7. Animal genomics
  8. Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer
  9. Semen quality evaluation and fertilizability
  10. Cryo preservation of Spermatozoa, Oocytes and Embryos
  11. Embryo cloning and Somatic cell cloning
  12. Sperm sex sorting
  13. Selection for Disease resistant Livestock