Transcriptome associated to puberty in Bos indicus cattle
The research project aims at delivering a diagnostic tool, a DNA chip (or DNA markers array), specifically designed for improving fertility in Australian Brahman cattle. Brahman cattle are tropically adapted, resistant to heat and diseases, and so this breed is an important genetic resource for the beef industry in tropical regions: Queensland, Australia’s north and a great proportion of the developing world (Africa, South Asia, Central and South America). However, tropical adaptation comes with production costs, associated to lower fertility and late puberty. Genetic markers associated with fertility characteristics in Australian Brahman herds were recently discovered. These markers serve as important background knowledge for this project proposal. The proposed transcriptome would complement previous genome-wide association studies, enhance knowledge on gene expression related to cattle fertility and inform the design of a DNA chip with commercial potential. To design this DNA chip, we propose to discover functional polymorphisms by performing a transcriptome analysis aimed at studying the gene expression of neuronal tissues known to control reproductive function. Once the design of the DNA chip is completed, we propose to test it in a number of independent herds for validation purposes that could be followed by industry adoption.