Wireworm (click beetle) has becoming a devastating pest for the potato industry in Prince Edward Island (PEI) and many places in the country and around the world. It is a soil born insect that can penetrate a large number of potato tubers, degrading their quality for processing. The problem is more difficult to control after the ban of soil fumigation was in place in PEI. This proposed work is aimed at developing the RNAi technology by targeting the key genes for insects survival and development to control the insect population.
Many alternate treatment options are now used to alleviate chronic intestinal inflammation and microbial imbalance including dietary supplements of prebiotics and probiotics. Resistant starch (RS) represents a range of indigestible dietary carbohydrates passing into the lower gut, without being digested/absorbed in the upper digestive tract. It is speculated that RS can reduce signs and symptoms of intestinal inflammation through modification of the gut microbial communities, regulation of local inflammatory cytokines, and its effects on mucosal barrier system.
Dairy cattle are exposed to stressors that negatively impact health, fertility, welfare and production. Health and climate experts predict that exposure to stressors (i.e. pathogens and extreme temperature events) will increase as climate conditions continue to destabilize. Due to increased antimicrobial resistance, there is urgent need to explore alternative strategies to promote animal health; it is anticipated that genetic selection for increased stress resilience will yield healthier animals that will live longer and be more productive.
The production of chicken requires a large amount of protein, and producers currently use antibiotics to help keep chickens healthy. However, there is a leading trend to reduce the amount of antibiotics used today, and with the growing population there is a need to find alternative protein sources. Insects, like crickets, could be a solution to both of these problems. Crickets have shown antimicrobial capacity and are high in protein, so they maybe able to reduce feed cost, while also reducing the need for antibiotics.
Dairy production in Québec, Canada, contributes for 38% of the province agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions. These numbers could however increase in the near future due to the evolution in manure management of dairy farms.
Beef cattle play an important role in food production worldwide by making use of resources from which humans can derive little nutritional value to provide a nutrient-rich foodstuff containing protein, minerals and vitamins. However, greenhouse gases and ammonia that are produced by the cattle industry are associated with climate change. Producing nutritious beef that meets consumer demands with minimal environmental impacts requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders in the beef industry.
The major issues facing the turkey industry worldwide are (i) emerging and classic diseases, in response to a lack of effective strategies for treatment and prevention, and (ii) cannibalism resulting from antisocial/injurious-pecking behaviour. Genetic studies could explain the variance within, and association between, health, immunity and behavioural traits to help manage these issues. The objective of this project is to improve health and behaviour through the identification of genetic variants associated with immunity and antisocial/injurious-pecking behaviour responses.
According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada produced 1.2 billion kilograms of chicken with chicken products worth $2.5 billion. Domestic consumption of chicken in 2016 was 32.5 kilograms per person. Canada exported over 5.3 million chicks worth over $13.4 million, mainly to the United States. That same year, 134.1 million kilograms of chicken meat and edible bi-products, worth $453.1 million, was exported to 60 countries, with the largest importers being the United States and Philippines.
Foie gras is a commercial food product made from duck livers containing elevated amounts of fat. The traditional production practice involves the force-feeding of corn-based diets to the animals. Foie gras is currently produced globally at around 26 000 ton/year; however, given the growing animal welfare concerns, demand has started to dwindle, and its production has been banned in several countries. We propose to evaluate dietary changes with potential to increase voluntary feed intake and liver fat accumulation.
In vitro embryo production and embryo transfer (IVP/ET) is a technique that has been developed in cattle for genetic selection to enable rapid improvement in commercially important traits. Technological advances have resulted in a significant increase in the commercial use of IVP/ET in recent years, and have made this one of the fastest growing sectors in the dairy industries. However, pregnancy rates following the transfer of IVP embryos are lower than that of in vivo produced embryos.