Production of in vitro and in vivo bison embryos derived from sexed semen - Year two

In mammals, the sperm determines the sex of the resulting offspring. Semen sexing is a process whereby sperm are sorted into Y- (male) or X-chromosome (female) bearing gametes. Sexed semen may be used for artificial insemination or in vitro embryo production to create offspring of a desired sex. In a zoo setting, fewer males are required because of their ability to breed multiple females.

Effects of host, pathogen, and environmental factors on increased incidence of European foulbrood in honey bee colonies pollinating blueberries

The estimated value of honey bee pollination in the form of increased crop yields in Canada is $2 - $4 billion. In recent years, beekeepers pollinating blueberries have reported an increased incidence of European foulbrood (EFB). EFB is a bacterial disease of honey bee larvae which can lead to larval starvation and death.

Surveillance of therapeutic control and prevalence of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae in the Saskatchewan beekeeping industry

The beekeeping industry in Canada has endured often unsustainable high colony losses during the past two decades which, if it continues, could have negative consequences for the entire Canadian agriculture industry. Increasing evidence indicates that infectious diseases, including Nosemosis, play a significant role in high colony mortality.

The application and validation of predictive models to establish indices of protein quality in companion animal feed ingredients

This project will result in the generation of mathematical models that will predict the quality and sustainability of protein-based ingredients that are commonly used in dog diets. With the projected growth of human and pet populations, and increases in food production necessary to meet growing demands, providing Canadian pet food companies (such as our industry partner, Champion Petfoods) with the ability to rapidly identify ideal protein-based ingredients to select for dog diets based on environmental, financial, and biological sustainability is a top priority.

Development, implementation and evaluation of a bulk tank milk surveillance program for infectious and emerging diseases on Ontario dairy farms

The spread of endemic and emerging infectious diseases continues to plague the dairy industry. The convergence of human, animal, and ecosystem interactions results in emergence and re-emergence of diseases in dairy cattle such as salmonellosis and anaplasmosis. Adding to the mix, frequent buying of cattle contributes to rapid dissemination of infectious diseases in dairy cattle. The University of Guelph is exceptionally well-positioned to lead the development and implementation of a surveillance network based on bulk tank milk.

Gut loading crickets (Gryllus sigillatus) to improve their nutritional value for use in pet foods

Insects are a high protein feed ingredient that can be grown sustainably. Insects need less food input, use less water, and grow well indoors making them more sustainable than traditional pet feed ingredients such as soybeans and animal proteins. Some aspects of the nutritional profile of insects can be manipulated by growing them on different feed ingredients. In this study we hope to improve the vitamin E, manganese, and iron content of insects for use in pet foods. We will feed insects sunflower seeds to crickets for various lengths of time.

Management practices to improve sustainability and profitability of cow-calf operations across Canada

The purpose of this project if to develop a Canadian Cow-Calf Cost of Production (COP) Network including of 26 different focus group sessions across Canada, located in different eco-regions, to gather production and economic data following agribenchmark global agriculture network methodology.

This data will also be used to assess greenhouse gas emissions associated with the farm scenarios/typologies identified above.

Influence of rearing and adult housing of laying hens on the behaviour and stress reactivity of offspring

Mothers can influence the behaviour and physiology of their young even before hatch. In birds that occurs through the deposition of hormones and nutrients into the egg. Mother-hens can be housed in various systems that offer different challenges to the bird. Our project will investigate how housing a mother-hen can affect the resilience of their offspring. This data can be used to improve farm practices and to decrease the occurrence of behaviour and welfare issues in egg production.

Genomic studies for fertility, health, and efficiency traits in dairy cattle

The advent of genomic selection in the dairy industry has increased genetic progress; however, new challenges are emerging. Rapid population growth and associated demographic and economic changes are increasing global demand for dairy products. Moreover, the industry must address several societal and consumer issues such as human health, animal health and welfare, and the environmental footprint (e.g., greenhouse gases, antibiotic and hormone use).

Evaluating nutritive value of low-lignin alfalfa at multiple physiological stages

In Canada, alfalfa is a widely cultivated legume forage and the principal source of protein in the diets of ruminant animals. High quality alfalfa (i.e. nutrient composition and fiber digestibility) is vital for profitable dairy production because it can reduce requirements of high-cost concentrated feeds. High fiber digestibility is associated with higher cow's intake and milk production. Low-lignin alfalfa has recently been developed through technological progress.