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Rumen metatranscriptomics of Nellore cattle and its relationship to feedlot performance

Grant number: 21/08079-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2023
Effective date (End): September 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Luciana Correia de Almeida Regitano
Grantee:Juliana Virginio da Silva
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/04089-2 - The Nelore hologenome: implications in beef quality and feed efficiency, AP.ESCIENCE.TEM

Abstract

The rumen is a digestive structure found exclusively in ruminant animals, responsible for converting low-quality foods such as grass and foliage into high-quality animal proteins such as meat and milk. This transformation is carried out by a complex community of microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. The growing global demand for animal protein has impacted feed production and caused environmental problems, such as methane production, a greenhouse gas. In the face of these challenges, it is crucial to seek sustainable alternatives for animal protein production. The study of the rumen microbiome has shown promise in understanding ruminal fermentation and improving animal protein conversion. Advances in DNA and RNA sequencing have enabled the study of the rumen microbiome through approaches such as metagenomics and metatranscriptomics. Integrating these data can be an effective approach to identify genes involved in the degradation of specific diet components and understand which microorganisms and metabolic pathways are most active in response to different food substrates. This approach can also provide information about methane production and feed efficiency. Additionally, the symbiotic interaction between the host and its rumen microbiome is an important aspect. Within this context, microRNAs play a significant role in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Therefore, the present project proposes to study the functionality of the rumen microbiome of Nelore bulls subjected to different nutritional interventions and integrate multi-omic data (metatranscriptome, metagenome and miRNAs) to understand the relationship between the function and composition of the rumen microbiome, provide a comprehensive view of gene regulation and interactions among different genome elements, and associate them with phenotypes such as feed efficiency, methane emissions, and water consumption. (AU)

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