Associate Editor for Genetics
Dr. J.N.B. Shrestha retired as Research Scientist in the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Quebec, Canada, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He obtained professional degrees from U.P. Agricultural University, India (BVSc & AH; 1966), and from University of Minnesota, USA (MS and Ph.D.; 1970 and 1973), followed by Postdoctoral research (1973-75) at the University of Minnesota and National Research Council of Canada. His area of specialization has been in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Reproduction, Production and Conservation of Domestic animal diversity. He has supervised numerous MS and Ph.D. students, as well as authored and co-authored more than 200 scientific, technical and popular papers on long-term sheep, swine and poultry breeding, development of reproduction and molecular technologies to enhance productivity, and the preservation of domestic animals. Dr. Shrestha also participated in International Conferences held in various countries as keynote speaker, chaired sessions and presented scientific papers.
EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ)
Antonia Ricci, Ana Allende, Declan Bolton, Marianne Chemaly, Robert Davies,
Pablo Salvador Fernandez Escamez, Rosina Girones, Lieve Herman,
Kostas Koutsoumanis, Roland Lindqvist, Birgit Nørrung, Lucy Robertson, Giuseppe Ru, Moez Sanaa, Panagiotis Skandamis, Niko Speybroeck, Marion Simmons,
Benno Ter Kuile, John Threlfall, Helene Wahlstrom, Pier-Luigi Acutis,
Olivier Andreoletti, Wilfred Goldmann, Jan Langeveld, Jack J Windig,
Angel Ortiz Pelaez and Emma Snary
Breeding programmes to promote resistance to classical scrapie, similar to those for sheep in existing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) regulations, have not been established in goats. The European Commission requested a scientific opinion from EFSA on the current knowledge of genetic resistance to TSE in goats. An evaluation tool, which considers both the weight of evidence and strength of resistance to classical scrapie of alleles in the goat PRNP gene, was developed and applied to nine selected alleles of interest. Using the tool, the quality and certainty of the field and experimental data are considered robust enough to conclude that the K222, D146 and S146 alleles both confer genetic resistance against classical scrapie strains known to occur naturally in the EU goat population, with which they have been challenged both experimentally and under field conditions. The weight of evidence for K222 is greater than that currently available for the D146 and S146 alleles and for the ARR allele in sheep in 2001. Breeding for resistance can be an effective tool for controlling classical scrapie in goats and it could be an option available to member states, both at herd and population levels. There is insufficient evidence to assess the impact of K222, D146 and S146 alleles on susceptibility to atypical scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or on health and production traits. These alleles are heterogeneously distributed across the EU Member States and goat breeds, but often at low frequencies (< 10%). Given these low frequencies, high selection pressure may have an adverse effect on genetic diversity so any breeding for resistance programmes should be developed at Member States, rather than EU level and their impact monitored, with particular attention to the potential for any negative impact in rare or small population breeds.
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© 2017 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.
Production Systems and Sustainability
Reduced survival of lambs from maiden ewes exposed to mature ewes pre-lambing
S.M. Robertson, M.B. Allworth, M.A. Friend
Vol. 151, p11–15
The suboptimal survival of new-born lambs is a major source of reproductive inefficiency, is often lower in maiden (first-lambing) compared with multiparous ewes, and this may be associated with poor maternal behaviour due to inexperience. This study examined whether the survival of lambs from maiden ewes could be increased by exposing maiden ewes to multiparous lambing ewes in the month before lambing. Pregnant maiden Merino ewes (n = 446) which had been mated at 18 months of age were allocated to three replicates of two treatments.
Marcel Amills, Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CSIC-IRTA-UAB-UB)
One of the most significant advances in the field of caprine genomics was the genome sequencing of a 3-year-old female Yunnan black goat in 2013 by a Chinese team led by Dr. Wen Wang. The aim was achieved by smartly combining conventional next generation short-read sequencing with an optical mapping technology that facilitated the laborious process of genome assembly.
The food animals with the largest distribution on Earth are goats, with more than one billion heads. Sixty-one percent of these are distributed in twenty-seven percent of the poorest countries. Goats can be found in the Polar Circle or in the tropical rain forests, in the steepest mountains or in desert regions, on high-tech farms or in refugee camps. Nonetheless, most of them survive in pockets of poverty, among the most outcast pariahs, where their very existence can separate life from death in humans. This study focusing on the genetic perspective of the origins of goats from the Canary Islands contributes to the universality of that specie. In addition, the book includes research that demonstrates the influence of goats from the Canary Islands on American ‘creole’ genotypes. Finally, the book also discusses the origins of sheep and swine from the Canary Islands.
Los animales de abasto con mayor distribución en la Tierra son los caprinos, con más de mil millones de ejemplares. El 61% de éstos se encuentran repartidos en el 27% de los países más pobres. Se pueden encontrar cabras en el Círculo Polar o en las selvas tropicales, en las montañas más abruptas o en los desiertos, en granjas tecnificadas o en los campamentos de los refugiados. Pero en su gran mayoría sobreviven en las bolsas de pobreza, junto a las parias más parias, allí donde su sola existencia puede separar la vida de la muerte entre ser humanos. Este estudio de la perspectiva genética sobre los orígenes del ganado canario contribuye a la universalidad de esta especie. Además, el libro recoge trabajo de investigación donde se demuestra la influencia del ganado canario sobre los genotipos criollos americanos. Por otra parte, el libro también trata de los orígenes de los ovinos y porcinos canarios.
Phenotypic Characterization and Strategies for Genetic Improvement of WAD Goats under Backyard Systems
West African Dwarf (WAD) goats represent one of the predominant small ruminant breeds raised by resource-limited households in southern Nigeria as well as in the humid west and central Africa. This breed of goats is renowned for its adaptation to hot and humid environments, high fertility and prolificacy under backyard systems where they are raised almost with zero investment. On account of its contributions to household income and food security in southern Nigeria, there is the need for a detailed phenotypic and genetic characterization as well as the design of breeding strategies for its conservation through sustainable utilization. A critical challenge, however, is that there are no national breeding policies in most of the countries where WAD goats are raised.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service is looking to address world hunger through better goat genetics.
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The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.