Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improve cattle in US and South Africa

Date:
October 6, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Scientists in the US and South Africa are working to improve prospects for cattle breeders in that African nation -- and they could improve them for breeders around the world.

ARS geneticist Mike MacNeil is helping South African researchers improve on techniques used to breed indigenous Nguni cattle. The work may turn up genes for tick resistance that will benefit U.S. cattle breeders.
Credit: Mike MacNeil

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist has developed a partnership with colleagues in South Africa that is improving prospects for cattle breeders in that African nation -- and could improve them for breeders around the world.

Related Articles


Efforts by Mike MacNeil, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) geneticist at the agency's Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Mont., are designed to equip South Africa's scientists with better research tools to help cattle breeders and farmers in remote, underdeveloped areas. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.

Much of the research focuses on Nguni (pronounced en-GOO-nee) cattle, an indigenous breed popular among poor and emerging farmers in South Africa because of its fertility, tolerance to harsh conditions, resistance to ticks and tolerance to tick-borne diseases. In a recent study, MacNeil and his colleagues examined ways to address a chronic problem: Nguni that are too small and deposit too much fat before reaching market weight, making them undesirable for commercial feedlot operations.

They examined factors that breeders could consider in trying to improve progeny of their Nguni cows by mating them with larger and beefier Angus and Charolais bulls. The resulting crossbred ideally would retain the Nguni toughness and adaptability, but would take on the improved beef aspects of the Angus and Charolais sires. The research, published in the South African Journal of Animal Science, built on MacNeil's work at Fort Keogh on development of crossbreeding systems and breeding objectives for U.S. domestic breeds.

Olivia Mapholi, a scientist with the South African Agricultural Research Council who studied under MacNeil at Fort Keogh, continues to consult him as she searches for quantitative trait loci (QTLs), or areas of the cattle genome, that confer the ability to tolerate tick-borne diseases. Mapholi is crossing tick-resistant Nguni with tick-susceptible Angus and is looking for genes that confer resistance to ticks. Her research could benefit beef production in any part of the world where ticks are a problem, including the United States.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Dennis O'Brien. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Improve cattle in US and South Africa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006113610.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, October 6). Improve cattle in US and South Africa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006113610.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Improve cattle in US and South Africa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006113610.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins