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Improving livestock productivity and resilience in Africa: Application of genetic technologies and challenges


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Presented by Julie Ojango, Yumi Mingyan, Raphael Mrode and Okeyo Mwai at the Workshop on Animal Genetic Research for Africa (Biosciences for Farming in Africa), Nairobi, 10-11 September 2015

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Improving livestock productivity and resilience in Africa: Application of genetic technologies and challenges

  1. 1. • Improving Livestock Productivity and Resilience in Africa: Application of Genetic Technologies and Challenges • Julie Ojango, Yumi Mingyan, Raphael Mrode, Okeyo Mwai Animal Genetic Research for Africa (Biosciences for Farming in Africa), Nairobi, 10-11 September 2015
  2. 2. Issues in Livestock production in Developing Countries Must utilize the potential of the AnGR and increase the productivity per animal! Meet increasing demands for food of animal origin on an increasingly competitive market Improve the livelihoods of communities keeping livestock Without environmental degradation: land and water Cope with diseases & stress Considering the needs for future genetic diversity Need for resilient animals
  3. 3. 3 The huge genetic diversity is an opportunity The challenge: How can we identify and utilize the best animals for & in different environments?
  4. 4. Needs and Technologies: Use Mathematical modeling to predict future scenarios & gene swoops Data to understand animals & environment Genomic & ICT tools to identify, improve and deliver the desired animals Match genotype with current environments Multiply and deliver desired animals using reproductive technology
  5. 5. Light coloured bars = Minimum production Dark coloured bars = Maximum production xi = Differences in production due to “animal husbandry practices” yi = Differences in production due to “genotype” Fitting livestock genotypes to different environments- the dairy example 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 MilkyieldperLactation(Kg) Indigenous Crossbred Exotic Mixed rain fed temperate/highlan d Mixed rain fed humid/sub-humid Indigenous Crossbreds Synthetics Exotics Large-scale commercial ranches xE1 xE2 xE3 xE1 xE2 xE3 xE3 yE2 yE1 xE3
  6. 6.  Production systems are mainly small scale or pastoral, transaction costs are high  Climate change!  Limited resources, poverty, available feeds  Endemic diseases  Local Markets, skewed prices  Poor Infrastructure  Lack of feedback systems to inform management decisions  Weak institutions Why is change a challenge ?
  7. 7. This Animal This Environment Unfortunately, We want to move
  8. 8. Animal EnvironmentTo this
  9. 9. To change an animal… application of “technologies” is needed
  10. 10. 1960 5000 kg milk/cow 2005 10 000kg milk/cow 2050 ?? kg milk/cow Developed countries: What changed?
  11. 11. 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Year Kg ECM Swedish Red (SRB) Swedish Holstein (SLB) 2% total increase per year 1-1.5% genetic change per year Annual milk yield for SRB & SLB cows 1955-2005 Change Takes Time and Effort (good data & right analyses)
  12. 12. Data: Technologies to accelerate information generation and sharing, but policies & access? Smart data capture & feedback systems: ICT based Breeding platforms to systematically improve and deliver productivity gains 12
  13. 13. Milk production by % dairyness • High grade cattle only showed substantially better milk yields than other grades in the highest production environment Use of Genomics and results from small-holder systems (DGEA) PC1 vs PC2 from principal component analysis based on 566,000 snp
  14. 14. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Months in Milk Kgofmilkperday X1 X2 X3 Y1 Y2 Y3 The lactation curves of dairy cows under different production systems in Kenya …Use of Genomics and results from small-holder systems (DGEA)
  15. 15. Challenges and other potential application of genomics • Are there desirable and undesirable GMOs? • Graft an Orange on lemon is ok but, gene from goat that improves nutritional value of cow milk is branded as undesirable (the often uninformed GMO debate?) • Nutrient density: is 1 glass of Holsten milk < or > 1 glass of crossbred cow milk? To whom and for who is important!
  16. 16. Opportunities & potential application of genomics • Use of gene therapy to treat diseases (is this bad or desirable?) • Understanding the underlying genetic control of traits that lead to threats to our wild life and use genomics to fix this (e.g. rhino horn)
  17. 17. • Use of Reproductive Technologies to Improve Productivity & Resilience
  18. 18. IVF 2-cell Morula Day 3.5 Blastocyst Day 7.5 In-vitro production of bovine embryos of desired genetics + Oocytes by Ovum pick up (OPU) Frozen semen Embryo Transfer (ET) Cryopreservation Can also be used to conserve the endangered African wildlife
  19. 19. a) Solid Surface Vitrification (SSV) Pre-load the straw for Insert the plug into the straw immediately Dilutionmedium Bovine embryo vitrification with direct ET after warming
  20. 20. b) In-straw Dilution (ISD) 0.25 ml straw (50 µl) (6 µl) Bovine embryo vitrification with direct ET after warming Same principles can be used to conserve the endangered African wildlife
  21. 21. Method No. of Blastocysts Re-expansion Rate (24 hr) Hatch Rate (48 hr) Control (fresh embryos) 25 (G1) N/A 19 (76%) 47 (G2) N/A 34 (72%) Solid Surface Vitrification (SSV) 28 (G1) 23 (82%) 16 (57%) 40 (G2) 30 (75%) 16 (40%) In-Straw Dilution (ISD) 21 (G1) 13 (62%) 7 (33%) 54 (G2) 39 (72%) 16 (30%) Results: Bovine embryo vitrification with direct ET after warming
  22. 22. Simplified In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) System Equilibration of culture medium Injection of oocytes & sperm Embryo Culture Advantages • Simple & field-applicable: no need of special equipment and the system can be transported by car to the field within 7 days. • Affordable: the cost is 10 times less • Sub-centers for IVF can be easily established with simple settings for villages.
  23. 23. Sperm Analysis by Fluorescence staining and Flow Cytometery Viability test – PE & SYBR double staining Acrosome integrity test – PSA-FITC, Hoechst & PE triple staining Dead sperm (red) Live sperm (green) Dead sperm with intact Acrosome Dead sperm with broken Acrosome Live sperm with intact Acrosome Live sperm with broken Acrosome Broken Acrosome (green) Intact Acrosome (no staining)
  24. 24. Consumption of even small amounts of animal-source foods: -combats under nutrition -improves cognitive development - increases physical growth and activity Note: To feed the hungry mouths the moral question is different!
  25. 25. • Do we have enabling policies and appropriate policy frameworks in place to allow biotechnology and information technologies to effectively solve Africa’s food scarcity & safety problems?
  26. 26. The presentation has a Creative Commons licence. You are free to re-use or distribute this work, provided credit is given to ILRI. better lives through livestock Strategy materials: