We investigate the different genetically-physiological approaches, which farm animals have developed in the course of domestication for occurrence of important breeding traits and which form the basis of trait variations. Variations on the level of genes and gene products – transcriptome, proteome and metabolome – as well as gene-gene and gene- environment- interactions are analysed. Functional traits, like udder health, fertility, economic life or stress resistance in cattle and swine considerably affecting not only the perfomance but also being a main qualification for a livestock-friendly husbandry of our farm animals are in focus of our research.
Biotic and abiotic factors continuing modulate gene regulation
The activity of genes and functional networks of genes and gene products is sustainable affected by environmental factors, like dietary deficiencies or pathogens, and could yield into persistent variances in metabolism and health. The impact of these environmental factors on gene expression in specific tissues of laboratory and farm animals is part of our research. Hence, we expect information about the extensively unexplained molecular processes forming the basis of that interaction.
„Genetic switches“ affect susceptibility to disease and management of energy resources
Comprehensive expression analyses attend to identify genes and gene variants as well as physiological and genetic networks, which determine the phenotypic variation in traits like udder health in cattle and management of energy resources in swine. Molecular correlations between genes and the characteristic of traits should be additionally investigated by means of association and linkage analyses as well as supplementary functional analyses.