Genome analysis of 234 bulls has put researchers, including several from Wageningen Livestock Research, on the trail of DNA variants which influence particular characteristics in breeding bulls. For example, two variants have proven responsible for disruptions to the development of embryos and for curly hair, which is disadvantageous because more ticks and parasites occur in curly hair than in short, straight hair. These are the first results of the large 1000 Bull Genomes project on which some 30 international researchers are collaborating. They report on their research in the most recent edition of the science journal Nature Genetics.Most breeding characteristics are influenced by not one but a multiplicity of variants. It is therefore important to be able to use all the variants in breeding, say the Wageningen researchers. In order to make this possible, Rianne van Binsbergen, PhD researcher at the Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre of Wageningen UR, investigated whether the genomes of all the common bulls in the Netherlands can be filled with the help of these 234 bulls. Currently, these bulls have been genotyped with markers of 50,000 or 700,000 DNA variants. The positive results indicate the direction for further research into the practical use of genome information in breeding.Dairy and beef cattle The project demonstrates how useful large-scale DNA analyses can be, says Professor Roel Veerkamp, Professor of Numerical Genetics at Wageningen University and board member of the 1000 Bull Genomes project. He emphasises that the requirements for dairy and beef cattle are becoming ever more exacting: “Until the mid nineties, a cow primarily had to produce a lot of milk. But since then, expectations have gone up. …Read more
Apr. 17, 2013 — The illegal use of clenbuterol in livestock farming may affect the results of doping controls in sport. This is the conclusion of a study by the Institute of Food Safety, RIKILT Wageningen UR, Netherlands, in partnership with fellow institutes.
At the behest of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), RIKILT examined 47 meat and food samples. All originated from hotels in Mexico where football teams stayed during the U-17 World Cup. In 14 of these samples, the growth promoter clenbuterol was found.
A different institute studied 208 urine samples from footballers staying at the hotels in question and found clenbuterol in 109 of them. Only five of the 24 teams which had provided urine samples tested negative for the presence of clenbuterol. At least one of those teams had been put on a strict non-meat diet.
FIFA launched its investigation into possible problems with food contamination in connection with doping tests in 2011, prompted by five positive doping tests involving clenbuterol in members of the Mexican national football team during out-of-competition doping tests.
The study demonstrates that clenbuterol in meat for human consumption causes major problems when eaten by top athletes who are registered in national and international doping control systems. As such, there is an urgent need for government action to combat the illegal use of clenbuterol in livestock farming worldwide.
The use of clenbuterol in livestock farming is banned in the entire European Union. This prohibition also applies to all meat exporting countries selling meat products in the markets of the EU member states.
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- Mario Thevis, Lina Geyer, Hans Geyer, Sven Guddat, Jiri Dvorak, Anthony Butch, Saskia S. Sterk, Wilhelm Schänzer. Adverse analytical findings with clenbuterol among U-17 soccer players attributed to food contamination issues. Drug Testing and Analysis, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/dta.1471
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