Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Genetic background of mastitis resistance

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.02.00  Biotechnical sciences  Animal production   

Code Science Field
B220  Biomedical sciences  Genetics, cytogenetics 

Code Science Field
4.02  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Animal and Dairy science 
Mastitis, selection signature, copy number variation, proteomic analysis, RNA Seq, bioinformatics
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (21)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  29430  PhD Ivanka Cizelj  Biotechnology  Researcher  2016 - 2017  51 
2.  34506  PhD Manuela Čitar  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2016  19 
3.  05098  PhD Peter Dovč  Biotechnology  Head  2016 - 2018  935 
4.  20135  PhD Alenka Erjavec Škerget  Human reproduction  Researcher  2016 - 2018  150 
5.  24769  PhD Gregor Gorjanc  Animal production  Researcher  2016 - 2018  497 
6.  13343  PhD Nadja Kokalj Vokač  Oncology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  448 
7.  07673  PhD Dušan Kordiš  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  215 
8.  30811  PhD Danijela Krgović  Oncology  Researcher  2017 - 2018  79 
9.  00412  PhD Igor Križaj  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  725 
10.  16361  PhD Tanja Kunej  Animal production  Researcher  2016 - 2018  913 
11.  18802  PhD Adrijana Leonardi  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  156 
12.  05008  PhD Mojca Narat  Biotechnology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  688 
13.  28505  PhD Jernej Ogorevc  Animal production  Researcher  2016 - 2018  137 
14.  24298  PhD Irena Oven  Animal production  Researcher  2016 - 2018  81 
15.  34333  PhD Tine Pokorn  Plant production  Technical associate  2018  38 
16.  38858  Katja Skulj    Technical associate  2018  14 
17.  20200  PhD Špela Stangler Herodež  Oncology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  241 
18.  15600  MSc Maja Šimaga    Technical associate  2017 - 2018 
19.  15747  Andreja Zagorac  Human reproduction  Technical associate  2016 - 2018  154 
20.  18205  PhD Boris Zagradišnik  Oncology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  259 
21.  32581  PhD Minja Zorc  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2016 - 2018  182 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,682 
2.  0334  University Medical Centre Maribor  Maribor  5054150000  22,744 
3.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,295 
Populations that were historically in contact with pathogens, haveare often developed defense mechanisms - resistance that allow them to survive despite the presence of pathogens. Therefore, local populations often represent a source of genetic material that allows the survival of populations in the special environment. Some valuable genetic variants from these populations could be used to improve the health status of the populations that have not developed these defense mechanisms. Mastitis is the central health problem in milk producing herds. Since the infectious agents are diverse and rapidly changing, the most effective way of improving the resistance of the mammary gland is to improve the functioning of innate immune response. In our study we will apply different approaches to detect genomic regions that are causally associated with resistance to mastitis. We will use the biological material from indigenous breed of cattle (Cika) and from a highly productive dairy breed (Holstein Friesian) and the dairy goat breed that is kept under either conventional or organic conditions. We will use different methodological approaches for the detection of candidate regions in the genome: the GWAS analysis will try to detect the selection signature, which will reflect differences in the resistance to mastitis, exome sequencing will reveal structural changes in the genome (recombination, deletions, duplications), by sequencing the transcriptome of somatic cells in the milk and qPCR for selected candidate genes we will produce the expression profile of somatic cells in the milk and using proteomic analysis we will try to identify the expression of important signaling proteins that regulate innate immunity in the mammary gland. Understanding the molecular basis of mastitis resistance and identification of molecular interactions between the pathogen and the host defense mechanisms is crucial for improving health in dairy herds. This information will form the basis for designing and implementing selection programs to improve the health status of farm animal populations, the strategy also known as "marker assisted selection." This strategy has special importance in situations where the measures for the control of pathogens are ineffective and the disease causes considerable economic damage. Mastitis caused by different pathogens (E. coli, S. aureus, S. uberis, vrusi, mycoplasma ...) definitely is an example of a disease which seriously undermines the economics of milk production, and indirectly also human health.
Significance for science
The project results will shed light on molecular interactions between pathogens and hosts in mastitis and contribute to a better understanding of pathogenesis of mastitis. As we will study various strains of pathogens and the response of sensitive and resistant host groups, we assume that we will be able to identify general factors that affect susceptibility to inflammation of the mammary gland, as well as the general factors that regulate the immune response in populations resistant to infection. We expect that we will be ale due to the complex approach applied in the project, to discover selection signature in the genome of animals differentially resistant to mastitis and so contribute to better mechanistical understanding of the functioning of innate immunity in the mammary gland. Because mastitis represents a major cause for the reduction profitability in milk production. Project results and their use in breeding strategies to reduce vulnerability to infection can significantly contribute to improved economics of milk production and to improve the quality of the final product.
Significance for the country
The project addresses a major health and economic problem in the milk production. Because of the treatment costs and reduced milk quality are annual losses in the milk production significant and mastitis represents the most important reason for culling of highly productive animals. Mastitis significantly reduces animal welfare and reduces the quality of the milk. Thus, lower quality milk is often not suitable for human consumption and for further processing. The discovery of relevant genetic markers for resistance to mastitis could lead to more effective selection of resistant animals and would directly lead to the improvement of the health situation, improve animal welfare and better quality of milk. Due to the focus of the project on improving of innate immunity we expect that project results would also improve general health and well-being of the animals. This would have beneficial effects on the efficiency of food production and would generally improve the nutritional situation of the human opulation.
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
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