Agriculture : Animal nutrition

Agriculture Portfolios


Optimizing Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Dairy Cattle

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a simple algorithm to optimize nitrogen use efficiency based on values already measured in most dairy herds: milk urea-nitrogen yield (MUNY) and protein yield (PY) in milk. Once an ideal MUNY/PY ratio is identified through careful measurement, the value can be constantly monitored to determine if feed practices need to be adjusted. This kind of feedback can be provided within a day, unlike any other method.

SIgA Protein as Heath Supplement for Animals, Humans

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for producing large quantities of animal- and human-grade sIgA. The protein is isolated from the intestinal fluid/lining of swine or cows, enriched and purified. The process is similar to how heparin, the common anticoagulant, is produced.

Vaccine to Improve Phosphate Retention in Farm Animals

UW–Madison researchers have developed a vaccine that induces an antibody against FGF-23 to reduce phosphate excretion in animals. The isolated polypeptide and carrier protein can be given directly as a vaccine to provoke an immune response and inhibit FGF-23. The generated antibodies also can be transferred maternally to offspring.

Natural Feed Additive Combats Gastrointestinal Infection in Livestock and Poultry

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for treating and maintaining healthy growth in animals infected with gastrointestinal protozoa using interleukin-10 (IL-10) peptides and antibodies.

Incorporating standard techniques, blood serum or eggs produced from hens vaccinated with IL-10 peptide vaccines can be obtained and dried to form an antibody-containing powder. The egg, yolk or serum powder may be added to animal feed in an appropriate amount to transfer the antibodies.

Precisely Estimating Neutral Detergent Fiber Digestibilty of Biomass for Feed or Ethanol Production

UW-Madison researchers have developed a method for precisely estimating in vitro NDFD.  This method can be used to measure fiber digestibility of biomass to assess its value in feed or ethanol production.  It also can be used to calibrate a spectrophotometer or construct a more accurate and reliable standard curve for NIRS analysis.

The method involves harvesting rumen fluid from one or more animals and combining it with a carbohydrate-containing primer composition.  The fluid is incubated until the rumen microbial flora reach a pre-determined, standard activity level.  Then a forage sample is digested with the primed rumen fluid.  As in the conventional method, the fiber content of the sample is measured before and after digestion to determine NDFD.  The NDFD data then can be used to construct more reliable standards for NIRS.

Method for Heat-Stabilizing Proteins to Protect Their Specific Binding Activities

UW-Madison researchers have developed a method for stabilizing proteins that protects the proteins’ specific binding activities from the effects of heat. A protein is mixed with a saccharide compound in a liquid suspension, and the suspension is dried. In the dried suspension, the saccharide compound openly associates with the protein molecules to protect the protein’s specific binding activity from the destructive effects of heat. The protein can be readily released from its association with the saccharide when the protein reaches a target site, allowing it to achieve its biological activity.

Method to Increase Body Weight Uniformity and Carcass Yield in Animals

UW-Madison researchers have now shown that reducing the bioavailability of prostaglandin or leukotriene precursors also improves the uniformity of body weight among a group of animals and increases animal carcass yield. To reduce the bioavailability of prostaglandin or leukotriene lipid precursors, an agent, preferably an anti-PLA2 antibody, is administered to the animals.

Method to Increase Feed Efficiency by Reducing Endotoxin-Induced GI Tract Inflammation

UW-Madison researchers have developed a method for improving feed efficiency in animals by reducing the binding between bacterial endotoxin and its receptors in the animal’s gastrointestinal tract. The method involves administering an agent that can reduce the formation of the signal transduction complex of endotoxin, TLR4, and CD14 on cells within the gastrointestinal tract. Preferably, the agent is an antibody against the extracellular domain of TLR4 or CD14. Reducing the binding between endotoxin and its receptors reduces gastrointestinal inflammation, leading to improved gut health, enhanced growth and increased feed efficiency.

Conjugated Nonadecadienoic Acid (CNA) Reduces Body Fat and Inhibits LPL Activity

UW-Madison researchers have developed a method of using conjugated nonadecadienoic acid (CNA) to inhibit LPL activity in humans or other animals. CNA is a 19 carbon, free fatty acid with a pair of conjugated double bonds. Its biological effects on the metabolism of body fat are similar to those of CLA.

To inhibit LPL activity, an agent containing CNA and at least one derivative of CNA is administered to an animal. In addition to controlling body fat in animals, CNA also acts to inhibit cyclooxygenase activity and platelet aggregation.