Effect of Prenatal Stress on DNA Methylation and Correspondence with Gene Expression in Cattle
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This project works to improve animal welfare and wellbeing. We are examining the influence of stress to the mother on the unborn offspring. Prenatal programing can occur in the offspring when the mother is stressed during pregnancy resulting in negative effects on behavior and mental wellbeing of the offspring. We are studying the mechanisms for these negative effects. Knowledge gained should assist in developing management strategies to reduce these negative effects and improve animal wellbeing. Beef cattle are very important economic animals in the United States. In Texas alone the value of livestock and poultry sales was over 18 billion dollars in 2012.Of this amount receipts from cattle were over 13 billion dollars in 2012. By developing management strategies to avoid or remedy the effects of prenatal programming it could be possible to increase these receipts by approximately 1.8 billion dollars annually in Texas alone and when expanded to the United States it would be in excess of 18 billion dollars annually The objectives of this proposal are to:1. Determine if changes in the genetic makeup of the prenatally stressed calves remain through maturity .2. Determine if the changes in the blood are the same in other tissues of the body and if these changes are altering the function of the genes in mature animals that were prenatally stressed.