NIFA just funded 14 new projects in animal reproduction, and $184,000 of that investment is going to Birendra Mishra of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Sciences.
The focus of this AFRI Animal Reproduction Program is on enhancing gonadal function, evaluating transcriptomics in sperm, and improving estrus response to enhance overall fertility in livestock species – and this aligns well with “Transcriptional regulation of egg formation in the oviduct of broiler breeder hens,” Birendra’s proposed project.
“High-quality external and internal egg traits influence embryo development and hatchability; the oviduct provides the biological environment for egg formation and undergoes dynamic changes during the reproductive cycle,” he explains. However, “Obesity/overweight primarily impairs the follicular recruitment and ovulatory process and decreases the egg-laying persistency in broiler breeder hens.”
Birendra’s goal is to identify and substantiate the oviductal genes and biological pathways involved in egg albumen biosynthesis and eggshell biomineralization, and relate the findings with egg quality. This fundamental knowledge will provide further precision regarding their roles in quality egg production and could potentially be used for the genetic improvement of broiler breeders.
“Poultry meat is one of the most affordable and acceptable sources of animal protein for human consumption,” he notes, “and as the consumer demand for chicken meat increases, it is important to increase the laying persistency with fertilizable egg production for the sustainability of the broiler industry.”
Read the full proposal.