Advanced Caprine Research

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Goat at International Goat research Center, Prairie View A&M UniversityThe Overall Objectives of this project, “Establishing a Novel Livestock Information Delivery System” is to create a searchable web database related to livestock diseases and develop high-quality videos discussing livestock diseases. As the goat industry grows so does the basic need for current and correct information on how to raise goats and produce safe wholesome products. The information the public seeks is in all areas, herd health, basic housing and management, nutrition,┬áreproduction, and value-added products. Scientists at the international Goat Research Center are conducting advanced caprine research in order to improve all aspects of the industry.

Many producers turn to the internet (World Wide Web) for information, some of the information obtained may not be scientific based and may not be relevant to their specific need. We at the International Goat Research Center at Prairie View A&M University take pride in the fact that we are always seeking to develop research that will enhance goat production systems, as we impact local, state, regional, national, and international goat producers.

Dr. Bill Foxworth
Dr. Shaye Lewis

Research Focus
Scientist here are conducting advance stage research to improve the fertility in the caprine species. Dr. Shaye Lewis, a Research Scientist at the International Goat Research Center is conducting research in the area of caprine reproductive physiology, specifically looking at the function of the male reproductive tract.
Shaye LewisBackground: Despite stringent semen analyses of individual animals in AI programs, measures of fertility are often incongruent with measures of sperm ability to undergo capacitation, fuse with the egg membrane, and de-condense the sperm head within the cytoplasm of the oocyte. Intracellular small non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) including microRNAs (miRNA) and piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNA) (herein collectively referred to as inRNA) are abundant in the testes and epididymis. They are regulatory RNAs for the complex transcriptional control and cell-cell communication required for spermatogenesis, sperm transport and fertilization. Recent reports show that extracellular miRNA species (herein referred as exRNA) are secreted into many body fluids including seminal plasma. They are selectively packaged into exosomes (microvesicles) or bound in protein complexes that aid in their stability. Isolation and characterization of seminal plasma exosomes and their exRNA cargo may be molecular biomarkers for fertility. In humans, the expression profile of exRNA in seminal plasma is altered with non-obstructive types of spermatogenic failure. Additionally, the miRNA expression profiles of human spermatozoa are altered in males with spermatogenic failure compared to normozoospermic males. The roles of the exRNA are unknown but are likely important during spermatogenesis, sperm capacitation, transport, and for the paternal contribution to successful zygotic and early embryonic development.
Overall hypothesis or goal: We hypothesize that the small ncRNAin caprine semen exhibits distinct profiles that reflect semen quality and fertilizability. Our long-term goal is to develop a panel of small ncRNAs as novel molecular biomarkers for fertility in livestock species.
Specific Objectives: Short-term objectives in our lab are to identify differentially expressed small ncRNAs in (1) exosomes from seminal plasma and (2) sperm associated with heat-induced pathogenesis of poor semen quality and recovery in goats

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