College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
Selection practices have truly transformed the phenotypic and genotypic character of the Holstein cow and tremendously increased milk and component yields per U.S. Holstein since the 1960s. These increases have dramatically altered metabolic fluxes in the cow to support the increased demand for nutrients to synthesize milk and have been associated with reduced reproductive performance and with increased susceptibility to metabolic disorders, especially during the periparturient period. Failure to successfully transition from pregnancy to lactation decreases cow well-being and is detrimental to the economic viability of dairy enterprises. Considerable effort has been expended to understand factors that regulate metabolism during the transition period and progress has been achieved but specific mechanisms that regulate how cows partition nutrients among body functions have not been identified. These researchers use transcriptome analysis (RNA-seq) to identify potential mechanisms responsible for this coordinated regulation of tissue metabolism. Software available through MSI is used for the analyses.