Post-harvest changes in ingested forage

Lead Research Organisation: Aberystwyth University
Department Name: IBERS

Abstract

This sub-programme investigates how forage chemistry and post-harvest changes of fresh forage affect ruminal fermentation, and the extent of genetic control. Transcriptomic and proteomic approaches together with bio-imaging and unbiased and targeted metabolite analyses of established in vitro and in sacco experimentation will be used to identify the key plant-based traits that can influence the rumen systems model. Candidate post-harvest responses for targetted analysis include control of plant-mediated proteolysis during rumen-induced plant cell death, microbial molecular pattern recognition, drought/ flooding responses and wound responses. Appropriate germplasm will be sourced and used in functional hypothesis testing. Forage characterisation will be performed by use of chemometrics (FTIR, Micro RAMAN, GC-MS, LC-MS) with multivariate data analysis to understand inputs delivered by the feed and the extent of its genetic control. High throughput screens under development will enable assessment of methanogenic properties of large numbers of forage genotypes. This will exploit the extensive genetic resources at IBERS, for example, ~14,000 populations of the forage grass Lolium perenne. The combination of high throughput screening and genetic variation of defined pedigree presents the opportunity to develop and use machine learning approaches such as genetic algorithms (GA) to streamline screening and selection by operating a virtual evolution.

Publications

10 25 50

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Belanche A (2012) Bacterial protein degradation by different rumen protozoal groups. in Journal of animal science

 
Description 1. This work has lead to an increased understanding of control of plant metabolism in ingested forage. We have demonstrated similarities in post-harvest plant cellular response with systems known to be involved in stress tolerance and pathogen resistance in the field. These responses, and more recently exposure to stress events prior to ingestion have been shown by metabolomic and proteomic techniques to alter the functioning of the rumen microbial population.
2. Specific attention has been given to understanding the plant's role in delivery improved protein supply. We have used proteomics to identify specific protein targets for rapid proteolysis which is key to this inefficiency. These are largely chloroplast located and have in consequence identified the potential for the polyphenol oxidase enzyme to protect through phenolic complexing. We have extended studies with Festulolium grass hybrids to use a continuous flow rumen simulator (animal mimic system) to confirm indications from previous in vitro studies that whole genome hybrids can deliver better protein supply kinetics than a standard ryegrass sward.
Exploitation Route The aim of this work was to identify traits that to be taken forward by breeders for improved animal efficiency. We have shown that changes in forage genotype leading to subtle changes in phenotype can have significant implications for ruminal fermentation. The correspondence of response to systems where there is much existing work (eg pathogenesis) opens up potential for further research to exploit synteny with known genetic mechanisms in improved forage germplasm.
The potential for development of festulolium hybrids in the context of an improved forage for grazing should next be established in a grazing trial. After this social and economic impact could be realised in a relatively short time. Hybrids are commercially available (eg AberNiche) and exisiting links with Germinal Holdings would facilitate up-scaling and commercialisation.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

 
Description Findings have been used in outreach activities at Royal Welsh Show and School Science Week to engage with farming community, general public and children. This involved hands-on experiences including viewing rumen micro-organisms under microscope and extracting DNA. Our research is also contributing to discussions as part of networks in South America and Africa in relation to sustainability and food security (via GCRF-IAA #BB/GCRF-IAA/09). This has raised awareness of our plant improvement activities to in-country organisations that can disseminate information to the appropriate communities for uptake of either materials or practice as required and appropriate.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Chair in Rumen Systems Biology
Amount £600,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2017
 
Description Climate KIC RuMeClean
Amount £218,042 (GBP)
Organisation BioHorizons 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 01/2014 
End 12/2015
 
Description DCDS postgraduate studentship Stephen Wanjiru
Amount £79,000 (GBP)
Organisation Aberystwyth University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description Doctoral Career Development Scholarship
Amount £68,889 (GBP)
Organisation Aberystwyth University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description FACCEJPI Rumenstability
Amount £25,200 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2014 
End 01/2017
 
Description Future forages: Implications of forage response to climate change for ruminant production
Amount £474,783 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R019185/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2018 
End 06/2021
 
Description GCRF-IAA
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/GCRF-IAA/09 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description Global Challenges Research Fund Data and Resources
Amount £942,900 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description International Partnering Award Brazil
Amount £41,531 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L026716/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 03/2018
 
Description KESS studentship
Amount £56,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Social Fund (Welsh Government/ EU) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description NERC-SARIC translation
Amount £197,442 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P007996/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2017 
End 07/2018
 
Description NRN LCEE Cluster
Amount £435,721 (GBP)
Organisation The Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE) 
Sector Public
Country Unknown
Start 10/2015 
End 12/2018
 
Description NRN antimicrobials from bovine metagenomes
Amount £49,970 (GBP)
Organisation National Research Network, Life Sciences and Health 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2015
 
Description SARIC Club Translation Award
Amount £248,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P007996/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2017 
End 01/2018
 
Description Seeding Catalyst Award
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/SCA/IBERS/17 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Description TSB beef supply chain
Amount £386,672 (GBP)
Funding ID 101407 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2013 
End 02/2016
 
Description Teagasc ruminant methane
Amount £72,728 (GBP)
Organisation Teagasc 
Department Teagasc Food Research Centre
Sector Academic/University
Country Ireland
Start 01/2014 
End 01/2018
 
Description WG Land use review
Amount £13,000 (GBP)
Organisation Welsh Assembly 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 07/2014
 
Description BBSRC UK-Brazil Partnering Award 
Organisation Federal University of Minas Gerais
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Members of research team have travelled to Brazil to share knowledge of characterising and exploiting novel antimicrobials within the rumen microbiola
Collaborator Contribution Members of the receiving organisation in Brazil hosted the visit and shared in their understanding of exploiting novel antimicrobials within the rumen microbiola
Impact Knowledge sharing
Start Year 2014
 
Description NRN Climate Smart Grass 
Organisation Bangor University
Department School of Ocean Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribution of expertise in plant stress tolerance and assessment of forage quality.
Collaborator Contribution Co-supervision of post doctoral researcher. Participation in design of experimentation across partnership (IBERS, Bangor University, CEH Bangor).
Impact Outputs with direct involvement from ISPG staff 1. Humphreys MW, Loka D, Gwynn-Jones D, Scullion J, Doonan J, Gasior D, Harper J, Farrell M, Kingston-Smith A, Dodd R, Chadwick D, Hill P, Mills G, Hayes F, Robinson D, and Jones D. (2016). Climate-smart strategies to safeguard persistency and achieve sustainable grassland production, The multiple role of grasslands in the European bioeconomy. In: Proceedings of the 26th. General Meeting of the European Grasslands Federation, Eds: Hoglind M, Bakken AK, Hovstad KA, Kallioniemi E, Riley H, Steinsham H, Ostrem L; Trondheim, Norway pp 802-804 2. Loka D, Humphreys M,, Gwynn-Jones D, Scullion J, Doonan J, Gasior D, Harper J, Farrell M, Kingston-Smith A, Dodd R, Chadwick D, Hill P, Mills G, Hayes F, Robinson D, Jones D (2016). How one stress might impact on another. VI Eucarpia Festulolium Working Group Workshop. Olomouc, Czech Republic 5-6 April 2016 3. Humphreys M, Loka D, Gwynn-Jones D, Scullion J, Doonan J, Gasior D, Harper J, Farrell M, Kingston-Smith A, Dodd R, Chadwick D, Hill P, Mills G, Hayes F, Robinson D, Jones D (2016). Developing climate-smart grasslands. VI Eucarpia Festulolium Working Group Workshop. Olomouc, Czech Republic 5-6 April 2016 4. Loka D, Humphreys M, Gwynn-Jones D, Scullion J, Doonan J, Gasior D, Harper J, Farrell M, Kingston-Smith A, Dodd R, Chadwick D, Hill P, Robinson D, Jones D. (2016) Designing resilient and productive grasses with plasticity to extreme weather events. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco
Start Year 2015
 
Description "Y Bol Buwch" (All Things Rumen) exhibit at Royal Welsh Show, July 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact • Initiated and oversaw "Y Bol Buwch" (All Things Rumen) exhibit at Royal Welsh Show, July 2015 including "Live lab" deonstrations of DNA extraction and fermentation and "Bug bashing" (type of coconut shy).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description AKS Invited to give seminar at Oxford Brookes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talked to a group of bioscience postgraduates and supervisors. Wide ranging discussions on practicalities and ethics associated with livestock and the environment. New potential research contacts made.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Excellence with impact poster. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Poster titled: Manipulation of rumen nitrogen flows by use of Festulolium hybrids in rumen simulation fermenters, Kamau S, Belanche A, Davies T, Rees-Stevens P, Humphreys M, Kingston-Smith A. Presented as part of IBERS entry to BBSRC Excellent with Impact Competition 2016 for which IBERS were awarded Special Commendation for impact policy around global food security.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Exhibition at Royal Welsh Show 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Exhibits and quizzes used to alter awareness of grass quality and how it is digested in the rumen under the general heading "Not all grasses are the same". The enabled more detailed discussions with adults and livestock practitioners about determination of quality traits and IBERS breeding directions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Public engagement (Royal Welsh Show) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Demonstration of interactive rumen over four days of national agricultural show, leading to discussion with members of the public and prospective students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Sparking Impact Meeting - Waitrose Supply Chain/IBERS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact With British producers facing ever-increasing expectations - to deliver traceability, meet higher environmental standards and maintain the countryside - Waitrose, IBERS and suppliers have been working together to share experiences on topics such as animal and plant diseases, food security issues and strains on productivity. This event gave suppliers, large and small, direct access to Waitrose buyers, food technologists and scientists and helped smaller producers, in particular, to understand food legislation.

The outcome of the event was a sharing of best practice throughout Waitrose's supply chain and beyond.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Visit to WHEB, EU, Brussels 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Visit of 7 researchers to Welsh Higher Education Brussels, organised by National Research network (Wales) in Low Carbon Energy and Environment. Objective was to engage with Research Programme Directors and managers of platforms related to agriculture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description information for SoB poster 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Dr Kingston-Smith collaborated with Society of Biology during their preparation of a poster for schools titled "What goes in to a cow?" aimed at GCSE level students.

Posters used by Society of Biology Staff during National Science week. Posters available to schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013