Research topics for PhD study in the Animal Science Doctoral School
Estimation and utilisation of dominance effects in pig and rabbit populations
Within the framework of this topic the PhD student will estimate dominance component for the reproduction, growth and carcass traits of various rabbit and pig breeds in Hungary. Various methods and approaches in the estimation of dominance effects will be compared for example; fraternity versus "VanRaden" derived dominance matrix, univariate versus bivariate models, etc..). In addition to empirical work, computer simulations will be performed. Thus, genetic architecture containing various dominance effects will be built, on a pedigrees of existing pig and rabbit populations, in order to analyze preciseness of dominance effect estimation using quantitative genetic models (all those applied on a real data). Based on the same architecture efficiency of methods will be explored with respect to finding genes with overdominance effects using high-throughput genomic data. Utilization of genomic selection will be also explored with particular stress on traits having considerable dominance inheritance component.
Dietary impact of threonine and glutamine supply in acute phase post-weaning on the gut maturitation, digestibility of nutrients and growth performance of piglets
Starvation right after weaning deteriorates the performance of piglets in a complex way. The immediate post-weaning anorexia results in alteration of gut integrity leading to different physiological changes in the gastro intestine such as morphological and functional changes, shift in micro biota population, and increased production of inflammatory cytokines. The goal of the research project is to study whether the structural and functional changes occurring in the acute phase post-weaning can be alleviated with specific amino acids, threonine and glutamine supplementation. For that purpose two experiments are carried out: 1) In a 2 x 2 factorial design the effect of dietary threonine (according to the requirement and 30% surplus) and glutamine (0 and 1% supplementation) supply on the morphology of small intestinal layer (villus and crypt length, width, and surface), on digestive enzyme activity (brush border enzymes: aminopaptidase A, aminopeptidase N, dipeptylpeptidase IV, alkaline phosphatase, maltase and sucrase, and pancreas enzymes: trypsin, chymotrypsin, amylase, lipase), well as the apparent ileal digestibility of nutrients are quantified in piglets 5 days post-weaning. 2) In a field trial the effect of dietary treatments achieved according to the results of the first experiment will be conducted studying whether dietary threonine and/or glutmine level of the post-weaning diets fed for 10 days affects the growth performance of piglets in nursery period.
Ecological, technological and economic framework of fish husbandry having nature conservation as priority
The planned research will try to analyze and evaluate all important conditions which determine the viability of fish production in fishponds where nature protection has priority. (About 25% of the Hungarian fish pond area is situated on protected areas.) Based on the results recommendations can be settled considering place, water supply, stocking structure (species, age-groups, density) and obtainable yields. Economic aspects of production will also be analyzed evaluating cost-benefit ratio and comparing different calculation methods of net profit. Where data are available, effects of fish production on protected habitats and species will be evaluated, too.
Biology, ecology of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) and its effect on agroecosystems (plant production and animal husbandry)
Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is considered to be the most harmful and widespread weed species in Hungary based on the results of the Fifth National Weed Survey (2007-2008). Its harmful effect is considerable from the points of agricultural and human aspects (pollen allergy). Its biological, ecological characteristics, its role in animal feeding, natural ecosystems and grasslands is only partly known. Research from these aspects and the results obtained can greatly contribute to the successful control of the weed.
The dose and time dependent, single and combined cytotoxic effect of certain mycotoxins tested in metil-tiazol-tetrazolium (MTT) test
While the effects of single mycotoxins are rather well determined, their combined effect (interaction, synergism or antagonism) is less known. On the other hand, there is an increased awareness regarding multiple mycotoxin contamination and multitoxic effects as a consequence. The main questions are: how are individual effects influenced by the interaction (addition, synergism or antagonism) between certain Fusarium toxins and ochratoxin A, are the effects dose and/or time dependent? Question of methodology: can animal (pig and rabbit) lymphocytes be used for monitoring cyto- and genotoxicity in MTT?
The dose and time dependent, single and combined effect of the most frequently occurring mycotoxins (T-2, HT-2, fumonisin B1 and ochratoxin A) will be tested for cytotoxicity in MTT test. Lymphocytes used in the tests will be isolated from both healthy and exposed animals (rabbits and pigs).
Examination of the correlation between the body composition and production of laying hens
In this study changes in the body fat content of laying hens will be followed in vivo by means of computer tomography during the laying period. The effect of genotype (brown and white egg layers) and body fat content at the photostimulation on the changes in the body fat content and production (feed consumption, feed conversion rate, egg number, egg weight, egg composition, mortality) of the laying hens will be studied. Changes in the body composition during the molting period, the regeneration after molting and the production in the second laying period will be also studied.
Quantitative genetic analysis of the Pannon terminal line rabbits
In the course of the project the population structure (pedigree completeness, effective population size, generation interval etc) and the inbreeding level of the Pannon terminal line will be determined based on genealogy data. Besides, the genetic distances (Fst) of this line compared to other rabbit lines of the Pannon breeding program will also be estimated. As an evaluation of the CT-aided selection (which is unique World wide in rabbit breeding) the PhD candidate will perform genetic parameter estimation and breeding value prediction for all important reproductive, growth and carcass traits. The analysis of the genetic association between the CT-based thigh muscle volume and traits characterising reproductive performance has high importance. Genetic trends and magnitudes of inbreeding depression will also be determined for all examined traits.
Development of CT and MR guided diagnostic and therapeutic interventions
Development of CT and MR guided diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
Application of 3D digital cross-sectional imaging (MR, CT, DSA) in special fields of animal science
Multidisciplinary application – image guided interventions, animal model experiments and application.
Non-invasive examination of cardiovascular system – CT, MR, angiography
Non-invasive examination of the cardiovascular system – CT, MR, angiography.
Application of modern image processing methods in diagnostics and radiotherapy
MRI diagnostics has a significant role between medical imaging techniques. It has an important role in establishing and strengthening the diagnosis, and also in therapeutic follow-up.
Investigation of the effects of different omega-3 fatty acid dietary complementation with prediction models in tissue lipid fractions.
Investigating the effect of weaning strategies on the performance of sows and piglets
The milk production of the sows increased with 25 % in the last 20 years, as a result of genetic improvement. At the usual age of weaning (3-4 weeks) the milk production of the sows is still near to the peak of the production. Therefore, the most critical point of swine production is the weaning of piglets from the sows, which affects not only the development of piglets, but the subsequent performance of the sows as well. In this research project we will investigate the effect of nutrition and different weaning strategies on the performance of piglets and sows.
Characterization of Hungarian honey types according to their organolpetic properties
The organoleptic properties have an outstanding importance in the food preference of consumers. It is well known that the large variability of human sensing has a remarkable effect on the acceptance of a given product. Accordingly the experimental work would be focused on the relationship between data obtained by instrumental methods (i.e. electronic tongue and nose, viscometer, color tester) and human sensory panel. Commercially available honey samples planned to be used from different botanical and geographical origin. The classification of these samples would be performed by means of NIR spectroscopy.