Reproductive Performance in Domestic Ruminants
The first two aims are basic science experiments designed to discover and translate how neuropeptides and their circuitry influence release of gonadotropin releasing hormone and subsequently luteinizing hormone that controls gonadal function. The better we can understand how external (environment, photoperiod) and internal (hormonal) cues alter the neuropeptides from the brain which control the hormones responsible for reproduction, this will allow researchers to develop potential assisted reproduction methods to improve reproductive efficiency in animals. The final aim is more applicable and hopefully can be translated directly to the dairy industry to improve pregnancy rates. Currently pregnancy rates in dairy cattle are poor, being as little as 25% of the cows becoming pregnant. This results in a huge economic loss to dairy producers. We hope
to impact the dairy industry with the proposed model to improve pregnancy rates in dairy cattle and reduce economic loss.