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Nasal microbiome target of BRD study

DarcyMaulsby/iStock/Thinkstock Cattle in feedlot
University of Arkansas funds investigation of microbiome shifts in feedlot cattle before and after BRD diagnosis.

University of Arkansas department of animal science graduate student Jianmin Chai has been awarded a grant from the university's Office of Research & Innovation and Graduate Professional Student Research Council to investigate the respiratory microbiome of beef cattle and the influences on bovine respiratory disease (BRD) using next-generation sequencing.

Chai, who will team up with faculty member Jiangchao Zhao with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, aims to characterize the nasal microbiome from pre-BRD and BRD cattle as well as their healthy controls using a MinION nanopore sequencing platform, an announcement from the university said.

Nanopore sequencing is a cost-effective way to profile bacterial communities and simultaneously detect DNA and RNA virus species, since the MinION is small, portable and runs on a laptop, the announcement said.

This design will work to better understand the longitudinal shifts of the respiratory microbiome in healthy and BRD cattle after entering the feedlot and to cross-sectionally compare the microbiome community between healthy and BRD-afflicted cattle, the university said.

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