Applied Animal Genetics

Research in Applied animal genetics focuses on

  • the hereditary background of characteristics and diseases in companion animals such as dogs, horses and cats
  • the microbial composition of tissues of animal origin. The mapping of this microbiome takes place with culture-independent DNA sequencing techniques.

Collaborations exist with

  • the Faculty of Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine: an IWT project is under way that looks for the causal mutations of hip laxity in dogs.
  • the colleagues of biochemistry: through a number of theses we try to gauge the abnormal proteins in the joint capsule of dogs via proteomics. The basis for further research into cryptorchidia in dogs, horses and cats and dental faults in dogs is already being laid by collecting the necessary DNA samples. The search for causal mutations of a large number of hereditary characteristics and diseases is based on the hypothesis that there is an (incorrectly running?) Interaction between connective tissue homeostasis and hypothalamic-pituitary growth axis. New applications for research projects are running.
  • the University of Limpopo (a development cooperation project) and the animal nutrition group of the veterinary faculty in Ghent (VLIR exhibition): we are looking for the composition of the microbiome in the ceca of different chicken breeds under different feeding systems, different housing and different climatic conditions. Research into the microbiome has also been applied to the microbial composition of raw horse milk from the research question whether the health aspects of horse's milk can be traced back to the microbiome present. A scientific report is prepared.
  • the professional bachelor's degree program in Melle (Hogent): it is being investigated to what extent genetic testing can be an interesting business tool to improve production characteristics in pigs and goats and to reduce disease sensitivity and thus optimize farm income. If this practice-oriented research is successful, this can result in a genetic diagnostic laboratory being developed for goats, sheep and special animal species.