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Department of Ruminant Science
Head: Joshuah Miron, Ph.D.
Staff
R&D at the Department of Ruminant Science is targeted to optimize meat and milk production in dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep. Main areas of research are: quantitative and molecular genetics, nutrition, reproduction and lactation biology, Animal welfare and environmental impact of production aspects are addressed.  
 Contact details
FaxFax:+972-8-9475075

 

A detailed description of the activities of the Department are listed below.

 

Nutrition

  • Development of new feeding regimes for critical stages of cows' lactation; heat-stress effects; robotic milking; effects of lack of either grains or roughages.
  • Development and adaptation to Israeli conditions of new varieties of winter- and summer-grown forages (sorghum, corn and wheat), and examination of their nutritive value for ruminants.
  • Enhancing the use of fresh dairy cow manure as an alternative to artificial fertilizers for forages and grain crops.
  • Nutrition and physiology of the cow during the transition period.
  • Regulation of milk fat in dairy cows by nutrition. Enrichment of omega 3 fatty acids contents in milk fat.
  • Estimation of energy expenditure of free-range ruminants from heart rate measurements.
  • Testing the effects of diets and supplements on young calves' health and performance.
  • Testing the nutritional quality of agricultural and industrial byproducts, as nutrient supplements for grazing beef cows.
  • Using natural and external markers for determining botanical composition and dietary intake of grazing cows.

Physiology

  • Environmental manipulation during the dry period of ruminants.
  • The physiological background of the natural variations in the ovine growth hormone and the ovine leptin genes.
  • Responses of beef cattle to transportation, environmental and nutritional stresses.
  • Participation in a Middle East regional agricultural program on small ruminant productivity, which involves Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority.

 Reproduction

  • Fertility of high-yielding dairy cows. Role of insulin/IGF-I in postpartum resumption of ovarian cyclicity.
  • Characterization and treatment of ovarian cysts in dairy cows.
  • Effect of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on ovarian activity and fertility of dairy cows.
  • The steroidogenic effect of single-chain bovine LH analogs in cultured bovine follicular cells.
  • The effects of special fatty acids (FA) supplementation on reproduction of high-yielding dairy cows.
  • Optimization of artificial insemination of sheep and goats
  • Double freezing of bull semen for future sperm banking and sexing facilities.
  • Reproduction management programs for dairy and beef cattle.
  • Research on fetal intra uterine growth restriction (IUGR) in prolific sheep.

Genetics and breeding

  • Developing the prolific Afec-Awassi and Afec-Assaf sheep strains and studing their performances under range management conditions.
  • Eradication day blindness in sheep following identification its genetic background.
  • Breeding for resistance to scraipe in sheep.
  • Breeding and genetic studies of dairy cattle.
  • Genetic identification of cattle at the DNA level.
  • Taxonomic identification of wild animals in Israel by using DNA barcodes.
  • Mapping and identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) in cattle.
  • Positional cloning of QTL genes in cattle.
  • Genetic analysis of dairy cattle for production and secondary traits, including fertility, persistency, twinning rate, and calf growth rate.
  • Development of methods to identify and analyze individual genes affecting economic traits. From QTL to QTN identification in livestock.
  • Incorporation of effects of individual known genes into genetic evaluation programs.
  • Economic aspects of animal breeding.

Lactation biology

  • The role of Stat5 in normal and abnormal mammary development and function.
  • Use of genetically modified animals in studying regulation of mammary gland development and functions.
  • Using DNA arrays to analyze gene expression during mammary gland development.
  • Traceability of livestock.
  • Stem cells in the mammary gland.
  • Effect of leptin on the mammary gland of the dairy cow, and its interaction with lactogenic hormones.
  • The role of mammary fat in lactogenesis in the dairy cow.
  • The regulatory mechanisms of milk secretion.
  • Effects on milk composition of sub-clinical and clinical mastitis, and of commercial storage, in relation to quality requirements for the dairy industry and consumer heath.
  • Translational mechanisms that govern milk protein levels and composition.

 



Staff
Researchers
Name (Surname, First name) Research Interests / Job description
Barash Itamar, Ph.D. Gene expression, signal transduction and stem cells in the…
Braw-Tal Ruth, Ph.D. Reproductive endocrinology Ovarian physiology
Gershon Eran, Ph.D. fertility research- ovarian function, the effect of stress…
Gootwine Elisha, Ph.D. Animal breeding Reproductive physiology
Miron Joshuah, Ph.D. Nutrition of dairy cows, sheep and goats; Microbiology of…
Mizrahi Itzhak, Ph.D. My major research interests are to understand the ruminal…
Moallem Uzi, Ph.D.
Ron Micha, Prof. Study of the genetic mechanism of sex determination in…
Seroussi Eyal, Ph.D.
Shamay Avi, Ph.D. Mammary gland biology Leptin: the receptor and the hormone…
Silanikove Nissim, Ph.D. Unveiling regulatory mechanisms ruling milk secretion; milk…
Weller Joel Ira, Ph.D. Statistical analysis of quantitative trait loci Breeding…
Zachut Maya, Ph.D.
Engineers/Technicians
Name (Surname, First name) Research Interests / Job description
Brand Yona, Mr.
Dekel Itzik, M.Sc.
Gacitua Haim, M.Sc.
Kaim Moshe, M.Sc.
Lehrer Hana, M.Sc.
Livshitz Lilia, Ph.D.
Nikbahat Moshe, Mr.
Pirt Daniel, Mr.
Portnik Yuri, Mr.
Reichenstein Misha, Ph.D.
Rosov Alexander, M.Sc.
Shapiro Fira, Ph.D.
Shemesh Maya, Ms.
Shirak Andrey, Ph.D. Study of the sex-determination mechanisms in animals Study…
Yaacoby Shamay, Mr.
Yosef Edith, Ph.D.
Zeidman Ilia, Mr.
Scholars
Name (Surname, First name) Research Interests / Job description
Adin Gabi, M.Sc. Ph.D. Student
Baruch Eyal, M.Sc. Ph.D. student
Eilon Tali, M.Sc. Ph.D. Student
Eitam Harel, M.Sc. Ph.D. Student
Glik Giora, M.Sc. Ph.D. Student
Golik Marina, M.Sc. Ph.D. Student
Ladovsky Prizant Rotem, M.Sc. Ph.D. Student
Reicher Shay, M.Sc. Ph.D. Student
Retiree
Name (Surname, First name) Research Interests / Job description
Ben-Ghedalia Daniel, Ph.D.
Shani Moshe, Ph.D.
Zenou Avraham, Mr.
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