2 Doctoral/PhD Positions - Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, Vetmeduni Vienna

Project Description

Rumen health is of fundamental importance for cattle production and health. Cattle fully rely on their rumen and its microbiome to process the feeds into short-chain fatty acids, and synthesize microbial proteins and vitamins, which are then used as main nutrient sources for production. Modern cattle have increased demands for energy and nutrients and this is the main reason why feeding systems for cattle encourage the use of diets rich in grains, easily fermentable by-products, and energy-rich forages. However, these feeding practices disrupt the homeostatic rumen acid-base balance regulation leading to severe dysfunctions, commonly known as the subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) metabolic complex. The SARA metabolic complex has become a prevalent health disorder in dairy and feedlot cattle. Despite the major research efforts that have improved our understanding in the characterization of this major disorder, we are is still far from providing the tools to prevent, treat and alleviate the negative effects of SARA metabolic complex on rumen function and health, as well as on systemic cattle health.

Tasks:

Position 1:

  • Understand the role of saliva secretion in acid-base balance regulation in modern cattle.
  • Explore opportunities to modify chewing behaviour and salivary secretions in dairy cows, especially focusing on the masticatory, taste, and olfactory effects of diets.
  • Study regulation of protein-mediated absorption pathway and promotion of the motility of rumen wall smooth muscle.
  • Look at putative factors related to individual variation among health and efficient cows

Position 2:

  • Evaluate the role of antigenic substances digestive barrier function.
  • Analyze expression of key genes and proteins (immunohistochemistry) with relevance for barrier function and inflammation.
  • Dietary-induced challenge model to evaluate long-sustained dietary and acidotic exposure on barrier and immune signatures

Detailed information on job offer 2 Doctoral/PhD Positions - Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, Vetmeduni Vienna 1