Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding Polish Academy of

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					               Institute of Genetics and
                    Animal Breeding
              Polish Academy of Sciences

    JASTRZEBIEC near Warsaw

Research peritinent to the role of early-
life events on development and growth
in animals
                     Research Activity
Molecular genetics, cytogenetics and immunogenetics

Experimental embryology (including embryo biotechnology) Biochemistry

Physiology of animal stress

Animal behavior and welfare, behavioural genetics

Adaptation of animal genotypes to environmental conditions and production


Introduction of the results of basic investigations into animal improvement
              IGAB Scientific Collaboration
   Our Institute cooperates with 30 national and 23 foreign scientific
   and research institutions and it is also an educational centre,
   cooperating with Polish and foreign universities.

the Netherlands
Russian Federation,
Great Britain,
the Czech Republic,
               Scientific Staff
Altogether there are 30 scientists working at IGAB,
including 9 professors, 9 assistant professors (D.Sc,
hablitated doctors), and 13 scientists with PhD degree.

The Institute has right
to confer
higher scientific degrees        SCIENTIFIC
(Ph.D., D.Sc.) in the field
of agricultural sciences,
specialisation in animal
genetics, embryology,
physiology, and breeding.
The Institute conducts educational activity such as Ph.D.
courses - 19 postgraduate students at present

IGAB scientists supervise undergraduate students of
Agricultural Universities in conducting the experimental
work and preparing their Masters’ theses

IGAB scientists give specialised lectures at the Animal
Breeding and Biotechnology
Departments of Universities,
organize local and international
conferences, workshops and courses.
           IGAB Publications

The Institute publishes two periodicals:

      - English-language quarterly
  “Animal Science Papers and Reports”;
         Now included into Science Citation
                Reports List

                - Polish-language periodical
                “Prace i Materiały
     Structure                        Scientific Council
                                      President: Prof. Marian RóŜycki
     of the
     Institute                              Director
                                            Prof. Edward Dymnicki

               Deputy Director (research)                               Deputy Director (fundamentals)
               Prof. Lech Zwierzchowski                                 Prof. Jarosław O. Horbańczuk

                                  Department of Immunogenetics
                                                                                          Research Coordination and Scientific
                                  Head: Prof. Grzegorz Grzybowski
                                                                                          Liaison Unit
Postgraduate Studies
                                                                                          Head: Cyprian Tomasik
Head: Dr Jolanta
Oprzadek                           Department of Animal Breeding
                                   Head: Prof. Jarosław O. Horbańczuk
                                                                                           Finance Unit
                                                                                           Head: Wanda Karolak
                                   Department of Molecular Biology
                                   Head: Prof. Lech Zwierzchowski

 Publishing Unit; Editors:
 Prof. Marek Łukaszewicz           Department of Animal Behavior                        Administrative Support Unit
 Dr Jerzy Piotrowski               Kierownik: Prof. Tadeusz Jezierski                   Head: Jerzy Wójcik

                                   Department of Molecular Cytogenetics
                                                                                        Małgorzata Kilanowska
                                   Head: Prof. Kazimierz Jaszczak
Experimental Farm
Dr Wiesław JarmuŜ
                                    Department of Experimental Embryology
                                    Head: Prof. Jacek Modliński
                                We are proud of

Beginning of mammal cloning (Science, Nature 1958-62)
Andrzej Tarkowski

First international transfer of viable embryos
Jacek Modlinski, Maria Członkowska

First „artificial” interspecies hybrid Goat-Sheep
Andrzej Guszkiewicz, Maria Członkowska

Phenol method (Trizol) of RNA isolation
Piotr Chomczynski, > 56,000 citations

Wild forest horse (Konik Polski, Tarpan)

Endocrinology and reproduction of deer

Substantial contribution to national economy – animal
                 IGAB Experimental Farms
The arm is an integral part of the Institute. Its principal goal is
the maintenance of farm animals (cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, hens
and quails) necessary for experiments conducted in the Institute.

                                Our animals
                                Our animals
           IGAB Laboratories
Molecular biology, embryology, GMO, radioactive
isotopes and biochemistry.
Modern animal facilities for mice and rabbits.
      IGAB research projects are carried out
            within five topics groups
      Functional genomics – studies of effects of gene polymorphisms on
      production traits of farm animals – milk and meat production, and
      also health and reproduction traits.

      Biodiversity – studies of genetic markers applied to protection of
      genetic resources in domestic and wild animals

      Biotechnology of reproduction

      Breeding methods applied to improvement of animal productivity,
      animal health and the quality of animal products.

      Genetic backgrounds of animal behaviour

In addition studies are carried out within 30 projects funded by the Ministry
of Science and Higher Education (individual or PhD projects), and three
projects funded by European Union
Projects funded by European Union

NEWMOOD 6FP – „New molecules in mood disorders: a genomic,
neurobiological and systems approach in animal models and human
disorder” 2004-2009 (12 partners in consortium) – Project headed
by: Dr Artur H. Świergiel.

OPTISCORE – a Marie Curie Action „Applying new electronic
sensors to create animal condition scoring protocols for the
automated measurement of health and welfare traits for use in
sustainable organic dairy cow breeding programs” (11 partners in
consortium), 2006 – 2010 - Project headed by: Dr GraŜyna Sender.

Q-PORKCHAINS - FP6 „Improving the quality of pork and pork
products for the consumer: Development of innovative, integrated,
and sustainable food production chains of high quality pork
products matching consumer demands”, 2007 – 2011 (53 partners in
consortium) - Project headed by: Dr Joanna Wyszyńska-Koko.
  Projects funded by European Union

ANIMBIOGEN – „Centre of Excellence in Genomics and
Biotechnology Improving Functional Traits of Farm Animals and
Quality of their Products”. 2003-2006 – Coordinated by: Prof.
Zygmunt Reklewski

WELFOOD - Leonardo da Vinci „Promoting Quality Assurance
in Animal Welfare - Food Quality Interaction Studies through
upgraded e-Learning” 2004-2007, educational project (6
partners) - Headed by: Prof. Tadeusz Jezierski

INTERREG IIIC – Improvement of planning in animal
production. 2006-2007 – Headed by: Dr Tomasz Sakowski
   Centre of Excellence - ANIMBIOGEN in EU (FP7)

     „Genomics, Biotechnology and Quality of Animal
    Products in Sustainable Production Systems with                                    2009-2012,
           consideration of Animal Welfare”                                            700,000 EU
                         2009-2012, 700,000 EU

    Advisory board - 16 outstanding scientists from 8 Western European countries and

        Project Coordinator: Professor Jarosław O. Horbańczuk, PhD, DSc

The aims: to unlock and develop the long-term research potential of the Centre and strengthen
the capacities of the Centre’s researchers to participate successfully in research activities at
the European level, as well as to create strategic partnerships with EU renowned research

                  The realization of the project is divided into 6 work packages:
  WP 1 - Sustainable systems of animal production for product quality, consumer health, animal welfare
and protection of biological resources (Prof. M. Łukaszewicz)
 WP 2 - Molecular biology tools in animal breeding, health and product quality (Prof. L. Zwierzchowski)
  WP 3 - Improving efficiency of basic and advanced reproductive technologies as a tool for multiplying
valuable genotypes of farm animals (Prof. J.A. Modliński)
 WP 4 - Cooperation with SMEs and industry (Prof. E. Dymnicki)
 WP 5 - Promotion and dissemination (C. Tomasik)
 WP 6 - Coordination and management (Prof. J.O. Horbańczuk)
     Other international projects conducted at IGAB

 CBOL – Consortium for the BARCODE of life – an international initiative devoted
     to developing DNA barcoding as a global standard for the identification of
biological species. It includes sequencing of mitochodnrial cytochrome oxidase gene
 (mtDNA; COI), as a „barcode” (reference sequence) for plant, animal and fungi

 In Poland the project is coordinated by the Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS,
Warsaw, and it includes four Polish partners and numerous partners all over the World.
 Department of Animal Breeding
Head – Prof. Jarosław O. Horbańczuk
                   Department of Animal Breeding

Principal fields of research
   Animal breeding and genetics studies of different farm animal
   species - cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, ostriches.
   Search for genetic markers of animal production traits, animal health traits
   (mastitis), and quality of animal products – meat, milk.
   Evaluation of the effectiveness of various methods of selection and animal
                  Department of Animal Breeding

Principal fields of research (cont.)
  Optimization of systems of animal maintenance and utilization in relation to the
  quality of animal products – including their nutritive and technological value
  Organic farming as an alternative for industrial agriculture and biodiversity
  Ostrich breeding and management – genetics, reproduction, meat production and egg
  laying performance.
                Department of Animal Breeding
                   Selected achievements:
Showing that one of the alleles of bovine DRB3 gene (*16) associates
with low somatic cell count in milk of Polish Holstein-Friesian cows. It can
be concluded that BoLA-DRB3 gene could be a promising candidate gene for
mastitis resistance in dairy cows.

Showing that feeding season (pasture vs. indoor) and daily milk
production affect significantly the fatty acid composition of cow’s milk.
Milk produced during pasture season from cows of moderate yield contained
more PUFA in comparison with cows of high yield.

Identification of new polymorphic forms of bovine and goat β-defensin
genes and showing their association with animal production traits and health
status of the udder.

Elaborating and publishing practical recommendations for proper storage
and optimum parameters for incubation of ostrich eggs, applied in Polish and
foreign ostrich breeding farms.
Department of Molecular Cytogenetics
    Head – Prof. Kazimierz Jaszczak
          Department of Molecular Cytogenetics

Principal fields of research
 Search for the occurrence of chromosome aberrations in farm animals
 Polymorphisms of genes encoding proteolysis pathway enzymes (CAPN, CASP) and
myogenic factors (MRF) in bovine muscles.
 Search for QTLs affecting egg production traits in hens
 Polymorphism of genes encoding canine olfactory receptors
          Department of Molecular Cytogenetics

Principal fields of research (cont.)
  Biodiversity of farm and wild animal species based on analysis of polymorphism of
  microsatellite sequences.
  Search for genetic markers of skeletal or cranial malformations in chicken.
  Genetic analysis of reference families and selected lines of poultry.
  Analysis of genetic factors affecting behavioral traits in mouse, especially those
  linked with pain and emotional behaviors (fear, depression, anorexia, abnormal
  behaviors (vices)
           Department of Molecular Cytogenetics
                 Selected achievements:

Identification by physical mapping in chicken of four chromosome
markers linked with QTLs determining egg quality: thickness of egg shell
and albumen weight at week 33 of hens life.

Showing that the polymorphism of CAPN1, CAPN2, CAST, CATD and
CATB genes is linked with certain slaughter and culinary properties of beef.

Identification of critical association between the C/T transition at
position 320 in exon 2 of the delta opioid receptor gene with
nociception in mice selected for high or low analgesia

Finding of a linkage between specific alleles of canine olfactory
receptors and odor recognition efficiency in dogs.
Department of Immunogenetics
Head – Prof. Grzegorz Grzybowski
     Areas of scientific activity:
       Department of Animal Immunogenetics
                                                   Pig MYF6 gene polymorphism

Principal fields of research
 Search for effects of gene polymorphisms and expression on the meat production and
 functional traits in pigs, e.g. on health and reproduction.
 Transcriptomic profiles of pig muscles in relation with development and meat
 Identification of biological traces for forensic investigations and biodiversity
     Areas of scientific activity:
             Department of Animal Immunogenetics

Principal fields of research (cont.)
  Polymorphism of blood groups, blood proteins and microsatellites in
  parentage control of Arabian Horses and Thoroughbreds
  Biodiversity of domestic and wild animals, e.g. primitive horses, deer, wild
  boars, turtles.
           Department of Animal Immunogenetics
                 Selected achievements:
Sequencing and characterization of selected porcine genes. Finding novel
polymorphisms in coding and regulatory regions of several genes - MyoD family genes,
c-FoS, DGAT1, PRL, OPN, GH and GHR. Discovering associations of particular
genotypes with pig growth rate, carcass quality, and with reproduction traits.

Identification of a sequence variant of the bovine amelogenin (AMEL-X) gene.
Elaboration of a new sex determination method in cattle, based on DNA sizing of
AMEL gene. This method appeared easier and more accurate than previously used

Establishing genetic structure of Polish Red cattle and its position in cattle
phylogenetic tree. The analysis of genetic distance confirmed that this bread
comprised a separate genetic group, differing from other populations of European

Sequencing of a fragment of the cytochrome b gene in mtDNA in farm animals
and in selected wild species. Species-specificity of identified sequences was verified
and sequences published in GenBank database.
Department of Experimental Embryology
      Head – Prof. Jacek Modliński
       Areas of scientific activity:
      Department of Experimental Embryology

Principal fields of research:
  Cryoconservation of oocytes and embryos
  Banking of somatic cells and cell lines of embryo origin aiming at preservation of
  threaten animal species
  Obtaining chimaeric animals with the use of somatic cells.
  Studying nucleo-cytoplasmic interactions in the development of reconstructed animal
      Department of Experimental Embryology

Principal fields of research (cont.)
 Somatic cloning (including interspecies cloning) as a tool in animal biotechnology and in
 protection of endangered animal species
 Improvement techniques of in vitro production of bovine embryos
 Obtaining transgenic animals by microinjection of DNA into zygote pronuclei or by
 using in vitro genetically modified cells.
         Department of Experimental Embryology
                Selected achievements:

Obtaining, for the first time, of live-born rabbits derived from the third
generation of serially cloned 8-cell embryos.

Producing of live-born mice after transfer of 8-cell embryonic nuclei into
selectively enucleated zygotes. These studies revealed the importance of
nucleolar material in proper formation of nuclei in reconstituted oocytes
and developing embryos.

Obtaining embryo-somatic chimaeras in mouse and sheep after
microsurgical transfer of fetal fibroblasts into cleaving embryos.

Showing that in mouse, lineage of primitive endoderm follows specific
expression pattern. It was found that endoderm-specific cells find their
position within the endodermal layer by cell sorting and selective apoptosis.
Department of Animal Behaviour
  Head – Prof. Tadeusz Jezierski
               Department of Animal Behaviour

Principal fields of research
 Physiology of animal stress,
 Genetic and physiological basis for stress reactivity in animals
 Search for new molecules in mood disorders
 A role of genetic background for animal welfare and behavior
 Effects of pre-natal stress, environmental, nutritional and toxic factors on
development and behaviour
 Training of dogs for detection of scent markers of cancer diseases in humans.
                Department of Animal Behaviour
                    Selected achievements:

Proving that an effective divergent selection of rabbits lines for
locomotion activity in „open field” test resulted in correlated response in
rabbit’s weight gains and fertility.

Analysis of individual and representative DNA fingerprinting showed a
specific minisatellite allele (15,000 bp) in low activity line, which was absent
in the line of rabbits selected for high activity.

Showing that in mice the sickness behavior induced by LPS
(lipopolysaccharide) does not disturb animal responses to essential
enivronmental cues. This shows that sickness behavior can be regarded as
adaptative and defence reaction fitted to the current needs of the

Elaborating a method of dog training for detection of odor markers of
cancer diseases in breath samples. It was shown that trained dogs are able
to distinguish breath samples of humans suffering from lung and breast
cancer from those of healthy volunteers.
Department of Molecular Biology
 Head - Prof. Lech Zwierzchowski
                  Department of Molecular Biology

            of bovine
            gene – Real-
            time PCR

                                                    Polymorphism of bovine PRL gene

Principal fields of research
  Regulation of gene expression in farm animals.
  Search for molecular markers of production traits in farm animals, e.g. genes
  affecting milk and meat production traits (in cooperation with the Department of
  Animal Breeding).
  Functional genomics of cattle; effect of gene polymorphisms on gene expression or
  biological properties of the coded proteins.
                  Department of Molecular Biology

Principal fields of research (cont.)
   Animal transgenesis in rabbits and fish.
   Analysis of transcriptomic profiles in muscle and liver of cattle breeds substantially
   differing in capacity of milk and meat production and quality.
             Department of Molecular Biology
                                                                   A quail

Analysing gene expression
by macroarray

                                        Quail’s oocyte
                                        ovulating in

Principal fields of research (cont.)
   Gene expression and metabolism of maternal RNAs during avian oogenesis and
   early development, using Japanese quail as an animal model.
   Iron metabolism in mouse and in farm animals – iron supplementation of
   piglets. Interactions between intracellular iron metabolism and oxidative and
   nitrosative stress in mammalian cells.
                   Department of Molecular Biology
                       Selected achievements:

Identification of functional mutations in regulatory and coding regions of bovine candidate
genes, affecting either biological properties of coded proteins, e.g. their binding to DNA
(STAT5A), binding of ligands (GHR, ERα) or gene expression (caseins, PRL, STAT5A, LEP, MSTN).

Showing differential gene expression profiles using microarray techniques in four cattle
breeds differing in milk and meat production – Polish Red, Limousin, Hereford and HF. The
comparative expression profiles in liver and muscle showed down- or up-regulation of tens of
genes engaged in different molecular events and biochemical pathways. Our findings provide a
description of molecular events that may underlay the phenotype differences between cattle

Showing downregulation of IRP1 in mice with KO of supeoxide dismutase gene (sod1-/-) as
compared to wt mice (sod1+/+). This establishes a new regulatory mechanism that provides the
correct balance between oxygen-derived free radicals and iron. The modified protocol was
proposed of piglets iron supplementation with iron dextran (FeDex) that reduces toxicity
comparing with „traditional” supplementation.

Detecting, for the first time, the presence of progesterone receptor transcripts in mature
avian (Japanese quail) sperm. The presence of the receptor suggests that progesterone plays a
role in physiology of avian sperm. Differentiated expression of melatonin receptor transcripts
(mel-1a, mel-1b and mel-1c) was shown in avian oocytes at different stages of oogenesis, in quail
sperm and early embryos.
               Plans for the future
Animal breeding - Studies of the quality of animal products, of the
effect of nutrition and feed composition on the quality of milk and

Experimental embryology - Increasing the efficiency of somatic
cloning and improvement of the quality of embryos obtained as
result of IVM/IVF.

Animal behaviour - Identification of molecular genetic markers for
selected behavioural traits in laboratory and farm animals.

Molecular genetics – Studying of gene polymorphisms and their
effects on utility traits of farm animals. Functional genomics of
farm animals studied using modern research methods and
techniques: transcriptomics, proteomics, microarrays.
     Role of early-life events on development and
         growth in animals – current research
Effects of pre-natal stress (pregnant mouse and rat) emotional and
social behaviours

Effects of administration of retinoic acid to pregnant mice on the
hippocampal neurogenesis and depression-like behavior of their.

Effects of stress (freezing, thawing, medium composition) on embryos
viability and the postnatal development
           Role of early-life events on development and
               growth in animals – plans fo future 1

1.    The role of genetically determined depression-like behaviour of mother on
      postnatal (and prenatal: by implantation of embryos form LA to HA mother)
      development and aging of adopted depression-resistant mice.

     In proposed project newborn mice from line selected for low sensitivity to stress will be
      switched to females with high sensitivity to stress.
     The genetic resistance to stressing behavior of mother from line with genetically
      determined high sensitivity to stress and the effect of mother behavior on stress-
      resistant genome of mice will be evaluated by changes in gene expression causing
      differences in aging and longevity in comparison to mice housed with natural mother.
         Role of early-life events on development and
            growth in animals – plans for future 2

2. Modulation of postnatal development and aging by nutritional, alcohol and stress
    factors during gestation period in mouse.

   Dietary and stress factors in pregnant animals have a profound effect on many aspects of
   later health including age-related disorders, behavior and longevity of offspring, at least
   partly through interactions with the genome which result in altered gene expression.
   The application of high throughput genomics technologies in nutritional and stress
   research (nutri-and behavior-genomics) offers a new approach to understanding the
   molecular mechanisms by which nutrition and stress affects aging.
   The main areas, which appear to be particularly promising are 1) Nutrition- and stress-
   related modulation of DNA damage and repair and 2) Nutritional modulation of
   epigenetic markings.
   Epigenetic-mediated changes in gene expression in response to dietary and prenatal
   stress exposures appear to be a major molecular mechanism linking environmental
   factors with the genome with consequences for cell function and health throughout the
   life course.
         Role of early-life events on development and
            growth in animals – plans for future 3

3. The role of epigenetic factors in chromosome instability caused by postnatal housing
    of newborn mice from line of low sensitivity to stress with mother from line of high
    sensitivity to stress.

   Genome stability and resistance to genome damaging by mutagens are one of the most
   important factors of ageing and longevity.
   Our earlier study showed that mice selected for high sensitivity to stress are more
   pronounced to chromosome aberrations when compared to mice resistant to stress.
         Role of early-life events on development and
            growth in animals – plans for future 4

4. Early development of bovine embryos in vitro is similar to the development of
    human embryos.

   Therefore, the bovine embryos may be used as a model to understand mechanisms
   of developmental processes at the very early stages of the human embryos

   A) Genetic markers of the CNS diseases – expression occurs at the early stages the
   bovine embryos development in vitro, that is from the moment of switchin in a control
   by the bovine genome.

   B) Efects of medium in which the bovine embryos develop on the differentation of
   neurons and formation of the peripheral and central nervous system.
Thank You for
Your attention