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Research

The role of the Dairy Research Programme in Moorepark is to increase the competitiveness of the dairy industry through scientific research and to do so in a manner compatible with food quality and safety, the environment and animal welfare requirements.

The Centre is engaged in a number of areas of research. Staff work collaboratively on specific research issues. For more details click on the links in the list below.

Sinéad McParland

Research Officer

Research Interests

Breeding programmes
Phenomic tools
Development of genetic evaluations, breeding objectives and breeding goals
Conservation genetics

Current Projects

Breed Quality: Genetic selection for improved milk and meat product quality in dairy, beef and sheep
OptiMIR: new tools for a more sustainable dairy sector.(http://www.optimir.eu)
Planned matings to produce AI sires of the future

Education

MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
University College Cork 2011
PhD Inbreeding in Irish Dairy and Beef Cattle
University College Dublin 2008
BAgrSc Agricultural Science (Animal Science)
University College Dublin 2005

Scientific Publications (peer viewed)

Bahar, B., O'Halloran, F., Callanan, M., McParland, S. , Giblin, L. and Sweeney, T. (2011). Bovine lactoferrin (LTF) gene promoter haplotypes have different basal transcriptional activities. Animal Genetics 42: 270-279 ISSN 0268-9146

Berry, D.P., Evans, R.D. and McParland, S. (2011). Evaluation of bull fertility in dairy and beef cattle using cow field data. Theriogenology 75: 172-181 ISSN 0093-691X

McParland, S. , Banos, G., Wall, E., Coffey, P., Soyeurt, H., Veerkamp, R.F. and Berry, D.P. (2011). The use of mid-infrared spectrometry to predict body energy status of Holstein cows. Journal of Dairy Science 94:3651-3661 ISSN 0022-0302

Soyeurt, H., Dehareng, F., Gengler, N., McParland, S. , Wall, E., Berry, D.P. and Coffey, M. (2011). Mid-infrared prediction of bovine mik fatty acids across multiple breeds, production systems, and countries. Journal of Dairy Science 94: 1657-1667 ISSN 0022-0302

McParland, S., Kearney, F. and Berry, D. (2009). Purging of inbreeding depression within the Irish Holstein-Friesian population. BioMed Central doi:10.1186/1297-9686-41-16 ISSN 1297-9686

McParland, S., Kearney, J.F., Lopez-Villalobos, N. and Berry, D. (2009). Optimal system of contract matings for use in a commercial population. Irish Journal of Agricultural & Food Research 48 : 43-56 ISSN 0791-6833

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, M. Rath and D. P. Berry. 2007. Inbreeding trends and pedigree analysis of Irish dairy and beef cattle populations. J. Anim. Sci. 85:322-331

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, M. Rath and D. P. Berry. 2007. Inbreeding effects on milk production, calving performance, fertility and type traits in Irish Holstein-Friesians. J. Dairy Sci. 90:4411-4419

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, D. E. MacHugh and D. P. Berry. Inbreeding effects on post-weaning production traits, conformation, and calving performance in Irish beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci.86:3338-3347

Soyeurt, H., F. Dehareng, N. Gengler, S. Mc Parland, E. Wall, D. P. Berry, M. Coffey, and P. Dardenne Mid-Infrared Prediction of Bovine Milk Fatty Acids across multiple breeds, production systems and countries. (In press) J. Dairy Sci.

Bahar, B., F. O’Halloran, M.J. Callanan, S. Mc Parland, L. Giblin, and T. Sweeney Bovine lactoferrin (LTF) gene promoter haplotypes have different basal transcriptional activities. (In press) Animal Genetics

 

Other Scientific Publications

Calus, M.P.L., Mulder, H.A., McParland, S. , Strandbery, E., Wall, E. and Bastiaansen, J.W.M. (2011). Checking SNP and pedigree information of sibs for Mendelian inconsistencies. In: Proc. 62nd Annual Meeting EAAP, Stavanger, Norway, 29-Aug-2011, p. 24 Session 04 Theatre 01

McParland, S. , Banos, G., O'Donovan, M., Coffey, B., O'Neill, B., Wall, E. and Berry, D.P. (2011). Genetic evaluations for energy balance: a real possibility. In: INTERBULL BULLETON No. 43, Stavanger, Norway, 26 Aug-2011, http://www.interbull.org/index.php

Soyeurt, H., Bastin, C., Colinet, F., Arnould, V., Berry, D.P., Wall, E., Gengler, N., Dardenne, P. and McParland, S.(2011). Mid-infrared predictions of lactoferrin content in bovine milk. In: Proceedings ADSA-ASAS Joint Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisina, 03-Apr-2011.

Veerkamp, F.G., Berry, D.P., Wall, E., de Haas, Y. and McParland, S. (2011). Use of phenotypes from research herds to develop genomic selection for scarcely recorded traits like feed efficiency. In: INTERBULL BULLETON No. 43, Stavanger, Norway, 26-Aug-2011, http://www.interbull.org/index.php

Wall, E., Coffey, M.P., Veerkamp, R.F., McParland, S. and Banos, G. (2011). Lessons learned in pooling data for reference populations. In: INTERBULL BULLETON NO. 43, Stavanger, Norway, 26-Aug-2011, http://www.interbull.org/index.php 25289 A7 (Abstract) Book of Abs of Eucarpia 29th Fodder Crops & Amenity Section p81

Bastiaansen, J.W.M., Bovenhuis, H., Wijga, S., McParland, S. , Wall, E., Strandberg, E. and Veerkamp, R.F. (2010). Genome wide association study for milk production and fat to protein ratio in dairy cattle. In: 9th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Leipzig, Germany, 01-Aug-2010, 0270; p1-4.

McParland, S. , Banos, G., Wall, E., Coffey, M.P., Soyeurt, H., Veerkamp, R.F. and Berry, D.P. (2010). Predicting energy balance status of Holstein cows using mid-infrared spectral data. In: 9th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Leipzig, Germany, 01-Aug-2010.

Soyeurt, H., McParland, S. , Berry, D.P., Wall, E., Gengler, N., Deharareng, F. and Dardenne, P. (2010). Improvement and validation of milk fatty acid predictions using mid-infrared spectrometry. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and Agricultural Research Forum, Belfast, N. Ireland, 04-Apr-2010, p.13.

Soyeurt, H., McParland, S. , Berry, D.P., Wall, E., Gengler, N., Dehareng, F. and Dardenne, P. (2010). Improvements and validation of mid-infrared prediction of milk fatty acid. (Abstract) Journal of Dairy Science 93 (1) : 749 ISSN 0022-0302.

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, M. Rath and D. P. Berry. 2006. Inbreeding trends in purebred Irish beef cattle. In: Proceedings of the 8th WCGALP, Brazil, August 2006. Communication 3-62.

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, M. Rath and D. P. Berry. 2007. Inbreeding and inbreeding depression in Irish Holstein-Friesian cattle. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science. Southport, UK, April 2007. p63.

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, M. Rath and D. P. Berry. 2007. Inbreeding depression in Irish Holstein-Friesians. In: Book of abstracts of the 58th annual meeting of the European Association for animal production. Dublin, Ireland, August 2007. p170.

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, M. Rath and D. P. Berry. 2006. Inbreeding trends in the Irish pedigree Limousin herd. In: Proceedings of the Agricultural Research Forum, Tullamore, Ireland. p83.

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, M. Rath and D. P. Berry. 2007. Inbreeding effects on milk production and calving performance in Irish Holstein-Friesian cows. In: Proceedings of the Agricultural Research Forum, Tullamore, Ireland. p76.

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, D. E. MacHugh and D. P. Berry. 2008. The effect of inbreeding on carcass quality and live conformation measures in Irish beef cattle. In: Proceedings of the Agricultural Research Forum, Tullamore, Ireland. p95.

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney, D. E. MacHugh and D. P. Berry. 2009. Comparison of mating strategies for the Irish national breeding programme. In: Proceedings of the Agricultural Research Forum, Tullamore, Ireland. P112.

Barrett, E., F. Buckley, S. Mc Parland and S. Arkins. 2009. Heritability values for some conformational and other defects in young Thoroughbred National Hunt horses. In: Proceedings of the Agricultural Research Forum, Tullamore, Ireland. P111.

Mc Parland, S., G. Banos, E. Wall, M.P. Coffey, H. Soyeurt, R.F. Veerkamp and D.P. Berry. 2010. Predicting Energy Balance Status of Holstein cows using Mid-Infrared Spectral data. In: Proceedings of the 9th WCGALP, Leipzig, Germany. August 2010. Communication 0570

Mc Parland, S., L. Giblin, R. F. Veerkamp, and D. P. Berry. 2010. The impact of selection on milk production on the lactoferrin content of milk in Irish Holstein-Friesians. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and Agricultural Research Forum, Belfast, Ireland. April 2010, p.305

Mc Parland, S., D. P. Berry, J. Coleman, R. F. Veerkamp, and H. Soyeurt. 2010. The influence of genetic selection on the milk fatty acid profile of spring calving dairy cows. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and Agricultural Research Forum, Belfast, Ireland. April 2010, p.306

Kennedy, E., S. Mc Parland and D. P. Berry. 2010. Associations between age at first calving, live weight at first calving and milk production in Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and Agricultural Research Forum, Belfast, Ireland. April 2010, p.190

Soyeurt, H., S. Mc Parland, D. P. Berry, E. Wall, N. Gengler, F. Dehareng, P. Dardenne. 2010. Improvements and validation of milk fatty acid predictions using mid-infrared spectrometry. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and Agricultural Research Forum, Belfast, Ireland. April 2010, p.13

Soyeurt, H., S. Mc Parland, D. P. Berry, E. Wall, N. Gengler, F. Dehareng, P. Dardenne. Improvements and validation of mid-infrared predictions of milk fatty acid. In Proceedings of ADSA-PSA-AMPA-CSAS-ASAS Joint Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado

Bastiaansen, J.W.M., H. Bovenhuis, S. Wijga, S. Mc Parland, E. Wall, E. Strandberg, and R.F. Veerkamp. 2010. GenomeWide Association Study for Milk Production and Fat to Protein Ratio in Dairy Cattle. In: Proceedings of the 9th WCGALP, Leipzig, Germany. August 2010. Communication 0270

Technical Publications

McParland, S. and Kearney, F. (2011). Pedigree analysis and inbreeding trends of the Connemara pony population in Ireland. An Capaillin 10 : 72-74 24895 B1 Irish Dairy Industry: To 2015 and Beyond, Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork, 15-Nov-2011, 1-24

McParland, S. , Banos, G., Coffey, M.P., Wall, E., Soyeurt, H., Veerkamp, R.F. and Berry, D.P. (2011). Predicting cow body energy status using mid-infrared spectrometry of milk. In: Agricultural Research Forum, The Tullamore Court Hotel, 14-Mar-2011, p.43

McParland, S. , Schmidely, P., Friggens, N.C., Banos, G., Soyuert, H., Coffey, M.P., Wall, E., Veerkamp, R.F. and Berry, D.P. (2011). Relationship between milk fatty acids and body energy status in Holstein cows. In: Agricultural Research Forum, The Tullamore Court Hotel, 14-Mar-2011, P.47

McParland, S. , Soyeurt, H. and Berry, D.P. (2011). Validation of equations to predict milk fatty acids in commercial Irish cows. In: Agricultural Research Forum, The Tullamore Court Hotel, 14-Mar-2011, p.46

McParland, S. , Berry, D.P. and Buckley, F. (2011). Emerging technologies in animal breeding - Irish Dairying Planning for 2015, Moorepark'11 Open Day (29/6/11). Teagasc IE p. 42043 ISBN

McParland, S. and Berry, D.P. (2010). Milking the milk. TResearch Vol 5 (2) p.38-39 ISSN 1649-8917.

Kennedy, E., McParland, S. and Berry, D.P. (2010). Associations between age at first calving, liveweight at first calving and milk production in Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and Agricultural Research Forum, Belfast, 12-Apr-2010, p. 190.

McParland, S. and Berry, D.P. (2010). Healthy People, Happy Cows. In: Teagasc National Dairy Conference, Charleville, Ireland, 17-Nov-2010, p 64-70.

McParland, S. , Berry, D.P., Coleman, J., Veerkamp, R.F. and Soyeurt, H. (2010). The influence of genetic selection on the milk fatty acid profile of spring calving dairy cows. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and Agricultural Research Forum, Belfast, 12-Apr-2010, p. 306.

McParland, S. , Giblin, L., Veerkamp, R.F. and Berry, D.P. (2010). The impact of selection on milk production on the lactoferrin content of milk in Irish Holstein-Friesians. In: Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science and Agricultural Research Forum, Belfast, 12-Apr-2010, p. 305.

Soyeurt, J., McParland, S. , Berry, D.P., Wall, E., Gengler, N., Dehareng, F. and Dardenne, P. (2010). Improvements and validation of mid-infrared predictions of milk fatty acid. In: Proceedings of ADSA-PSA-AMPA-CSAS-ASAS Joint Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, 01-Apr-2010, p.1.

Barrett, E., Buckley, F and McParland, S. (2009). Heritability values for some conformational and other defects in young thoroughbred national hunt horses. In: Agricultural Research Forum, Tullamore, 12-Mar-2009, p. 111

McParland, S., Kearney, J.F., MacHugh, D.E. and Berry, D. (2009). Comparison of contract mating strategies for the Irish national breeding programme. In: Agricultural Research Forum, Tullamore, 12-Mar-2009, p. 112

Mc Parland, S., D. P. Berry and N. Lopez-Villalobos. 2008. National breeding programme for Irish dairy cattle in 2008. Produced and presented for the Irish breeding industry. February 2008

Mc Parland, S., J. F. Kearney and D. P. Berry. 2008. Farmer Satisfaction as a “new” trait in the Irish national genetic evaluations. Technical report to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation. November 2008

Mc Parland, S., D. P. Berry and J. F. Kearney. 2007. Pedigree analysis and development of a mating system for inbreeding avoidance within the Kerry Bog Pony. Produced and presented for the Kerry Bog Pony Society. March 2007

Berry, D. P., S. Mc Parland, and A. Cromie. 2006. Farmer satisfaction - potential usefulness in genetic evaluations in Ireland. Technical report to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation. June 2006

Practical/Popular Publications

Mc Parland, S. and D. P. Berry. 2010. Milking the milk. TResearch Vol. 5, No. 2, p38-39. Summer 2010 (http://www. teagasc.ie/publications/tresearch)

Mc Parland, S. and D. P. Berry. 2010. Link between milk recording and healthier milk. Moorepark News, Issue 29, Summer 2010

Mc Parland, S., N. Begley and M. Bermingham. Emerging genomic technologies in animal breeding. In Moorepark 09 – Irish dairying, new thinking for challenging times p48-50 June 2009

Berry, D. P., F. Buckley, S. Mc Parland, N. Begley and R. Prendeville. 2009. Profitable expansion requires maximising genetic improvement. TResearch Vol. 2 Number 2 p40-41. Summer 2009 (http://www. teagasc.ie/publications/tresearch)

Mc Parland, S. and D. P. Berry. 2008. Contract matings: the future of genetic progress. Moorepark News, Issue 24, Summer 2008 

Thesis (title and abstract)

To date, there has been no extensive analysis of the pedigree structure and level of inbreeding in Irish beef and dairy cattle populations. The objective of this thesis was to estimate the level of inbreeding in the largest beef and dairy cattle populations in Ireland, to quantify the effects of inbreeding on traits of economic importance to beef and dairy populations and to develop a remedial measure to be used in the national breeding programme which would combat the accumulation of inbreeding in populations. The average inbreeding level was low across all populations studied at 0.54, 0.57, 1.35, 2.19, 1.31 and 1.49% for 2004 born purebred Charolais, Limousin, Simmental, Hereford, Angus and Holstein-Friesian animals, respectively, yet the level of inbreeding is rising steadily in the Hereford (0.13% per annum), Simmental (0.06% per annum) and Holstein-Friesian (0.10% per annum) populations. Inbreeding affected almost all traits investigated, however individual effects were generally small. A primiparous Holstein-Friesian animal, 12.5% inbred, is expected to produce 61.8 kg, 5.3 kg, and 1.2 kg less milk, fat, and protein, respectively, over a 305-day lactation. The 12.5% inbred animal is also expected to have an 8.8 day longer calving interval, an increase in age at first calving of 2.5 days, and a reduced survival to second lactation of 4 percentage units. Inbreeding effects on beef production traits varied across breed. Effects for carcass weight ranged from -0.87 kg (Charolais) to -1.90 kg (Hereford) per 1% increase in inbreeding. Inbred Charolais and Hereford animals were younger at slaughter by 3 and 5 days, respectively, per 1% increase in inbreeding, while inbred Limousin and Angus heifers were younger at slaughter by 5 and 7 days, respectively per 1% increase in inbreeding. Continental animals were more affected by inbreeding for live muscling and skeletal conformational measurements than the British breeds; inbred animals were smaller and narrower with poorer developed muscle. Inbreeding had a deleterious effect on dystocia and perinatal mortality in both beef and dairy cattle populations. However inbreeding was not always deleterious as results from this thesis show that ancestral inbreeding had a positive effect on milk and fat yield. In addition, it is possible, using linear programming to control population relatedness while increasing population genetic gain through the use of carefully selected contract matings.

Audrey McDermott
Giulio Visentin