ARS researchers studied the transmission dynamics of avian influenza virus in disease outbreaks of both commercial and backyard flocks.
Targeting Taste Buds, Targeting Grazing
Scientists at the ARS Range Sheep Production Efficiency Research Unit in Dubois, ID, are taking grazing to a new level by developing sheep that prefer or tolerate the bitter taste of plants. Here in the Intermountain West, land managers are looking for ways to use livestock to protect and improve the sagebrush ecosystem, which is a necessary resource for wildlife, rural communities, and ranchers. Sagebrush is a shrub that can have a bitter taste for grazers, such as sheep.
Scientists believe that the “bitter taste” trait is heritable, passed from parents to their young. Scientists have launched a series of studies to discover if they can accurately identify and breed sheep with these specific “herbivory” or plant selection preferences. If successful, these unique sheep may be used to manage rangelands and make them more resistant to catastrophic wildfire and invasive and noxious plant species, which are the greatest threats to the survival of sagebrush ecosystems.
Explore Other Discoveries
Determining Risk of Avian Influenza
Protecting American Cattle From Ticks
ARS scientists collaborated to sequence and assemble the genomes of the ticks that cause cattle fever and anaplasmosis.
Liver and Onions - Hold the Abscess
Changes in cattle rumen associated with liver abscesses remain well after the early development of rumen acidosis caused by high corn diets.
New Ways to Sterilize Mosquitoes
ARS researchers collaborated with scientists from the University of Florida to develop a simpler method to sterilize mosquitoes.
Better Water, Happier Fish
Scientists found that fish raised in reused water faced significantly higher mortality rates that those grown in tanks supplied with fresh spring water.
Leftovers Make Good Fish Food
Researchers determined that clam byproducts and hemp fibers meet the nutritional needs of farmed fish Florida pompano.
Stopping a Deadly Virus at the Border
ARS researchers collaborated with Kansas State University to reduce the potential consequences of the Japanese encephalitis virus entering the United States.