International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) President Brandon Belt announced plans for an International Brangus Breeders Foundation (IBBF) research study on Aug. 17 at the Southeast Brangus Breeders Association (SBBA) Cattlemen’s Gathering in Brighton, Florida.
The IBBF research project will be focused on thermoregulation in beef cattle, specifically of Brangus influence. The study will be led by Raluca Mateescu, PhD., an associate professor of quantitative genetics and genomics in the department of animal sciences at the University of Florida.
Pictured: IBBA Executive Vice President Tommy Perkins, PhD., PAS (left), Raluca Mateescu, PhD. (middle), IBBA President Brandon Belt (right).
“The IBBF is excited to announce the opportunity to partner with Dr. Raluca Mateescu and the University of Florida on a project to identify genomic markers associated with heat tolerance,” said Belt. “Through genotyping cattle that have been through a thermotolerance study, the project will allow for the development of genomic tools to improve selection of cattle who have a higher ability to cope with heat stress.”
Mateescu presented IBBF leadership with a proposal for research in April. Belt and Tommy Perkins, PhD., PAS, officially delivered approval for the proposal after Mateescu’s “Use of Genomics to Improve Climate Adaptability and Carcass Merit” presentation at the SBBA field day event.
Mateescu says her research interests focus on identification of genetic markers associated with economically important traits in beef cattle, and special interest is given to development of genetic tools to improve nutritional and health value of beef and understanding the genetic mechanism of thermotolerance in Bos indicus influenced beef cattle.
“Selection focused on production that ignores adaptability results in beef animals with higher metabolic heat production without significant changes in their ability to lose heat, making them more sensitive to heat stress,” said Mateescu. “We will address this challenge by developing the tools needed to implement [selection strategies] that improve thermal tolerance in concert with production, reproduction and product quality in indicine-influenced beef cattle populations that predominate in hot and humid regions of the U.S. and globally.”
Mateescu joined the faculty at Florida in 2014 after serving on the animal science faculty at Oklahoma State University for seven years. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Bucharest University, Romania, and she earned her masters degree and doctorate in animal breeding and genetics from Cornell University.
The International Brangus Breeders Foundation (IBBF) strives to protect and administer gifts and donations to conduct research, investigations and experiments in the breeding of Brangus cattle, to facilitate and promote the participation of Brangus cattle in exhibitions, and to engage in such other activities that generally or incidentally promote the breed.