Beef Cattle and Equine Reproduction
The Animal Reproductive Biology Program focuses on the study of 1) fundamental mechanisms regulating sexual maturation of the beef heifer, 2) the control of reproductive seasonality in the mare, and 3) pharmacological and managerial strategies for estrous synchronization of Bos indicus-influenced cattle. The graduate training program in Physiology of Reproduction (TAMU-College Station) is an integral part of this effort. Overall goals are to develop strategies for optimizing bovine and equine reproductive efficiency.
- Gain a fundamental understanding of nutritional and metabolic signals that imprint the lower brain (hypothalamus) during early calfhood and regulate timing of sexual maturation in heifers
- Develop a detailed understanding of the neuroendocrine mechanisms regulating seasonal reproduction in the mare and formulate practical procedures for successfully accelerating reproductive transition and pregnancy during the calendar year
- Critically examine the relationship of animal temperament to success of synchronization of ovulation and fixed-time artificial insemination in Bos indicus-influenced cows
- Demonstrated that high-energy diets fed to beef heifers during early calfhood decreases expression of specific genes in the lower brain that delay puberty and increases secretion of the puberty-related hormone, leptin.
- Obtained competitive grant funding to expand our research efforts on nutritional regulation of puberty in the heifer and control of equine reproductive seasonality.
- Developed technology for inducing early reproductive cyclicity in winter anestrus mares and initiated technology transfer for accessing a market potential of $12 to $15 million dollars annually.
USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, Pfizer Animal Health, Durect Corp., H. Patricia Link Equine Quasi-Endowment Fund, Flying V Quarter Horses, O’Brien Ranches, Zieger Racing Stable, Landreth Ranch, Robeson Road Farm; Scientists at Texas A&M University-College Station, University of Missouri, University of California-Berkeley, INRA-Nouzilly, France, Monash University, Australia
Gary L. Williams, Ph.D., Dipl. ACAP
Regents Fellow, Faculty Fellow and Professor
Animal Reproduction Laboratory
3507 Hwy 59 E, Beeville, TX 78102