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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Petra Zenke, Á. Maróti-Agóts, Zs. Pádár, and L. Zöldág

Demand for correct and cost-effective genetic-based identification and parentage control has increasing importance in domestic animals, including dogs. In our study the applicability of a canine hyperpolymorphic microsatellite marker — which localized in the WILMS-TF (tumor factor) gene — was examined in mixed breed and purebred canine populations. The redesigned and shortened amplicons were genotyped using an allelic ladder which was constructed from sequence verified fragments. The nomenclature for allele calling based on repetition structures is suitable for international comparisons. Our study justified the potential use and efficiency of the marker D18S12 in parentage control.

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The nutritive value of dog foods declared by the manufacturer as nutritionally complete and balanced can be best assessed by feeding trials with dogs. A protocol of a feeding trial has been developed and tested with working dogs fed two different commercial complete and balanced diets for 8 weeks. The parameters used for evaluating the effect of diets were general health status, body and hair coat condition, change of body weight, haematological parameters (white blood cell (WBC) count, red blood cell (RBC) count, haemoglobin, packed cell volume), and biochemical parameters in blood serum (alanine aminotransferase, urea, albumin). The trial protocol proved to be appropriate to monitor the dogs' nutritional status and to reveal differences between diets. This method of evaluation is recommended for use in supporting the nutritional claims (labelling) of dog foods.

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The aim of this study was to examine the changes of the daily energy amount of lactose, protein and fat throughout the lactations, and compare them to each other. A total of 309 Israeli Holstein-Friesian cows from one kibbutz were investigated in three lactations, and information was given for a period of five years from 1996 to the end of 2000. The distribution of milk components and milk yield during lactation, and changes of the absolute and relative energy amount in the different milk components were calculated and evaluated. The results showed changes in the energy content of milk and its different components throughout the lactation. Each component (fat, lactose and protein) is dominant in different periods during the lactation. The energy amount from fat reaches a peak first, between days 40 and 50. Lactose has a peak at about day 66 of lactation, and protein reaches the peak last, approximately at day 104 of lactation. It seems that this peak sequence is constant and it is considered to be physiological. It might be suggested that there is a regulation governing the secretion of the different components at different times, and only one component is dominant in a given period. Each component exerts negative and positive influences on the secretion of the other components, which interact with each other and are not fully independent.

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Broiler chicken and rabbit experiments were carried out to study the effects of nickel (Ni) supplementation on growth performance and Ni metabolism. ROSS cockerels and New Zealand White female rabbits were fed a diet containing Ni in concentrations of 0, 50 and 500 mg/kg in dry matter (DM). Dietary supplementation of 50 mg Ni/kg slightly improved the body weight gain (BWG) and had a beneficial effect on the feed conversion efficiency (FCE) in broiler chickens. However, Ni added at a level of 500 mg/kg significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the BWG by 10% and resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) worse (2.3 ± 0.2 kg/kg) FCE. The relative weight of the liver in cockerels was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased by Ni as compared to the control group (1.7 and 2.1% vs. 2.6%). The activity of AST and CHE enzymes was increased insignificantly by dietary supplementation of 500 mg Ni/kg, indicating damage of the liver parenchyma. The results of serum biochemistry were confirmed by a mild or moderate form of pathological focal fatty infiltration of the liver in broilers. Supplemental Ni of 50 mg/kg concentration resulted in non-significantly increased BWG in rabbits. Ni added to the diet at a level of 500 mg/kg reduced the digestibility of crude protein by 3-4% and that of crude fibre by 20-25% in rabbits. Approx. 98% of the ingested Ni was lost from the body via the faeces, 0.5-1.5% via the urine and approx. 1% was incorporated into the organs of rabbits. As a result of dietary supplementation of 50 and 500 mg Ni/kg, Ni accumulated in the kidneys (4.9 ± 0.5 and 17.1 ± 3.1 vs. 1.9 ± 0.3 mg/kg DM), ribs (10.3 ± 0.4 and 10.4 ± 0.6 vs. 9.1 ± 0.6 mg/kg DM), heart (1.4 ± 0.2 and 2.5 ± 0.4 vs. 1.0 ± 0.1 mg/kg DM) and liver (1.3 ± 0.1 and 2.2 ± 0.2 vs. 0.9 ± 0.05 mg/kg DM), as compared to the control animals. It can be stated that supplementation of the diet with 50 mg Ni/kg had slight but non-significant beneficial effects on the growth performance of broiler chickens and rabbits.

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A case of disputed paternity in dogs is reported. DNA examinations were carried out from hair samples of the individuals several months after the death of the putative sire. Ten short tandem repeat (STR) loci were analysed by fluorescence- labelled multiplex PCR using ABI PRISM 310 Genetic Analyser. Based on the results the candidate sire was included in the pedigree records as the biological sire. In spite o f the genetic homogeneity of pedigree dogs due to inbreeding, canine microsatellites can provide an adequate basis for assigning paternity in pure breeds.

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Potato and beetroot were grown on soils previously treated with heavy metal salts. Each particular microelement had a high concentration in both potato and beetroot [cadmium (Cd) 3.7 and 55.4, lead (Pb) 8.1 and 3.0, and mercury (Hg) 5.8 and 6.8 mg/kg dry matter, respectively]. In a metabolic balance trial 16 New Zealand White rabbits were fed 50 grams of basal diet and potato or beetroot ad libitum. The apparent digestibility of major nutrients and the accumulation of the microelements in different organs were investigated. Both potato and beetroot samples of high Pb and Hg content had the significantly (p < 0.05) lowest digestibility of organic matter and nitrogen-free extract. The Cd ingested from both potato and beetroot accumulated in the kidneys and liver (2.85 and 1.48 as well as 0.459 and 0.265 mg/kg, respectively). All the microelements (Cd, Pb and Hg) accumulated in the testicles (0.196, 0.32 and 0.199 mg/kg, respectively), reducing the rate of spermatogenesis. The tissue retention ofheavy metals depends not only on the element itself, but also upon the ‘carrier’ feedstuff.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Á. Maróti-Agóts, I. Bodó, L. Jávorka, Alice Gyurmán, N. Solymosi, Petra Zenke, Marita Skogseth, and L. Zöldág

The synthesis of Heat Shock Protein 70.2 mRNA is also regulated by the Upper Promoter elements of the gene. This promoter region is polymorphic in cattle. These polymorphisms have a major effect on the activity of the mRNA transcription. In a comparison of quantity of transcribed mRNA from the wild type and AP2 mutant allele the wild type can produce 2–3-fold more transcripts.The Hungarian Grey Cattle (HG) and Norwegian Red (NFR) as control breed were genotyped with PCR-RFLP method. Our results showed that the frequencies of alleles in breeds (p(wt)HG = 0.859419, p(wt)NFR = 0.5) are different. The effective response to heat stress in the Norwegian Red seems to be less important than in the Hungarian Grey breed. The extensive keeping in hot and arid region during centuries could have been proved as selection pressure for the heat tolerance.Our results combined with the global climate forecasts emphasize the role of autochthonous, well adopted, heat tolerant breeds in the near future.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Kinga Fodor, S. Gy. Fekete, L. Zöldág, A. Bersényi, A. Gáspárdy, Emese Andrásofszky, Margit Kulcsár, and F. Eszes

Twenty-six 6-week old female New Zealand White rabbits were divided into two groups: ad libitum (AL) and 70% restricted (RS) feeding. At the beginning of the experiment the liveweights were practically the same: 0.99 ± 0.08 vs. 1.01 ± 0.08 kg in group AL and RS, respectively. At 18 weeks of age the body weight of Group RS rabbits was 84.7% (3.14 ± 0.24 kg) of the group AL (3.71 ± 0.31 kg). The apparent digestibility of crude protein was significantly (p < 0.001) higher in Group RS than in Group AL (76.5 ± 1.4 vs. 73.0 ± 2.7%). The daily water consumption was significantly (p < 0.05) higher (3.5 ml/g DM intake) in Group RS as compared to Group AL (1.9 ml/g DM). Since the average body weight in Group RS at 18 weeks was the same as that of Group AL at 14 weeks of age (3.14 kg), the comparison of the live body measures and indices was based on these ages. Animals fed ad libitum or restricted show no differences at the defined age in most live body measurements except in heart girth and rump width, which were significantly (p < 0.05) shorter in Group AL than in Group RS (29.3 ± 0.8, 5.7 ± 0.5 and 30.7 ± 1.0, 6.2 ± 0.3 cm, respectively). Body capacity was significantly (p < 0.05) smaller in Group AL, as the head capacity-body capacity proportion was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in Group AL than in Group RS (1653.1 ± 134.5, 22.0 ± 2.5 and 1913.7 ± 168.7, 17.7 ± 1.9, respectively). Due to restricted feeding the growth of the head proved to be less intensive than that of the body at the same body weight. The body in these does tended to be wider. Since the head in comparison to length or capacity of the body was smaller in does fed 70% of ad libitum, it could be concluded that the development of body parts of restricted-fed does was unequal (allometric growth). The effect of feed restriction reflected in lower dry matter and fat, and a higher ash and protein content both in total body and in dry matter composition of rabbits at 18 weeks of age. Restricted feeding delayed sexual maturity (69 vs. 92% of rabbits) with later starting ovarian activity, weaker ovarian responsiveness, and a smaller number of tertiary follicles on the ovarian surface.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Kinga Fodor, L. Zöldág, S. Gy. Fekete, A. Bersényi, A. Gáspárdy, Emese Andrásofszky, Margit Kulcsár, F. Eszes, and M. Shani

An experiment was carried out with young male New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits to establish live body weight changes, body measurements, body composition and sexual maturity as a function of feeding intensity. Animals in Group 1 ('AL', n = 10) were fed ad libitum, while those in Group 2 ('RS', n = 10) received restricted feeding corresponding to 70% of the ad libitum level. The starting liveweights were practically the same (0.907 ± 0.146 and 0.911 ± 0.147 kg in Group AL and Group RS, respectively). The feeding trial lasted from 6 to 22 weeks of age. The average body weight was significantly higher in Group AL from 7 to 22 weeks of age. At 22 weeks of age the body weight of RS rabbits was 85.64% of the weight of AL animals (3.22 ± 0.52 kg and 3.76 ± 0.33 kg, respectively). Average body weights of RS males at 8, 9, 11, 19 and 21 weeks of age were similar to those of ad libitum fed (AL) animals at 7, 8, 10, 15 and 16 weeks of age, respectively. The growth of bucks fed restricted tended to be allometric. The most significant difference was found at 16 and 18 weeks of age, while the lowest difference occurred at 6, 12, 15 and 19 weeks of age. It can be stated that low-intensity feeding up to slaughtering weight causes backwardness in rear cannon length and this backwardness remains also after the 15th week, which is well over the optimal slaughtering age. Based on the present data, the 70% restricted feeding cannot be recommended either for the future breeding bucks or for broiler males reared for slaughter. To determine the major chemical components of the body, rabbits were euthanised. Original dry matter and crude fat content of the body significantly (P < 0.05) decreased under restricted feeding (41.42%; 32.48% and 16.73%; 7.35%) while the percentage of protein within the dry matter increased (49.6%; 65.0%) and fat decreased (40.17%; 22.1%) significantly. Libido unambiguously decreases as a consequence of feed deprivation. The most conspicuous difference was found in the level of blood testosterone. Although a few RS bucks produced semen but only much later than the rabbits fed ad libitum. On the other hand, there was no difference in the motility of spermatozoa and ejaculate volume in comparison with AL animals. There was no relationship between the body fat content and the reproductive status of bucks in the present trial.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Daniela Šátková-Jakabová, J. Trandžík, Ľudmila Hudecová-Kvasňáková, Erika Hegedüšová-Zetochová, A. Bugarský, J. Buleca Jr., L. Zöldág, F. Jakab, and P. Fľak

Genetic variation at six microsatellite loci was analysed for five Thoroughbred subpopulations to determine the magnitude of genetic differentiation and the genetic relationships among the subpopulations. Significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were shown for a number of locus-population combinations, with all subpopulations. The genetic diversities and relationships of five Thoroughbred subpopulations were evaluated using six microsatellites recommended by the International Society of Animal Genetics (ISAG). The allele frequencies, the effective numbers of alleles, and the observed and expected heterozygosities were calculated. POPGENE v. 1.31 (Yeh et al., 1997) was used to test for deviations from the Hardy-Weinberg (H-W) equilibrium and to assign FIS estimates (Weir, 1990). The utility of microsatellites for evaluating genetic diversity of horses is discussed.

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