The list of national projects SAS

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Institute: Centre of Biosciences SAS (Institute of Animal Biochemistry and Genetics)

Identifying causes and solutions of keel bone damage in laying hens
Identifikácia príčin a riešení poškodenia hrebeňa prsnej kosti u nosníc
Program: COST
Project leader: RNDr. Košťál Ľubor CSc.
Annotation:The KeelBoneDamage COST Action will provide the European laying hen industry with the innovations in breeding, nutrition, and management necessary to resolve the problem of Keel bone damage (KBD) in order to meet the high standards of welfare and productivity demanded by the European community.The extremely high frequency and severity of KBD represents one of the greatest welfare problems facing the industry as suggested by several of the leading authorities in animal welfare, including the UK`s Farm Animal Welfare Committee and EFSA. More critically, KBD appears to be exacerbated by recent transitions imposed by EU legislation which banned the use of conventional battery cages from January 2012. Although conceived with the best of intentions and a bold step to improve hen welfare, the unexpected consequences are a blight on Europe`s moral standing and as a result of this well-intended legislation, the laying hen industry is now faced with the unexpected challenge of greatly increased KBD leading to reduced animal welfare and farm productivity. The proposed framework seeks to provide a platform for collaboration on the the causes of KBD and solutions to reduce their severity and frequency. The Action brings various participants with a diverse mix of disciplines, ages, and geographies together to facilitate novel and trans-disciplinary discussions that will lead to definitive and quantifiable outputs. Advancements will be performed in concert with industrial partners whom are leaders in the field ensuring that developments are directed into tangible outputs that improve animal welfare and farm productivity.
Duration: 18.10.2016 - 17.10.2020

Lipid metabolisms as a crucial regulator of mitochondrial function
Metabolizmus lipidov ako kľúčový regulátor mitochondriálnej funkcie
Program: Bilateral - other
Project leader: Mgr. Balážová Mária PhD.
Annotation:Barth syndrome (BTHS) is a serious hereditary mitochondrial disorder characterized by a decrease in total cardiolipin (CL) and in accumulation of its precursor monolyso-CL due to the loss of transacylase tafazzin. The molecular basis underlying the pathology of BTHS is still not well understood. The aim of this project is characterization of a new yeast model of BTHS (pgc1taz1 double mutant) and its use for study of the role of different lipids, phospholipids and sphingolipids, on mitochondrial morphology, function, and reactive oxygen species production. Parallel experiments will be conducted in collaboration with the Taiwanese partner on human BTHS model (taz of HAP1 human haploid cells generated by CRISPR/Cas9 system). Combined use of a yeast model and human cell line system will highly enhance the capacity to identify molecular mechanism how changes in membrane lipids lead to defects in mitochondrial functions and morphology not only in BTHS but also in other mitochondrial disorders.
Duration: 1.3.2017 - 28.2.2020

Precursors of cardiolipin biosynthesis: reasons for aberrant accumulation, effects on mitochondrial function and morphology
Prekurzory biosyntézy kardiolipínu: dôvody pre abnormálnu akumuláciu, vplyv na funkciu a morfológiu mitochondria
Program: Inter-academic agreement
Project leader: Mgr. Balážová Mária PhD.
Annotation:Defects in biosynthesis of cardiolipin (CL) influence mitochondrial structure and function and consequently the whole cell survival. CL absence, its peroxidation or interference of its acyl chain composition is coupled with mitochondrial dysfunction in various tissues. Abnormal metabolism of mitochondrial anionic phospholipids induces serious hereditary disorder, Barth syndrome. Pathogenesis of this disease is described as a lost ability of mitochondria to remodel the CL fatty acid residues. New findings on the yeast models however suggest that the impaired CL remodeling does not represent the primary reason for these mitochondrial dysfunctions. Despite the lowered level of CL, patients with Barth syndrome also exhibit accumulated CL precursor, monolyso-CL (MLCL). The aim of the project is to explore how the accumulation of two major CL precursors, phosphatidylglycerol and MLCL, itself influences the mitochondrial morphology and function. Expected results should significantly contribute to understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to symptomatic manifestations of the disease.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2017

Synergy for preventing damaging behaviour in group housed pigs and chickens
Synergia pre zabránenie poškodzujúcemu správaniu u skupinovo chovaných ošípaných a nosníc
Program: COST
Project leader: RNDr. Košťál Ľubor CSc.
Annotation:The GroupHouseNet aim is to provide the European livestock industry with innovations in breeding and management for pigs and poultry that are needed for a successful transition to large group housing systems without necessitating painful tail docking and beak trimming. Allowing the animals greater opportunities to display their species-specific behaviour while avoiding the routine use of painful procedures, group housing of unmutilated animals sits at the core of the new animal welfare paradigm driven by consumer demand. Group housing is associated with increased risks of damaging behaviours among the animals, such as feather pecking, aggression and cannibalism in laying hens and tail biting, bellynosing, excessive aggression and cannibalism in pigs. Recent research suggests the key to reducing the incidence of these behaviours lies in refining and applying methods of genetic selection, and developing husbandry innovations that improve early and later life conditions - which is exactly what GroupHouseNet will use the COST Action framework and tools to do. GroupHouseNet brings together researchers and industrial partners dealing with animal breeding and genetics, animal nutrition, epidemiology, engineering, animal behaviour and welfare, epigenetics, immunology, (neuro)physiology, economics and ethics. To strengthen the scientific and technological basis in these areas the Action will facilitate knowledge sharing, creation and application in pigs and laying hens in both experimental and commercial environments. The activities will be conducted in an open, output-oriented transnational, multisectorial, and multidisciplinary research and development network emphasising COST Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy.
Duration: 2.3.2016 - 1.3.2020

Study of CD molecules on mammanlian sperm
Štúdium CD molekúl na cicavčích spermiách
Program: Inter-academic agreement
Project leader: Ing. Jankovičová Jana PhD.
Annotation:In mammals, an essential part of fertilization represents gamete or molecule cooperation either on the cell or the whole body level. At present, several differentiation antigens potentially involved in these processes are considered. Many of CD molecules are immunologically active glycoproteins and some of them were found on the genital tract cells and tissues. However, no mechanism for gamete maturation or fertilization involvement has been described and moreover, their role on porcine and bovine spermatozoa has not been yet studied in the detail. Therefore, the analyses of differentiation antigens detected on epididymal, ejaculated, capacitated and acrosome-reacted porcine and bovine spermatozoa in vitro as well as the study of interaction between egg zona pellucida and spermatozoa could lead to better understanding to molecular basis of the reproduction process. Finally, obtained results could provide us useful information regarding the some cases of farm animals’ infertility.
Duration: 1.1.2015 - 31.12.2017

Role of the lipid composition of the yeast plasma membrane on resistance to antifungal drugs and other stress factors
Vplyv lipidového zloženia plazmatickej membrány kvasiniek na rezistenciu voči antifungálnym liečivám a iným stresovým faktorom
Program: Inter-academic agreement
Project leader: Mgr. Pevalová Zuzana PhD.
Annotation:Many clinical isolates of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans are resistant to broad spectrum of drugs. The development of resistance involves not only the increased expression of membrane transporters exporting the drug but is also affected by lipid composition of the cell membrane. Yeast mutants deficient in ergosterol biosynthetic pathway show increased sensitivity to many toxic substances. PDR16 gene belongs to the genes potentially involved in sterol metabolism. Our previous research has shown that the biotechnologically important yeast Kluyveromyces lactis deficient in PDR16 gene has disrupted proper cellular membrane function and the cells are sensitive to a wide range of toxic substances. We would like to apply this knowledge to the pathogenic yeast C. albicans. Aim of the project is to study the physiological role of the CaPDR16 gene in relation to the cellular membrane functions and development of resistance to antifungal drugs.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2017

The total number of projects: 6