Older age at puberty is responsible for lower slaughter rates in cattle production systems based on Bos indicus breeds raised on pastures. Although B. indicus cattle are better adapted to harsh tropical conditions than Bos taurus breeds, they generally reach puberty when they are older and heavier. The hypothalamic maturation process and the metabolic signal involved in regulation of puberty are not well understood. Leptin and neuropeptide Y have been proposed as indicators of body adiposity, and in having a permissive role on puberty. Given the inhibitory role of NPY on sexual maturation, leptin-mediated suppression of NPY expression in the arcuate nucleus is probably important in controlling pubertal development. This seminar will discuss results from experiments investigating the molecular mechanism by which nutrition might modulate early-puberty in B. indicus heifers.

Dr Luis Silva - QAAFI, Centre for Animal Science

Dr Luis Silva is a graduate of the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil (agronomic engineering), B Sc, has a Master of Science degree from the same university (animal science and pastures), and a PhD from Michigan State University (animal science). Before being appointed as Senior Research Fellow of QAAFI in January 2017, he was an Associated Professor at the Veterinary Medicine School at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he taught classes in Ruminant Nutrition, Biochemistry, and Pasture Management and Conservation. Dr Silva’s main interest is beef cattle nutrition and has worked with different disciplines such as ruminant nutrition, ruminant physiology, rumen microbiology, ruminant reproduction, forage management, molecular biology, and economics of cattle production systems.

About Science Seminars

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.


Building 80, The University of Queensland, St Lucia
Large Seminar Room, Level 3 Qld Biosciences Precinct