Ben Wood

Ben Wood
The University of Queensland | UQ · School of Veterinary Science

BVSc, PhD, MACVSc, MAHM.

About

113
Publications
23,269
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542
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2019 - present
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
April 2007 - present
University of Guelph
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (113)
Article
Full-text available
Biobanked ovaries collected from recently hatched poults can only be revived through transplantation, using a recipient bird. The main hurdle in transplantation is preventing graft rejection, which appears as lymphocytic infiltration upon histologic evaluation of the graft. In this study, the condition of the transplants [immunological compatibilit...
Article
Full-text available
The northern Australia beef cattle industry operates in harsh environmental conditions which consistently suppress female fertility. To better understand the environmental effect on cattle raised extensively in northern Australia, new environmental descriptors were defined for 54 commercial herds located across the region. Three fertility traits, b...
Article
Full-text available
The underlying genetic mechanisms affecting turkey growth traits have not been widely investigated. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) is a powerful approach to identify candidate regions associated with complex phenotypes and diseases in livestock. In the present study, we performed GWAS to identify regions associated with 18-week body weight...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the increasing prevalence of growth-related myopathies and abnormalities in turkey meat, the ability to include meat quality traits in poultry breeding strategies is an issue of key importance. In the present study, genetic parameters for meat quality traits and their correlations with body weight and meat yield were estimated using a popula...
Article
Full-text available
Wing flapping and body movement can occur during the slaughter of poultry. Wing movement and flapping are driven primarily by the breast muscles ( Pectoralis major and minor ), and this muscle activity may have implications for meat quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate turkey post mortem activity during slaughter at a commercial pou...
Article
Full-text available
To efficiently meet consumer demands for high-quality lean meat, turkeys are selected for increased meat yield, mainly by increasing breast muscle size and growth efficiency. Over time, this has altered muscle morphology and development rates, which are believed to contribute to the prevalence of myopathies. White striping is a myopathy of economic...
Article
Full-text available
Injurious pecking can cause a wide range of damage and is an important welfare and economic issue in turkey production. Aggressive pecking typically targets the head/neck (HN) area, and feather pecking typically targets the back/tail (BT) area; injuries in these separate areas could be used as a proxy for the level of aggressive and feather pecking...
Article
Full-text available
Biobanked poultry ovaries can be revived via transplantation into a recipient female, which upon maturity will produce donor-derived progeny. Previously, a large portion of these recipients also produced recipient-derived progeny, making them gonadal chimeras. These were potentially created when portions of the recipient's ovary were inadvertently...
Article
Full-text available
Pendulous crop (PC) in the turkey occurs when the crop distends from its normal position, thereby preventing the movement of feed and water from the crop down into the digestive system. This condition negatively impacts the turkey industry at both production and welfare levels. In this study, we estimated the genetic parameters for PC incidence and...
Article
Full-text available
Temperature stress (TS) is a significant issue in poultry production, which has implications for animal health and welfare, productivity, and industry profitability. Temperature stress, including both hot (heat stress) and cold conditions (cold stress), is associated with increased incidence of meat quality defects such as pale, soft, and exudative...
Article
Full-text available
Footpad dermatitis (FPD) can be a prevalent issue in commercial turkey production. This study aimed to identify the bird, housing, and management-related factors associated with the prevalence of FPD in the Canadian turkey flocks. A questionnaire and flock health scoring system were developed and disseminated to ∼500 commercial turkey farmers acros...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With an increasing number of poultry meat products being downgraded due to poor quality and muscle myopathies the use of genetic selection for meat quality traits in turkeys should be considered. Selection for meat quality has been successfully implemented in other livestock species and adaptation of these programs could be applied in turkey breedi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Biobanked poultry ovaries can be revived via transplantation, into a recipient female, which upon maturity will produce donor-derived progeny. Previously, a large portion of these recipients also produced recipient-derived progeny, making them gonadal chimeras. These were potentially created when portions of the recipient’s ovary were i...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Egg production traits are economically important in poultry breeding programs. Previous studies have shown that incorporating genomic data can increase the accuracy of genetic prediction of egg production. Our objective was to estimate the genetic and phenotypic parameters of such traits and compare the prediction accuracy of pedigree-...
Article
Full-text available
Phenological differences in energy demand (i.e., reproductive status) might influence the measurement of corticosterone. The objective of this study was to compare corticosterone concentrations in feathers (FCORT) and plasma (PCORT) for turkey hens before and during egg laying. Secondary feathers 1 and 3, and a plasma sample were collected from 50...
Article
Full-text available
The detrimental effects of increased homozygosity due to inbreeding have prompted the development of methods to reduce inbreeding. The detection of runs of homozygosity (ROH), or contiguous stretches of homozygous marker genotypes, can be used to describe and quantify the level of inbreeding in an individual. The estimation of inbreeding coefficien...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It is now common to use feathers to non-invasively measure physiological biomarkers in both wild and domestic avian research. Biomarkers, such as glucocorticoid hormones, are believed to be deposited in the feather structure in a time-dependent manner throughout feather growth. If this is true, then the rate of deposition, and concentration measure...
Chapter
Full-text available
Improvements in meat poultry production have primarily been through breeding for faster growth and bodyweight, feed efficiency, yield and to a lesser extent the reproductive traits. Improved biosecurity and the targeted use of feed enzymes has also had an effect in improving performance. From a breeding perspective, the identification and selection...
Article
Full-text available
Background Knowledge about potential functional relationships among traits of interest offers a unique opportunity to understand causal mechanisms and to optimize breeding goals, management practices, and prediction accuracy. In this study, we inferred the phenotypic causal networks among five traits in a turkey population and assessed the effect o...
Article
Full-text available
Biobanking of turkey ovarian tissue appears to be the most cost-effective method for the long-term preservation of female genetics. However, to ensure the successful transplantation of biobanked ovarian tissue for breed or line revival, the transplantation and development of fresh ovarian tissue must be evaluated. To assess transplantability, ovari...
Article
The underlying genetic mechanisms affecting turkey growth traits have not been widely investigated. Over the last few years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) became the de facto approach to identify candidate regions associated with complex phenotypes and diseases in livestock. In the present study, we performed GWAS to identify regions assoc...
Article
Genetic selection for improved meat quality traits has been successfully implemented in many livestock species. The objective of this study was to estimate the heritability of several meat quality traits to assess their selection potential in turkeys. Pedigree toms (n = 1,033) were processed at a commercial facility and live weight, breast meat yie...
Article
Runs of homozygosity (ROH) are continuous stretches of homozygous genotypes in an individual that have been passed down from a common ancestor and can be used to accurately characterize genomic data. These ROH are correlated with other measures of inbreeding and have been applied to quantify individual autozygosity. The aim of this study was to det...
Article
Full-text available
The use of feathers as non-invasive physiological measurements of biomarkers in poultry research is expanding. Feather molting pattern and growth rates, however, are not well described in domestic poultry. These parameters could influence the measurement of these biomarkers. Therefore, the objective of this study was to describe the juvenile primar...
Article
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Deviation from Mendelian inheritance expectations (transmission ratio distortion, TRD) has been observed in several species, including the mouse and humans. In this study, TRD was characterized in the turkey genome using both allelic (specific‐ and unspecific‐parent TRD) and genotypic (additive‐ and dominance‐TRD) parameterizations within a Bayesia...
Article
Full-text available
The measurement of corticosterone in feathers is an appealing tool for assessing glucocorticoids in wild and domestic bird species. Feather corticosterone measurements can be performed non-invasively and can provide a means for comparing glucocorticoid secretion between individual birds; thus, such measurements can be used to assess the welfare of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Biobanked turkey ovaries could theoretically be revived through transplantation but surgical protocols first should be evaluated using fresh tissue. In this study, we evaluated if successful attachment and size of the graft was affected by the amount of recipient ovary remaining or placement of the donor tissue. The grafts were also analyzed to det...
Article
Full-text available
Simple Summary: Relatively little is known about how farmers house and manage turkey flocks. To address this knowledge gap, a cross-sectional survey on housing and management practices of turkey flocks was conducted among farmers in Canada. Data were collected from 53 hen flocks (64%) and 30 tom flocks (36%), giving a total of 83 turkey flocks acro...
Article
Full-text available
Appetite is the desire for feed and water and the voluntary intake of feed and is an important regulator of livestock productivity and animal health. Economic traits such as growth rate and muscle development (meat deposition) in broilers are directly correlated to appetite. Factors that may influence appetite include environmental factors, such as...
Article
Full-text available
Farmers play an essential role in the management of animals and ensuring their health and welfare. However, relatively little is known about the health and welfare-related issues farmers themselves find important in the turkey sector. As part of a larger study, a cross-sectional survey of turkey farmers was conducted in Canada to identify the main...
Article
Full-text available
This study determined, for the first time, the different subpopulations of germ cells and stereological changes within the cortex of the functional left ovary during germ cell nest breakdown, and formation of the primordial follicle pool in the domestic turkey. This was accomplished by measuring the size, density, and count of prefollicular germ ce...
Article
Full-text available
Current production systems for commercial turkeys can lead to challenges including the development of footpad dermatitis (FPD) and aggressive pecking. Both have welfare and economic implications for turkey production. To date, there have been no epidemiological studies conducted in Canada on risk factors for either FPD or aggressive pecking. In thi...
Article
Poultry, in general, have been the most successful farmed species in efficiently producing protein, be it egg laying chickens or meat producing chickens or turkeys. This has been the result of 60–80 years of continuous selection and improvement of traits that effect overall efficiency. The innate physiology of birds, high reproductive rates and rel...
Article
The body composition of livestock has been shown to change over time. Generally, bone maturation occurs first, followed by muscle growth. The objective of this study was to evaluate growth patterns of the most economically significant carcass components (pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, thigh, drum, and rack) in a commercial strain of turkeys. L...
Article
Full-text available
Genomic information can contribute significantly to the increase in accuracy of genetic predictions compared to using pedigree relationships alone. The main objective of this study was to compare the prediction ability of pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction (PBLUP) and single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) models. Turkey records of feed con...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Using weighted single step GWAS to identify potential gene candidates along the egg production curve in turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). Improvement in egg production traits is economically important and has a significant impact on poult cost. A weighted single-step genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to explore the genetic mechanisms...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A genomic single-step random regression model for egg production in turkeys (Meleagris Gallopavo) H. Emamgholi Begli1, B.J. Wood1,2, E.A. Abdalla1, O. Willems2, F. Schenkel1, C.F. Baes1,3 1Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1 2 Hybrid Turkeys, A Hendri...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to estimate phenotypic and genetic parameters for clutch and broodiness (BR) traits in turkeys and their relationship with body weight and egg production. Data on dam line hens was available and included: body weight at 18 wk of age (BW18), body weight at lighting (BWL, 29 to 33 wk), age at first egg (AFE), egg numbe...
Conference Paper
Meat quality in the poultry industry is increasing in economic importance. The difficulty with selection for improved meat quality is the inability to measure certain traits antemortem. Post-mortem information on many related individuals and genomic strategies can be used to accurately estimate breeding values of selection candidates. The objective...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within the avian ovary post-hatch, the breakdown of germ cell nests and the formation of primordial follicles marks a pivotal time in cellular depletion and reorganization. Since upon sexual maturation, birds lack a germinal bed with self-renewing oogonium, consequently, this cellular change heavily influences the finite number of ova available thr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cryobanking of ovarian tissue and semen appears to be the most cost-effective option for the long-term preservation of turkey genetics. Before cryobanking ovaries for future revival, it is imperative to first establish that fresh ovaries can survive transplantation and develop normally. To demonstrate this, eight turkey ovaries were collected from...
Conference Paper
The objective of this study was to estimate covariance functions using Legendre polynomial random regression models for egg production traits in turkeys. Egg production was recorded on 5,547 birds for five consecutive months. Variance components were estimated by the restricted maximum likelihood procedure, fitting a fixed effect of hatch-week, an...
Poster
Full-text available
During the last 40 years, the number of domestic turkey breeds has been declining. This reduction stems from the concentration of primary breeders who have little interest in maintaining breeds that are not presently seen as commercially beneficial. The consequence has been a drastic reduction in the genetic biodiversity, thus limiting options to a...