Graeme B Martin

Graeme B Martin
University of Western Australia | UWA · UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, Faculty of Science

BSc (Agric) PhD

About

496
Publications
106,577
Reads
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12,262
Citations
Introduction
We study how the brain controls reproduction, with a focus the environmental factors that influence the reproductive system. We work mostly with sheep, but we also study reproduction in goats, emus, marsupials and African animals. We used our insights to pioneer the concept of “clean, green and ethical" management of farm animals, ultimately embodied in the vision for "UWA Future Farm 2050": http://www.ioa.uwa.edu.au/future-farm-2050 Like us! http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/44/aid/1801.htm
Additional affiliations
July 2013 - August 2014
University of Oxford
Position
  • Visting Professor
Description
  • I am on 12 months sabbatical leave, working primarily with Dr Suzannah Williams (reproductive biology), Prof Marian Stamp Dawkins (Dept Zoology and Food Animal Initiative).
January 2008 - present
University of Western Australia
Position
  • UWA Future Farm 2050
Description
  • Imagine the ideal farming system for 2050, but do it now! And show that it can be profitable to mix crop production, animal production and ecosystem restoration. Why 2050? We will need to feed 50% more people without destroying the planet.
July 2004 - December 2004
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Reproduction in farm animals
Education
- March 1981
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Animal reproduction, animal production

Publications

Publications (496)
Article
Industries based on small ruminants are major contributors to world food supply but, in extensive grazing systems, reproductive technology is not directly relevant to most enterprises. More important is the need to respond to demand in high-profit export markets for products that are ‘clean, green and ethical’ (CGE). This combination of issues led...
Article
Agricultural land and food security are under pressure from climate change, population growth, urbanisation, and demand for biofuels and animal protein. We have re-assessed the role of ruminant livestock in meeting food requirements in the context of mixed agricultural systems, and focussed on seven major challenges: • Poor animal health and welfar...
Article
In female sheep and goats, exposure to males can be used to induce ovulation and thus control and synchronize fertility. This ‘male effect’ offers simple, cost-effective and hormone-free management of reproduction in flocks and herds but, despite decades of research, significant gaps in our knowledge impede commercial application. Many of these gap...
Article
This review explores the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate spermatogenesis in the post-pubertal testis that is regressing in response to mild undernutrition, using the sexually mature male sheep as a model. Testis regression leads to reductions in daily sperm production and in the quality of ejaculated spermatozoa (poorer movement, DN...
Article
Full-text available
The relationships between ovulation rate and nutrition remain confused, probably because of uncontrolled variation in experimental conditions. To help resolve the problem, we analyzed data from 20 experiments conducted between 2002 and 2016, in Uruguay with grazing ewes. All experiments were carried out by a single laboratory under comparable condi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In keeping with the theme of 'Animal Welfare and One Health', I will present my perspective on the major challenges that are confronting livestock science, with relevance to science and industry, and I will aim to indicate major opportunities for research students. The difficulty with predicting the future is that uncertainty seems to increase expo...
Conference Paper
Concluding Remarks: Having participated in a very successful 1st International Symposium on Animal Welfare and One Health, I am wondering why such an obvious combination of topics has not been considered before! Clearly, this might be the first such conference, but it should not be the last. I therefore congratulate the Government of Sindh, the S...
Article
Full-text available
Gastrointestinal helminths are a global health issue, for humans as well as domestic animals. Most studies focus on the tissues that are infected with the parasite, but here we studied the ileum, a tissue that is rarely infected by helminths. We tested whether inflammation in the ileum contributes to the development and severity of diarrhoea, by co...
Article
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Background Helminth parasitism is a world-wide problem in livestock industries, with major impacts on health, welfare and productivity. The role of the gut microbiota in host-helminth interactions in ruminants has been extensively examined and the present study added to this body of knowledge by assessing the effects of resistance and susceptibilit...
Article
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Gastrointestinal helminths infect livestock causing health problems including severe diarrhoea. To explore the underlying biological mechanisms relating to development and control of diarrhoea, we compared 4 sheep that were susceptible to development of diarrhoea with 4 sheep that were diarrhoea-resistant. Transcriptomes in the tissues where the pa...
Article
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We tested whether short-term nutritional supplementation (500 g lupin grain per head daily) would affect the response of ewes to the ram effect. Experiment 1 (end of non-breeding season): ewes were supplemented for either Days −6 to −1 relative to ram introduction (n = 24) or for 12 days after ram introduction (Days 11 to 22 of the ram-induced cycl...
Article
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The classical view of "pheromone"-an airborne chemical signal-is challenged by the camelids in which ovulation is triggered by ß-nerve growth factor carried in seminal plasma, effectively extending the pheromone concept to a new medium. We propose further extension of "pheromone" to include a separate class of seminal fluid molecules that acts on t...
Article
This review provides examples of the utilisation of plant bioactivity to mitigate enteric methane (CH4) emissions from the Australian ruminant production systems. Potential plant-based mitigation strategies that reduce CH4 without major impacts on forage digestibility include the following: (i) low methanogenic tropical and temperate grass, legume...
Article
Split paternity rates in multiple born lambs of syndicate-mated Merino flocks have previously not been reported, primarily due to the cost of genotyping. Pedigree data from litters born to genetically diverse syndicate mated ewes in three Merino Lifetime Productivity flocks across Australia were analysed to examine rates of split paternity, or hete...
Article
Full-text available
Implications • The Global Farm Platform was conceived and established to explore multidisciplinary strategies for optimising the sustainability of ruminant livestock systems around the world. • International sustainability issues are common, but the solutions are often region-specific; therefore, our farms, situated across all major agroclimatic zo...
Article
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Sperm mobility (SM) appears to be primary determinant of fertility in chicken and turkey. The aims of this study were to extend the concept to the Japanese quail by developing an assay to quantify SM, explaining the basis of SM using motility properties measured by CASA, and exploring the relationship between SM and egg fertility. The study was car...
Article
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This study tested whether the intravenous application of kisspeptin can stimulate the pulsatile secretion of LH in suckling ewes during postpartum anestrus. Ten days after lambing, Pelibuey ewes were allocated among two groups: (1) continuous suckling (n = 8), where the lambs remained with their mothers; and (2) restricted suckling (n = 8), where t...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is an imminent threat to livestock production. One adaptation strategy is selection for heat tolerance. While it is established that the ATP1A1 gene and its product play an important role in the response to many stressors, there has been no attempt to characterize the sequence or to perform expression profiling of the gene in product...
Article
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This review resulted from an international workshop and presents a consensus view of critical advances over the last decade in our understanding of follicular function in ruminants. The major concepts covered include: i) the value of major genes; ii) the dynamics of fetal ovarian development and its sensitivity to nutritional and environmental infl...
Conference Paper
Subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) was probably introduced into Western Australia in the 1830s and has since become integral to pasture systems across southern Australia (Nicholls et al. 2013). In the 1940s, it was linked to severe infertility in sheep, 'clover disease' (Bennetts et al. 1946). The causative agent was found to be a group o...
Conference Paper
Subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L) is the dominant annual pasture legume in southern Australia (30 million ha) and is an essential part of the livestock industry. Reproductive difficulties in sheep grazing subclover pastures high in oestrogenic compounds were first described in the 1940s (Bennetts et al. 1946). Oestrogenic subclovers ca...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Helminth parasitism is a world-wide problem in livestock industries, with major impacts on health, welfare and productivity. It has been the subject of decades of research, but little attention has been paid to the role of the gut microbiota in the responses to infection. The present study characterized the microbiome along the gastro-in...
Article
Full-text available
We tested whether changes in Sertoli cell transcription factors and germ cell heat shock proteins (HSPs) are linked to the effects of maternal undernutrition on male offspring fertility. Rats were fed ad libitum with a standard diet (CONTROL) throughout pregnancy and lactation or with 50% of CONTROL intake throughout pregnancy (UNP) or lactation (U...
Article
Full-text available
We tested whether periconceptional nutrition with cladodes from the cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica, with or without protein-enrichment, improved the metabolomic profile and reproductive outcomes of adult female sheep. Sixty Rambouillet ewes of similar body weight were randomly allocated among three nutritional treatments that were fed during the bree...
Chapter
In sheep and goats, amino acid nutrition is essential for the maintenance of health and productivity. In this review, we analysed literature, mostly from the past two decades, focusing on assessment of amino acid requirements, especially on the balance of amino acid profiles between ruminal microbial protein and animal production protein (foetal gr...
Article
Heat shock proteins play a crucial role in cellular development, proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) has been localised in the human endometrium, where its immunoexpression changes during the menstrual cycle. Similar studies have not been done for the equid species, so the present study aimed to describe endo...
Article
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Ruminant livestock are raised under diverse cultural and environmental production systems around the globe. Ruminant livestock can play a critical role in food security by supplying high-quality, nutrient-dense food with little or no competition for arable land while simultaneously improving soil health through vital returns of organic matter. Howe...
Article
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Abstract Context. Breech strike is a serious disease for wool sheep. Skin wrinkle and dags are known predisposing factors for breech strike; however, a large part of the variation among sheep is unknown. Aims. We studied the natural diversity and difference in microbial populations in the skin around the breech area in Merino sheep genetically resi...
Article
Maternal undernutrition decreases sperm production in male offspring, possibly through insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I). To test this hypothesis, we fed pregnant Wistar rats ad libitum with a standard diet (CONTROL) or fed 50% of CONTROL intake, either throughout pregnancy (UNP), lactation (UNL, or both (UNPL). After weaning, male offspring (n =...
Article
Full-text available
Background In ruminants, dietary C18:3n-3 can be lost through biohydrogenation in the rumen; and C18:3n-3 that by-passes the rumen still can be lost through oxidation in muscle, theoretically reducing the deposition of C18:3n-3, the substrate for synthesis of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) in muscle. In vitro studies have shown that rume...
Article
Full-text available
The present study tested whether feeding ewes during the last third of pregnancy with cladodes of Opuntia (untreated or protein-enriched), as an alternative to alfalfa hay, would improve milk yield as well as the pre- and post-natal growth of their lambs. Sixty mature Rambouillet ewes and their progeny were randomly allocated among three nutritiona...
Article
Differences in haematology traits were investigated in worm-resistant and worm-susceptible Merino sheep that were genetically prone or less prone to developing diarrhoea in a winter rainfall region. The experiment was a 2 x 2 x 2 x 5 design. Male and female sheep aged 8–9 months old identified as having high (H) or low (L) breeding values for dags...
Article
Full-text available
The Australian red meat industry has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. Reaching this goal will be a challenge and will involve targeting ways to increase carbon in the landscape, improve efficiency of production and reduce methane emissions from ruminants. There are a number of different options the industry can pursue to try and achieve its...
Article
Full-text available
Management of the ovine oestrous cycle is mainly based on the use of exogenous hormones to mimic or enhance (progesterone and its analogues) or manipulate (prostaglandin F2α and its analogues) the activity of the corpus luteum, combined with the application of other hormones mimicking the pituitary secretion of gonadotrophins (e.g. equine chorionic...
Article
For successful breeding programs, it is important to quantify the useful period of a male's reproductive life and it is often done simply by measurement of semen quality. This information is lacking for Japanese quail so we tested whether there is a decline in ejaculate quality and sperm kinematics with age, and whether the decline varies among str...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Australian red meat industry has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. Reaching this goal will be a challenge and will involve targeting ways to increase carbon in the landscape, improve efficiency of production and reduce methane emissions from ruminants. There are a number of different options the industry can pursue to try and achieve its...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study was carried out to test two hypotheses: 1) whether flight distance of the dam (scored at tagging of her lamb within 24 hours of birth) is an indicator of her maternal behaviour and is a dam trait correlated with the survival rate of her lambs; and 2) whether the genetic and permanent maternal environmental effects of survival rate differ...
Article
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The neuroendocrine response of female sheep to a novel male involves neural activation in the hypothalamus. However, if males are removed, the gonadotrophic signal declines, so the neural activity is likely to change. We examined Fos-immunoreactive (IR) cells in hypothalamic tissues from seasonally anovulatory female sheep exposed to males for 2 or...
Article
Full-text available
Rams respond to acute nutritional supplementation by increasing the frequency of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulses. Kisspeptin neurons may mediate the effect of environmental cues on GnRH secretion, so we tested whether the ram response to nutrition involves activation of kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), namely kisspepti...
Article
Metabolic homeostasis is aligned with changes in growth and body composition, through processes mediated by circulating metabolites and metabolic hormones, and is eventually linked to reproductive success. In the present study with sheep, we determined the relationships among phenotypic and genotypic rates of growth, muscle and fat accumulation, an...
Conference Paper
Effects of stress on reproductive performance in ewes may have severe consequences for fecundity and fertility, and therefore reduce lambing percentage. Exposure to heat stress triggers a series of drastic changes in the animals' biological functions, and can be explored using the Comprehensive Climate index (CCI). We studied the CCI from post-wean...
Article
Full-text available
In this review, we discuss animal welfare as a complex and contested issue facing society and outline why collaborative, multi-stakeholder approaches are critical for effective policy development. Using the lens of ‘wicked problems’ and drawing upon governance literature on policy networks, we identify important factors for working with the inheren...
Article
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Simple Summary: We examined whether feed intake and wool production are affected by pregnancy, litter size, or lamb sex on Merino genotype ewes. We observed that feed intake was influenced during pregnancy and lactation by litter size; whereas, wool production was influenced by litter size, but not by the sex of the lambs during pregnancy. Abstract...
Article
To identify flystrike‐related volatile compounds in wool from Merino sheep, the attractiveness of wool to Lucilia cuprina Wiedmann (Diptera: Calliphoridae) was examined. First, a selection of wool samples guided by previous knowledge of sheep lines, predicted to be more susceptible or more resistant to flystrike, was tested. The attractiveness of t...
Article
Full-text available
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates granulosa cell proliferation and controls the development and maturation of oocytes. In this study with Rex rabbit, there was exploration of the relationships between reproductive traits and SNPs and haplotypes of FSHβ, and tested whether FSHβ SNPs would segregate between two lines, using 70 females fro...
Article
Full-text available
In poultry, feeding diets including high concentrations of non-starch polysaccharides limits growth rate and feed conversion ratio, and causes problems in health and welfare because of the production of wet droppings. This problem is becoming more important as pressure builds to reduce costs by using alternative sources of dietary protein, such as...
Article
The Australian sheep blow fly, Lucilia cuprina (Wiedemann), is commonly reared in the laboratory for many sequential generations on simple, fixed diets, so it can be used in veterinary, medical, and forensic studies. To investigate the effect of diet and long-term laboratory rearing on L. cuprina, flies were fed with two different diets (sugar and...
Article
This study investigated the effects of dietary supplementation with alternative sources of α-linolenic acid on growth, the composition of rumen microbiota, and the interactions between rumen microbiota and long-chain fatty acid concentrations, in goat kids. Sixty 4-month-old castrated male Albas white cashmere kids (average BW 18.6 ± 0.1 kg) were r...
Conference Paper
If we are to feed the world, we cannot ignore ruminants because they can convert biomass that we humans cannot digest into food that we can digest. Two issues confront us. First, ruminants produce methane, but solutions are becoming available: novel forages, feed additives, genetics, improved efficiency, grazing management. Second, some global warm...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The onset of puberty and subsequent reproductive success depend primarily on the accumulation of a critical mass of adipose tissue. This process is mediated by leptin. However, muscle is also metabolically and hormonally active. Therefore, in young female sheep, we studied the relationships between reproductive performance and phenotypic and genoty...
Article
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a powerful tool that is being applied in a variety of fields as diverse as the cloning and production of transgenic animals, rescue of endangered species and regenerative medicine. However, cloning efficiency is still very low and SCNT embryos generally show poor developmental competency and many abnormalitie...
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with heated linseed on the fatty acid (FA) composition of the plasma, liver, and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SADT) of Albas white cashmere kids, particularly the effect on n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated FA profiles and the mRNA expression of genes related to lipid meta...
Article
Full-text available
Low faecal worm-egg count (FEC) has been used as a phenotypic trait for breeding sheep for resistance to nematode infection. Application of this trait has resulted in a major reduction in worm-egg output in faeces, but in certain environments some of the resistant sheep develop what is believed to be a hypersensitivity-associated diarrhoea, resulti...
Article
Forage plants may contain secondary compounds that disrupt reproduction in ruminants so, as ‘duty of care’, proposed new forage species need to be tested for harmful effects on reproduction before industrial release. We evaluated the effects of Bituminaria bituminosa, Medicago sativa, Chicorium intybus, Trifolium subterraneum, Trifolium pratense, B...
Presentation
Full-text available
Programme de l’Université d’Australie Occidentale « Vers l’avenir de l’Humanité ». En 2008, l'Université d’Australie Occidentale (University of Western Australia (UWA) a acheté une ferme commerciale dans la ceinture de blé d’Australie Occidentale. L'objectif n'était pas de transformer cette ferme de 1600 ha en une station de recherche traditionnell...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We are on the threshold of major breakthroughs in the power of selection, on both paternal and maternal sides, through a combination of EID tags, parentage information, and the advent of a detailed description of the sheep genome. Now we are looking at combining the genome information with ‘gene editing’ technology, allowing us to switch a sheep ge...
Article
The Australian blow fly, Lucilia cuprina Wiedmann (Diptera: Calliphoridae), is a major cause of myiasis (flystrike) in Merino sheep in Australia and New Zealand and, as a primary colonizer of fresh carrion, also an important species in forensic investigations. Olfaction is considered the most important cue for insects to rapidly locate carrion over...
Article
Global changes in industry and society have led us to reassess the numerous factors that combine to influence the time of onset of puberty and the efficiency of reproduction in young sheep. Age and weight have long been considered the dominant factors that influence the onset of puberty and, for many years, it has been accepted that these relations...
Article
This study investigated the relationship between sperm kinematics and egg fertility in Japanese quail in an attempt to identify a semen trait that could be used to predict male fertility. Males (n = 45) and females (n = 180) from five strains (A, B, C, D, E) were used. Ejaculates (n = 720) were collected from 8 to 38 weeks of male age. Semen volume...
Article
Full-text available
In ewe lambs, acceleration of growth and accumulation of both muscle and fat leads to earlier sexual maturity and better reproductive performance. The next stage in the development of this theme is to test whether these aspects of growth in young ewes affect milk production in their first lactation and the growth of their first progeny. We studied...