Research Program

Research Program

Program Vision and Objectives  

Vision. The outputs of this program will be new essential and fundamental knowledge of the genomics of resistance to NDV, and the application of this knowledge to develop ecotypes of African chickens with greater innate resistance to NDV. In the process of achieving these outputs, program outcomes will include the development of physical and human infrastructure in Africa, including training of African students and scientists, both on-site in Africa and in the US, in the essential skills that will enable the African partners to sustain and disseminate the results of this program.

The impacts of the program are expected to be increased in agricultural productivity due to decreases in the major poultry losses that occur as a result of Newcastle Disease in African chickens, and thereby contributing to reducing poverty and food insecurity. The associated increases in chicken and egg production will be particularly beneficial to women, who are usually the caretakers of poultry.   

The overall objective of the proposed study is to genetically enhance disease resistance to NDV infection and heat stress, while improving production performance. 

Phase II

Objective 1: Develop a comprehensive genetic selection platform for genetic selection of resilience to Newcastle virus (NDV) and other economically important traits.

Objective 2: Validate enhanced resistance to Newcastle disease (ND) in African indigenous chicken ecotypes using genetic selection platform.

Objective 4: Characterize circulating strains of NDV in Ghana and Tanzania.

Objective 5: Conduct poultry value chain assessment and develop a business plan for breeding and distribution of chicken line with enhanced ND. And Collaborate with public and private poultry sectors in Tanzania and Ghana to apply the technology to improve ND resistance in indigenous chickens.

Phase I

Objective 1: Identify genes and/or genetic markers associated with NDV resistance and heat stress in three unique chicken populations in the US using advanced genetic genomic technologies.  

Objective 2: Identify genes and/or genetic markers associated with NDV resistance in African indigenous chicken ecotypes using whole genome high-density SNP panel.

Objective 3: Develop an economical, low-density SNP panel for genetic selection of disease resistance to NDV and to heat stress by integrating the discoveries from objectives 1 and 2.  

Objective 4: Validate genetic enhancement of resistance to NDV infection in African indigenous chicken ecotypes using economic low-density SNP panel selection.

Objective 5: Develop validated, improved breeding stock with enhanced ND resistance in Africa.  

Objective 6: Develop a chicken breeding and distribution plan (CBDP).