Animal Science Graduate Student Awarded Grant to Study Bovine Respiratory Disease in Cattle

Jianmin Chai will use the grant to study bovine respiratory disease.
Department of Animal Science

Jianmin Chai will use the grant to study bovine respiratory disease.

Department of Animal Science graduate student, Jianmin Chai, was awarded a grant from the Office of Research and Innovation and Graduate Professional Student Research Council to investigate the respiratory microbiome of beef cattle and the influences on bovine respiratory disease, or BRD, using next-generation sequencing.

Chai, who will team up with U of A System, Division of Agriculture, Animal Science faculty member, Jiangchao Zhao, aims to characterize the nasal microbiome from pre-BRD and BRD cattle, as well as their healthy controls using a MinION nanopore sequencing platform. Nanopore sequencing is a cost-effective way to profile bacterial communities, and detect, simultaneously, DNA and RNA virus species since the MinION is small, portable and runs on a laptop.

This design will work to better understand the longitudinal shifts of the microbiome in healthy and BRD cattle after entering the feedlot, and cross-sectionally compare the microbiome community between healthy and BRD afflicted cattle.


Bryan M. Rhodes, administrative specialist II
Department of Animal Science


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