Bull Fertility Research in the Biology Department at UNCP

Dr. Nico Negrin Pereira (standing second from left) and his research team
Dr. Nico Negrin Pereira (standing second from left) and his research team

The early Friday morning found us this time at Mr. Arrin Baker and son Aaron’s farm in Robeson County. The objective was to castrate a group of four-month-old bull calves as part of a series of research projects on beef bull fertility. The projects, led by Dr. Nicolas Negrin Pereira (Assistant Professor at the Biology Department, UNCP) and a group of enthusiastic undergraduate students at the Biology Department in UNCP, included a series of experiments aiming to assess the combined use of Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) (as a low invasive technique to determine the size of the Sertoli cell population in prepubertal bulls) and the use of immunofluorescence and specific cell markers like Wilm’s tumor 1 and GDNFR1. The students are Lindsay Branch, Justine Froude, and Samantha Locklear as research students, and Catarina Maggio, Reagan Davidson, Haven Guinn, Jessica Bies, and Daugherty Norris as collaborators.

These projects are the result of collaborations established by Dr. Negrin Pereira between different institutions like NC State Animal Science Department, The Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, and the Biotechnology Research and Training Center at UNCP. The early determination of the Daily Sperm Capacity in beef bulls by determining the size of Sertoli cells in the testis and its application as a selection tool in replacement bulls remain unexplored. Most important is the local support and collaboration received by producers like the Bakers, establishing strong links between the university and the community.

Article written by Dr. Negrin Pereira

Dr. Negrin Pereira teaches several courses in the Animal Sciences, including Introduction to Animal Science, Principles of Animal Nutrition, and Animal Reproductive Physiology. He has mentored numerous undergraduate researchers.