"The 'Who ate all the pies' gene and its implications"

Date and Time


ANNU 141

Dr. Ian Dunn


Seminar Announcement:

Dr. Ian Dunn

Reader/Principle Investigator, The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh.

"The ‘Who ate all the pies’ gene and its implications"

Please join us for an eye opening seminar on how advances in genetics and genomics along with physiology are helping us understand avian reproduction and growth.

Dr. Dunn’s long term interest has focused on understanding how food, light and behaviour control reproduction and how the oviduct contributes to the formation of eggs. As breeding goals and consumer awareness evolved, his research further developed to include the relationship between long periods of reproductive activity and osteoporosis and, the use of egg peptides as antimicrobials. Taking advantage of advances in genetics and genomics to develop traditional or marker assisted selection strategies, Dr. Dunn aims at tackling problems as diverse as osteoporosis, antimicrobial activity of egg white and shell quality in laying hens, as well as polyfollicular ovaries in broiler breeders. Furthermore, in the context of tailored livestock management (precision agriculture), the interactions between nutrition, physiology and genetics have become even more relevant. Feeding is a complex system dictated by needs (growth vs reproduction), genetics (broilers vs layers) and resources availability (diet composition) and, Dr. Dunn’s recent work shed further light on our understanding of satiety, especially in the control of food intake in birds.

To achieve his research goals, Dr. Dunn has maintained close interactions with many companies and groups in the institute and across Europe. In turn, Dr. Dunn’s research have led to significant improvement in industry practices and, in 2016 he was selected to lead a working group on improving assessment of keel bone damage as part of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology action. He is also a board member of the Farm Animal Breeding and REproduction technology platform (FABRE-TP).

Selected publications:

Reid AMA, Dunn IC. Gastrointestinal distribution of chicken gastrin-cholecystokinin family transcript expression and response to short-term nutritive state. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 2018; 255:64-70.

Caughey SD et al. Sex differences in basal hypothalamic anorectic and orexigenic gene expression and the effect of quantitative and qualitative food restriction. Biology of Sex Differences 2018; 9.

Reid AMA, et al. Pancreatic PYY but not PPY expression is responsive to short-term nutritional state and the pancreas constitutes the major site of PYY mRNA expression in chickens. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol.  2017; 252:226-235.

Dunn IC et al. Hypothalamic agouti-related peptide mRNA is elevated during natural and stress-induced anorexia. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 2015; 27:681-691.

Dunn IC et al. Decreased expression of the satiety signal receptor CCKAR is responsible for increased growth and body weight during the domestication of chickens. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism 2013 304 E909-E921.


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