Prof Rainer Roehe

Research Interests

  • Rainer RoeheInsight into quantitative genetic and genomic associations between host (animal) and rumen microbial population to be exploited for mitigation of methane emissions from ruminants (beef) using genomic selection or gene assisted selection.
  • Impact of diet and feed additives on reduction of methane emissions and their effects on the composition of the rumen microbial population and on meat quality characteristics in beef.
  • Development of prediction equation for online measurement techniques to assess carcass, meat eating and nutritional quality in beef and sheep using imaging techniques such as Video Image Analysis (VIA), Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR), Hyperspectral Imaging, Raman Spectroscopy.
  • Genetic improvement of meat quality traits in beef with particular interested in genetic improvement of fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids, reported to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (Healthy Meat).
  • Phenotypic, genetic and genomic background of energy and nitrogen efficiency in pigs and the use of biological growth models to develop strategies for improvement of energy and nitrogen efficiency during growth.
  • Understanding the genetic background and genomic architecture of animal welfare traits such as piglet survival, aggression in pigs and related traits such as feed intake behaviour.
  • Research on the most appropriate statistical methodology to predict the genomic background of complex traits, e.g. the predictability of Bayesian mixture models to estimate the entire genomic background and to identify QTLs of complex traits.

Research Projects

  • EBLEX: "Nutritional improvements using diets and novel feed additives to enhance overall efficiency of beef production including meat quality and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions as identified by characterisation of the rumen microbial population (NUTRIBEEF)".
  • BBSRC CASE studentship: "Genomic and environmental dissection of social aggressiveness and feeding behaviour in pigs".
  • Scottish Government RESAS WP5.3 "Livestock with improved performance in terms of health, welfare, resource use and outputs", Research Deliverable (RD) 1.2 "Influences on the product and nutritional quality of meat (Healthy Meat)” and RD 5.1 “Development of a rapid molecular technique for characterising gut microbial populations to predict methane production in ruminants and its use in breeding programmes".
  • RESAS WP3.2 "Rural land management and climate change". RD 1 "New technologies and management practices for reducing GHG emissions or enhancing sequestration from rural land use".
  • Quality Meat Scotland and Scottish Government "Research towards and integrated measurement of meat eating quality (IMEQ)".
  • BPEX (UK) and SAC development fund "Reduction in energy usage and environmental footprint using biological growth models".

PhD Students

  • Suzanne Desire - "Genomic and environmental dissection of social aggressiveness and feeding behaviour in pigs"
  • Mahmoud Shirali - "Reduction in energy usage and environmental footprint using biological growth models"

Selected Publications

  • Canario, L., Turner, S.P., Roehe, R., Lundeheim, N., Lawrence, A.B., Knol, E., Bergsma, R. and Rydhmer, L. 2012. Genetic relationships between behaviour and direct and social genetic effects on growth rate in pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 90: 4706-4715
  • Craigie, C.R., Lambe, N.R., Richardson, R.I., Haresign, W., Maltin, C.A., Rehfeldt, C.; Roehe, R., Morris, S.T., Bunger, L. 2012. A comparison of objective measures of meat quality of three muscles between Texel ewe and ram lambs. Animal Production Science 52, 601-607
  • Kapell, D.N.R.G., Sorensen, D., Su, G., Janss, L.LG., Ashworth, C.J., Roehe, R. 2012. Efficiency of genomic selection using Bayesian multi-marker models for selected traits reflecting a wide range of heritabilities in mice. BMC Genetics 13(1), 42
  • Marquez, G.C., Haresign, W., Davies, M.H., Emmans, G.C., Roehe, R., Bunger, L., Simm, G., and Lewis, R.M. 2012. Index selection in terminal sires improves early lamb growth. Journal of Animal Science. 90, 142-151
  • Shirali, M., Doeschl-Wilson, A., Knap, P.W., Duthie, C., Kanis, E., van Arendonk, J.A.M., Roehe, R. 2012. Nitrogen excretion at different stages of growth and its association with production traits in growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science 90, 1756-1765
  • Baxter, E.M., Jarvis, S., Sherwood, L., Farish, M., Roehe, R., Lawrence, A.B., Edwards, S.A. 2011. Genetic and environmental effects on piglet survival and maternal behaviour of the farrowing sow. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 130, 28-41
  • Duthie, C., Simm, G., Doeschl-Wilson, A., Kalm, E., Knap, P.W., Roehe, R. 2011. Epistatic quantitative trait loci affecting chemical body composition and deposition as well as feed intake and feed efficiency throughout the entire growth period of pigs. Livestock Science 138, 34-48
  • Duthie, C., Simm, G., Doeschl-Wilson, A., Kalm, E., Knap, P.W., Roehe, R. 2011. Quantitative trait loci for meat quality traits in pigs considering imprinting and epistatic effects. Meat Science 87, 394-402
  • Kapell, D.N.R.G., Ashworth, C.J., Knap, P.W., Roehe, R. 2011. Genetic parameters for piglet survival, litter size and birth weight or its variation within litter in sire and dam lines using Bayesian analysis. Livestock Science 135, 215-224
  • Turner, S.P., Navajas, E.A., Hyslop, J.J., Ross, D.W., Richardson, R.I., Prieto, N., Bell, M., Jack, M.C., Roehe, R. 2011. Associations between response to handling and growth and meat quality in frequently handled Bos taurus beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 89, 4239-4248
  • Duthie, C., Simm, G., Doeschl-Wilson, A., Kalm, E., Knap, P.W., Roehe, R. 2010. Epistatic analysis of carcass characteristics in pigs reveals genomic interactions between quantitative trait loci attributable to additive and dominance genetic effects. Journal of Animal Science 88, 2219-2234
  • Lambe, N.R., Ross, D.W., Navajas, E.A., Hyslop, J.J., Prieto, N., Craigie, C., Bünger, L., Simm, G., Roehe, R. 2010. The prediction of carcass composition and tissue distribution in beef cattle using ultrasound scanning at the start and/or end of the finishing period. Livestock Science 131, 193-202
  • Mekkawy, W., Roehe, R., Lewis, R.M., Davies, M.H., Bünger, L., Simm, G., Haresign, W. 2010. Comparison of repeatability and multiple trait threshold models for litter size in sheep using observed and simulated data in Bayesian analyses. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics 127, 261-271
  • Navajas, E.A., Richardson, R.I., Fisher, AV., Hyslop, J.J., Ross, D.W., Prieto, N., Simm, G., Roehe, R. 2010. Predicting beef carcass composition using tissue weights of a primal cut assessed by computed tomography. Animal 4, 1810-1817
  • Prieto, N., Navajas, E.A., Richardson, R.I., Ross, D.W., Hyslop, J.J., Simm, G., Roehe, R. 2010. Predicting beef cuts composition, fatty acids and meat quality characteristics by spiral computed tomography. Meat Science 86, 770-779
  • Roehe, R., Shrestha, N. P., Mekkawy, W., Baxter, E.M., Knap, P.W., Smurthwaite, K.M., Jarvis, S., Lawrence, A.B., Edwards, S.A. 2010. Genetic parameters of piglet survival and birth weight from a two-generation crossbreeding experiment under outdoor conditions designed to disentangle direct and maternal effects. Journal of Animal Science 88, 1276-1285
  • Turner, S.P., D’Eath, R.B., Roehe, R., Lawrence, A.B. 2010. Genetic validation of post-mixing skin injuries in pigs as an indicator of aggressiveness and the relationship with injuries under more stable social conditions. Animal Welfare 19(S): 123-132
  • D’Eath, R.B., Roehe, R, Turner, S.P., Ison, S.H., Farish, M., Jack, M.C. and Lawrence, A.B. 2009. Genetics of animal temperament: aggressive behaviour at mixing is genetically associated with the response to handling in pigs. Animal 3(11): 1544-1554
  • Duthie, C., Simm, G., Pérez-Enciso, M., Doeschl-Wilson, A., Kalm, E., Knap, P.W., Roehe, R. 2009. Genomic scan for quantitative trait loci of chemical and physical body composition and deposition on pig chromosome X considering the pseudoautosomal region. Genet. Sel. Evol. 41, 27
  • Kapell, D.N.R.G., Ashworth, C.J., Walling, G.A., Lawrence, A.B., Edwards, S.A., Roehe, R. 2009. Estimation of genetic associations between reproduction and production traits based on a sire and dam line with common ancestry. Animal 3, 1354-1362
  • Mekkawy, W., Roehe, R., Lewis, R.M., Davies, M.H., Bünger, L., Simm, G., Haresign, W. 2009. Genetic relationship between longevity and objectively or subjectively assessed performance traits in sheep using linear censored models. Journal of Animal Science 87, 3482-3489
  • Rius-Vilarrasa, E., Roehe, R., Macfarlane, J.M., Lambe, N.R., Matthews, K.R., Haresign, W., Matika, O., Bünger, L. 2009. Effects of a quantitative trait locus for increased muscularity on carcass traits measured by subjective conformation and fat class scores and video image analysis in crossbred lambs. Animal 3, 1532-1543
  • Roehe, R., Shrestha, N. P., Mekkawy, W., Baxter, E.M., Knap, P.W., Smurthwaite, K.M., Jarvis, S., Lawrence, A.B., Edwards, S.A. 2009. Genetic analyses of piglet survival and individual birth weight on first generation data of a selection experiment for piglet survival under outdoor conditions. Livestock Science 121, 173-181
  • Turner, S.P., Roehe, R., D’Eath, R.B., Ison, S.H., Farish, M., Jack, M.C., Lundeheim, N., Rydhmer, L. & Lawrence, A.B. 2009. Genetic validation of post-mixing skin injuries in pigs as an indicator of aggressiveness and the relationship with injuries under more stable social conditions. Journal of Animal Science 87: 3076-3082
  • Duthie, C., Simm, G., Doeschl-Wilson, A., Kalm, E., Knap, P.W., Roehe, R. 2008. Quantitative trait loci for chemical body composition traits in pigs and their positional associations with body tissues, growth and feed intake. Animal Genetics 39, 130-140
  • Turner, S.P., Roehe, R., Mekkawy, W., Farnworth, M.J., Knap, P.W. and Lawrence, A.B. 2008. Bayesian analysis of genetic associations of skin lesions and behavioural traits to identify genetic components of individual aggressiveness in pigs.  Behaviour Genetics, 38: 67-75

Prof Rainer Roehe

Professor of Animal Genetics and Microbiome

Address: Animal & Veterinary Sciences, SRUC, Roslin Institute Building, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG

Telephone: 0131 651 9367

E-mail: rainer.roehe@sruc.ac.uk