Microalgal Based Animal Feed Supplements

A method of delivering chromium, copper, zinc, manganese, and selenium to cattle through transgenic algae.

The Need

Dairy cattle serve an important function in the diet of humans worldwide. However, when these cattle are not fed a balanced diet, they can suffer increases in morbidity during transportation, a weakened immune system, and a decrease in milk production. One method of balancing the feed is by including an additive of trace minerals, and in particular, higher amounts of zinc, copper, selenium, and manganese. Delivery of these minerals must be perfectly balanced, as too low or too high concentrations can have a negative effect on cattle health and the minerals can be passed through the manure and into the soil, thus hindering agricultural production as well as dairy production. The need exists for an efficient, balanced, and carefully regulated method of delivering these important minerals to dairy cattle.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Richard Sayre, engineered a transgenic algae, which can be used as a delivery platform for trace metals in cattle feed. The transgenetic algae selectively bind trace metals of interest to dairy farmers and can be packaged in such a way as to be readily used by the industry.

Commercial Applications

  • Agriculture industry
  • Livestock diet methodology

Benefits/Advantages

  • Increases the efficiency of delivering trace metals to cattle

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