Dr. Eveline M. Ibeagha-Awemu

Image Eveline Ibeagha-Awemu
Research Scientist

Dr. Ibeagha-Awemu obtained a PhD in Animal Genetics from Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany in 2003 followed by postdoctoral studies at McGill university. She joined AAFC in 2011 as a research scientist in Animal Genomics.

Her research program focuses on improving (a) productivity and disease resistance and (b) the safety of the dairy and pork value chains

Dr Ibeagha-Awemu uses next-generation sequencing/advanced technologies (e.g. genotyping-by-sequencing, high density chip genotyping, focused genotyping, whole genome sequencing, whole genome bisulphite sequencing, targeted amplicon bisulfite sequencing, etc.) to detect genetic and epigenetic markers at a genome wide scale and, gene expression (mRNA and lncRNA-Sequencing) and regulatory microRNA (miRNA-Sequencing) profiling to detect gene networks, pathways and genetic/epigenetic markers of milk production and disease (bovine mastitis and paratuberculosis) traits.

She also studies how nutrients interact with the genome and epigenome (nutrigenomics) to enhance productivity and desirable cow milk components (e.g. polyunsaturated fatty acids, cholesterol, etc.).

Another aspect of her research is focused on gut microbiota manipulation with different strategies (probiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation, etc) to stimulate early microbial establishment, immune development, improved gut health and productivity and potential to reduce antibiotics use and contamination of barn environment with pathogens.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Current research and/or projects

  • Role of DNA methylation marks in mastitis and milk production traits

  • MicroRNA biomarkers of bovine mastitis

  • Role of milk microbiota in the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus mastitis

  • DNA methylation and microRNA roles in paratuberculosis


Professional activities / interests

  • Member: GRESABO (Groupe de Research en Sante Bovine)

  • Member: Biological Assay Committee of FAANG (Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes)

  • Member: Animal Health Committee of American Society of Animal Science/Canadian Society of Animal Science

  • Member: Op+lait grouping of researchers on milk quality through FQRNT strategic grouping program 

  • Member: Dairy Cattle Breeding and Genetics Committee, Canada

  • Member: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Animal Care Committee

  • Member: Canadian Bovine Mastitis Research Network

  • Editorial Board Member: BMC Genomics

  • Editorial Board Member: Scientific Reports

  • Editorial Board Member: Frontiers in Genetics

  • Past President of the Canadian Society of Animal Science 

  • Member: Canadian Society of Animal Science 

  • Member: American Dairy Science Association 

  • Member: International Society of Animal Genetics 

  • Member: International Association for Paratuberculosis  

International experience and/or work

Member: Scientific & Industrial Advisory Board of National Steering Committee of National Center for Livestock Breeding, Genetics & Genomics, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

International collaboration projects

-Mammary gland specific transcriptional profiling of Kashmiri cattle and its Jersey cross for milk quality and yield traits (India)

-Role of the microbiota in the pathogenesis of pestes des petits ruminants (Nigeria)

Key publications

For a complete list of publications, please visit: AAFC Online

92. Do D.N., Bissonnette N., Lacasse P., Miglior F., Zhao X. & Ibeagha-Awemu E.M. (2019) A targeted genotyping approach to enhance the identification of variants for lactation persistency in dairy cows. J Anim Sci 97, 4066-75.

91. Do D.N., Dudemaine P.-L., Fomenky B.E. & Ibeagha-Awemu E.M. (2019) Integration of miRNA weighted gene co-expression network and miRNA-mRNA co-expression analyses reveals potential regulatory functions of miRNAs in calf rumen development. Genomics 111, 849-59.

90. Isa, A.M., Bemji, M.N., Wheto, M., Williams, T.J., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2019). Characterization of gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor gene in Sokoto and Kalahari Red goats. Animal Reproduction Science 208, 106109.

 89. Ibeagha-Awemu EM, Peters SO, Bemji MN, Adeleke M, Do DN. 2019. Leveraging available resources and stakeholder involvement for improved productivity of African livestock in the era of genomic breeding. Front. Genet. | doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00357

88. Mcknight, L., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E. (2019). Modeling of livestock systems to enhance efficiency. Animal Frontiers 9, 3-5

87. Bhat, S.A., Ahmad, S.M., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Bhat, B.A., Dar, M.A., Mumtaz, P.T., Shah, R.A., and Ganai, N.A. (2019). Comparative transcriptome analysis of mammary epithelial cells at different stages of lactation reveals wide differences in gene expression and pathways regulating milk synthesis between Jersey and Kashmiri cattle. PLOS ONE 14, e0211773.

86. Wang, M., Ni, W., Zhang, H., Wang, X., Yang, Z., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., and Mao, Y. (2018). Parity-dependent association between IL-12Rβ2 and IL-23R gene polymorphisms and clinical mastitis in Chinese Holstein cows. Indian Journal of Animal Research 52, 1705-1710.

85. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Do, D.N., Dudemaine, P.L., Fomenky, B.E., and Bissonnette, N. (2018). Integration of lncRNA and mRNA Transcriptome Analyses Reveals Genes and Pathways Potentially Involved in Calf Intestinal Growth and Development during the Early Weeks of Life. Genes (Basel) 9, 142.

84. Ibeagha-Awemu, E., Li, R., Dudemaine, P.-L., Do, D., and Bissonnette, N. (2018). Transcriptome Analysis of Long Non-Coding RNA in the Bovine Mammary Gland Following Dietary Supplementation with Linseed Oil and Safflower Oil. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19, 3610.

83. Houaga, I., Muigai, A.W.T., Ng'ang'a, F.M., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Kyallo, M., Youssao, I.a.K., and Stomeo, F. (2018). Milk fatty acid variability and association with polymorphisms in SCD1 and DGAT1 genes in White Fulani and Borgou cattle breeds. Molecular biology reports 45, 1849-1862.

82. Fomenky, B.E., Do, D.N., Talbot, G., Chiquette, J., Bissonnette, N., Chouinard, Y.P., Lessard, M., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2018). Direct-fed microbial supplementation influences the bacteria community composition of the gastrointestinal tract of pre- and post-weaned calves. Sci Rep 8, 14147.

81. Fomenky, B.E., Chiquette, J., Lessard, M., Bissonnette, N., Talbot, G., Chouinard, Y.P., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2018). Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079 and Lactobacillus acidophilus BT1386 influence innate immune response and serum levels of acute-phase proteins during weaning in Holstein calves. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 98, 576-588.

80. Do, D.N., Schenkel, F.S., Miglior, F., Zhao, X., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2018). Genome wide association study identifies novel potential candidate genes for bovine milk cholesterol content. Scientific Reports 8, 13239.

79. Do, D.N., Fomenky, B.E., Dudemaine, P.-L., Bissonnette, N., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2018). "Weighted gene co-expression network analysis reveals gene clusters and pathways related to rumen development in calves", in: Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production.).

78. Do, D.N., Fleming, A., Schenkel, F.S., Miglior, F., Zhao, X., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2018). Genetic parameters of milk cholesterol content in Holstein cattle. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 98, 714-722.

77. Do, D., Dudemaine, P.-L., Fomenky, B., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E. (2018). Integration of miRNA and mRNA Co-Expression Reveals Potential Regulatory Roles of miRNAs in Developmental and Immunological Processes in Calf Ileum during Early Growth. Cells 7, 134.

76. Bissonnette, N., Brouard, J.-S., Ariel, O., Gévry, N., Ibeagha-Awemu, E., and Miglior, F. (2018). "Discovery of expression quantitative trait locus associated with Johne’s disease using both RNA-seq and DNA variants", in: Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production.).

75. Bemji, M.N., Isa, A.M., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., and Wheto, M. (2018). Polymorphisms of caprine GnRHR gene and their association with litter size in West African Dwarf goats. Molecular Biology Reports 45, 63-69.

74. Ammah, A.A., Benchaar, C., Bissonnette, N., Gévry, N., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2018). Treatment and post-treatment effects of dietary supplementation with safflower oil and linseed oil on milk components and blood metabolites of Canadian Holstein cows. Journal of Applied Animal Research 46, 898-906.

73. Ammah, A., Do, D., Bissonnette, N., Gévry, N., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E. (2018). Co-Expression Network Analysis Identifies miRNA–mRNA Networks Potentially Regulating Milk Traits and Blood Metabolites. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19, 2500.

72. Tong C, Chen Q, Zhao L, Ma J, Ibeagha-Awemu EM, Zhao X: Identification and characterization of long intergenic noncoding RNAs in bovine mammary glands. BMC Genomics 2017, 18(1):468.

71. Isa AM, Bemji MN, Wheto M, Williams TJ, Ibeagha-Awemu EM: Mutations in inhibin alpha gene and their association with litter size in Kalahari Red and Nigerian goats. Livest Sci 2017, 203:106-109.

70. Do D, Dudemaine P-L, Li R, Ibeagha-Awemu E: Co-Expression Network and Pathway Analyses Reveal Important Modules of miRNAs Regulating Milk Yield and Component Traits. Int J Mol Sci 2017, 18(7):1560.

69. Li R and Ibeagha-Awemu EM 2017. Altered gene expression of epigenetic modifying enzymes in response to dietary supplementation with linseed oil. Journal of Dairy Research (2017) 84 119–123. doi:10.1017/S002202991700022X

68. Do DN, Li R, Dudemaine P-L & Ibeagha-Awemu EM 2017 MicroRNA roles in signalling during lactation: an insight from differential expression, time course and pathway analyses of deep sequence data. Scientific Reports 7:44605 (DOI: 10.1038/srep44605)

67. Do DN, Bissonnette N, Lacasse P, Miglior F, Sargolzaei M, Zhao X & Ibeagha-Awemu EM 2017 Genome-wide association analysis and pathways enrichment for lactation persistency in Canadian Holstein cattle. J Dairy Sci 100(3) 1955-1970

66. Fock-Chow-Tho D, Topp E, Ibeagha-Awemu EA & Bissonnette N 2017 Comparison of commercial DNA extraction kits and quantitative PCR systems for better sensitivity in detecting the causative agent of paratuberculosis in dairy cow fecal samples. Journal of Dairy Science 100(1) 572-581

65. Lenstra JA, Tigchelaar J, Biebach I, Hallsson JH, Kantanen J, Nielsen VH, Pompanon F, Naderi S, Rezaei HR, Saether N, Ertugrul O, Grossen C, Camenisch G, Vos-Loohuis M, van Straten M, de Poel EA, Windig J, Ibeagha-Awemu EA, Econogene Consortium & Oldenbroek K. 2017. Microsatellite diversity of the Nordic type of goats in relation to breed conservation: how relevant is pure ancestry? J Anim Breed Genet 134(1) 78-84

64. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Peters, S.O., Akwanji, K.A., Imumorin, I.G., and Zhao, X. (2016). "High density genome wide genotyping-by-sequencing and association identifies common and low frequency SNPs, and novel candidate genes influencing cow milk traits.", Scientific Reports, 6(Article number: 31109), pp. 1-18. doi : 10.1038/srep31109

63. Ran Li1, 2, Pier-Luc Dudemaine2, Xin Zhao1, 3, Chuzhao Lei1* and Eveline M. Ibeagha-Awemu (2016) Comparative analysis of the miRNome of bovine milk fat, whey and cells Plos One (in press)

62. Ibeagha-Awemu E.M, Li R, Ammah A.A., Dudemaine P-L, Bissonnette N, Benchaar N, Zhao X (2016). Transcriptome adaptation of the bovine mammary gland to diets rich in unsaturated fatty acids shows greater impact of linseed oil over safflower oil on gene expression and metabolic pathways. BMC Genomics. 2016 Feb 9;17(1):104. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2423-x.

61. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. and Zhao, X. (2015). "Epigenetic marks: regulators of livestock phenotypes and conceivable sources of missing variation in livestock improvement programs.", Frontiers in Genetics, 6(Article 302), pp. 1-17. doi : 10.3389/fgene.2015.00302

60. Li, R., Beaudoin, F., Ammah, A.A., Bissonnette, N., Benchaar, C., Zhao, X., Lei, C., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2015). "Deep sequencing shows microRNA involvement in bovine mammary gland adaptation to diets supplemented with linseed oil or safflower oil.", BMC Genomics, 16(1: Article 884), pp. 1-16. doi : 10.1186/s12864-015-1965-7

59. Colli, L., Joost, S., Negrini, R., Nicoloso, L., Crepaldi, P., Ajmone-Marsan, P., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., and others (2014). "Assessing the spatial dependence of adaptive loci in 43 European and Western Asian goat breeds using AFLP markers.", PLoS ONE, 9(1: Article number e86668). doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0086668

58. Ran Li, Frédéric Beaudoin, Xin Zhao, Chuzhao Lei, Eveline M. Ibeagha-Awemu (2014) MicroRNAs are involved in bovine mammary gland response to dietary supplementation with safflower oil. Proceedings of the 10th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production. Vancouva, BC, Canada, August 17-22, 2014, 3 pages, https://asas.org/docs/default-source/wcgalp-posters/623_paper_9889_manuscript_1104_0.pdf?sfvrsn=2

57. Jin W, Ibeagha-Awemu E, Liang G, Beaudoin F, Zhao X, Guan L: Transcriptome microRNA profiling of bovine mammary epithelial cells challenged with Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria reveals pathogen directed microRNA expression profiles. BMC Genomics 2014, 15(1):181.

56. Ibeagha-Awemu E, Akwanji K, Beaudoin F, Zhao X: Associations between variants of FADS genes and omega-3 and omega-6 milk fatty acids of Canadian Holstein cows. BMC Genetics 2014, 15(1):25.

55. Ibeagha-Awemu, E., A. Ibeagha, X. Zhao. (2012). The influence of different anticoagulants and sample preparation methods on measurement of mCD14 on bovine monocytes and polymorphonuclear neutrophil leukocytes. BMC Research Notes 5(1): 93.

54. Zerabruk M, Li M.-H. Kantanen J, Olsaker I, Ibeagha-Awemu EM, Erhardt G; Vangen O. (2011)

Genetic diversity and admixture of indigenous cattle from North Ethiopia: implications of historical introgressions in the gate way region to Africa. Anim. Genet. 43:257-266.

53. Ibeagha-Awemu, E. M; Ibeagha, A.E.; Messier, S.; Zhao, X. (2010). Proteomics, genomics and pathway analyses of E. coli and S. aureus infected milk whey reveal molecular pathways and networks involved in mastitis. Journal of Proteome Research 9, 4604–4619.