Dr. Ky Pohler photo 



Dr. Ky G. Pohler

Assistant Professor





ANSC 481 - Beef Management 

ANSC 515 - Special Topics

ANSC 523 - Advanced Mammalian Reproduction


A112 Johnson Animal Research and Teaching Unit
1705 Alcoa Highway
Knoxville, Tennessee 37920
Phone:(865) 974-3182
Fax: (865) 946-1010
email: kpohler@utk.edu







Ph.D. (Animal Science) - University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2015

Ph.D. Minor (College Teaching) - University of Missouri, Columbia, MO,2015

M.S. (Animal Science) - University of Missouri, Columbia, MO,2011

B.S. (Animal Science) - Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2009

Appointment:Research 80% | Teaching 20%

Professional Interest: Mechanisms associated with fertility and reproductive efficiency in cattle.

My research interest are focused around understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms that control reproductive efficiency in cattle. More specifically my lab is interested in the mechanisms that lead to embryonic and fetal mortality in cattle and development of management strategies to overcome these losses. Increasing profitability of a beef or dairy herd is dependent upon increasing reproductive efficiency. In the U.S., the annual cost of reproductive failure to the beef and dairy industries is estimated to be $600 million and 1.4 billion, respectively. The exact causes of the preceding reproductive failure include management issues, cow infertility, bull infertility, heat stress, and embryonic mortality. Embryonic mortality can be classified into early (< d 28 of gestation) or late (> d 28 of gestation) depending on the exact timing at which it occurs during gestation.

Reports of high fertilization rates after a single insemination (~90%), followed by pregnancy rates of 60 to 70% on d 28 in cows indicate that early embryonic mortality may be 20 to 30% in beef cows. Documented causes of early embryonic mortality range from genetic abnormalities to uterine-embryo asynchrony to failure of maternal recognition of pregnancy and this has been an area of intense investigation.  Late embryonic mortality (> d 28 of gestation) has been reported in both beef/dairy cattle and may vary from 3.2 to 42.7%.  Currently, there is very little known about the causes of late embryonic mortality. However, Silke et al. (2002) suggested that the economic consequences of each unit of late embryonic mortality are greater than that of early mortality. Along with the increased economic consequences, late embryonic mortality is becoming more evident in both the beef and dairy industries based on the shift to early pregnancy diagnosis (~d28-35 of gestation). 

Photo of research chart 

In an effort to understand reproductive efficiency in cattle my lab's primary research focus is:

  1. Elucidate the physiological and molecular mechanisms associated with fertility in cattle, primarily late embryonic mortality using in vivo prediction models which are based on pregnancy associated glycoproteins or PAGs.    
  2. Develop in vivo models to predict and study early embryonic mortality using exosomal-derived microRNAs
  3. Develop management strategies that can increase reproductive efficiency in cattle


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