Dr Ian Dunn

The Roslin Institute

Research Interests

Our Group's interests lie in avian biology, in particular avian reproduction and growth and its consequences.

This included a long term interest in how food, light and behaviour control reproduction and how the oviduct contributes to the formation of eggs. It has developed to include the relationship between long periods of reproductive activity and osteoporosis and the use of egg peptides as antimicrobials as well as aspects of satiety.

Our work takes advantage of advances in genetics and genomics along with physiology to understand avian reproduction and growth. The understanding of the genetics and physiology of avian reproduction and growth allows us to develop strategies utilising traditional or marker assisted selection to tackle problems as diverse as osteoporosis in laying hens, polyfollicular ovaries in broiler breeders and antimicrobial activity of egg white and shell quality in laying hens. We are also increasing our understanding the control of food intake in birds. These traits all have socio-economic importance to the poultry industry.

To do this we interact closely with many companies and groups in the institute and across Europe.

Selected Publications

  • Barbara-Anne Robertson, Lucy Rathbone, Giselda Cirillo, Rick D'Eath, Melissa Bateson, Timothy Boswell, Peter Wilson, Ian Dunn, Tom V. Smulders. 2017. Food restriction reduces neurogenesis in the avian hippocampal formation. PLoS One Vol: 12. More»
  • I C Dunn, Pete Wilson, Y Shi, D W Burt, A S I Loudon, P.J. Sharp. 2017. Diurnal and photoperiodic changes in Thyrotrophin stimulating hormone β (TSHβ) expression, and associated regulation of deiodinase enzymes (DIO2, DIO3) in the female juvenile chicken hypothalamus. Journal of Neuroendocrinology Vol: 29. More»
  • A. B. Rodriguez-Navarro, Heather McCormack, Robert Fleming, P. Alvarez-Lloret, J. Romero-Pastor, N. Dominguez-Gasca, Tanya Prozorov, Ian Dunn. 2018. Influence of physical activity on tibial bone material properties in laying hens. Journal of Structural Biology Vol: 201 Pages: 36-45. More»
  • Angus Reid, Ian C Dunn. 2018. Gastrointestinal distribution of chicken gastrin-cholecystokinin family transcript expression and response to short-term nutritive state. General And Comparative Endocrinology Vol: 255 Pages: 64-70. More»
  • Angus Reid, Peter W Wilson, Sarah D Caughey, Laura M Dixon, Rick B D'Eath, Victoria Sandilands, Timothy Boswell, Ian C Dunn. 2017. 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. General And Comparative Endocrinology Vol: 252 Pages: 226-235. More»
  • Peter W Wilson, Ceara S. Suther, Maureen M. Bain, Wiebke Icken, Anita Jones, Fiona. Quinlan-pluck, Victor Olori, Joël Gautron, Ian C. Dunn. 2017. Understanding avian egg cuticle formation in the oviduct; a study of its origin and deposition. Biology of Reproduction Vol: 97 Pages: 39-49. More»
  • Timothy Boswell, Ian Dunn. 2017. Regulation of Agouti-Related Protein and Pro-Opiomelanocortin Gene Expression in the Avian Arcuate Nucleus. Frontiers in Endocrinology Vol: 8. More»
  • M M Bain, Y Nys, I C Dunn. 2016. Increasing persistency in lay and stabilising egg quality in longer laying cycles. What are the challenges?. British Poultry Science Vol: 57 Pages: 330-338. More»
  • Atia Basheer, Chris S Haley, Andy Law, Dawn Windsor, David Morrice, Richard Talbot, Peter W Wilson, Peter J Sharp, Ian C Dunn. 2015. Genetic loci inherited from hens lacking maternal behaviour both inhibit and paradoxically promote this behaviour. Genetics Selection Evolution Vol: 47 Pages: 100. More»
  • I. C. Dunn, P. W. Wilson, R. B. D'Eath, T. Boswell. 2015. Hypothalamic AGRP mRNA is elevated during natural and stress-induced anorexia. Journal of Neuroendocrinology Vol: 27 Pages: 681–691. More»
  • Natasha Whenham, Tian Chee Lu, Maisarah B M Maidin, Peter W Wilson, Maureen M Bain, M Lynn Stevenson, Mark P Stevens, Michael R Bedford, Ian C Dunn. 2015. Ovodefensins, an Oviduct Specific Antimicrobial Gene Family Have Evolved in Birds and Reptiles to Protect the Egg by Both Sequence and Intra Six Cysteine Sequence Motif Spacing. Biology of Reproduction Vol: 92. More»
  • I. C. Dunn, P. W. Wilson, T. V. Smulders, V. Sandilands, R. B. D'Eath, T. Boswell. 2013. Hypothalamic Agouti-Related Protein Expression Is Affected by Both Acute and Chronic Experience of Food Restriction and Re-Feeding in Chickens. Journal of Neuroendocrinology Vol: 25 Pages: 920-928. More»
  • M. M. Bain, K. Mcdade, R. Burchmore, A. Law, P. W. Wilson, M. Schmutz, R. Preisinger, I. C. Dunn. 2013. Enhancing the egg's natural defence against bacterial penetration by increasing cuticle deposition. Animal Genetics Vol: 44 Pages: 661-668. More»
  • Ian C Dunn, Simone Meddle, Peter Wilson, Chloe A Wardle, Andy Law, Valerie Bishop, Camilla Hindar, Graeme W Robertson, Dave W Burt, Stephanie Jl Ellison, David M Morrice, Paul M Hocking. 2013. 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 Vol: 304 Pages: E909-E921. More»
  • I C Dunn, R H Fleming, H A McCormack, D Morrice, D W Burt, R Preisinger, C C Whitehead. 2007. A QTL for osteoporosis detected in an F2 population derived from White Leghorn chicken lines divergently selected for bone index. Animal Genetics Vol: 38 Pages: 45-9. More»
  • I. C. Dunn, A. B. Rodriguez-Navarro, K. McDade, M. Schmutz, R. Preisinger, D. Waddington, P. W. Wilson, M. M. Bain. 2012. Genetic variation in eggshell crystal size and orientation is large and these traits are correlated with shell thickness and are associated with eggshell matrix protein markers. Animal Genetics Vol: 43 Pages: 410-418. More»
  • Daoqing Gong, Peter W. Wilson, Maureen M. Bain, Karina McDade, Jiri Kalina, Virginie Herve-Grepinet, Yves Nys, Ian C. Dunn. 2010. Gallin; an antimicrobial peptide member of a new avian defensin family, the ovodefensins, has been subject to recent gene duplication. BMC Immunology Vol: 11 Pages: -. More»
  • I. C. Dunn, N. A. Ciccone, N. T. Joseph. 2009. Endocrinology and genetics of the hypothlamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. More»
  • I. C. Dunn, N. T. Joseph, M. Bain, A. Edmond, P. W. Wilson, P. Milona, Y. Nys, J. Gautron, M. Schmutz, R. Preisinger, D. Waddington. 2009. Polymorphisms in eggshell organic matrix genes are associated with eggshell quality measurements in pedigree Rhode Island Red hens. Animal Genetics Vol: 40 Pages: 110-114. More»