Werner G. Bergen, Professor

Department of Animal Sciences
Program in Cell & Molecular Biosciences
216 Upchurch Hall
College of Agriculture
Auburn University, AL 36849-5415


Phone / voicemail: 334-844-1504  Fax:  334-844-1519

BS    The Ohio State University, Dairy Science [with distinction], 1964
MS   The Ohio State University, Animal Science, 1966
PhD  The Ohio State University, Nutritional Biochemistry, 1967

Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, 1967 to 1995; Professor Emeritus, Mich State University

Professor and Head, Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Auburn University, AL 1995 to 1998. Since 1999 Professor of Biochemistry

Honors and Awards
Fellow, American Society of Animal Sciences, 2007.
Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University, 1998.
Animal Growth and Development Award, American  Society of Animal Science, 1991.
Morman Travel Award, Morman Feeds and American Society of Animal Science, 1984.
Wellcome Burroughs Visiting Professorship-Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1984.
Sigma Xi, Michigan State University, Research Award, 1982.
American Feed Manufacturers Nutrition Award, American Society of Animal Science, 1979.
Young Scientist Research Award, Midwestern Section, American Society of Animal Science, 1976.
Borden Award, The Ohio State University, 1963. 

Teaching  Responsibilities
Auburn University Biochemistry Curriculum
BCHE 3200 Principles of Biochemistry
BCHE 3201 Principles of Biochemistry Laboratory
BCHE 7250 Biochemistry of Lipids
BCHE 7270  Biochemical Research Techniques
Animal Science Department courses
ANSC 3610 Growth and Development
ANSC 7950 Graduate Seminar

Research Interests
Current research interests are:
Genomic regulation of lipogenesis in porcine adipose tissue.
Regulation of lipid and protein metabolism in beef cattle and pigs.
Development of omic strategies to assess production efficiency of farm animals.
Comparative/ differential expression of lipogenic and oxidative genes in pigs and cattle of divergent genetic backgrounds.
Nutrient-gene interactions: Effects of specific nutrients on expression of target genes.

The Bergen Laboratory

The primary focus of our laboratory is to explore the complexities of regulation of lipid and protein metabolism in agriculturally important animal species at the genomic and proteomic level. A vast amount of information on these topics is available from rodent and tissue culture work. We are aiming to utilize this knowledge base to conduct research that will increase the understanding of regulation of protein and fat deposition in cattle and pigs to enable us to further enhance efficiency of production, improve product eating quality and insure product wholesomeness. We are also studying the relationship between expression of various gene families (lipogenesis, fatty acid oxidation, proteasomal system, uncoupling proteins and mitochondrial function) in muscle and adipose tissues of cattle with residual feed efficiency. Such data may result in assessment strategies to evaluate the potential production capacity of beef cattle in real-time. Finally we are using bioinformatics to elucidate sequence, transcription factor response elements and functionality of promoters of key genes associated with protein and fat deposition in animals. This work could lead to specific exogenous agents that could turn important genes on and off to produce the most desirable muscle foods at the highest possible efficiency.


Selected Research Publications
Bergen, WG. 2008. Measuring in vivo intracellular protein degradation rates in animal systems. J. Anim. Sci. 2008. 86(E. Suppl.):E3E12

Reiter, SS, CHC Halsey, BM Stronach, JL Bartosh, WF Owsley and WG Bergen. 2007. Lipid metabolism related gene-expression profiling in liver, skeletal muscle a adipose tissue in crossbred Duroc and Pietrain pigs. Comp. Biochem. Physiol, Part D, 2: 200-2007.

Bergen, WG, and HJ Mersmann. 2005. Comparative Aspect of Lipid Metabolism: Impact on Contemporary Research and use of Animal Models, J Nutrition 135: 2499-2502.

Bergen, W.G. 2001.  The role of cylic AMP elevating agents and somatotropin in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of lipogenesis and lipolysis in bos taurus and sus scrofa. Recent Research Developments in Lipids 4: 47-59.

Bergen, W.G.  1998.  Anti-sense nucleic acids:  potential impact in food producing animals.  in:  Blum, J.W., Elasasser T., Guilloteau, P. eds. Proc. Symp. on Growth in Ruminants.  Bern, Switzerland.  ISBN #3- 9521067-0-9, pp. 118-126.

Mater, M.K., D. Pan, W.G. Bergen and D.B. Jump.  1998.  Arachidonic acid inhibits lipogenic gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes through a prostanoid pathway.  J. of Lipid Research 39:1327-1334.

Bergen, W.G. and S.G. Velleman.  1995.  Application of satellite cell research: models for post-differentiation regulation and development of applied molecular approaches to enhance muscle growth of meat animals.  Basic and Applied Myology 5:81-85.

Dickerson Weber, P.S., R.A. Merkel and W.G. Bergen.  1992.  Adipogenic cell line TA1:  A suitable model to study the effect of  beta-adrenergic agonists on lipid metabolism.  Proc. Soc. Expt. Biol. Med. 201:47-53.

Bergen, W.G. and R.A. Merkel.  1991.  Body composition in animals treated with partitioning agents:  Implications for human health.  FASEB J. 5:2951.

Grant, A.L., W.G. Helferich, S.A. Kramer, R.A. Merkel and W.G. Bergen. 1991.  Administration of growth hormone to pigs alters the relative abundance of IGF-1 mRNA in liver and skeletal muscle.  J. Endocrinology 130:331.

Anderson, P.T., W.G. Helferich, L.C. Parkhill, R.A. Merkel and W.G. Bergen. 1990.  Ractopamine increases total and myofibrillar protein synthesis in cultured myotubes.  J. Nutr. 120:1677.

Bergen, W.G. and D.B. Bates.  1984.  Ionophores:  Their effect on production efficiency and mode of action.  J. Anim. Sci. 58:1465.  (Over 130 citations)

Bergen, W.G.  1979.  Free amino acids in the blood of ruminants-Physiological and nutritional regulation.  J. Anim. Sci. 49:1577.

Bergen, W.G.  1978.  Postruminal digestion and absorption of nitrogenous components.  Federation Proc. 37:1223.  (Now FASEB J).