ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB), Hisar has produced a cloned calf ‘Hisar Gourav’ in December, with birth weight 40.4 kg, born from natural delivery. This was informed by the director of the institute Dr Inderjeet Singh in Hisar today. With this achievement CIRB becomes world’s third and India’s second institute to produce cloned buffalo.
This cloned buffalo calf is different from the earlier clones produced in India by ICAR- National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) as this is produced from cells of ventral side of tail of superior buffalo bull, this part is least exposed to sunlight and may have less mutation rate, and can be good choice for isolation of donor cells to produce healthy clones.
The newborn cloned calf is maintaining good health and showing normal activities. Dr Singh emphasised that the use of adult somatic cells of proven males or quality females for cloning can bring revolution by multiplying the superior buffalo germplasm in country.
This achievement has been made under the project entitled, Cloning for conservation and multiplication of superior buffalo germplasm. The team of scientists lead by Dr Prem Singh Yadav includes Dr. NL Selokar, Dr. RK Sharma, Dr. Dharmendra Kumar and Dr. Sudhir Khanna. The cloned calf is the clone of the Superior Murrah bull (Mu-4354), which is currently used for semen production at CIRB. The semen from this bull is in great demand and its AI conception rate is about 53 percent. Acknowledging the progress at CIRB, Science and Engineering Research Board under ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India have last month granted of Rs 25 lakh to simplify this technique for improving its efficiency under the Young Scientist Scheme.
Cloning of superior animals could go a long way to multiply best breeding buffalo bulls in India. At present limited amount of semen is available from progeny tested bulls for future use in artificial insemination programmes, which is grossly insufficient to meet the demands of the nation. In addition, approximately 2500 young bulls are required every year to cover the 60 million breedable buffalo population. Animal cloning can be one of the suitable option for multiplication of such bulls in shortest possible time.
Dr. S Ayyappan, Secretary, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Dr H Rahman, Deputy Director General (Animal Sciences), ICAR; Dr AK Srivastava, Director-cum-Vice Chancellor, NDRI, Karnal; and Dr. BS Prakash, Assistant Director General (Animal Nutrition & Physiology), ICAR congratulated the Director and scientists for advancement in the buffalo cloning technology at CIRB.