Hisar: A cloned Assamese buffalo male calf was born for the first time, the Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes claimed.
"We used unique methods and produced this clone calf, Sach-Gaurav, on December 22, 2017 through a normal delivery," CIRB cloning team head PS Yadav said today.
The calf was born to a Murrah buffalo. It was also the first to be born in the field, 100 kms from the cloning laboratory at Hi Tech Sach Dairy Farm in Hisar, he said.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research-CIRB is a central institute and it has a mandate to conserve superior animals of all buffalo breeds.
ICAR-CIRB Director Inderjeet Singh said the Assamese buffaloes were found only in the north-eastern part of the country and they were used mainly for agricultural work.
He said this was the second cloned male produced by ICAR-CIRB after Hisar-Gaurav, born December 11, 2015. Hisar-Gaurav was producing quality semen from the age of 22 months and ten females of the institute's herd were pregnant with its frozen semen.
Mr Yadav said the birth weight of the calf was 54.2 kgs and it was healthy. It had normal physiological parameters and blood profile, he said.
The genotype of the calf was confirmed by microsatellite analysis (parentage verification) and chromosome analysis, he said.
Animal cloning can be an excellent reproductive tool for conservation and multiplication of selected superior animals of buffalo breeds, he said.
He said it was India's first cloned Assamese buffalo calf and the embryos were transported for about two hours before being transferred into the recipient mothers.
"The ovaries of Murrah buffaloes were used as a source of recipient oocytes...Small tissue of Assamese buffalo was airlifted from Veterinary College, Khannapara, Guwhati, 2000 km away from our cloning laboratory, to culture establish the donor cells," he said.