Research Achievements

Technologies / Methodologies Developed

  • Survey methodology for AnGR characterization- Widely used for breed Documentation
  • In-situ conservation model-Used by SAUs, SAH departments and development agecies
  • Digitized database on AnGR-Widely used in decision support
  • Test for fecundity gene in sheep used for identification of prolific animals
  • Standard karyotypes of livestock species- Used widely to screen chromosomal abnormalities as diagnostic tools for detecting genetic disorders in breeding bulls
  • Molecular diversity analysis-Standardized protocol for establishment of genetic relationship among different breeds of a species has been developed
  • Breed assignment based on microsatellite genotyping-Assignment of individuals to breeds/populations
  • New single universal sex determination methodology in 6 bovid species by single universal duplex PCR
  • Parentage verification kits: Developed for cattle, buffalo, goat and camel while one kit can resolve parentage and related issues in all ruminant livestock species-cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep yak and mithun
  • Non-invasive tool to study molecular aspects of lactation biology in buffalo and native cattle
  • Isolation of mammary epithelial cells (MECs) from milk of cattle and buffalo
  • PCR based differentiation of cattle and buffalo meat and milk
  • PCR-RFLP and tetra-ARMS PCR based genotyping of novel SNPs identified in TLRs and other functional genes for association studies in buffalo and goats

Characterization of AnGR

The majority of the indigenous breeds of various species have been characterized phenotypically as well as genetically. The current status of breeds characterized and documented is given below:

Species Defined Breeds Characterization Documentation
Phenotypic Genetic
Cattle 43 37 35 26
Buffalo 15 12 12 13
Goat 34 23 23 23
Sheep 43 35 37 25
Camel 09 04 04 01
Horse 07 06 06 03
Chicken 19 14 15 13
Yak 01
Pig 08 02 02 01
Donkey 02 01 01 01
Duck 01 01 01 01
Geese 01 01 01 01

Characterization Major Genes

Candidate gene characterization for growth, production, immune response, and heat regulation revealed polymorphisms at the nucleotide level. A number of SNPs have been identified at different gene loci in different farm species.

Cattle: Myostatin, osteopontin, growth hormone receptor, growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor, interleukins, insulin-like growth factors, butyrophilin1, 3, beta-lactoglobulin, prolactin, pituitary-specific transcription factor 1, kappa-casein, beta-casein, alpha S1 casein, alpha S2 casein, bovine growth hormone, alpha-lactalbumin, monocyte chemotactic protein, inducible nitric oxide synthase gene, heat shock protein 70, pituitary transcription factor 1, diacylglycerol acetyltransferase, toll-like receptors (1-10), heat shock protein gene 70.2, glucose transporter genes, etc.

Buffalo: Myostatin, osteopontin, growth hormone receptor, growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor, leptin, ABCG2, milk caseins, lactoglobulins, interleukins, mammary-derived growth inhibitor, beta-lactoglobulin, heat shock protein 70, thyroglobulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, calpastatin, heat shock protein 70, peptidoglycan recognition protein, haptoglobin, fatty acid synthase, calpain, calpastatin, lactoferrin,toll-like receptors 1-10 genes, leptin, stanniocalcin, nod-like receptors 1 & 2, ATP-binding cassette subfamily G member 2, CXC motif receptor 2, major histocompatibility complex DQ& DR, suppressor of tumorigenicity protein 7, pentraxin 3, serum amyloid A1, S100 calcium-binding protein A8, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, diacylglycerol acetyl transferase, etc.

Sheep: Boroola, growth hormone, type I intermediate filament wool keratin, B2C high wool sulphur protein, ovine cysteine and histidine-rich protein, bone morphogenetic protein 15 beta-lactoglobulin, growth differentiation factor 8, calpain, β3 adrenergic receptor, growth hormone receptor, titin, calpastatin, fatty acid-binding protein 3, prolactin receptor, diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1, etc.

Goat: Leptin, kappa-casein, beta-lactoglobulin, calpastatin, bone morphogenetic protein receptor IB, bone morphogenetic protein 4, growth differentiation factor 9, inhibin βB gene, G protein-coupled receptor, kisspeptin, toll-like receptors- TLR2, TLR4, TLR5, TLR7 & TLR8, nod-like receptor, calpain 1, alkylamine N-acetyltransferase, peptidoglycan recognition protein 1, fatty acid synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase alpha, SREBP cleavage-activating protein, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, oxidized LDL receptor, prolactin, signal transducers and activators of transcription, diacylglycerol acetyl transferase etc.

Yak and Mithun: Alpha casein, acytl co-A and lipoprotein lipase, thyroglobulin, MHC class II DQ and DR genes, TNF-alpha, haptoglobin, etc.

Functional Genomics

  • Buffalo draft genome assembly constructed using the cattle genome (Btau 4.0 assembly) as a reference.The assembly has read depth of 17-19X. The buffalo assembly represents ~ 91%-95% coverage in comparison to the cattle assembly Btau 4.0.
  • Establishment of transcriptome signature of buffalo mammary gland during lactation, involution and heifer physiological stages and identification of stage specific genes and pathways.
  • Milk transcriptome profile of Sahiwal cows.
  • Transcriptional profiling of fecundity related genes and folliculogenesis in FecB carrier and non-carrier ewes as well as FecB carrier sheep under high and low nutritional regimes.
  • Tissue distribution profiling of selected genes in buffalo and goat.
  • EST libraries from buffalo mammary gland- More than 1200 sequences generated
  • RNASeq based sequences from different tissues- (More than 20 lakhs); Dromedarian camel- 5.8 lakhs, Bactrian camel- 3.6 lakhs; Buffalo- 6.0 lakhs; Goat- 4.6 lakhs
  • QTLs- Buffalo growth related, milk composition and milk yield QTLs identified on eight different chromosomes.
  • Around 8.5 lakh SNPs generated from 12 breeds of buffalo.

Conservation of AnGR

Ex-situ Conservation

  • A total of about 1,28,074 cryo-preserved semen doses representing important and endangered breeds of seven species (Cattle, Buffalo, Goat, Sheep, Camel, Equine and Yak) are being maintained in the National Gene Bank.
  • Animal Genomic Resource Bank is established which has a collection of DNA samples of almost 80% of the Indian breeds of various livestock species.

In-situ Conservation

  • In-situ model of conservation has been developed by providing technical inputs and incentives to the farmers/breeders in the breeding tract of respective breeds and has been adopted under Network Project through the State Agricultural and Veterinary universities/ State Animal Husbandry Departments/ ICAR Institutes and NGOs.
  • Under in situ conservation project, Gaushalas located in Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have been examined to advocate a proper prototype for recording, maintaining, enhancing and conservation of indigenous cattle breeds. A new model 10P was developed to produce young bulls from purebred cows in an open nucleus manner within the Gaushalas.