World's First Cloned Buffalo Calf Born

Karnal Scientists Clone Buffalo at NDRI

February 12, 2009 New Delhi

Scientists of Animal Biotechnology Centre, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal have developed the landmark technique i.e. “Handguided Cloning Technique” and produced the world's first cloned buffalo calf. This technique is simpler and is an advanced modification of the “Conventional Cloning Technique” which was used for the production of the cloned sheep “Dolly”. The conventional technique required sophisticated and expensive equipments like micromanipulators etc.

This new technique is less demanding in terms of equipment, time and skill. In this technique the oocytes isolated from abattoir ovaries were matured in vitro, denuded, treated with an enzyme to digest the zona and then enucleated with the help of handheld fine blade. Then somatic cell from ear of a donor buffalo was propagated to be used as donor-nuclei. Then the enucleated oocytes and donor-nuclei were electro fused, cultured, grown in the laboratory and the resultant embryos were transferred to recipient buffaloes for the production of the calf of desired gender. One of the biggest advantages of this technique is that the calf of desired sex can be obtained.

The world's first buffalo calf through the “Handguided Cloning Technique” was born on February, 6, 2009 at NDRI, Karnal. The team members viz: Dr. S. K. Singla, Dr. R. S. Manik, Dr. M. S. Chauhan, Dr. P. Palta, Dr. R. A. Shah and A. George, were jubilant at their success and are hopeful that this technique will lead to an new era in animal science for faster multiplication of superior germ plasm.

Dr. Mangala Rai, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi , congratulated the team and said that new technology of “Handguided Cloning” will go a long way to face the challenge of increasing demand of milk in view of growing human population in the country. Dr. K. M. Bujarbaruah, Deputy Director General (Animal Science), ICAR also congratulated the team and emphasized that there is an acute shortage of outstanding bulls and the technology of hand guided cloning can decrease this gap and supply the elite bulls in the shortest possible time.

Dr. A. K. Srivastava, Director, NDRI, said that in India , we have the largest population of the best buffaloes in the world. However, the percentage of elite animals is very low and there is an urgent need to enhance the population of these elite buffaloes and the technology developed at our Institute has the potential to do so. Dr. S. L. Goswami, Joint Director (Research) also highlighted that new technology is the need of the hour.

(PR UNIT/FEB/2009)