INDIA – A Murrah buffalo heifer calf has been created by isolating somatic cells from the urine of an elite, high yielding female dairy heifer.
The National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) announced that Apurva the calf was born healthy at a weight of 37 kilos earlier this spring.
Apurva joins Lalima, also produced from the same buffalo, said Dr A K Srivastava, director of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Dr Srivastava said the calf was born by normal parturition.
Apurva’s dam produced 2713 kg milk in standard lactation period of 305 days and 3494 kg in total lactation period of 471 days, during her 3 third lactation.
Dr Srivastava also said that this is the first report in the world across the species in which somatic cells have been isolated from urine, resulting in a cloned calf.
This new achievement of producing cloned calf from adult lactating animals by hand-guided cloning technique will facilitate faster multiplication of elite germplasm and help us to face the challenges of increasing demands of milk due to growing human population, Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary DARE and Director General, ICAR said while congratulating the team on this development.
Dr Srivastava further emphasized that this technology could go a long way in multiplying the number of best milk buffaloes in India.
He called for an “urgent need” to bolster buffalo genetics, which despite providing 55 per cent of the country’s milk, are behind targets.
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