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Animal Biotechnology Section

Animal Biotechnology Section was established in the Institute on May 22, 2002 with the aim to initiate and conduct the cutting edge research in the field of sheep genomics, reproductive biotechnology, disease resistance and molecular parasitology. The objectives of biotechnological research in the Institute are to characterize the native sheep breeds at molecular level with respect to the prolificacy and other reproduction traits and to identify the genes/markers linked to the economically important traits like parasitic resistance, meat production and meat quality, wool and milk production and molecular diagnosis of the sheep diseases.

Major Achievements:

  1. The Booroola fecundity (FecB) gene has been identified in the Kendrapada sheep of Orissa, which is the second prolific sheep of India after Garole.
  2. DNA test for FecB gene has been utilized as Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) in prolific sheep project.
  3. The DNA repository bank has been created for Ganjam, Kendrapara, Deccani, Nellore, Nali, Magra, Chokla, Garole, Patanwadi, Marwari, Madgyal, Kheri, Malpura, Muzaffarnagri, Jaisalmeri, Sonadi, Garole x Malpura, GMM, MGM, GMM x Patanwadi, Patanwadi x GMM, Bharat Merino, Avikalin and Mandya breeds/strains. A total of 2789 DNA samples were deposited in repository banks.
  4. PCR-based DNA test for identification of Pashmina fibers in textile blends has been developed.
  5. Molecular studies have been initiated for identification of molecular markers for selection of mutton and wool type sheep to be used for future breeding programme.
  6. Susceptible and resistant lines of Malpura and Avikalin sheep against Haemonchus contortus have been developed. Molecular analysis has been initiated to identify putative genes responsible for disease resistance in sheep.

Future Research Priorities:

  1. Molecular characterization of the genes/markers associated with economically important traits in Indian sheep breeds (prolificacy, parasitic resistance, mutton and wool production, stress) through high throughput technology.
  2. Production of superior germplasm for enhancing prolificacy, meat and disease resistance by cloning (SCNT), stem cell and transgenic technologies.
  3. Molecular diagnostics of major pathogens causing diseases in Indian sheep breeds by PCR/real time PCR and micro-array techniques