Who are the DBT-NIAB scientists?
DBT-NIAB stands for the “Department of Biotechnology-National Institute of Animal Biotechnology”.
What is the main achievement of DBT-NIAB scientists?
They have successfully decoded the genome of indigenous cows.
Is this the first time a genome has been decoded for cattle?
No. This is the first reference-grade whole genome ‘de novo’ assembly for any indigenous breed of cattle. The genome sequence of western/exotic ‘Brahman’ cattle became available 14 years ago.
Why are indigenous cattle significant?
Indigenous cattle are resilient to diseases, drought, heat, and possess unique traits compared to western/exotic cattle breeds.
How will this achievement help in the future?
The reference genome will help identify genes responsible for the unique characteristics of indigenous cattle. It will aid in developing resilient indigenous cattle and will enhance genetic potential.
Which genomes were assembled by the scientists?
Two genomes: ‘Sahiwal’ and ‘Tharparkar’.
What makes these genome assemblies unique?
These assemblies are the best available for cattle species and will serve as reference genomes for future indigenous cattle research.
How will this breakthrough help other Indian researchers?
Indian researchers won’t have to rely on reference genomes developed for exotic/foreign cattle. This will enhance cattle research in breeding, disease resistance, and nutrition.
Are there any tools or techniques produced from this research?
Yes, as part of ongoing research to improve and conserve indigenous cattle, the ‘livestock genomics’ project produced the ‘IndiGau SNP’ chip in 2021.
Who will benefit from the availability of this genome?
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) will benefit, leading to further advancements in cattle research.
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