DIMAPUR, March 30 � The world�s first-ever Mithun calf through embryo transfer technology was born at the National Research Centre on Mithun, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Jharnapani in Nagaland on March 27, a Press release said today.
Mithun (Bos frontalis), a rare bovine of South-east Asia is mainly confined in four different States, viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Present free range system of Mithun rearing at its natural forest habitat results in considerable inbreeding and cross-breeding with the local cattle thereby resulting in loss of quality Mithun germplasm.
To address the issues of inbreeding and crossbreeding, the scientists of Animal Physiology section of the institute have successfully applied the Artificial Insemination (AI) technique both at farm and field at Khonoma village of Nagaland and produced AI-borne calves.
Embryo transfer technology (ETT) being one of the best devices for faster multiplication of quality germplasm, the scientists were working to standardise the techniques for Mithun since the last five years. The programme was initiated by Dr Kishore Kumar Baruah, Principal Scientist and Dr Mohan Mondal, Senior Scientist under the leadership of Dr Chandan Rajkhowa, Director of the Institute.
Dr BC Sarmah, Dr BC Deka and Dr DJ Dutta from College of Veterinary Sciences, Assam Agricultural University, Dr P Chakravorty from NRC on Yak and Dr Bhaskar Bora, Research Associate of NRC on Mithun were also the members of the ETT team in this endeavour.
The team is hopeful to get three more ETT calves soon. One of which is through transfer of cryo-preserved Mithun embryo. This programme was a part of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India funded project.