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    Since the establishment of the Division of Animal Genetics and Breeding, it has travelled a long journey in search of excellence and innovation. The division has glorious past and has developed two crossbred cattle strains having high milk production ability namely – Karan Fries and Karan Swiss. The division had nurtured many stalwarts, who later reached the top research management positions in the Council.

    The division has been mandated to conduct research, teaching and extension in the area of animal genetics and breeding. The main thrust areas in research include genetic improvement of indigenous and crossbred cattle, and Murrah buffaloes through selection and progeny testing for faster multiplication of superior germplasm for the performance improvement of animals, development of animal genetics and breeding methodologies for selection of elite animals, developing genomic based selection and breeding strategies and genetic polymorphism studies for early selection of elite dairy animals. Development of newer technologies for selecting superior dairy animals, primarily dairy bulls, remains a dynamic challenge for the division, especially for selecting animals at early age. The changing climatic conditions added more responsibility for the breeders to explore the genetics of indigenous cattle and buffaloes.

    The division has Centre for Advanced Faculty Training, imparting national training programmes. The scientist of the division, regularly involved in providing consultancy to the farmers and stakeholders of dairying.

    The human resource development in the subject is also a priority area for the division. During last five year (2015-20), 47 masters’ and 44 doctoral students have completed their degree programmes. It is also heartening to mention higher placement rate of the students of this division after they passed out: 101 students (2012-20) have been selected in ARS, assistant professors in SAU/ VU and officers in State Animal Husbandry Departments.

    Dr. S.M. Deb, HOD

    Welcome to the Division of Animal Genetics and Breeding!

    Since the establishment of the National Dairy Research Institute, the scientists, academics and the whole team of AGB over 6 decades in this department have been committed to high-quality education and training of post-graduate and Ph.D. students, animal scientists as well as performing relevant research to serve the livestock, especially related to the dairy industry. The agricultural sector in general and animal science, in particular, is a dynamic industry facing constant challenges for the production of more quantity of food and at the same time safe and high-quality food in a sustainable manner. The Division of Animal Genetics and Breeding at NDRI strives to remain up-to-date with the most recent technologies and research to answer the needs of a fast-growing Indian population.

    Animal Genetics and Breeding is the field of study that includes all the aspects of livestock genomics and breeding for better production of farm animals as well as the products from these animals (milk and milk products, meat, fiber, and eggs). The master and doctoral programme offered from the division is acknowledged for producing professionals in the area of animal genetics and breeding which serve across the nation. The Masters programme of the division is focused to cover all the aspects related to the science of Animal Breeding and Genetics with high-impact research under the personal supervision of a faculty. Division also imparts the Ph.D. program in Animal Genetics and Breeding, with specialization either in quantitative genetics or genomics and molecular genetics. The Ph.D. program focuses on quality research on the burning issues in the area of animal science. Division also takes pride in imparting the training to the teaching and research faculties across the country as the division is recognized as Centre for Advanced Faculty Training (CAFT) in India. The CAFT training programme focuses on advancing the skills of the researchers and updating them with new advances in the research field.

    The work challenges for an Animal Scientist at AGB are finding solutions to key issues in the implementation of breeding programs, genomics of important traits, methodologies for a better selection of livestock which connect the researcher, from across the primary livestock farming to the different livestock industries, laboratories, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence.

    The Division of Animal Genetics and Breeding is proud of its rich heritage of education and research since decades. We will continue to provide relevant education to our post-graduate and Ph.D. students to answer to the challenges of the next century.

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    Research

    • Genetic analysis using pedigree based, and genomic approaches for Growth, Production, Reproduction, and type traits in dairy animals.
    • Development of prediction models and algorithms applied in genetic and genomic evaluations in the area of animal genetics and breeding.
    • Development of Genomic markers for performance traits in dairy animals.
    • Genetic characterisation and improvement strategies of cattle and buffalo breeds using phenotypic and genomic markers
    • Superior germplasm production and dissemination for faster genetic improvement.
    • Estimation of inbreeding / fitness and genetic trends in a dairy herd.

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    Faculty

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    Current Research Project

    IN-HOUSE RESEARCH PROJECTS

      Project Duration Project Leader Project Associates Objectives
    1 Assessment of Genetic Diversity and Trends for Performance Traits in Karan Fries Cattle 2019-2021 S. M. Deb Anupama Mukherjee, Vikas Vohra and Pawan Singh To estimate the annual genetic and phenotypic trends in performance traits of Karan Fries cattle.To study the genetic structure and influence of inbreeding on performance traits in Karan Fries cattle.  
    2 Genome-wide Association Studies to Identify SNPs for Lactation Persistency in Murrah buffalo using ddRAD approach 2019 to 2022 Vikas Vohra I. D. Gupta, A. Mukherjee, A. Verma and S.M. Deb   To identify SNPs associated with higher persistency of milk in Murrah buffaloes.To identify SNPs associated with production traits in Murrah buffaloes.  
    3 Assessing Genetic Relationship among Production, Functional and Linear Type Traits for Selection of Elite Sires in Indigenous and Crossbred Dairy Cattle 2020-23 Sabyasachi Mukherjee S. K. Rathee Gopal Ramdasji Gowane S. S. Lathwal  M. L. Kamboj Ravinder Malhotra To estimate genetic parameters for yield, linear type, and functional traits in Indigenous and crossbred dairy cattle populations using animal modelTo estimate breeding values (BV) of dairy sires based on these genetic parameters for yield, linear type traits, and functional traits To find out the genetic relationships (correlations) of various production traits with linear type, and functional traits of dairy cattle in order to understand the interrelationship among traits To find out the feasibility to estimate genetic merit of dairy bulls based on an selection index taking multiple traits (production, linear type, and functional traits) into consideration.
    4 Genome–wide scan for autozygosity, selection signature and genomic inbreeding in Karan Fries and Sahiwal cows 2020-23 Anupama Mukherjee GRGowane Ravindra Malhotra  A.P. Ruhil To estimate autozygosity and ROH patterns in the genome of Sahiwal and Karan fries cattleTo explore gene functions and pathways associated with ROH islands to identify selection sweeps and potential selection signature in these regions. To compare different genomic and pedigree-based methods to estimate the inbreeding coefficient in two breeds.
    5 Strategic Modeling of reference population for effective implementation of advanced selection strategies. 2020-22 G R Gowane Vikas Vohra Rani Alex Anupama Mukherjee To simulate the genomic, phenotypic and pedigree data for various genetic models for Indian dairy scenarioTo assess the impact of evolutionary forces in historical generations on genetic architecture of genome in recent generations and genomic prediction of breeding values. To create the strategic reference population and develop appropriate model for Genomic Selection through selective genotyping in multiple dairy herds.
    6 Deciphering the modifications in miRNA binding region of DNA repair genes in concurrence with thermal stress in Tharparkar and Karan Fries cattle 2020-23 Rani Alex Vikas Vohra  Archana Verma Manju Ashutosh S.S. Lathwal To Identify and associate with variants in miRNA binding region of DNA repairgenes with thermal stress response in indigenous (Tharparkar) and crossbred (Karan Fries) cattle To explore the relationship between identified miRNAs and heat shock proteinsby expression studies

    EXTERNALLY FUNDED PROJECTSunded Projects

      Project Duration Project Leader Project Associates Objectives
    1 Network project on buffalo improvement-Institute herd (CIRB-Hisar)-ICAR (Lead Division: Animal Genetics & Breeding) 2017-2021 Vikas Vohra G R Gowane, Pawan Singh, T. K. Mohanty and Mukesh Bhakat To envisage and undertake progeny testing for Murrah breed of buffaloes
    2 Network project on buffalo improvement-Field Unit-ICAR (CIRB-Hisar) (Lead Division: Animal Genetics & Breeding)  2017-2021 S M Deb I.D. Gupta, Vikas Vohra, SS Mukherjee, S.K. Rathee   To envisage and undertake progeny testing for Murrah breed of buffaloes
    3 Indigenous breed programme (Sahiwal cattle)-ICAR (Lead Division: Animal Genetics & Breeding) 2017-2021 Anupama Mukherjee Vikas Vohra, T. K. Mohanty, S. S. Lathwal, Mukesh
    Bhakat
    To study the genetic and phenotypic variances in milk and Co-variances among milk and draft and associated economic characters such as growth, reproduction and survival with a view to develop suitable selection criteria for improving draft/draft and milk. To undertake testing and selection of bulls for bringing improvement in populations involved. To provide superior germplasm for utilization in developmental programmes for improving draft/draft and milk production.
    4 Fitness Black Box: Deciphering the Ovar-MHC Variability in sheep breeds of India 2019-2022 G R Gowane R. Kumar and S. S. Misra (ICAR- CSWRI) To explore the Ovar-MHC-II diversity in sheep breeds of IndiaTo generate the online Immuno-Polymorphism database for DRB1, DQA1, DQA2 and DQA2 like sequences/ genes of MHC locus in Indian sheep breeds and search for potential known markers of economic importanceTo study the Haplotype transmission across generations for MHC genes
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    History

    Animal Genetics and Breeding division, earlier known as Dairy Cattle Breeding (DCB) division was among the very first departments established at NDRI. Presently, the division is a part of production group in NDRI, Karnal. The division has mandates on research, teaching and extension in the area of Animal Genetics & Breeding. The division is continuing the research under the programme Genetic improvement of milch animals through identification and dissemination of superior germplasm by application of emerging reproductive and molecular technologies. The division is being entrusted with the responsibility of developing human resource in the area of Animal Genetics & Breeding, and also imparting national and international trainings and consultancy. The division is involved in the development of superior germplasm and its dissemination to farmers and stakeholders involved in dairy development in the country.

    The division is also involved in conducting research in the areas of Animal Genetics including molecular genetics, animal breeding, and animal genomics. The main thrust areas in research include genetic improvement of indigenous milch cattle breeds (Sahiwal, Tharparkar and Gir), HF crossbred cattle, and Murrah buffaloes. The genetic improvement is being attempted through selection and progeny testing programme for faster multiplication of superior germplasm. In Murrah buffaloes, both institutional herd and field progeny testing unit, are working at NDRI, Karnal since 1993-94 and 2002-03, respectively. In order to improve the growth, production and reproduction performances of dairy animals, the department has developed various animal breeding research methodologies for selection of elite animals. In the recent past, the department is working for developing a genomic based selection and breeding strategies.

    The Centre for Advanced Faculty Training (CAFT) in Animal Genetics and Breeding, earlier known as Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS), was established during eighth plan in this division, and its activities are being continued to strengthening research, teaching and imparting training to scientists/ teachers from state agricultural and veterinary universities, research institutes and in advanced areas of Animal Genetics and Breeding. A total of 35 national training programmes have so far been organized (till 2019) under the aegis of CAFT in the division.

    The division has the state-of-the-art structures for research facilities consists of advanced animal breeding and buffalo breeding labs with latest software facilities, molecular genetics labs and livestock record cell. The division, at present, has nine scientists, three technical staff, one administrative and one supporting staff. The divisional library, teaching and training infrastructure have also been strengthened under CAFT. The divisional library has 427 books, 272 Masters’ and 128 doctoral theses.

    The department has following infrastructure facilities / labs:

    1. Animal Breeding Lab
    2. Buffalo Breeding Lab
    3. Class Room
    4. Divisional Library
    5. DNA Bank
    6. Livestock Record Room
    7. Molecular Genetics Lab
    8. Seminar room
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    Achievements

    • Animal Genetics and Breeding division along with scientists of related Divisions at NDRI developed two synthetic breeds / crossbred population in Cattle namely, Karan Fries and Karan Swiss.

    • Large number of proven bulls wit high genetic merit from Sahiwal, Karan Fries and Murrah breeds were produced, under Progeny Testing Programme, for dissemination of superior germplasm to the farmers and stakeholders.

    • Field Progeny Testing Programme in Murrah Buffalo (FPT): Since commencement of the FPT programme at ICAR-NDRI, Karnal center, a total 42571 A.I. were carried out in farmer herds under adopted villages. In 2004-05 total 2223 A.I. was done and highest No. of A.I. (4419) was reported in 2013-14 which indicated about 198% increased of A.I. numbers over 2004-05. The overall conception rate was reported 49.44 percent over a period of fourteen years. The lowest conception rate was observed 44.67% (2004-05) and maximum 53.42% was reported in 2011-12. The increased in number of A.I. and improvement of conception rate clearly indicated the success of A.I. in field and farmers also adopted the A.I. services for breeding their buffaloes and realized the significance of A.I. for improvement of buffalo productivity. Total 8391 female progeny born from test mating of genetically superior Murrah bulls in farmer herds, 1175 daughters recorded for performance traits and 2464 daughters standing in field for future recording. Presently (2019), the NDRI unit is covering 16 villages of Karnal district, under five centers where FPT of Murrah buffalo is undertaken.

    • Indigenous Breed Project (Sahiwal): From 2010 onwards, a total of 35 bulls were inducted in four sets for sire evaluation and germplasm dissemination under Indigenous Breed Improvement Programme (Sahiwal) and insemination has been carried out. The female herd strength increased to 442 including 196 breedable females as on 31.12.2019. A total of 34 out of 196 Sahiwal females were identified as elite cows (either 305-FLY equal to greater than 2500 kg or best 305-LY equal to or greater than 3000 kg). The average age at first calving, first lactation milk yield, total lactation milk yield and peak yield were 1176.55 ± 28.96 days, 2210.34 ± 126.50kg, 2219.83 ± 90.29 kg and 10.59 ± 0.54 kg, respectively. The dry period, calving interval and service period were 140.18 ± 12.39,377.42± 14.92 and 128.17 ± 7.62 days, respectively. Males were initially selected on the basis of on the basis of EPD, dam’s best 305 days lactation yield, breed characteristics and physical conformity for selection of young male calves for future breeding. A total of 37 growing males and breeding bulls were available at the Germplasm Unit.

    • Genetic variations / probable markers identified for dairy traits: For Genetic variation in a number of candidate genes related to milk production & composition viz. Growth Hormone, Beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-casein, beta-casein, kappa-casein, leptin, prolactin, ATF4 (Activating Transcription Factor 4), OLR1 (Oxidized low density lipoprotein receptor 1 ), SOCS2 (Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 2), CRH (Corticotropin Releasing Hormone); reproduction viz. BSP5 (Binder of Sperm5), ODF1 (Outer dense fiber of sperm tail 1), PLCZ1 (Phospholipase C zeta 1), ZNF280BY (Zinc finger protein 280BY), PROP1 (Prophet of PIT1), SPAG11, ITGB5, protein phosphtase1 regulatory subunit 11 (PPP1R11), heat shock proteins (HSP27, HSP90AA1, HSPB1, HSF1); mastitis related genes viz. lactoferrin, Interleukin-8 (IL-8), Toll-like receptor 4 gene (TLR 4), Forebrain embryonic zinc finger like gene (FEZL), Caspase activating recruitment domain 15 gene (CARD 15), Calgranulin gene (S100A8), Cluster of Differentiation 14 (CD 14) gene, Mannose binding lectin (MBL1, MBL2) C4A); and type traits (GC (GC, vitamin D binding protein), NPFFR2 (neuropeptide FF receptor 2), PRLR (Prolactin receptor), FAM19A1 (family with sequence similarity 19 member A1, C-C motif chemokine like), KCNB1 (potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily B member 1), EDN3 (endothelin 3) have been explored and their association with production (milk yield and its constituents) reproduction, type traits and their role in mastitis, a metabolism disorder, has been identified in indigenous and crossbred Cattle and Murrah buffalo. Identified genetic variants/ SNPs of candidate gene (MBL1 gene in Murrah buffaloes). The GC genotyped Murrah Buffaloes were found least susceptible to mastitis. Identified genetic variants / SNPs of candidate gene (CD 14 gene in Karan Fries cattle). The AA and CC genotyped KF cattle were found least susceptible to mastitis whereas, AB and CD genotyped animals were found most susceptible to mastitis. Identified the three SNPs of ATP1A1 (19333 (G/T), ATP1B2 (2775 (T/G) and OPN (2387 (C/T) genes having association with physiological parameters (respiration rate and pulse rate) of Murrah buffaloes that may be used for eliminating the buffaloes having the undesirable susceptible alleles for thermo-tolerance.

    • SNPs Genomic Resource base identified: Genome wide SNPs, SSRs and Selective Sweep regions have been identified and associated with production and reproduction traits in Murrah, Gir and Tharparkar cattle.

    • Selection Models were developed: Multi-trait repeatability animal model was developed for selection of Murrah buffaloes for higher fertility and milk production. Multi-trait evaluation methodology is being standardized for selection of KF (HF crossbred) cattle for higher productivity and fertility. Best THI model was identified to assess the heat stress in Murrah buffaloes in relation to reproductive performance. THI should be 75 for better reproduction performance in Murrah buffaloes. Developed methodology for prediction of lifetime milk production of Tharparkar cows.

    • Protocols/ methodology developed: Age at first freezing of semen has been standardized to obtain better conception rate of Sahiwal bulls in the herd. Voluntary waited period, optimum production and fertility levels were standardized in Murrah buffaloes.

    • Cytogenetic and molecular cytogenetic techniques for identification of sub-fertility problems in dairy animals were developed.

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    Courses Offered

    Course No. Nomenclature
    Master Degree
    1 AG-611 (2+1) Animal Cytogenetics and Immunogenetics
    2 AG-612 (3+1) Population and Quantitative Genetics in Animal Breeding
    3 AG-613 (3+1) Selection Methods and Breeding Systems
    4 AG-614 (3+1) Biometrical Techniques in Animal Breeding
    5 AG- 621 (2+1) Molecular Genetics in Animal Breeding
    6 AG- 622 (2+0) Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources
    7 AG- 623 (2+1) Linear Models in Animal Breeding
    8 AG- 624 (2+1) Cattle & Buffalo Breeding
    9 AG- 625 (1+1) Laboratory Animal Breeding
    10 AG- 626 (2+0) Sheep & Goat   Breeding
    11 AG- 629 (1+0) Master’s Seminar
    Doctoral Degree
    1 AG-711 (2+0) Recent Advances in Animal Genetics
    2 AG-712 (2+0) Recent Trends in Animal Breeding
    3 AG-713 (3+0) Advances in Biometrical Genetics
    4 AG- 719 (1+0) Doctoral Seminar I
    5 AG 721 (3+0) Advances in Selection Methodology
    6 AG 722 (2+0) Advances in Molecular Cytogenetics
    7 AG- 723 (3+0) Utilization of Non-Additive Genetic Variance in Farm Animals
    8 AG- 729 (1+0) Doctoral Seminar II
    Pre-requisite courses
    1 AG-411 (2+1) Principles of Animal Genetics
    2 AG 421 (2+1) Principles of Animal Breeding
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    Technologies

    1. Detection of buffalo milk in cow milk using Hansa Test
    This is a platform test to detect admixing of buffalo milk in cow milk using antiserum raised against buffalo antigen. The technology has been licensed to The Mother Dairy Fruit &Vegetables Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi on 27.12.2017.
    Inventor: Dr. ArchanaVerma, Principal Scientist, AG&B Division
    Cost of Technology: Rupees 4 lakhs+GST.
    2. Developed multi-trait methodology for assessing higher fertility and milk production in dairy animals.
    3. Developed cytogenetic and molecular cytogenetic techniques for identification of dairy animals with sub-fertility problems in the dairy herd.
    4. Developed optimum THI for better reproduction performance in Murrah buffaloes.
    5. Developed molecular techniques for identification of cattle and buffalo for most/least susceptible to mastitis.