national-research-canter-on-camel

CAMEL GENETICS AND BREEDING

Research Programme

  • Genetic improvement of indigenous camels through conventional and molecular means for increasing production and productivity

Research Activities

  • Evaluation and marker assisted selection for economic traits (faster growth, early maturity and higher milk production) of camel
  • Studies on qualitative and quantitative genetic parameters in Indian camel
  • Molecular genetic studies in Indian camel including double humped camel

» Research Achievements

  • An elite herd of Bikaneri, Jaisalmeri, Kachchhi and Mewari breed has been developed through selective breeding.
  • Characterisation of Bikaneri, Jaisalmeri, Kachchhi and Mewari breed has been carried out on the basis of phenotypic appearance, biometry, body weight, milk and hair production.
  • Breeding efficiency of farm camel herd has been improved in terms of conception rate, age at first calving and calving interval.
  • Bikaneri breed was found better than Jaisalmeri and Kachchhi breeds in terms of staple length (6.27 cm) and diametre (42.13 µ). The percentage of pure, hetro, hairy and kemp in camel hair was found to be 29.27, 44.03, 24.14 and 2.53, respectively.
  • The hair production has been observed to be higher in Bikaneri breed (806 g) as compared to the Jaisalmeri (758 g) and Kachchhi (645 g) breed.
  • The database on inventory of Centre’s camel herd, growth, reproduction, biometry and health have been developed and are being updated regularly.
  • The chromosome complement of camel comprised of 74 chromosomes (2n=74) of which 25 pairs were sub acrocentric, 5 pairs were sub metacentric and 6 pairs were true acrocentric.
  • Biochemical polymorphism using blood/serum samples in 15 systems viz. haemoglobin, albumin, amylase, transferrin, alkaline phosphatase, acid phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), phosphohexoseisomerase, glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), phosphoglucomutase (PCM), carbonic anhydrase, serum esterases, hexokinase and iso-citrate revealed negligible polymorphism.
  • No polymorphism was detected in milk protein polymorphism for α-casein, β-casein, γ-casein and β-lactoglobulin.
  • The PCR-RAPD showed enough genetic variation between and within dromedary breeds. The maximum genetic variability was found in Bikaneri breed and close genetic relationship was found between dromedary breeds.
  • The genetic distances between the three Indian breeds were estimated using the allele frequency at 15 polymorphic microsatellite loci in the three breeds using PHYLIP 3.6 software. The consensus arrived from observed data indicated close phylogenetic relationship between the dromedary breeds.
  • The α-lactalbumin and β-casein gene promoter fragments have been amplified and characterized and successfully cloned.
  • Sequencing of the cloned fragments was carried out. Two sequences have been deposited in the NCBI GenBank with accession numbers AM259943 (1799bp) and AM 259960 (812 bp).
  • The lactation length in dromedary was observed to be of 16 months. Average daily milk production was 7.2 litres. The averge lactation yield was 3462 litres. She camels of Mewari and Kachchhi breed gave better yield.
  • Prediction equations for extension of body weight and body weight gain were derived. Equation y=73.592+9.9072x – 0.0631 x2 + 0.000128 x3 explained the variability to the extent of 99.4%.