Pashu Sandesh, 7 July 2022
In a major achievement, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, (GADVASU) Ludhiana scientists produced an elite female Sahiwal calf following the transfer of embryo produced by ovum pick up & in vitro fertilization (OPU IVF) technique. Dr Inderjeet Singh, Vice-chancellor, GADVASU congratulated the ETT scientists, Drs. Narinder Singh and Gurjot Kaur Mavi for producing the first OPU IVF calf in Punjab state. So far, only a few labs have been able to standardise and successfully produce live calves using this technique in India. The GADVASU scientists have established 37 pregnancies using OPU IVF embryos from Sahiwal cows which are due for calving in the coming time.
In the present case, the eggs were collected from an elite Sahiwal cow having a production potential of more than 4000 kg milk per lactation and sex-sorted semen from high pedigreed Sahiwal bull was used for IVF. The embryos produced were implanted into the uterus of crossbred cows used as surrogate dams on day 7 of the oestrous cycle resulting in the birth of an elite Sahiwal calf after 9 months, the calf is healthy and doing well. Previously, multiple ovulation and embryo transfer involving the superovulation technique have been used to produce more than 200 HF and 73 Sahiwal calves at the university.
Dr RS Grewal, Director, Livestock Farms informed that the project is funded under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission Program by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), Govt of India with the primary focus to propagate the superior genetics of indigenous cattle breeds.
Dr JPS Gill shared that the GADVASU has also successfully established pregnancies in buffaloes and exotic breeds of cattle like HF and Jersey using the OPU IVF technique at university farms and at the farmer’s level. The university is also providing OPU IVF services at the field level to interested farmers.
Dr Singh, Vice-chancellor emphasized the need to multiply the elite buffaloes and dairy cattle at a faster rate using reproductive biotechniques to enhance milk production rather than waste resources on multiplying and feeding low and medium-yield dairy animals.