New Delhi: The National Dairy Research Institute has successfully cloned the fifth buffalo calf, this time from high-yielding murrah buffalo breed.
The cloned calf, which born on September 6, 2013, is named `Purnima` and it weighs 44 kg, NDRI Director A K Srivastava said.
The calf has been cloned from a donor murrah buffalo, named `Karan Kirti` which has given a record milk yield of 25.2 kg per day and lactation yield of 3,812 kg in 305 days, he said in a statement.
Normally, milk productivity of other murrah buffalo is about 20-22 kg milk per day, but `Karan Kirti` was exceptional and hence the NDRI decided to clone this breed, Project Director Rameshwar Singh explained.
The calf was produced through the `Hand-guided cloning technique` developed by Karnal-based NDRI. The cloning technique will go a long way in multiplying the number of best milch buffaloes and proven buffalo bulls in India, the research institute said.
Although the world`s largest population of buffaloes is in India and contribute about 55 per cent of the total milk production, but the percentage of high-yielding buffaloes is very less and there is an urgent need to enhance the population of these buffaloes, it added.
Lauding the research breakthrough, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) S Ayyappan said: "This new advancement can facilitate faster multiplication of elite germplasm and help us face the challenges of increasing demands of milk."
In 2009, the researchers at NDRI had produced the world`s first cloned buffalo through `advanced hand-guided cloning technique`. But the clone could survive for only six days. Even the second clone had died in 2011 due to ailments after staying alive for two years.
In 2010, the NDRI had cloned the third and fourth cloned buffalo named `Garima II` and Shresth`, respectively.