Lalima: Female buffalo calf cloned by National Dairy Research Institute
Scientists of National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in Karnal, Haryana have cloned a female buffalo calf named as Lalima. The cloning is the work of advanced “hand-guided cloning technique”.
Lalima is NDRI’s seventh cloned calf. The institute had produced the world’s first cloned buffalo calf in 2009. Three of the 7 cloned calves had died. Lalima was born by normal delivery and its weight at the time of birth was around 36kg. The calf is in good health and weighs 42kg at present.
To produce Lalima, the donor cell was taken from the ear of a high milk yielding murrah buffalo which produced 2,713kg milk in standard lactation period of 305 days. As per experts, the new achievement of producing cloned calf from adult lactating animals by “hand-guided cloning” technique would enable faster multiplication of elite germplasm and help tackle the challenges of increasing demand of milk in the country.
India has world’s largest population of buffaloes, which produce about 55% of the total milk production in the country but still there is an urgent need to increase the population of elite buffaloes as their number is very small.
The high yielding breed of murrah buffalo produces up to 32kg of milk daily, almost double than that of an ordinary buffalo.