India’s first calf delivered by a surrogate or recipient cow through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology carried out in a mobile laboratory was born in Indapur, Pune (Maharashtra). It has been named as Vijay.
This is for first time IVF procedure was successfully implemented at farm level with the help of mobile laboratory. Earlier similar experiment was carried out by the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) at the lab-level.
The purpose of producing surrogate calf was to protect indigenous cow breeds in its original form which have been destroyed due to cross-breeding. The experiment was successfully under taken by the JK Trust, an organisation which works at improving cattle breed.
In Vijay’s case, the donor cow belonged to the indigenous Gir breed, whose population across the country is around one lakh (unevenly spread across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra).
In this experiment, the oocytes collected from the mother cow were kept in a special incubator. Using the IVF technology, these oocytes were fertilised inside the incubator with semen was collected from a Gir bull. After the oocytes developed into an embryo, they were transferred to the recipient cow.
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology
IVF or assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a process of fertilisation. In it, an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro (in glass or laboratory dish) to produce embryo. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.