Karnal: In another first, National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) scientists have succeeded in the delivery of a female buffalo calf by using semen from a cloned bull .

This cloning technology would help multiply quality germplasm to meet the increasing demand for quality semen dosages, institute director A.K. Srivastava told IANS.

Semen of buffalo bull ‘Shresth’ – cloned from somatic cells of another bull and born in the institute in August 2010 – was used for the delivery of this calf on March 29. The calf’s birth was kept under the wraps by NDRI ever since. 

“Since its birth, we have been constantly monitoring its health and growth parameters. It is completely healthy,” livestock research station incharge S.S. Lathwal.

Four more buffaloes have conceived through the cloned bull’s semen. Three of them will deliver calves in the next three months, while the fourth’s delivery is due in November.

Scientists said there was a countrywide shortage of around 90 million dosages of semen, and this technique will help fill the demand-supply gap.

The quality of semen from the cloned bull is excellent in terms of post-thaw motility, percentage of live and dead spermatozoa and semen abnormality, a scientist said.

‘Shresth’ was born through the ‘hand-guided cloning technique’, an advancement on the conventional cloning technique, developed by the Karnal scientists.

Earlier, the NDRI had announced delivery of the world’s first cloned buffalo calf on February 6, 2009. 

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