The International Associated Laboratory, GIMIC IMprovement of Indian Cattle and buffaloes)

LIA GIMIC

The International Associated Laboratory, GIMIC IMprovement of Indian Cattle and buffaloes)

The International Associated Laboratory GIMIC was created in 2018 for a period of five years. It coordinates the activities of a very large Indian NGO, the BAIF, and a group of geneticists and professors from AgroParisTech, all members of GABI.

Key words: India - NGO - Genetic improvement - genomic selection - bovine - zebu - buffalo

Photo in India of Indian cattle
Indian cattle and buffalo herd populations have over 100 million heads each. However, their productivity is very low due to the difficult environmental conditions (climate, health situation), a low intrant system, small herds (less than two cows on average) and the absence of significant genetic progress for decades.

The BAIF (http://www.baif.org.in/) is a large Indian NGO whose main mission is to improve the living conditions of the small dairy farmers.

The BAIF was one of the first organizations to introduce cross-breeding into India using artificial insemination of cows with Bos taurus bulls (Holstein or Jersey), which contributes now to more than 50% of the dairy production in the country.

Despite these programmes, little (or no) improvement of the indigenous and buffalo breeds has been seen. Development of genomic selection is, however, in the process of completely changing this context.

A partnership between GABI and the BAIF began in 2003 and has since grown through the Genosouth1 project and two SelGen metaprogrammes.

The LIA GIMIC should allow a change of scale and is based on a much more ambitious project on data analysis, unique in the world, to the service of the implementation of an efficient genomic selection in pure and cross-bred zebus, or even buffaloes. Seven permanent GABI scientists belonging to the Bovine Genetics and Genomics Team and the Genomics, Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Statistics team along with three AgroParisTech professors who also contribute to the training of BAIF personnel, are involved in GIMIC.

The project associates fundamental and applied research to show the feasibility of the implementation of sustainable selection programs for cattle and buffaloes in tropical conditions characterized by low-intrant farming systems and very small herd sizes.

A review article was published in Frontiers in Genetics using the BAIF experience as a case study. This article, co-signed by GIMIC members, is a good illustration of what is ahead for the LIA.

Scientific Contact(s):

Associated Division: Animal Genetics

Associated Center: Jouy-en-josas

Modification date : 14 September 2023 | Publication date : 04 February 2020 | Redactor : Edition P. Huan - translation W. Brand-Williams