Genetic resources improvement programme is the major programme to undertake studies on genetic improvement of Murrah breed. Genetic improvement is targeted by implementing efficient breeding plans, envisaged with scientific breeding, using powerful computing systems maintaining large pedigrees of animals and vigilant technological interventions in the area of nutrition and reproduction. Genetic improvement is evaluated through associated herd and field progeny testing, performance recording and genetic analysis of data. An effective dissemination of high class buffalo germplasm with recording of performance data in fields through Field Progeny Testing Programme is generating data resource to develop ‘genome-to-phenotype’ models for predicting animal’s genetic makeup.
Research focus is on developing methods to measure different conformation and performance traits for selecting high scoring germplasm to line-up the parents of next generation. With the result, sufficient genetic variance over the population is generated to design optimized mating plans accumulating perpetual genetic gain while minimizing inbreeding for producing high ranking animals. Sound phenomic and genomic data collection has generated an authentic data resource, to understand the genetics of relevant but complex traits such as milk yield, faster gain in quality meat and reproductive traits especially, carrying low quantitative heritability.
Grading superior buffaloes by digital imaging of animals, linking conformation/body size indices to productivity, identifying genetic variants through SNP technology elucidating genetic markers is envisaged for developing selection tools.