Genomic research: KLDB, IISER plan tie-up

The Kerala Livestock Development Board (KLDB) is joining hands with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram, for genomic research on cattle.

The application of ‘CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology’ for advancing livestock production in the State formed a thrust area of the collaboration, the institutions said. The institutions would formally sign an MoU in the presence of Minister for Animal Husbandry J. Chinchurani on Friday.

Overall, the collaboration would cover livestock breeding, genomic selection, and research and educational exchange, IISER Thiruvananthapuram director J.N. Moorthy and KLDB managing director Jose James said in a joint statement.

The collaborative efforts would focus on the application of ‘CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology’ for advancing livestock production.

“The technology has not been exploited as yet for the betterment of livestock sector specifically in the State. If the genes associated with the production/performance traits in cattle or goats are identified, the same could be modified using CRISPR-Cas9 technology and incorporated into embryos for the betterment of the traits,” the statement said.

The partnership envisaged research and technology collaboration for developing strategies for utilising cutting-edge research tools for livestock breeding and production in Kerala.

The KLDB had always attempted to deploy modern tools in research and technology for achieving objectives, Dr. James said. Collection of samples, processing and isolation of DNA would be carried out by KLDB. IISER would arrange the genome sequencing and associated works and also provide expertise in processing the data and analysis.

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