Reproductive Biotechnologies for Improvement of Buffalo: The Current Status

  • Purohit, G.N. (Department of Veterinary Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Rajasthan Agricultural University) ;
  • Duggal, G.P. (Opp. Univ.) ;
  • Dadarwal, D. (Dept. of Animal Reproduction Gynaecology & Obstetrics, Punjab Agricultural University) ;
  • Kumar, Dinesh (Village and Post office Papra via Sarai Distt.) ;
  • Yadav, R.C. (Department of Veterinary Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Rajasthan Agricultural University) ;
  • Vyas, S. (National Research Centre on Camel)
  • Received : 2002.11.20
  • Accepted : 2003.03.24
  • Published : 2003.07.01


Reproductive biotechnologies continue to be developed for genetic improvement of both river and swamp buffalo. Although artificial insemination using frozen semen emerged some decades back, there are still considerable limitations. The major problem appears to be the lack of efficient methods for estrus detection and timely insemination. Controlled breeding experiments in the buffalo had been limited and similar to those applied in cattle. Studies on multiple ovulation and embryo transfer are essentially a replica of those in cattle, however with inherent problems such as lower number of primordial follicles on the buffalo ovary, poor fertility and seasonality of reproduction, lower population of antral follicles at all stages of the estrous cycle, poor endocrine status and a high incidence of deep atresia in ovarian follicles, the response in terms of transferable embryo recovery has remained low with 0.51 to 3.0 per donor and pregnancy rates between 15 to 30%. In vitro production of buffalo embryos is a valid alternative to recovery of embryos by superovulation. This aspect received considerable attention during the past decade, however the proportion of embryos that develops to the blastocyst stage is still around 25-30% and hence the in vitro culture procedures need substantial improvement. Embryo cryopreservation procedures for direct transfer post thaw need to be developed for bubaline embryos. Nuclear transfer and embryo cloning is a technique that has received attention in various species during recent years and can be of immense value in buffaloes as they have a low rate of embryo recoveries by both in vitro and in vivo procedures. Gender pre-selection, genome analysis, gene mapping and gene transfer are a few of the techniques that have been studied to a limited extent during recent years and are likely to be included in future studies on buffaloes. Very recently, reproductive biotechnologies have been applied to feral buffaloes as well, but the results obtained so far are modest. When fully exploited they can play an important role in the preservation of endangered species.


Artificial Insemination;Buffalo;Embryo Transfer;In Vitro Fertilization;Oocyte;Superovulation


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