BD makes big bang success in buffalo genome sequencing

‘It may become a milk-exporting country one day’

In another historic feat, renowned animal scientists from Bangladesh and China on Friday formally announced the water buffalo genome sequencing success.


Lal Teer Livestock Limited, a Bangladeshi company and Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), one of the world’s premier genome sequencing centers, jointly did the job making Bangladesh feel proud of once again.


The historic announcement came at a function held at Hotel Radisson in the city in presence of elite scientists from home and abroad, donors and foreign delegates.


Buffalo is one of the prime sources of animal protein supply in Bangladesh with the costal belt and reverine regions of Bangladesh as main rearing sites of buffalo, the success in decoding Buffalo genome has brought a bright possibility to develop better breeds of animal, vital for both milk and meat.


The livestock and dairy sectors that remain neglected despite having huge potential would get back vibrancy as better breeds of buffalo would attract new entrepreneurs, said the researchers.


Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed attended the function as the chief guest. Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jun, Deputy Chief of Mission of US Embassy in Dhaka Jon F Danilowicz, Chairman of Lal Teer Livestock Limited Abdul Awal Mintoo, his son Tabith M Awal, Chinese researchers Jian Wang and Dr Gengyun also spoke on the occasion.


Speaking at the function, Tofail said, “We feel proud of you (scientists). It’s a massive success. We’ve proved it again that Bangladesh con do everything.”


Appreciating Mintoo’s efforts, Tofail said Bangladesh’s economy would be benefited through the initiative as Bangladesh now imports huge milk. “If we can work together rising above differences, the country will be benefited.”


Gowher Rizvi said, “This is a very important moment for us. Today, we’re celebrating a historic moment…it’s truly a memorable event. You (Mintoo) have pioneered a path for other enterprises…the countries which have knowledge-based economy are going to prosper in this world.”


Chinese envoy Li Jun appreciated the researchers of both Bangladesh and China for the successful collaboration saying ‘this is really an exciting story.’


Jon F Danilowicz said the US administration always promotes development and Bangladesh is one of the focus countries for them.


Referring to US Ambassador Dan Mozena’s interest about agriculture, he humorously said Mozena always talks about Bengal Tiger and now he needs to talk about the buffalo.


Tabith Awal said Bangladesh imports 80 percent milk for meeting the domestic requirement. “Through this success, we’ll have better dairy industry in Bangladesh and in the future we’ll become a milk-exporting country.”


He went on, “Credit goes to everyone in Bangladesh and achievement goes to the nation.”


Tabith Awal said buffalo population has declined in Bangladesh over the years though the farming of buffalo will be more beneficial than cattle farming.


More than 60 percent of the total milk in India and Pakistan comes from buffalo while the quantity is only 3 percent or less than 3 percent.


Genome sequencing allows scientists to identify and understand how genes work together for a plant’s or animals different features like growth, development and maintenance.


This also enables them to manipulate the genes and enhance, add or reduce certain features of the plant or the animal.


Bangladesh’s success in animal genomics came after a series of similar feats the country and its geneticists have achieved over the last four years by decoding the gene maps of the world’s second most important natural fibre – jute and that of its number one fungal enemy called macrophomina phaseolina.

Source: UNB Connect


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