India’s first calf born to surrogate cow in Pune’s mobile lab
The donor cow, Ratan, belongs to the Gir breed, whose population across the country is around one lakh currently. The Gir breed unevenly spread across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
India’s first calf delivered by a surrogate cow through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology carried out in a mobile laboratory was born in August 2017 in Indapur, Pune, Maharashtra.
The calf has been named as Vijay.
The purpose of producing surrogate calf was to protect indigenous cow breeds in its original form which have been destroyed due to cross-breeding.
• The donor cow, Ratan, belongs to the Gir breed, whose population across the country is around one lakh currently. The Gir breed unevenly spread across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
• Under the JK Trust’s initiative, JK BovaGenix, aimed at promoting genetically superior indigenous cattle breeds, the oocytes (immature eggs) of the donor cow were collected from the Rachana Cow Farm, owned by a Pathan family in Indapur, on 9 November 2016.
• The oocytes were then kept in a special incubator, which worked as an artificial uterus, for nearly 24 hours.
• Meanwhile, semen was collected from a Gir bull. The process of fertilisation then began in a petridish inside the incubator at a temperature of 38.5 degree centigrade.
• After seven days, the oocytes developed into an embryo, which was then transferred to the recipient cow. The oestrus cycle in cows occurs every 21 days. The embryo can be transferred to the cow seven days before its oestrus cycle. Its body will then accept it as its own embryo and the chances of pregnancy will increase.
• Other than Ratan, the oocytes of three more donor cows, one Gir breed and two Khillar breed, were also collected in November 2016. The other three surrogate mother cows are due to give birth in the next two weeks.
About In Vitro Fertilisation
• In vitro fertilisation is a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro (in glass).
• The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman's ovulatory process, removing an ovum or ova from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a liquid in a laboratory.
• The fertilised egg undergoes embryo culture for 2–6 days, and is then transferred to the same or another woman's uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.
Source: The Indian Express