Iowa State University, USA

NCLBG&G has active collaboration with Prof. James M Reecy Lab in Iowa State University and are working on following project.

Collaborative Research for Genetic Conservation and Improvement of Pakistani Goats

Pakistan is an agriculture country and livestock contributes more than cash crops to the agriculture economy. Furthermore, poor landless or small land holders, which comprise more than 50% of rural population, intimately depend on small ruminants to sustain their livelihood. For example, small ruminants account for 20% of total meat production. Currently, there are 36 documented breeds of goat in Pakistan. Because of their characteristic disease and parasitic resistance, these breeds of goat are very well adapted to the harsh climatic conditions of Pakistan. Unfortunately, there has been no serious effort to enhance the genetic potential of these animals, nor maintenance of their breed purity. Taken together, it is possible the within a breed there could be a quick reduction in the number of pure animals, which poses a breed conservation issues, especially in the peripheral areas of home tracts of different breeds. The main objectives of the current research proposal are: to catalog genetic diversity in the goat populations in Pakistan, implement genomic selection in Pakistani goats using GWAS SNPs chip technology, establish a nucleus breeding flock to disseminate superior genotypes to small farmers in selected areas for selected breeds of Pakistan goats and to implement a capacity building program within this project to train post-graduate students and faculty in modern developments of animal genetics and genomics science and develop a molecular biology Lab at PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi. The current study will document the genetic diversity of all 25 goat breeds within Pakistan; initiate the program of genomic selection for meat-type goats for the first time in Pakistan for any livestock species, train the manpower and establish institutional infrastructure for sustainable running on breed improvement program aided by modern tools of breed improvement i.e. molecular breeding value. This will benefit the researchers and policy makers and will initiate serious efforts to improve local goats via genomic selection to enhance the productivity of local animals, and thereby increase income of poor producers. Furthermore, the success story of this project may be role model for genomic selection of other livestock breeds i.e. cattle and sheep. The current project if funded; will be followed up by another project and funding will be sought from national and international funding agencies to achieve the long term goal of development of meat type goat breed in Pakistan.