AUSTRALIA, Adelaide. An international team of researchers led by the University of Adelaide has published the full genome of the water buffalo – opening the way for improved breeding and conservation of this economically important animal.
There are two subspecies of water buffalo. The researchers sequenced the genome of the River buffalo, which have been selected for milk production through organised breeding programs in Italy, India, the Philippines and Brazil.
Professor Williams says such advances in genomics have revolutionised dairy cattle breeding and now the same molecular tools will be available for water buffalo breeding. This project is another great example of the University of Adelaide's depth and expertise in research areas related to food innovation.
The buffalo genome has been published in the journal GigaScience. The consortium led by Professor Williams has also published details of a specific molecular tool (called the Buffalo SNP chip) in the journal PLOS ONE. This SNP Chip will allow researchers and breeders to put the genome sequence information into practice. Genes that are involved in important traits related to production and disease can be located and used to estimate the breeding values of individual bulls and cows.