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January 24, 2014, Bangladesh, and Shenzhen, China-Lal Teer Livestock Limited, an associate of LalTeer Seed Ltd., the largest seed company in Bangladesh with strong hybrid research program, and BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, jointly announced today that they have completed the genome sequencing of water buffalo and the bioinformatics analysis. The outstanding work lays an important foundation for molecular breeding of water buffalo, and sheds new light on the understanding of its origin and domestication process.
Buffalo is known as “Black Gold” due to its contribution to economy, which is being reared as milk, meat, hide and bone sources all over the world. In particular, it could provide more than 5% of the world’s milk supply and 20% to 30% of the farm power in Southeast Asia. Considering the importance of buffalo and realizing the need of genomic research for its improvement, Lal Teer Livestock took a great effort for “The Whole Genome Sequencing of Water Buffalo” in collaboration with BGI since March 2012.
The joint efforts yielded a high-quality water buffalo genome with the size of about 2.77Gb, slightly smaller than human genome. There are 21,550 protein coding genes found in total. Researchers compared buffalo genome with other mammals’, such as cattle, horse, panda, pig, and dog for discovering more genetic characteristics of water buffalo and providing guidance for its breeding and industrial transformation.
“We are pleased to form partnership with Lal Teer Livestock to decode this important animal, ” said, Professor Jian Wang, President of BGI, “BGI is dedicated to using genomics technology to benefit human beings, and we have contributed to the sequencing of many critical crops and livestock including rice, maize, soybean, potato, pigeonpea, pig and sheep. BGI is continuing to make more progress for facing the challenges on food shortage and safety, as well contribute to the development and wellbeing of local society.”
“With the joined forces with BGI, we are excited to successfully complete the task of sequencing water buffalo.” stated Mr. Tafsir Mohammed Awal, Director of Lal Teer, “This will now lay the foundation of ensuring nutrition and food security in Bangladesh and other developing countries.”
About Lal Teer
Lal Teer Seeds Ltd. was founded by a visionary entrepreneur, Mr. Abdul Awal Mintoo. Even though a pioneer in the shipping industry, he always envisioned a self reliant Bangladesh and thus started the first research based seed company in 1995. Lal Teer was quick to develop, produce and supply quality seed, (specially the hybrid vegetable seeds) to the farmers. In the last two decades Lal Teer released 54 hybrid varieties and 60 high yielding varieties. After a great success in seeds, Lal Teer founded its animal breeding venture named Lal Teer Livestock Ltd. in 2010 - with a vision to become the pioneer in the livestock industry and promoting sustainable means of livestock production for the maximum productivity. The Company has a skilled management team with over 30 years of combined experience and a dedicated research facility.