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.
BGI was founded in 1999 with the mission of being a premier scientific partner to the global research community. The goal of BGI is to make leading-edge genomic science highly accessible through its investment in infrastructure that leverages the best available technology, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources. BGI, which includes both private non-profit genomic research institutes and sequencing application commercial units, and its affiliates, BGI Americas, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and BGI Europe, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, have established partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and government research institutions as well as global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural, environmental, and related applications.
BGI has established a proven track record of excellence, delivering results with high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high-profile research which has generated over 250 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science. These accomplishments include sequencing one percent of the human genome for the International Human Genome Project, contributing 10 percent to the International Human HapMap Project, carrying out research to combat SARS and German deadly E. coli, playing a key role in the Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and completing the sequence of the rice genome, the silkworm genome, the first Asian diploid genome, the potato genome, and, most recently, have sequenced the human Gut metagenome, and a significant proportion of the genomes for 1,000 genomes. For more information about BGI please visit http://www.genomics.cn.
Deputy General Manager, International Business