The major research activities of this section are identification, evaluation, genetic characterization and conservation mithun germplasm. Complete cytogenetic analysis including karyotyping and different chromosomal bandings (C-banding and R-Banding) carried out revealed that the normal diploid number of mithun was 58XX and 58 XY for males and females. In order to find out the karyotypic evolution of mithun, the FISH technique was used on the metaphase chromosome of mithun as well as the wild ancestral species, Gaur. Besides, several economically important genes including kappa casein, leptin, and growth hormones were also characterized. In the recent past, this section also carried out the microsatellite-based characterization of different mithun populations and muscle transcriptome analysis. Presently, whole-genome sequencing of mithun for the construction of a draft genome assembly and genomic characterization of mithun using bovine HDchip estimating population diversity parameters in farm and field mithun population is underway.
- Construction of a draft assembly thorough next-generation sequencing and identification of around 27000 genes in the mithun genome.
- Muscle transcriptome analysis of mithun of divergent growth performance and identification of differentially expressed genes (BioProject ID PRJNA307305).
- Preparation of first-ever R- and C-banded karyotypes of mithun and a Cytogenetic Digital Album of mithun.
- In the first-ever study of fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) of mithun chromosomes, highly repetitive regions of centromere and telomere were amplified using bovine primers. The centromeric signals were observed in all the acrocentric autosomes of all the species. However, in contrast to Tho-Tho cattle, FISH signals could not be detected in the sub-metacentric chromosomes of mithun, mithun x cattle crossbreds and gaurs (Bos gaurus). This cytogenetic study also revealed close relatedness of mithun with gaur (Bos gaurus).
- Phenotypic and Genetic Characterization of mithun and determination of genetic relationship with gaur and other bovine species based on microsatellites and bovine HDchip.
- Mithun leptin protein was isolated from adipocyte tissues, purified using affinity column chromatography, and analyzed by MALDI TOF-TOF-mass spectroscopy revealed a molecular mass of 17214.26 Da. Mithun leptin was also found to possess sero-reactive properties that might be exploited while preparing serodiagnostic tool(s) for detecting leptin in clinical samples and/or measuring leptin concentration in blood.
Sero-reactivity of affinity-purified bound protein with known antiserum and control serum as assessed by Dipstick ELISA. Dip-stick 1: Anti-mithun leptin antibody (hyperimmune serum); Dip-stick 2: Negative control (normal serum)
- Determination of age by Dentition patterns of mithuns under field conditions