Scientists at Equine Production Campus, ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, Bikaner (Rajasthan) produced a horse foal using Embryo transfer technology. In Embryo transfer technology, a fertilized embryo at the Blastocyst stage (Day 7.5 after insemination) was collected from the donor mare and successfully transferred recipient (surrogate) mother.
The transfer of a blastocyst-stage embryo to a surrogate mother led to the birth of a filly foal with a normal birth weight of 23.0 kg, on Friday, 19th May 2023. The newly born foal is named ‘Raj-Prathama’. The population of the Marwari horse breed are declining at a faster pace (Livestock Census, DAHD 2023). To conserve and propagate the declining population of Equine breeds in India, ICAR-NRCE is working strenuously. In this endeavour, last year National Livestock Mission granted a project of Rs. 100.0 lakhs to collect and cryopreserve the Marwari horse breed embryos.
The team comprising of Dr. TR Talluri (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Yash Pal, Dr. RA Legha and Dr. RK Dedar (Co- Principal Investigators) initiated the work to accomplish the objective of the project. The team was also assisted by Dr Sajjan Kumar, Shri Manish Chauhan in the project. Dr Jitender Singh and Shri SN Paswan have assisted in foal and dam care and management.
To date, the team has also successfully vitrified 10 Marwari horse embryos. Further work is going to cryopreserve more horse embryos.
(Source: Equine Production Campus, ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India)