IAEA Collaborators Produce the First-ever Offspring by Embryo Transfer of Goats in Sri Lanka

First-ever Offspring by Embryo Transfer of Goats in Sri Lanka Dr. Basil Alexander and his colleagues at the University of Peradeniya recently made Animal Production History in Sri Lanka, by producing Peradeniya Kumari, the country’s first ever successful offspring through super ovulation and embryo transfer in goats. Dr. Alexander recently returned from obtaining a Ph. D. from the University of Guelph in Canada. With assistance from the University of Guelph, including expert advice from Professor. W. A. King, Research Chair for Canada in its Department of Biomedical Science, Alexander and co-workers established the Sri Lankan Animal Embryo Biotechnology Laboratory.

IAEA provided support by providing various reagents and supplies and training in animal genetics. In the initial experiments of superovulation in goats, Alexander’s group successfully produced and collected many embryos from a number of adult females. They transferred two of the embryos into each of two recipient females. One goat became pregnant after the embryo transfer and resulted in the birth of Peradeniya Kumari. The success of this event has generated a great deal of local interest and assured more funding for this type of farmer-friendly research.

The overall goal of the project that produced the young goat is to establish wider-scale embryo production systems for goats and in Sri Lanka. This work will be supported by a local CARP grant, totalling (US$ 90,000) over 3 years project and will complement a new IAEA TC project, SRL5041 “Maximizing Productivity on Goat Farms through Cost-Cutting and DNA-Based Technology in Selection for Breeding”. The scientists hope to use the technologies developed to provide to farmers 500 genetically superior goat kids this year, with more to come in the future. The programme also includes conservation of endangered farm animal species using similar reproductive biotechnologies.