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Biotechnological aspects of creating new genotypes of yaks


Biotechnological methods of creating new genotypes of yaks for sustainable development of agriculture in Kyrgyzstan

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Kyrgyz Institute of Livestock and Pasture, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek


  • Michigan State University, USA, MI, East Lansing

Project summary

The project objective is to create by molecular and biotechnological methods new genotypes of yaks with valuable biologic features, as well as seed cryobank and to improve pasture quality through the introduction of frost-resistant fodder crops with high nutritive properties.
The main task of agriculture is the achievement of sustainable development of agricultural production, reliable provision of the population of country with food and the industry with raw materials. The most important branch of the agro-industrial complex is livestock, which requires constant improvement of methods for improving breed quality and raising, livestock management, to use the possibilities of natural forage lands intensively, which are 9.3 million ha of pastures in the highland zone of the Republic.
Kyrgyzstan is located in one of the highest world mountain systems of the Tien Shan, where yak breeding is one of the most profitable and upcoming livestock sectors.
Yaks are well adapted to highland conditions, resistant to high and low temperatures, as well as to conditions of hypoxia, do not require special premises, care and feeding, are kept on natural alpine pastures all year round.
Yak crossed with cattle, and the resulting hybrids in the country are bred for the production of environmentally compatible meat. Live weight in cows varies from 260 to 400 kg. Meat of yaks is not inferior in chemical composition and nutritional qualities to meat of cattle and by some indicators is superior to domestic beef.
Yak breeding is a non-waste industry, the products go into processing, starting from hair, wool, leather, hooves. Meat, milk, butter are valuable food products. The amount of dry matter in cattle meat is 23.6%. In yak meat is 24.4%, respectively, crude protein is 20.7% and 22.73%. Fat is an invaluable raw material for the cosmetic industry. Leather is used in the production of leather products, footwear, it has exceptional strength and at the same time great elasticity. Wool, down are used for making clothes, rugs, etc. From the hair do lasso, make wigs and other attributes. Blood and organs of internal secretion, horns, hoofs are the most valuable raw material in the pharmacological industry for preparation of highly effective drugs.
From the CIS countries in the Kyrgyz Republic are a great number of yaks and two breeding centers: in the Tien Shan mountains and in the Osh region of the Middle Alai Mountains.
The research of yak in Kyrgyzstan was started by Ya.Ya.Lus (1924, 1930). The stationary research of yaks was started in 1932 on the basis of the Alamedin experimental station. The experience of this station showed that the study of yaks should be carried out in their natural habitats in high-altitude areas.
Traditional methods of reproduction do not ensure the effective implementation of the genetic potential of small and declining species. To protect and make efficient use of these genetic resources, to restore small species, breed, create new selection forms through the distant hybridization of animals allow modern biotechnological methods (3, 4).
At present time, it is possible to preserve the seed of animals for a long time in a state of deep cooling, that became the basis for creating a cryobank of genetic resources of highly productive, rare, unique and endangered animal species and distribution of farms among farmers to increase their number which producing c and ensuring sustainable development (5).
The nutritional properties of fodder crops in high-altitude conditions are of great importance for the production of environmentally-clean organic yak meat. Improvement of pastures and introduction of frost-resistant high-nutrient forage crops is really important for the quality of meat. Kyrgyz Research Institute of Livestock Breeding and Pastures has cultivars of forage crops with such qualities. Their introduction, expansion and distribution of such crops on alpine pastures will significantly improve the quality of meat products.
Thus, the creation of environmentally-clean organic meat under the highland conditions and providing sustainable development of farms is possible in solving the following problems:
1. Monitoring and screening of initial yak species and hybrids in Kyrgyzstan;
2. Molecular and genetic analysis of yaks of different species and populations by using of molecular markers;
3. Determination of features of initial species and different populations of yaks fruiting time and biological features of the seed of domestic and wild species of yaks obtained by different methods (ejaculation, elecrogroaculation and extraction from epididymis before and after deep freezing);
4. Creation of cryobank of genetic material of species and populations of Kyrgyzstan yaks;
5. Monitoring of pastures of high mountains for botanical composition of vegetation and their nutritional value;
6. Introduction of high-nutrient frost-resistant fodder crops in pastures of highlands.
Expected Results and Their Application:
- Initial forms of yaks from different regions of the republic will be selected for further selection work.
- A molecular and genetic analysis of different species of yaks will be carried out by using molecular markers.
- Features of initial species of yaks fruiting time and biological features of the seed of domestic and wild yaks will be determined by different methods;
-The cryobank of genetic material of different species and populations of Kyrgyzstan yaks will be created;
- Monitoring of pastures of high mountains will be carried out and the botanical composition of plants and their nutritional value will be determined;
- High-nutrient and frost-resistant cultivars of forage crops will be introduced into highland pastures.


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