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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech Université Paris-Saclay


GABI : Génétique Animale et Biologie IntégrativeUnité Mixte de Recherche INRA - AgroParisTech

Creation of an Internationally Associated Laboratory GIMIC (Genetic IMprovement of Indian Cattle and buffaloes) between GABI and an Indian NGO, the BAIF.

INRA, V. Ducroq
The Internationally Associated Laboratory GIMIC was created in 2018 for five years. It coordinates the activties of a large Indian NGO, the BAIF, and a group of geneticists and professors from AgroParisTech, all members of the research unit GABI. GIMIC will explore the use of modern tools such as genomic selection for genetic improvement of taurine x zebus crossbred animals and buffaloes in a tropical environment on small farms.

KEY-WORDS: Indian - ONG - genetic improvement - genomic selection - Bovine - Zébu -Buffaloe

India has bovine and buffaloe populations over 100 million individuals each. However, their productivity is very lowdue to the difficult environmental conditions (climate, health situation), a very low intrant system, very small herds (fewer than two cows on average) and the absence of significant genetic progress for decades.

The BAIF ( is a very large Indian NGO whos main goal is to improve the living conditions of small dairy farmers.

It was a pioneer organization in the introduction of cross-breeding in India using artificial insemination of cows with Bos taurus bulls (Holstein or Jersey), contributing to over 50% of the dairy production of the country.

Despite these programs, there has been little (or no) improvement of the indigenous and buffalo breeds. The development of genomic selection is, however, completely changing this context.

A partnership between GABI and the BAIF began in 2003 and has grown through the Genosouth1 and 2 projects of the SelGen metaprogram.

The LIA GIMIC should allow scaling-up and is based on a much more ambitious project of data analysis, unique in the world, which will establish an efficient genomic selection of pure and cross-bred zebus and even buffaloes. GIMIC involves seven permanent scientists from GABI who belong to the Bovine Genetics and Genomics team and the Population, Statistics and Genome team including three professors from AgroParisTech who will also contribute to the training of BAIF personnel.
The project combines fundamental and applied research to demonstrate that it is possible to develop lasting selection programs for cattle and buffalo in tropical conditions characterized by low-intrant breeding systems and very small herd size.

A review article was published in Frontiers in Genetics using the experience with the BAIF as a case study. This article, co-signed by the members of GIMIC, is a good illustration of what is ahead for the LIA.


Scientific coordinator:

Associated division: Animal Genetics

Associated research center: Jouy-en-josas

SelGen Metaprogram

 INRA Guidance Document Priority


#Global-1 : Facing global transitions head on
#Global-2 : Managing availability of bioresources on different scales

See also

Bibliographic references

Ducrocq V, Laloe D, Swaminathan M, Rognon X, Tixier-Boichard M and Zerjal T (2018) Genomics for Ruminants in Developing Countries: From Principles to Practice. Front. Genet. 9:251. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00251