About

Animal biotechnology is a branch of biotechnology in which molecular biology techniques are used to genetically manipulate animals in order to improve their suitability for agriculture, industrial, or pharmaceutical applications. The biotech’s applied in animal breeding and genetics are mainly moved towards increasing breeding efficiency of livestock especially within organized breeding schemes and conservation of animal genetic resources. The discipline of Animal Biotechnology is currently playing a key enabling role in the development of the next generation of technologies such as in vitro production of embryos, somatic cloning and precise genetic modification, feed and nutrition development and other applications. In the 20th century rapid changes in animal production has been made globally through biotechnology due to its potential to improve the productivity of animals via increase growth, carcass quality, reproduction, improved nutrition and feed utilization, improved quality and safety of food, improved health and welfare of animals and reduced waste through more efficient utilization of resources.

Our objectives are:

  • To alleviate production impediments from small scale animal production system to intensive farming level employing the cutting age technologies that enhance production and productivity of farm animals.
  • To deliver appropriate technologies, information and knowledge that would contribute to the much-desired development of the animal agriculture sub-sector.

Teams

under formation

Responsibilities

  • Collaborating with different organizations
  • Conducting problem solving research and development
  • Technology and Innovation development
  • Training and Consultancy
  • Coordinate and capacity development

Research Themes

Animal Molecular Breeding and Genetics

 

Three breakthroughs have resulted in the current widespread use of DNA information: 1) the genomic selection (GS), 2) Identification of many thousands of SNP markers, and 3) SNP-chip genotyping technologies that provide the genotyping of all these SNPs with cost effective. Therefore, by widely integrating molecular markers information into the breeding programs in animal molecular breeding and genetics the team undertakes researches by:

  • Applying genomic information for Marker assisted selection and breeding to improve economically important traits.
  • Improving the genetic potential of local breeds through modern biotechnology & devise mechanisms for rapid multiplication and utilization e.g. through open breeding scheme.
  • Genetic diversity and population structure studies on indigenous breeds for breed improvement and conservation.
  • Application of modern biotechnology tools in improving aquatic agriculture and fish resource

Reproductive Biotechnology

Artificial insemination (AI) is the only biotechnology tool being practiced for more than five decades in the country while other generations of assisted reproductive technology are not well practiced. Currently many options have become available for manipulation of animal reproduction. Among the major research focuses within the reproductive biotechnology thematic area are:

  • Establishing nucleus herd for biotechnology interventions and applying:
  • Artificial insemination
  • Estrous synchronization and fixed-time insemination
  • Superovulation & embryo transfer
  • Genetic engineering and cloning,
  • In-vitro embryo production and fertilization,
  • Gamete freezing and preservation and sexed semen technologies to speed up multiplication of superior donors and improve economically important traits.
  • Capacity building for artificial insemination service delivery, embryo transfer, production and storage of genetic materials (cryopreservation).

Animal nutrition & feed Biotechnology

 

Inadequate nutrition is the main cause of low productivity of livestock in Ethiopia. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance the utilization of available fodder and agricultural by-products and also to look for alternative feed resources. However, there is minimal or no focus given for biotechnology tools application in animal feed and nutrition research. In animal nutrition and feed biotechnology research we will focus on feed manipulation, host animal manipulation, and microbial manipulation. This achieved by:

  • Genetically manipulation of rumen microbiota naturally present in the gut.
  • Non-Genetic/dietary rumen manipulation
  • Application of biotechnology to improve utilization of feeds and fodder 
  • Molecular breeding of forage plants/crops
  • Application of biotechnology for animal products development.

Research Projects

  1. Genetic Polymorphism of HSP70 Gene and Its Association with Heat Tolerance in Selected Cattle Breeds (PI: Genet Dejene)
  2. Molecular Screening of Genetic Disorders in Exotic, Cross and Indigenous bulls in Ethiopia (PI: Genet Zewdie)

  3. Screening and Development of indigenous starter cultures for fermentation of Ergo in Ethiopia (PI: Tesfamariam Berhe (PhD))

  4. Design and development of camel milk butter churner (PI: Tesfamariam Berhe (PhD))

  5. Phytochemical Screening and antimicrobial activity of Cinnamon against mastitis causal agents in cows of different farms in Ethiopia. (PI: Yeshimebet Chanyalew Getahun (PhD))
  6. Development of Prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2α) for Estrus Synchronization in Cattle (PI: Yeshimebet Chanyalew Getahun (PhD))
  7. Harnessing genetic polymorphism of important genes for growth and egg production traits of indigenous chickens in Ethiopia (PI: Kedija Hussen Mohammed (PhD))
  8. Lysine and methionine production by bacterial fermentation: pathway for import substitute in Ethiopian feed sub sector (PI: Kedija Hussen Mohammed (PhD))
  9. Identification of polymorphic Genes Associated with Prolificacy Traits in Ethiopian Sheep Breeds (PI:Habtamu Abera (PhD))

  10. Synchronization of estrus using Ovsynch protocols in indigenous dairy cattle (PI:Habtamu Abera (PhD))

  11. Semen Extender Formulation for Cryopreservation of Cattle Semen (PI: Seid Mohammed Seman (PhD))

Researchers

Name of the Researcher Qualification/FieldArea of Research InterestEmail address
Kedija Hussen MohammedPhD / Animal Breeding and GeneticsConventional Breeding (Cross Breeding), molecular genetics (Marker assisted selection, Association StudyKedhus2001[at]gmail.com
Genet ZewdieMSc / Applied GeneticsAnimal Breeding and Geneticsgzewdie4[at]gmail.com
Seid Mohammed SemanPhD / Livestock Production and ManagementReproductive Biotechnology, Molecular animal breeding and geneticsseidmam2006[at]gmail.com
Habtamu AberaPhD / Animal Genetics, Breeding and ReproductionLivestock genomics, population Genetics, Animal Genomics, Genomics and climate changehabtamu2016[at]yahoo.com
Yeshimebet Chanyalew GetahunPhD / Molecular MicrobiologyReproductive Biotechnology/Estrus synchronization, Artificial Insemination, reproductive and Animal Reproductive Diseases and Disordersyeshic2014[at]gmail.com
Tesfemariam BerhePhD / Dairy TechnologyFermentation biotechnology, starter culture development, metagenomics , proteomics, aromaticsLucyselam[at]gmail.com
Genet DejeneMSc / BiotechnologyAnimal Biotechnology, Genomicsgenetdejene27[at]yahoo.com
Tegegn FantahunMSc / Animal Genetics and BreedingGenetic, genomic evaluation and biotechnology of livestock and fisheries, Udder genetics of dairy cattle, Heat stress response, greenhouse gas emission on livestocktegefanta[at]yahoo.com
Girma DebelePhD / Animal nutrition and Feed science Nutrigenomics, Metagenomics (rumen microbiota)and metabolomicsgetgdd[at]yahoo.com
Megersa AboneMSc / Animal Biotechnology Animal Biotechnology, Microbiology, Enzymes megersaabone[at]gmail.com