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Genetic resources of rare livestock species discovered in survey

By Zhao Yimeng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-11-23 14:38

The third national survey on germplasm resources has collected livestock and poultry genetic resources in the Tibetan Plateau for the first time and saved rare species that faced extinction, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday.

The first two surveys, which were conducted more than 30 and 10 years ago, respectively, did not cover livestock and poultry genetic resources on the Tibetan Plateau or aquaculture germplasm resources.

Sun Haoqin, deputy director of the ministry's Department of Seed Industry, said China has so far collected 20,800 pieces of new crop germplasm resources, 18 new livestock and poultry genetic resources, and 30,000 aquaculture germplasm resources since the third survey launched in March.

Shi Jianzhong, Party chief of the National Animal Husbandry Station, said the survey team built a database consisting multi-media information of the existing 948 livestock and poultry species.

"The database facilitated farmers and herders to check on their phones and figure out if they had found a new variety by comparing the current species," Shi said.

More than 200 experts had been dispatched to the Tibetan Plateau to review the discoveries on site and double-checked by DNA comparison analysis in laboratories, he added.

Based on the survey, 10 excellent livestock and poultry genetic resources discovered on the Tibetan Plateau were released on Tuesday, including two yaks, seven local sheep and a special kind of chicken, also known as naked neck chicken.

Li Shumin, an official with the ministry's Bureau of Fisheries, said 10 aquaculture varieties have been selected from the first survey on aquaculture germplasm resources.

"These resources have outstanding traits and genes, which can be applied to scientific research and breeding, or developed into fish for recreational use," Li said.

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