- South African Biological Reserve for Small Stock research and conservation
South African Biological Reserve for Small Stock research and conservation
M.A. Snyman & O.S. Qwabe
Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute, P/Bag X529, Middelburg (EC), 5900
E-mail: Gretha Snyman
The aim of the South African Biological Reserve for Small Stock is to promote the improvement and conservation of South African sheep and goat breeds. This program, driven by the Department of Agriculture, comprises of three projects, which deals respectively with:
- Maintenance of live herds of animals (conservation and research)
- Cryopreservation bank (primarily conservation, secondly research)
- Blood and DNA bank (genomic research).
The objectives of this program are to:
- Maintain resource herds of various small stock breeds as reference populations and source of phenotypic data and genetic material in collaboration with provincial departments of agriculture and breeders
- Collect blood samples from animals in the reference herds, store blood samples, extract and store DNA in two separate suitable –80 °C storage facilities
- Collect embryos, semen and somatic cell tissue samples from animals in the reference herds and store it in liquid nitrogen storage facilities at two centres
- Develop and maintain a database with all relevant genetic, production and reproduction data
- Provide biological material and data to South African research institutions for the promotion of genomic research on the improvement of the sheep and goat population of the country
- Conserve and preserve the genetic diversity of South African sheep and goat breeds
- Conserve and preserve the indigenous sheep and goat breeds of South Africa.
To date, blood samples from 13625 animals (9235 Angora goats and 4390 sheep) have been collected and stored in the blood and DNA bank. All phenotypic data recorded have been entered into the database. A DNA laboratory and central storage facility for the biological reserve for South African small stock breeds have already been established at Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute and are already operational.
The following persons / institutions are acknowledged for their contribution to this project:
- Participating breeders for their inputs
- Mohair South Africa for partial funding of the Angora project
- Cape Wools for partial funding of the Merino project
- Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture (ECDA)
- Northern Cape Department of Agriculture and Land Reform (NCDALR)
- Personnel on NCDALR and ECDA Experimental Stations
- University of Pretoria for inputs during the establishment of the DNA bank.
Proceedings 43th SASAS congress, KwaZulu Natal