The Umblachery breed of cattle is also known by the names “Mottai Madu” and Mollai Madu”. Umblachery cattle which is the native breed of coastal plains of Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts derive the name from its home tract Umblachery a small viallage situated eight Km away from Thiruthuraipoondi town in Thiruvarur district. It is believed that the Umblachery breed was derived by breeding Kangayam with the local cattle of Thanjavur district. These are light built and medium sized animals which were developed for work in the marshy rice fields of these areas. Its body is compact with tucked up abdomen.
In adult animals the predominant coat colour is grey. The intensity of colour varies from grey with admixer of black to full grey colour. The calves are red or brown at birth and changes to grey at the age of six to eight months. In male calves the horn buds are removed at about six months of age, the ears are pruned and hot iron branding done at face and sides of the body. Legs are with white markings of “socks”. Feet and hooves are white or partially white. The cows are poor milkers. Bullocks are small, swift and suited for agricultural operations.
Umblachery breed is an excellent draught cattle of Tamilnadu, noted for its strength and sturdiness especially used in the marshy fields for wed ploughing. Several genetic markers have been used for identification of farm animals. The present study was undertaken to characterize the Umblachery breed with chromosomes. The diploid chromosome number in Umblachery cattle was 2n=60 comprising of 29 pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. All autosomes are acrocentric, the X- chromosome is submetacentric and Y chromosome is acrocentric. C-banding in Umblachery cattle was showed all autosomes with darkly stained centromere but the sex chromosomes were found to be C-band negative.
The Umblachery Cattle and Umblachery Cow population explosion and a poor distribution of food are among the world’s greatest problems today. Animals throughout the world supply human beings with milk, meat, egg, draft power, transportation, hides, fertilizer and many other useful products. Farm animal contribution to mankind in developing or under developed countries in the world is immense. Tamilnadu is the home of a few well-known draught breeds of cattle, such as Kangayam, Umblachery, Bargur, Alambadi and Pulikulam. Umblachery breed is one among the famous draught breeds of Tamilnadu. It is also known by the synonyms Mottai madu, Molai madu, Jathi madu and Therkathi madu. The Umblachery is a medium sized draught type cattle. It is strong and active with compact body and short legs.
The calves of the breed are red or brown in colour at birth. The red colour begins to change to grey at three to four months of age. Total grey colour is generally attained at six to eight months of age. In some animals, total grey colour is attained even at the age of one year. Genetic markers facilitate the "tagging" of individual genes or small chromosome segments containing genes, which influence the trait of interest. Chromosomal studies are mainly useful for gene mapping, identification of markers etc. The chromosomal studies in Umblachery breed of cattle are not available. Hence, the present study was undertaken to characterise the breed by cytogenetic parameters.
The culture technique was carried out as per Moorehead et al. (1960) with minor modification. RPMI-1640 was used as the cell culture medium. Benzyl penicillin and streptomycin sulphate were added at 100 IU/ml and 100μg/ml respectively. Autologous plasma or foetal calf serum 2ml, 0.5ml of whole blood and 0.1ml of phytohaemaglutinin (PHA-M) were added to 8 ml of culture medium. The tubes were incubated at 37ºC for 72 hrs. Colchicine (0.1μg/ml) was added one hour before harvest of cultures. The cells were subjected to hypotonic treatment (0.075M KCl) for 30 min at 37ºC.
The supernatant was removed after centrifugation at 1000 rpm for 10min leaving the cell button. Then the cells were fixed in Carnoy’s fluid (3:1 Methanol: Acetic acid). The cell fixing procedure was repeated 2 to 3 times and the tubes were placed at 4ºC overnight. Chromosome spreads were prepared and stained with 4 per cent Giemsa for 20-25 minutes. The chromosomal spreads were photographed; the length of chromosomes was measured with Vernier calliper. The per cent relative length of individual chromosome was calculated. The chromosomes were paired in the order of descending lengths for karyotyping.