Improving, transference and applicability of knowledge in conservation and characterization technologies in cattle breeds from Egypt and the Iberian Peninsula

This Marie-Curie action is a staff interchange program between the university of Cordoba (Coordinator – Spain) the  University of Lisbon  (Portugal ) and Ain Shams University Faculty of Agriculture -  Cairo (Egypt) and coordinated by J.V Delgado (foto on the left). This project has the main objective to improve the scientific relationship between our tree institutions. Nowadays the mobility of researcher both experienced as starting is of great importance. European cattle domestication happens in the near east since the Neolithic period. From this region, Bos taurus domestic cattle extended the length and the breath of Europe and Africa always accompanying the human civilization in their expansions. Nowadays, cattle breeds are completely integrated in the national production systems of Egypt, Portugal and Spain. These breeds are the basis of high quality products strongly linked to the cultural heritage, and also to the endogenous rural development compatible with the economical growth in a globalized world. Cattle can be observed in the national agricultural policies as a strategic point; it has even been fully supported within the European context. This fact entails a genetic erosion of the specie, reducing the number of breeds and locating several more on the brink of extinction.This happens especially in Egypt and other countries of the region, where the governmental support of the local breeds is scarce, even if those are well adapted to hard environment, local diseases, autochthonous feeding resources, etc. FAO (2007) has been clear in the recommendations pointed out in the Interlaken Conference memorandum. Firstly we must stand out the relevance given to molecular tools in the characterization and management of Animal Genetic resources. Secondly, the demand of transference of knowledge among countries has been pointed out. It is very important to follow these recommendations by using routinely molecular tools, genetic relations among original breeds belonging to Egypt as proximal point to Bos taurus domestication, and the Iberian breeds located in the furthest geographical point in the evolution of the domestic cattle specie. We must create structures to work in cooperation projects among European countries and the near East, improving the cooperation among laboratories and the formation of human resources to take advantage of all the genomic information at structural, functional and epigenetic levels.


Baladi cattle, one of the breeds in study in this action.


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