A synthetic breed of goat called Jermasia has been developed scientifically at the University of Malaya through a systematic crossbreeding program between German Fawn and local Katjang goats. The German Fawn goat was chosen for meat and milk production while the Katjang goat was selected for its adaptability to Malaysian climate and resistance to parasites.
Local Katjang goats were crossed with German Fawn males through artificial insemination (AI) using cryopreserved semen in order to produce the F1
(first generation) goats. After several generations of intra-population selection (F2
) for economic performance traits like growth, carcass quality, reproduction, milk production and disease resistance, the University succeeded in producing the Jermasia breed that is of excellent quality in meat and milk production in 1990. This breed has also been tested for its performance in various types of production system (intensive, semi-intensive, extensive and integration) and was found to be at par or better than that observed in the University of Malaya nucleus herd. Jermasia breed has been listed in the World Watch List for domestic animal diversity, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, October 2000.
Initial studies for the propagation and genetic improvement of the Jermasia breed included utilizing assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs) procedures such as cryopreservation of semen, AI as well as in vitro
maturation, fertilization and culture (IVMFC). In an effort to rapidly multiply and to upgrade the Jermasia breed to meet the commercial demand, ARTs such as laparoscopic oocyte pick-up (LOPU), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), vitrification, embryo transfer (ET) and nuclear transfer (NT), in addition to the above-mentioned technologies, are being utilized as options for the generation of Jermasia kids.
We are involved in this research in the past 20 years and a leader in the country in applying ARTs in goat production. These will not only serve to generate knowledge for teaching and research purposes but also as a contribution to society through commercialization. Currently, University of Malaya is collaborating with Rumpun Asia Sdn Bhd in commercialization of Jermasia goat in the country. Future advances in Jermasia development may even open up opportunities in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors through gene transfer and stem cell technologies.
Jermasia Male Jermasia Female
Animal Biotechnology-Embryo Laboratory (ABEL) Members Session 2007/2008