Scientists at the Bhopal chapter of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research have unravelled for the first time the genetic makeup of native Indian cow breeds Kasargod Dwarf, Kasargod Kapila, Vechur, and Ongole, IISER said on Tuesday. The genome sequencing study on the four breeds will throw more light on traits like their ability to handle heat in India and will lead to increased productivity and sustainability in the Indian cattle industry, the premier institute said in a release. The genome is like a blueprint or a set of instructions required by an organism, like a plant or animal, to live and survive. It’s made up of tiny units called genes, which contain the information needed for the organism to grow, develop, and function properly. By understanding the genome, scientists can learn important information about the organism, like how it might be related to certain diseases or traits, said the release. The details of the study have been published in bioRxiv (pronounced “bio-archive”), an online archive and distribution service for unpublished preprints in the life sciences. It has been co-authored by Dr Vineet K Sharma and his research scholars Abhisek Chakraborty, Manohar S. Bisht, Rituja Saxena, Shruti Mahajan, and Dr Joby Pulikkan. “This research is important as till now there is no genome of Indian cows available and we are dependent on western variety Bos Taurus genome for doing any study,” Sharma, associate professor, Department of Biological Sciences, IISER Bhopal, said.