Department of Science and Technology, Government of India has granted Rs. 11.67 lakh to K. Ramesh Kumar, Assistant Professor of Zoology, Rajah Serfoji Government College here to carry out a novel research in pheromone identification of bovine urine.

The grant has been given under Fast Track Young Scientist programme of the department, said a press release issued here by the College on Wednesday.

The research is entitled as "Chemical characterisation of bovine (Bos Indicus) urine: A new insight in mammalian pheromones". The aim of the present work is to identify the estrus period very accurately, which paves the way for the successful artificial insemination.

Technology has been developed to identify pheromones and duplicate them on a more consistent basis than in the past. Effective pheromones are available for a variety of insect, pests. But only few scientists in India are concentrating on identifying the mammalian pheromones as applied for live stock production and its improvement. The basic research on pheromones in mammals is a beginning approach in India, to result in some practical applications particularly in rearing and breeding of farm animals. By identifying urinary pheromones and proteins, it is possible to develop a biomarker for estrus detection.

Urine is an accurate indicator of the physiological status of an animal because of its function as the major means by which metabolic waste is eliminated from an animal. Mammals secrete pheromones within their urine and deposit these signals as scent marks throughout their home ranges, the press release added.

To date, no chemical investigation has been performed in Indian Cow, (Bos Indicus) urine. The objective of this study is to examine the profiles of urinary volatile compounds in estrus females at various reproductive stages so as to clarify whether urine contains information potentially useful in chemical communication. The findings of the present work have the possibility to yield new information related to olfactory communication and chemical characterisation of urinary pheromones, the press release said.