Author(s): Shiga K, Umeki H, Shimura H, Fujita T, Watanabe S,
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Abstract In the present study, somatic cell cloning technology was used to produce eight newborn calves from an aged, infertile bull. Average birth weight of these calves was significantly higher than that of calves produced using AI. Four of the cloned calves died during the peripartum period; the remaining four (Clones A-D) survived and were used in this study. Two of the surviving calves (Clones C and D) were castrated; growth rates of the intact and castrated clones were similar to those of intact and castrated bulls, respectively, that had been derived by AI. Both uncastrated bulls (Clones A and B) began to produce normal semen at approximately 12 months of age. Semen produced by these clones, and their nuclear donor, was subsequently used for IVF; the proportion of IVM-IVF oocytes developing to the blastocyst stage was 23.4\% (50/214), 28.4\% (52/183) and 30.9\% (63/204), respectively. Conception rates for AI were 54.5\% (12/22) and 62.7\% (64/102) for semen derived from Clone A and from the nuclear donor, respectively. The length of pregnancy and birth weight of the calves derived from semen collected from clones were similar to those of calves obtained by conventional AI using semen from their nuclear donor. Therefore, sires cloned from the somatic cells of an aged and infertile bull had normal fertility.
This article was published in Theriogenology
and referenced in Cloning & Transgenesis