Author(s): Wani NA, Wernery U, Hassan FA, Wernery R, Skidmore JA
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Abstract In this study, we demonstrate the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce the first cloned camelid, a dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) belonging to the family Camelidae. Donor karyoplasts were obtained from adult skin fibroblasts, cumulus cells, or fetal fibroblasts, and in vivo-matured oocytes, obtained from preovulatory follicles of superstimulated female camels by transvaginal ultrasound guided ovum pick-up, were used as cytoplasts. Reconstructed embryos were cultured in vitro for 7 days up to the hatching/hatched blastocyst stage before they were transferred to synchronized recipients on Day 6 after ovulation. Pregnancies were achieved from the embryos reconstructed from all cell types, and a healthy calf, named Injaz, was born from the pregnancy by an embryo reconstructed with cumulus cells. Genotype analyses, using 25 dromedary camel microsatellite markers, confirmed that the cloned calf was derived from the donor cell line and the ovarian tissue. In conclusion, the present study reports, for the first time, establishment of pregnancies and birth of the first cloned camelid, a dromedary camel (C. dromedarius), by use of somatic cell nuclear transfer. This has opened doors for the amelioration and preservation of genetically valuable animals like high milk producers, racing champions, and males of high genetic merit in camelids. We also demonstrated, for the first time, that adult and fetal fibroblasts can be cultured, expanded, and frozen without losing their ability to support the development of nuclear transfer embryos, a technology that may potentially be used to modify fibroblast genome by homologous recombination so as to generate genetically altered cloned animals.
This article was published in Biol Reprod
and referenced in Cloning & Transgenesis