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Cloning. 2000;2(1):9-22.

Blastomeres from somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos are not allocated randomly in chimeric blastocysts.

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  • 1Gene Evaluation and Mapping Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Bldg. 200, Room 8, BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


A marker has been developed to allow detection of blastomeres that originate from embryos produced by nuclear transfer (NT) of genetically engineered fetal fibroblasts. A plasmid (phEFnGFP) was constructed with a G418 resistance cassette for selection in fibroblasts and a nuclear localized green fluorescent protein (nGFP) expression cassette that expresses in every cell of day-6, -7, and -8 bovine embryos. This construct was utilized to follow the blastomere distribution in aggregation chimeras produced from fertilized embryos (in vitro produced, IVP) or parthenotes and NT embryos. Fluorescent and nonfluorescent NT embryos were aggregated early on day 4 and evaluated on day 8. Nuclei of blastomeres that carried the transgene were fluorescent under both UV epifluorescence (Hoechst 33342) and blue epifluorescence (nGFP). There was no bias in the distribution of green fluorescent blastomeres in the inner cell mass (ICM) or trophectoderm in NT<>NT chimeras. However, there was a strong bias for NT blastomeres to populate the ICM when aggregated with IVP embryos or parthenotes. There was also a strong bias against NT blastomeres in the trophectoderm when aggregated to IVP embryos. However, the bias against NT blastomeres in the trophectoderm was significantly less (p < 0.05) when aggregated with parthenotes as compared to aggregation with IVP embryos. In NT<>NT aggregates, no chimeric embryos were produced that had an ICM composed of blastomeres from a single origin. However, in NT<>Parthenote aggregates, 67% of the blastocysts had an ICM composed exclusively of NT origin. The remaining blastocysts ranged from 0% to 83% of the ICM that expressed nGFP. Similarly, in NT<>IVP aggregates 50% of the blastocysts had an ICM composed exclusively of NT origin. The remaining blastocysts ranged from 19% to 71% of the ICM being of NT origin. We conclude that production of divaricated chimeras from NT origin is feasible. Other applications of this technology are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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