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Theriogenology. 2005 Feb;63(3):774-82.

Production of quail (Coturnix japonica) germline chimeras by transfer of gonadal primordial germ cells into recipient embryos.

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Avicore Biotechnology Institute, Uiwang City, Kyonggi Province 437-020, South Korea.


The possibility of producing quail germline chimeras by the transfer of gonadal primordial germ cells (gPGCs) into recipient embryos was investigated. Japanese quail of the black (D: homozygous for the autosomal incomplete dominant gene D) and wild-type plumage (WP: d+/d+) strains were used as donors and recipients, respectively. Gonadal cells were retrieved from the gonads of 5-day-old D embryos, and gPGCs were enriched by magnetism-activated cell sorting. Fresh (noncultured) gPGCs or those isolated after culture for 3 days with gonadal stromal cells present in the mixed cell population were introduced into the dorsal aorta of 2-day-old recipient WP embryos. Hatchability of the recipient embryos was 23.7% (31/131) and 34.4% (31/90) for those transfused with cultured or noncultured gPGCs, respectively. Of the hatched quail, 28 acquired sexual maturity; among these animals, 7.1% (1/14) and 21.4% (3/14) of those that received cultured or noncultured gPGCs, respectively, were proved to be germline chimeras. The percentage of germline transmission to the donor-derived gametes in the chimeras that received cultured and noncultured gPGCs were 1.9 and 2.2-4.7%, respectively. In conclusion, quail gPGCs retrieved from 5-day-old embryos were thus transmitted in the germline after their transfer to quail embryos of a different strain. This property of the gPGCs was not adversely affected by culture for up to 3 days.

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