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Cloning. 1999;1(2):73-87.

Use of embryonic and somatic cells for production of transgenic domestic animals.

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Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Department of Animal Sciences, and Center for Animal Biotechnology and Comparative Genomics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.


In contrast to the highly developed genetic modification systems available for manipulating the mouse genome, at this time only simple gain of function modifications can be undertaken in domestic species. Clearly, the greatest barrier to gene targeting in domestic species has been the unavailability of cell lines that can be modified in vitro and still be used to generate a living organism. In the mouse, the embryonic stem (ES) cells and embryonic germ (EG) cells have fulfilled that role. While the nuclear transfer procedures have solved this problem in sheep and cattle, in swine ES and EG cells are still needed. In addition, targeting in domestic species is affected by the need to develop targeting constructs containing isogenic DNA regions. As a result, it is necessary to isolate the gene of interest, sequence required regions, and develop isogenic targeting constructs by technologies such as long-range PCR. On the positive side, enrichment protocols developed in the mouse can be applied to domestic species, thus facilitating the identification of correctly modified cell lines. Hence, progress in mammalian cloning, the development of EG cell lines, and advances in gene targeting presently allows the introduction of precise genetic modifications into the domestic animal genome.


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