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Reprod Fertil Dev. 2009;21(1):76-82.

Cloning endangered felids using heterospecific donor oocytes and interspecies embryo transfer.

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  • 1Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, 14001 River Road, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA.


Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) offers the possibility of preserving endangered species. It is one of the few technologies that avoids the loss of genetic variation and provides the prospect of species continuance, rather than extinction. Nonetheless, there has been a debate over the use of SCNT for preserving endangered species because of abnormal nuclear reprogramming, low efficiency and the involvement of extra mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of a different species in live offspring produced by interspecies SCNT. Despite these limitations, live endangered cloned animals have been produced. In the present paper, we describe recent research on the production of cloned embryos derived by fusion of wild felid fibroblast cells with heterospecific domestic cat cytoplasts and their viability after transfer into domestic cat recipients. In addition, we discuss epigenetic events that take place in donor cells and felid cloned embryos and mtDNA inheritance in wild felid clones and their offspring.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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