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Anim Sci J. 2011 Apr;82(2):236-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2010.00827.x. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Constant transmission of mitochondrial DNA in intergeneric cloned embryos reconstructed from swamp buffalo fibroblasts and bovine ooplasm.

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Embryo Technology and Stem Cell Research Center and School of Biotechnology, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.


Although interspecies/intergeneric somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) has been proposed as a tool to produce offspring of endangered species, conflict between donor nucleus and recipient cytoplasm in iSCNT embryos has been identified as an impediment to implementation for agricultural production. To investigate the nuclear-mitochondrial interactions on the developmental potential of iSCNT embryos, we analyzed the mtDNA copy numbers in iSCNT embryos reconstructed with water buffalo (swamp type) fibroblasts and bovine enucleated oocytes (buffalo iSCNT). As controls, SCNT embryos were derived from bovine fibroblasts (bovine SCNT). Buffalo iSCNT and bovine SCNT embryos showed similar rates of cleavage and development to the 8-cell stage (P>0.05). However, buffalo iSCNT embryos did not develop beyond the 16-cell stage. Both bovine and buffalo mtDNA content in buffalo iSCNT embryos was stable throughout the nuclear transfer process, and arrested at the 8- to 16-cell stage (P>0.05). In bovine SCNT embryos that developed to the blastocyst stage, mtDNA copy number was increased (P<0.05). In conclusion, both the donor cell and recipient cytoplast mtDNAs of buffalo iSCNT embryos were identified and maintained through the iSCNT process until the 8-16-cell stage. In addition, the copy number of mtDNA per embryo was a useful monitor to investigate nuclear-mitochondrial interactions.

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