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Dev Biol. 1994 Jan;161(1):126-30.

A complete culture system for avian transgenesis, supporting quail embryos from the single-cell stage to hatching.

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Faculty of Agriculture, Shinshu University, Ina, Japan.


We report here a method to produce quail hatchlings by culture in vitro from the single-cell stage. The culture is composed of three steps. In the first step, the fertilized ovum surrounded by thick albumen obtained from the magnum is cultured for 24 hr at 41.5 degrees C in a tightly sealed 20-ml plastic cup with chicken thin albumen added to the equator level of the ovum (System Q1). In the second step, a quail egg shell, cut horizontally and emptied, is used as a bed shell. After the thick albumen is removed, the embryo with egg yolk is transferred to the bed shell and thin albumen from chicken eggs is added to fill the shell. Then, the embryo is cultured for an additional 52 hr at 37.5 degrees C while being rocked at an angle of 90 degrees at 30-min intervals (System Q2). The embryo is transferred again to a chicken bed shell and cultured at 37.5 degrees C with rocking at a 30-degree angle (System Q3). Just before hatching, the rocking of embryos is stopped. The procedure yielded a hatchability of 25%. For transgenesis, a plasmid construct containing a beta-actin-lacZ hybrid gene (pMiwZ) is microinjected into the ovum at the single-cell stage, which is cultured in vitro for 85-90 hr using Systems Q1 and Q2 consecutively. Seven out of 17 surviving embryos exhibited lacZ gene expression in embryonic tissues as detected by histochemistry. The procedure described here should be highly applicable for the production of transgenic birds.

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