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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Improved Efficiency of Bovine Cloning

Location: Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To create bovine iPSCs for dairy cattle. The long term goal is to use iPSCs to improve the efficiency of cattle cloning. To provide a permanent source of a “clonable cell type”, and to create genetically modified cattle including gene targeting through site-directed genetic modifications.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Pluripotency is the capacity of a single cell to generate in a flexible manner, all cell lineages of the developing and adult organism. Pluripotency is generated naturally during mammalian development through formation of the epiblast, the founder tissue of the embryo proper. Pluripotency can be regenerated outside of the embryo by reprogramming somatic cells. The elucidation of genes that control these stem-cell-like qualities has led to the development of methods in human, mouse, rat, and pig to alter gene expression of fibroblasts [or other differentiated somatic cells] to create iPSCs. This project will first explore the technology and identify the essential combination of genes, the gene delivery system, and culture conditions necessary to produce iPSCs in the bovine. Once the essential factors and conditions are demonstrated, the focus will shift to verifying the expression of known stem-cell markers and optimizing media and culture conditions for the long-term propagation and maintenance of the bovine iPSCs in vitro. Candidate bovine iPSCs will then be tested for their ability to differentiate into the three primary germ layers (endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm) through the creation of teratomas in immune deficient SCID mice. Final proof that bovine iPSCs have been produced will be the demonstration that bovine iPSCs can be incorporated into virtually all tissues of calves as a result of the incorporation of these cells into the early embryo and their differentiation during organ formation. Once the pluripotency of our bovine iPSCs are verified with live progeny, the effort will shift to demonstrate our ability to create genetically modified cattle through the use of genetically modified iPSCs and standard embryo injection procedures.


3.Progress Report:

This work supports the National Program 101 mission statement in the area of developing information, tools, and technologies that can be used to improve animal production systems. Significant progress was made on Component 2: Understanding, Improving, and Effectively Using Animal Genetic and Genomic Resources. Progress on this project focuses on Problem Statement 2E: Improved Techniques for Genetic Modification and Genetic Engineering of Food Animals. Specifically, the production of bovine stem cells would allow the production of genetically modified cattle with elite allele gene replacement. Such animals would have elite alleles introduced to replace existing alleles in the genome. The animals produced could allow analyses of elite allele contribution to economically favored traits in a well characterized genetic background and environment. We are engaged in producing stem cells for cattle, pig and goat breeds. There are currently no embryonic stem cell lines for livestock species that can be used to study gene function and developing improved techniques and methodology for transfer of genes within and across species. Stem cells constitute an emerging technology for creating cell lines that mimic embryonic stem cells with the advantage that they can be maintained in culture long term, allowing genetic manipulations such as gene targeting. These tools will not only be useful for traditional animal production research applications (reproduction, growth and development, nutrient intake and utilization, product quality), but will also be used to decrease the environmental footprint of animal production, improve animal health, well-being and resistance to disease, and enhance food safety. There was no collaborative progress made in the development of specialized cell lines from food animals. There were no collaborative publications or presentations at scientific meetings.


Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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