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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Comparison of Reproductive Characteristics of Boars Generated by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer to Highly Related Conventionally Produced Boars

Authors
item Williams, Nanci - VIAGEN INC., AUSTIN TX
item Walker, Shawn - VIAGEN INC., AUSTIN TX
item Reeves, David - UNIV GEORGIA, ATHENS
item Sherrer, Eric - BRESAGEN INC., ATHENS GA
item Galvin, Julie - REPROD TECH SRVC, NC
item Polejaeva, Irina - VIAGEN INC., AUSTIN TX
item Rampacek, George - UNIV GEORGIA, ATHENS
item Benyshek, Larry - BENYSHEK HOUGH CONSULTING
item Christenson, Ronald
item Graves, William - UNIV GEORGIA, ATHENS
item Pratt, Scott - ONCOSE INC., ATHENS GA

Submitted to: Cloning and Stem Cells
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2006
Publication Date: October 20, 2006
Citation: Williams, N.E., Walker, S.C., Reeves, D.E., Sherrer, E., Galvin, M., Polejaeva, I., Rampacek, G., Benyshek, L., Christenson, R.K., Graves, W.M., Pratt, S.L. 2006. (Brief Communication) A comparison of reproductive characteristics of boars generated by somatic cell nuclear transfer to highly related conventionally produced boars. Cloning and Stem Cells. 8(3):130-139.

Interpretive Summary: Cloning allows for the expansion of elite genetics, the propagation of lost genetics and the protection of genetics in the event of a catastrophe such as foot and mouth disease. For cloning to become commercially acceptable it has to be economically feasible and the animals produced by cloning need to be reproductively sound. To date the majority of cloning research has focused on improving somatic cell nuclear transfer efficiency rates with few published results on the reproductive soundness of the offspring produced by cloning. The goal of this study was to evaluate and compare reproductive characteristics of boars produced by cloning with conventionally produced boars of similar/same genetics. Semen from these boars was collected, evaluated, and utilized for the insemination of 89 gilts. Pregnancy, farrowing rate and progeny data was collected and compared. Differences were observed in some of the semen characteristics analyzed with the clones usually possessing superior semen quality to the control, this likely being a result of age differences amongst the clones and controls. Additionally no differences were noted between the clones and controls or between individual boars within genetics for pregnancy rates, gestation length or any of the litter parameters examined between the clones and controls. These data further support previous publications that the reproductive capabilities of cloned boars are equal to that of conventionally produced boars.

Technical Abstract: This study compares the reproductive performance of boars produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer vs. conventional breeding. Two different genotypes were selected for comparison: terminal cross line 1 (TX1) and terminal cross line 2 (TX2). The boars selected for comparison from TX1 were three cloned boars, produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer and the conventionally produced progenitor of the clones. The boars selected for comparison from TX2 were a cloned boar produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer and two conventionally produced half sibling boars that were offspring of the progenitor of the clone. Semen from each boar was collected, extended, evaluated and shipped offsite. Upon arrival the semen was reevaluated and utilized for artificial insemination of 89 commercial gilts, at least twelve gilts per boar, producing 625 piglets. Pregnancy rates were determined at day 30 and 110 of gestation; and farrowing rate and gestation length were recorded. Differences were observed in some of the semen characteristics analyzed with the clones usually possessing superior semen quality to the control, this likely being a result of age differences amongst the clones and controls. Additionally no differences were noted between the clones and controls (progenitor) or between individual boars within genetic line for pregnancy rates, gestation length or any of the litter parameters examined between the clones and controls. These data further support previous reports with limited numbers that the reproductive capabilities of cloned boars are equal to that of conventionally produced boars.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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