Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Cloning endangered felids using heterospecific donor oocytes and interspecies embryo transfer

Martha C. Gómez A D , C. Earle Pope A , David M. Ricks A B , Justine Lyons A , Cherie Dumas A and Betsy L. Dresser A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

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

B LSU Health Sciences Center, Department of Medicine, Gene Therapy Program, Louisiana State University, 533 Bolivar St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.

C Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans, 200 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70131, USA.

D Corresponding author. Email: mgomez@auduboninstitute.org

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 21(1) 76-82 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD08222
Published: 9 December 2008

Abstract

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.


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