The transfer of genes by microinjection of recombinant DNA into one-cell embryos has been amply demonstrated in mice. Its application to domestic animals offers a novel approach to their genetic improvement. Currently, there are limitations to the general application of the technique to commercial species such as sheep. This paper identifies these limitations and discusses possible solutions.
Microinjection in sheep is more difficult than in mice. The pronuclei are more difficult to see, and the survival of embryos immediately following injection, and at later stages, is reduced. We have yet to achieve gene transfer into sheep, and published reports support the view that the efficiency of integration may be low in this species.
The judicious selection of gene sequences is of paramount importance for the successful application of the technique to domestic livestock. Four potential areas for gene transfer are discussed.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XII. Biotechnology, selection experiments, parameter estimation, design of breeding systems, management of genetic resources., , 6–21, 1986
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