Gene-Edited Livestock 'Surrogate Sires' Successfully Made Fertile

Lynnette Harris
09/15/2020

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Gene editing machinery

For the first time, scientists have created pigs, goats and cattle that can serve as viable “surrogate sires” that could speed the spread of desirable characteristics by male animals that produce sperm carrying only the genetic traits of donor animals.

The advance is the subject of a proof-of-concept study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Sept. 14, and could improve food production for a growing global population. The technique could enable breeders in remote regions greater access to genetic material of elite animals from other parts of the world and allow precise breeding for specific genetic traits in animals such as goats where using artificial insemination is difficult.

The study is the result of 6 years of collaborative work among researchers at Washington State University, Utah State University, University of Maryland and the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K.

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