European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 959–969

“Conservation cloning” of vulnerable Esfahan mouflon (Ovis orientalis isphahanica): in vitro and in vivo studies

  • M. Hajian
  • S. M. Hosseini
  • M. Forouzanfar
  • P. Abedi
  • S. Ostadhosseini
  • L. Hosseini
  • F. Moulavi
  • H. Gourabi
  • A. H. Shahverdi
  • A. Vosough Taghi Dizaj
  • S. A. Kalantari
  • Z. Fotouhi
  • R. Iranpour
  • H. Mahyar
  • A. Amiri-Yekta
  • M. H. Nasr-Esfahani
Original Paper

Abstract

Among the wide range of bio-conservational strategies envisaged, recent accomplishments in the field of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) hold considerable promise due to its unique potential to decelerate or prevent rapid loss of animal genetic resources, and even to revive extinct species. Accordingly, this study was carried out to investigate if in vitro matured and enucleated oocytes of domestic sheep could be used for interspecies conservation cloning of Esfahan mouflon (Ovis orientalis isphahanica), a vulnerable species classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Cryo-banked fibroblasts of a mouflon (derived from a genome resource bank) and a domestic sheep (prepared during a recent study) were cultured in vitro and used for karyotyping. Prior to SCNT, fibroblast donor cells were serum starved for 5 days. Using the zona-free SCNT technique, in vitro matured and enucleated domestic sheep oocytes were reconstituted with nuclei donor cells of mouflon and domestic sheep, and their competencies for in vitro development to the blastocyst stage were compared. The cloned mouflon blastocysts were then surgically transferred into the uterus of the synchronized domestic sheep. Karyotype analysis confirmed that fibroblasts of the Esfahan mouflon had the correct number of diploid chromosomes (2n = 54). Evaluation of 907 activated reconstructs [Esfahan mouflon (n = 667), domestic sheep (n = 240)] revealed no significant difference in the term of blastocyst development (7.6 ± 0.5% vs. 9.3 ± 0.5%, respectively). After the transfer of 12 cloned Esfahan mouflon blastocysts to five domestic sheep recipients, two (40.0%) pregnancies were established in which both (100%) were sustained until caesarean section (days 147 and 150 of pregnancy, respectively) and culminated in the live births of cloned Esfahan mouflon lambs. However, the newborns did not survive and died soon after birth. Karyotype and genetic analyses confirmed that both clones had correct diploid chromosome number (2n = 54), and were genetically identical to each other in addition to their original cell donor. This study highlighted the importance of “conservation cloning” using closely related abundant alternate species.

Keywords

Vulnerable Esfahan mouflon Conservation cloning 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Hajian
    • 1
  • S. M. Hosseini
    • 1
  • M. Forouzanfar
    • 2
  • P. Abedi
    • 1
  • S. Ostadhosseini
    • 1
  • L. Hosseini
    • 1
  • F. Moulavi
    • 1
  • H. Gourabi
    • 3
  • A. H. Shahverdi
    • 4
  • A. Vosough Taghi Dizaj
    • 5
    • 6
  • S. A. Kalantari
    • 7
  • Z. Fotouhi
    • 7
  • R. Iranpour
    • 8
  • H. Mahyar
    • 9
  • A. Amiri-Yekta
    • 4
  • M. H. Nasr-Esfahani
    • 1
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of Reproduction and Development, Royan Institute for Animal BiotechnologyACECRIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Department of Animal Science, Marvdasht BranchIslamic Azad UniversityMarvdashtIran
  3. 3.Department of Genetics, Royan Institute for Reproductive BiomedicineACECRTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Reproduction and Development, Cell Sciences Research CentreACECRIsfahanIran
  5. 5.Department of Infertility Imaging, Royan Institute for Reproductive BiomedicineACECRTehranIran
  6. 6.Department of Andrology, Royan Institute for Reproductive BiomedicineACECRTehranIran
  7. 7.Isfahan Fertility and Infertility CentreIsfahanIran
  8. 8.Department of Medical SciencesIsfahan UniversityIsfahanIran
  9. 9.Imam Mousaa-e-Kazem Burn HospitalIsfahanIran
  10. 10.Department of Reproduction and Development, Cell Sciences Research Centre, Royan Institute for Animal BiotechnologyACECRIsfahanIran

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