Genetic rescue of an endangered mammal by cross-species nuclear transfer using post-mortem somatic cells

Nat Biotechnol. 2001 Oct;19(10):962-4. doi: 10.1038/nbt1001-962.


Since the advent of procedures for cloning animals, conservation biologists have proposed using this technology to preserve endangered mammals. Here we report the successful cloning of a wild endangered animal, Ovis orientalis musimon, using oocytes collected from a closely related, domesticated species, Ovis aries. We injected enucleated sheep oocytes with granulosa cells collected from two female mouflons found dead in the pasture. Blastocyst-stage cloned embryos transferred into sheep foster mothers established two pregnancies, one of which produced an apparently normal mouflon. Our findings support the use of cloning for the expansion of critically endangered populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild
  • Blastocyst
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cloning, Organism / veterinary*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Embryo Transfer / veterinary
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Nuclear Transfer Techniques*
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Ruminants*