Reproductive technologies for the generation and maintenance of valuable animal strains

J Reprod Dev. 2018 Jun 22;64(3):209-215. doi: 10.1262/jrd.2018-035. Epub 2018 Apr 14.


Many types of mutant and genetically engineered strains have been produced in various animal species. Their numbers have dramatically increased in recent years, with new strains being rapidly produced using genome editing techniques. In the rat, it has been difficult to produce knockout and knock-in strains because the establishment of stem cells has been insufficient. However, a large number of knockout and knock-in strains can currently be produced using genome editing techniques, including zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN), and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system. Microinjection technique has also contributed widely to the production of various kinds of genome edited animal strains. A novel electroporation method, the "Technique for Animal Knockout system by Electroporation (TAKE)" method, is a simple and highly efficient tool that has accelerated the production of new strains. Gamete preservation is extremely useful for maintaining large numbers of these valuable strains as genetic resources in the long term. These reproductive technologies, including microinjection, TAKE method, and gamete preservation, strongly support biomedical research and the bio-resource banking of animal models. In this review, we introduce the latest reproductive technologies used for the production of genetically engineered animals, especially rats, using genome editing techniques and the efficient maintenance of valuable strains as genetic resources. These technologies can also be applied to other laboratory animals, including mice, and domestic and wild animal species.

Keywords: Electroporation; Gamete preservation; Genome editing; Rat; Sperm freeze-drying.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Electroporation / veterinary
  • Gene Editing / veterinary*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques / veterinary*
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Mice
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified
  • Rats
  • Semen Preservation / veterinary*