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Osborn Research Club

ISU Entomology / Osborn Research Club / Genetic Modification of Pigs to Improve Agriculture and Biomedicine

Genetic Modification of Pigs to Improve Agriculture and Biomedicine

Molecular Biology Building
September 12, 2011
Jason Ross, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, ISU
ABSTRACT: Cloning and transgenic modification to genomes of domesticated large animal species has significantly increased scientific discovery in both agricultural and biomedical research. The purpose of these animals includes biosynthesis of proteins in milk, human disease modeling, gene knockout models for potential utilization in xenotransplantation and improved animal performance. While several strategies, such as pronuclear injection and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are capable of producing transgenic animals, cloning with somatic cells allows an array of genetic modifications to be made and overcomes the lack of embryonic stem cells in these non-primate, non-rodent species. Numerous strategies for genetic modification of somatic cells are exploited in addition to methods enhancing donor cell nuclear reprogramming and remodeling to increase the efficiency of producing cloned, transgenic large animal models. We have begun development and utilization of transgenic biomedical swine models to further the understanding of multiple diseases including retinitis pigmentosa and muscular dystrophy. In the process we have worked to improve efficiency of both genetic modification strategies and somatic cell cloning. The continued utilization of swine biomedical models represents significant opportunity in pre-clinical medicine and agricultural production.