Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Equine Cloning Expert Reviews Successes, Challenges

Date:
January 18, 2006
Source:
University Of Idaho
Summary:
Successful births and vigorous offspring are the rule for equine clones, University of Idaho veterinary scientist Dirk Vanderwall said Jan. 10, but pregnancies still are challenging to establish. Smithsonian National Zoological Park researcher Budhan S. Pukazhenthi and Vanderwall were invited to address advances in biotechnology and species conservation during the annual conference of the International Embryo Transfer Society in Orlando, Fla.

The University of Idaho's three mule clones strive to outrace each other in their pasture. The photo was taken in June 2004.
Credit: Photo credit: Kelly Weaver/University of Idaho 2004

Successful births and vigorous offspring are the rule for equine clones, University of Idaho veterinary scientist Dirk Vanderwall said Jan. 10, but pregnancies still are challenging to establish.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park researcher Budhan S. Pukazhenthi and Vanderwall were invited to address advances in biotechnology and species conservation during the annual conference of the International Embryo Transfer Society in Orlando, Fla.

Losses of cloned mule and horse embryos during early pregnancy do not translate into the health problems seen at birth or in newborns of other livestock species, Vanderwall said.

The loss of more than 80 percent of embryos early in pregnancy is consistent in animal cloning overall. Vanderwall said, “We see some similarities in equine cloning, but we are not seeing the problems at birth or shortly after birth that have been reported in cloned sheep and cattle.”

The University of Idaho’s three mule clones are healthy and vigorous as three-year olds. Two, Idaho Gem, the world’s first equine clone, and Idaho Star, are now in training for competitive racing later this year.

The third mule clone, Utah Pioneer, will be displayed Feb. 18 in St. Louis at Family Science Days during the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

The three mule clones were produced by a team led by Dr. Gordon Woods, UI Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory director, that included UI’s Vanderwall, Utah State University animal scientist Dr. Ken White and Coeur d’Alene veterinarian Dr. David F. Tester.

Scientists elsewhere also have reported the successful birth of three horse clones.

The Idaho team documented a 2.7 percent foaling success rate with the cloned mule embryos. In 2005, a Texas A&M University team reported a .7 (seven-10ths) percent foaling success rate with cloned horse embryos.

“Clearly, further work is needed to increase the efficiency of equine cloning,” Vanderwall said.

Vanderwall presented data during the Orlando meeting that showed late-term pregnancies of cloned embryos can be assessed in horses by monitoring the combined thickness of the uterus and placenta.

In the case of the three mule clones, ultrasound measurements showed the uterus-placenta thickness was within the normal range during the months before the successful births.

Early pregnancy monitoring with ultrasound showed that of 28 cloned mule and horse embryos detected by the Idaho team, 25 had failed within 80 days. The gestation period for horses is about 330 days, and is closer to 350 days for mules.

Most cloned embryos were generally lost in the earliest phase with no previous indication of trouble, Vanderwall said. Once an actual embryo was established, several symptoms signaled impending loss, including lack of a heartbeat, failing membranes, change in the ultrasonic echo and the physical size of the embryo.

Genetic programming errors were the most likely source of losses in the early stages of cloned equine pregnancies, Vanderwall said.

Animal cloning offers several potential applications, Vanderwall said. They include preserving genetics from animals otherwise unable to reproduce, saving exotic species such as Przewalski’s horse or “biopharming” to produce transgenic animals.

In horse breeding, cloning can salvage the genetic heritage of geldings, stallions that were castrated to make them easier to train. Many horse breed associations rule out the registration of clones, but equine sports such as dressage and eventing typically are open to all horses regardless of their breed.

Vanderwall was named theriogenologist of the year in 2005 by the American College of Theriogenologists, which is composed of veterinary specialists focused on animal reproduction.

An associate professor of animal and veterinary science in the Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory in the UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Vanderwall earned his veterinary degree from Cornell University in 1986. He then worked for a standardbred horse breeding farm in New York.

He earned a doctorate in animal physiology from UI in 1992 and became a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists in 1993. He completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Kentucky in 1994. He joined the faculty of the Colorado State University before returning to Idaho in 1999.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Idaho. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Idaho. "Equine Cloning Expert Reviews Successes, Challenges." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060117084039.htm>.
University Of Idaho. (2006, January 18). Equine Cloning Expert Reviews Successes, Challenges. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060117084039.htm
University Of Idaho. "Equine Cloning Expert Reviews Successes, Challenges." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060117084039.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins