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Development of avian embryo manipulation techniques and their application to germ cell manipulation

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The development of chicken embryo culture techniques, from single-cell stage to hatching, makes it possible to manipulate developing embryos at any developmental stage. Production of germline chimeric chickens by the transfer of stage X blastodermal cells or primordial germ cells enables the manipulation of germline cells in vitro. Production of transgenic chickens has been attempted by the retroviral vector method, microinjection of DNA into a fertilized ovum at the single-cell stage, use of chimeric intermediates produced by the transfer of stage X blastodermal cells or primordial germ cells, manipulation of spermatozoa, and in vivo manipulation of gonads. So far, the only non-viral method that has successfully produced transgenic chickens is microinjection of DNA into a fertilized ovum. Manipulation of primordial germ cells could become an efficient system for producing transgenic chickens by combining it with the highly efficient transfection method or the in vitro culture system for primordial germ cells. Preservation of avian genetic resources has now become possible by cryopreservation of stage X blastodermal cells or primordial germ cells as well as spermatozoa. The development of nuclear transfer techniques for avian species is necessary.
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Keywords: chicken; embryo manipulation; germ cell; germline chimera; transgenesis

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba-shi, Japan

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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