Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 45, Number 3, May-June 2005
SYMPOSIUM: Homage to Professor Charles Thibault
Page(s) 353 - 361
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45 (2005) 353-361
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2005026

Nuclear transfer: a new tool for reproductive biotechnology in cattle

Yvan Heyman

UMR INRA-ENVA, Biologie du Développement et Biotechnologie, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas, France

Abstract - Recent evolutions of somatic cloning by nuclear transfer are reported, especially in the bovine species where potential applications are underway for biomedicine in association with transgenesis, or for agriculture by improving livestock. The overall efficiency of this biotechnology remains low in terms of viable offspring, but significant progress has been achieved on the different steps of the technique. However, the in vivo development of bovine blastocysts derived from somatic nuclear transfer is characterised by some important features that lead to the "cloning syndrome". Important losses occur during the peri-implantation period and further late foetal loss is observed in association with the Large Offspring Syndrome. About 60-70% of the cloned calves born survive normally to the adult stage and present an apparently normal physiology. Recent data already available on bovine somatic clones of both sexes indicate that they have a zootechnical performance similar to non cloned animals and they are able to reproduce normally without the pathologies associated to cloning thus confirming that the deviations observed in clones are of epigenetic origin and not transmitted to the progeny.

Key words: biotechnology / reproduction / cattle / somatic cloning / nuclear transfer / efficiency

Corresponding author: Yvan Heyman

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005