3rd animal species cloned at Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, September 5-Researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University have cloned a litter of pigs, becoming the first academic institution in the world to have cloned three different animal species.

Texas A&M researchers have successfully cloned cattle, goats and, most recently pigs, and are aggressively working to clone dogs, cats, and horses.

The first of five litters of piglets was born on Aug. 12. "From the first and second litters, nine piglets are healthy and growing quickly," said Dr. Jorge Piedrahita who holds a joint appointment with the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine and is the lead investigator on the project.

The swine cloning project was a collaborative effort involving scientists from the Center for Animal Biotechnology and Genomics (CABG). The CABG includes researchers from the College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, The Health Sciences Center, and the George Bush School of Public Policy.

"Dr. Fuller Bazer, an internationally recognized expert in swine reproductive physiology, and his group provided essential expertise that facilitated successful completion of the swine cloning project," added Piedrahita. Bazer holds a joint appointment with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"Our research in cloning swine will help increase cloning efficiency and support the development of genetically modified cloned swine for use in medicine and agriculture," added Piedrahita.

A clone Boer goat named "Second Addition" (registered name Downen TX 63 684) was born on March 29. The donor was an 8-year-old Boer Champion doe and a top producer in Ewing and Donna Downen's breeding program in Early, Texas.

"Second Addition," nicknamed "Megan," is the result of a collaborative research project conducted by Drs. Mark Westhu

Contact: Keith Randall
Texas A&M University

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