Article abstract

Nature Biotechnology 19, 962 - 964 (2001)

Genetic rescue of an endangered mammal by cross-species nuclear transfer using post-mortem somatic cells

Pasqualino Loi1, Grazyna Ptak1,2, Barbara Barboni1, Josef Fulka, Jr.3, Pietro Cappai4 & Michael Clinton5

Since the advent of procedures for cloning animals, conservation biologists have proposed using this technology to preserve endangered mammals. Here we report the successful cloning of a wild endangered animal, Ovis orientalis musimon, using oocytes collected from a closely related, domesticated species, Ovis aries. We injected enucleated sheep oocytes with granulosa cells collected from two female mouflons found dead in the pasture. Blastocyst-stage cloned embryos transferred into sheep foster mothers established two pregnancies, one of which produced an apparently normal mouflon. Our findings support the use of cloning for the expansion of critically endangered populations.

  1. Department of Structure, Functions, Animal Pathology and Biotechnology, University of Teramo, Italy.
  2. Department of Animal Reproduction, University of Agriculture, Krakow, Poland.
  3. Institute of Animal Production, Prague, Czech Republic.
  4. Institute of Zootechnics, Sassari, Italy.
  5. Department of Gene Expression and Development, Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Correspondence to: Pasqualino Loi1 e-mail: