Animal biotechnology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    The development of a widely adopted cryopreservation method remains a major challenge in Drosophila melanogaster research. Here the authors report a robust cryopreservation protocol of Drosophila embryos and showcase its implementation in 25 distinct strains from different sources.

    • Li Zhan
    • , Min-gang Li
    •  & John Bischof
  • Article
    | Open Access

    NHEJ alleles and Cas9 remnants after a gene drive introduction are scientific and public concerns. Here, the authors use split drives with recoded rescue elements to target essential genes and minimize the appearance of NHEJ alleles while also leaving no trace of Cas9.

    • Gerard Terradas
    • , Anna B. Buchman
    •  & Ethan Bier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The uptake of donor pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) in hosts of different species and subsequent germline transmission is very inefficient. Here, the authors show, using Prdm14 gene depleted rat host blastocysts to remove functional sperm, that germline transmission from donor rat or mouse PSCs is possible.

    • Toshihiro Kobayashi
    • , Teppei Goto
    •  & Masumi Hirabayashi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study resolves a long-standing mystery of why t haplotypes, an example of selfish genes, have persisted at unexpectedly low frequencies in wild mouse populations. It shows that multiple mating by females, which is more common at higher mouse population densities, decreases the frequency of driving t haplotypes.

    • Andri Manser
    • , Barbara König
    •  & Anna K. Lindholm
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a cell surface enzyme previously shown to mediate SARS-CoV, and now SARS-CoV-2, entry into host cells. Here the authors review existing mouse ACE2 models expressing humanized, transgenic, knockout, knockin, conditional and reporter alleles to provide a toolbox for COVID-19 research.

    • Hongpeng Jia
    • , Xinping Yue
    •  & Eric Lazartigues
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous versions of photoactivatable Cre recombinase (PA-Cre) suffered from unintentional recombination in dark conditions. Here, the authors develop an improved version of PA-Cre, called PA-Cre 3.0, which shows reduced leakiness and improved efficiency upon activation, and make mouse lines that express PA-Cre 3.0 conditionally.

    • Kumi Morikawa
    • , Kazuhiro Furuhashi
    •  & Masayuki Yazawa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sorting insects based on sex is error prone and frequently labour intensive. Here, the authors present a drug-inducible sex separation system based on sex-specific rescue from antibotic toxicity.

    • Nikolay P. Kandul
    • , Junru Liu
    •  & Omar S. Akbari
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Most cases of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) are due to mutations in PKD1. Here, Tsukiyama et al. generate monkeys with mutations in PKD1 and show that animals recapitulate key pathological features of the human disease, suggesting these may provide insights into ADPKD pathogenesis and contribute to the development of future therapeutic strategies.

    • Tomoyuki Tsukiyama
    • , Kenichi Kobayashi
    •  & Masatsugu Ema
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lee et al. report an engineered IgG1 Fc domain that behaves like an hFcRn binding pH toggle switch. The authors show that this new half-life extension Fc domain confers improved pharmacokinetics in new humanized knock-in mouse strains that recapitulate the key processes for antibody persistence in circulation.

    • Chang-Han Lee
    • , Tae Hyun Kang
    •  & George Georgiou
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is difficult to identify cancer driver genes in cancers, for instance BRCA1 mutated breast cancer, that are characterised by large scale genomic alterations. Here, the authors develop genetically engineered mouse models of BRCA1-deficient breast cancer that allow highthroughput in vivo perturbation of candidate driver genes, validating drivers Myc, Met, Pten and Rb1, and identifying MCL1 as a collaborating driver whose targeting can impact efficacy of PARP inhibition.

    • Stefano Annunziato
    • , Julian R. de Ruiter
    •  & Jos Jonkers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tet-transactivators are used for direct regulation of gene expression, RNA interference and for CRISPR/Cas9-based systems. Here the authors show that DNA-bound Tet-transactivators can induce cell death in antigen-activated lymphocytes in vivo, putting into question the use of, and in vivo data generated with, these molecular tools.

    • Eleonora Ottina
    • , Victor Peperzak
    •  & Andreas Villunger
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Expanding the genetic code with unnatural amino acids in model organisms is a powerful tool for investigatingin vivocellular proteins and processes. Here the authors re-engineer the amber stop codon in laboratory mice to allow site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids in target proteins.

    • Songmi Han
    • , Aerin Yang
    •  & Hee-Sung Park
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Since the birth of the first cloned animal, Dolly the sheep, concerns have been raised about potential long-term health consequences of cloning. Here the authors report on a cohort of 13 aged cloned sheep, including four created from the same cells as Dolly, and find they are healthy and seem to age normally.

    • K. D. Sinclair
    • , S. A. Corr
    •  & D. S. Gardner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Telomere shortening has been linked to some aspects of organismal ageing. Here the authors create chimaeric mice that contain a mix of cells with normal or unnaturally long telomeres, and show chimaeric mice are protected from some forms of ageing-associated cellular damage and have accelerated wound-healing.

    • Elisa Varela
    • , Miguel A. Muñoz-Lorente
    •  & Maria A. Blasco
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Genetic modification in insects mostly involves the use of fluorescent markers to identify successful transformation. Here Osanai-Futahashi et al.report a marker system based on changes in melanin pigmentation that allows the identification of genetically modified insects with the naked eye.

    • Mizuko Osanai-Futahashi
    • , Takahiro Ohde
    •  & Hideki Sezutsu
  • Article |

    Calcium-sensing fluorescent proteins such as TN-XXL are valuable tools for studying cellular function but, when expressed in mice, may affect animal physiology and behaviour. The authors of this paper create transgenic mice expressing TN-XXL and show that long-term expression of TN-XXL is tolerated well.

    • Stephan Direnberger
    • , Marsilius Mues
    •  & Oliver Griesbeck