Photo: Brazil Clones 1st Animal in the World from Adipose Cell
A tame, healthy calf that grazes on a farm in Brazil is unique in the world for having been the first to survive cloning from a cell of adipose tissue.
A calf of a zebu breed named Brasilia de Cerrado was born on April 23 at the experimental ranch of the Brazilian Agricultural and Livestock Research Company, or Embrapa, in Planaltina near Brasilia.
In the country that has the largest cattle-breeding industry in the world, Brasilia de Cerrados has the particularity of being the first fruit of a project to clone cattle from fatty adipose cells of another animal.
“We know of another bovine produced from induced stem cells of adipose tissue - but not directly from adipose cells - that was born alive but died immediately,” Carlos Frederico Martins, research scientist and project director for Embrapa, told Efe.
According to Martins, in the case of the Brazilian calf, “this is the first healthy animal cloned directly from cells of adipose tissue” that is known to the world’s scientific journals.
The calf weighed 35 kilos (78 pounds) at birth, was in perfect health and nursed without difficulty from the surrogate mother cow.
The animal was produced with the technique of cloning by nuclear transfer, which consists of introducing genetic material of an adipose cell into an immature ovum of the same species from which the genetic material was taken.
The immature ovum is activated so it begins to multiply and become an embryo that is then implanted in the uterus of a cow which will serve as its surrogate mother.
Clonings typically use embryonic stem cells or induced stem cells of epidermal tissue, so that the use of adipose cells opens great possibilities, according to Embrapa.
Brasilia de Cerrados is the fruit of cutting-edge technology at Embrapa, a state company setting a world standard in tropical agricultural and livestock research, which has helped Brazil become one of the largest food producers in the world.