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Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), commonly referred to as cloning, results in the generation of offspring that, except for mitochondrial DNA, are genetically identical to the nuclear donor. We previously used a genetically modified bovine cell line as the donor for SCNT and obtained a calf, named Daisy, that was born without a tail. To determine whether the missing tail was a result of the genetic modification, we performed recloning experiments by using either cells from a sacrificed pregnancy of a second clone (Daisy's "twin" clone) or cells from tailless Daisy as donors for SCNT. Cloned fetuses from aborted pregnancies and a cloned live calf that died shortly after birth were examined and confirmed to all possess tails. Hence, the observed phenotype of Daisy's lacking tail is not due to the introduced transgene or a mutation present in the cell that was used for her production. Rather, the missing tail has most likely arisen from an epigenetic reprogramming error during development.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cellular reprogramming
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