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Crop Biotech Update

Tβ4-overexpression via piggyBac Transposon System Alter Hair Fiber Characteristics in Cashmere Goats

December 7, 2016

Increasing cashmere yield is one of the goals of cashmere goats breeding. Compared to traditional breeding methods, transgenic technology is more efficient and the piggyBac (PB) transposon system has been widely applied to generate transgenic animals.

Northwest A&F University researchers overexpressed the cashmere goat thymosin beta-4 (Tβ4). Five transgenic cashmere goats were generated following somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). The Tβ4 gene was successfully inserted into the goat genome. Analysis of skin tissue revealed that Tβ4-overexpressing transgenic goats had a higher secondary to primary hair follicle ratio compared to wild types. This shows that Tβ4-overexpressing goats possess increased number of secondary hair follicles.

These results indicate that Tβ4-overexpression in cashmere goats could be a feasible strategy to increase cashmere yield.

For more on this study, read the article in Transgenic Research.