Crop Biotech Update

Generation of Gene-Edited Birds Using Sperm Transfection Assisted Gene Editing

December 14, 2016

Developing transgenic and gene-edited birds usually involves at least two generation intervals before reaching a complete germline expressing transgenic or gene-edited birds. Hence, developing a method to produce transgenic or gene-edited birds in the first generation would save time and resources.

A research team from Australian Animal Health Laboratory, headed by Caitlin A. Cooper, have developed a method using sperm as a delivery mechanism for gene editing vectors, named Sperm Transfection-Assisted Gene Editing (STAGE).

Using STAGE, the team successfully generated GFP knockout embryos and chickens, as well as embryos with mutations in the doublesex and mab-3 related transcription factor 1 (DMRT1) gene using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The efficiency of the method ranges from 0 to 26% with multiple factors such as CRISPR guide efficiency and mRNA stability likely impacting the outcome.

The methodology could simplify gene editing in bird species, including those for which no methodology currently exists.

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