Genetic progress forward

Cloning : a laboratory technique

Cloning is the merge of different laboratory techniques developed by specialists with different backgrounds such as cell culture, cryobiology, microsurgery and embryology.

Practically :
A biopsy (small sample of tissue) is removed from the donor animal.
  • Cells (fibroblasts) extracted from the biopsy are cultured. Then, it is possible to freeze them in liquid nitrogen in view of a quasi-unlimited conservation
  • Their nucleus contains almost the whole donor animal genetic material.
  • Producing a clone consists in producing an embryo, which will be given all this nucleus genes. For that purpose, the equine oocyte nucleus will be removed and replaced by the donor animal nucleus.
  • Those handlings require the use of a microscope and micromanipulation apparatus due to the oocyte and nucleus size : 100 and 10 Micron respectively.
  • 7 extra days will be required for this young embryo to reach the following stage : to be embedded in the uterus of a receiver mare.
  • A gestation can start although it will remain more delicate than a standard one.
  • After a normal gestation period the mare will give birth to a foal. This foal will carry the whole genetic material of the donor animal, as if it was its true twin.