CRISPR in Cattle - Part 2
UC Davis Animal Genomics Researcher Alison Van Eenennaam and her team have been working with CRISPR to try to improve cattle genetics.
Just as dairies ideally want heifer calves because they can ultimately produce milk, the beef industry wants bull calves, because they tend to be more feed efficient.
Van Eenennaam describes her team’s genomic approach to solving this problem.
Van Eenenaam… “We did genome editing in the developing embryo of a bull and inserted a gene that's responsible for producing males. And this animal was born. His name is Cosmo. And we will know in his offspring, whether or not inheriting that particular gene results in the male appearance of animals that would otherwise be XX genotypic females. And so we haven't finished the experiment yet, but we have produced the gene-inserted genome-edited offspring, Cosmo.”
Van Eenenaam says the birth of Cosmo is a big step in the project, but it’s not over yet.
Van Eenenaam… “So obviously half his offspring will be male because they'll inherit the Y chromosome, but the real ones we're interested in other ones that inherit the X chromosome, but also inherited the gene we inserted: SRY. Because our prediction is that we will actually have a male appearance in otherwise what would be XX genotypic females.”