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An amplification fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) molecular linkage map with a relatively high density for location of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) controlling the quantitative traits of silkworm (Bombyx mori) cocoons, was constructed using 91 individuals of the F2 generation. Among the 692 effective loci, 550 were allocated to subgroups a and b, of which 21 linkage groups in subgroup a had 233 molecular markers and 28 linkage groups in subgroup b had 317 markers. The number of markers on each linkage group in subgroups a and b ranged from 4 to 43 and 3 to 35, respectively. The total length of linkage groups for subgroup a was 1868.10 cM, and 2677.50 cM for subgroup b. The length of linkage group varied from 22.3 to 424.3 cM in subgroup a and from 2.4 to 366.5 cM in subgroup b. The average variation in the distance between markers was 3.39–17.43 cM in subgroup a and 0.8–26.96 cM in subgroup b. The average distance between the markers was 8.81 cM in subgroup a and 9.26 cM in subgroup b. There were 14 linkage groups, with an average distance below 10 cM, in subgroup a and 18 linkage groups in subgroup b. There were seven linkage groups with an average distance between 10 and 20 cM in subgroup a and ten linkage groups in subgroup b. Each linkage group in subgroup a had 11.1 loci on average, while there were 11.31 loci on each linkage group on average in subgroup b. The mean length for linkage groups in subgroups a and b was 89 and 95.6 cM, respectively. The total average length for both a and b subgroups was 2272.8, and 9.06 cM for the average marker distance, fulfilling the basic known requirements for locating QTLs.
The injection of spermatozoa into mouse, human and rabbit oocytes at specific times and positions can result in different rates of viable embryo development. However, it is not clear how the timing and position of round spermatid injection (ROSI) affect pronucleus (PN) formation and blastocyst development of mice. First, we determined the changes in relative position of the first polar body and the spindle, carried out ROSI from 11.5 to 13 h post-hCG administration, then activated by Sr2+, and finally compared the development of ROSI zygotes, including the formation of pronuclei and development of blastocyst. Between 11.5 and 13 h post-hCG administration, the rate of 2PN formation by ROSI at 3 o'clock was the highest among all treated oocytes. Moreover, the blastocyst rate of zygotes with two pronuclei (2PN) was up to 27.41%. These results suggest that the time and position of ROSI can significantly influence the formation of 2PN, that the rates of 2PN formation are closely correlated with blastocyst formation and that the formation of 2PN is necessary for later embryo development.
Conventional methods of somatic cell nuclear transfer either by electrofusion or direct nucleus injection have very low efficiency in animal cloning, especially interspecies cloning. To increase the efficiency of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer, in the present study we introduced a method of whole cell intracytoplasmic injection (WCICI) combined with chemical enucleation into panda–rabbit nuclear transfer and assessed the effects of this method on the enucleation rate of rabbit oocytes and the in vitro development and spindle structures of giant panda–rabbit reconstructed embryos. Our results demonstrated that chemical enucleation can be used in rabbit oocytes and the optimal enucleation result can be obtained. When we compared the rates of cleavage and blastocyst formation of subzonal injection (SUZI) and WCICI using chemically enucleated rabbit oocytes as cytoplasm recipients, the rates in the WCICI group were higher than those in the SUZI group, but there was no statistically siginificant difference (p>0.05) between the two methods. The microtubule structures of rabbit oocytes enucleated by chemicals and giant panda–rabbit embryos reconstructed by WCICI combined with chemical enucleation were normal. Therefore the present study suggests that WCICI combined with chemical enucleation can provide an efficient and less labor-intensive protocol of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer for producing giant panda cloned embryos.
Successful production of cloned animals derived from somatic cells has been achieved in sheep, cattle, goats, mice, pigs, rabbits, etc. But the efficiency of nuclear transfer is very low in all species. The present study was conducted to examine somatic nucleus remodelling and developmental ability in vitro of rabbit embryos by transferring somatic cells into enucleated germinal vesicle (GV), metaphase I (MI) or metaphase II (MII) oocytes. Microtubules were organized around condensed chromosomes after the nucleus had been transferred into any of the three types of cytoplasm. A bipolar spindle was formed in enucleated MII cytoplasm. Most of the nuclei failed to form a normal spindle within GV and MI cytoplasm. Some chromosomes scattered throughout the cytoplasm and some formed a monopolar spindle. Pseudopronucleus formation was observed in all three types of cytoplasm. Reconstructed embryos with MI and MII cytoplasm could develop to blastcysts. Nuclei in GV cytoplasm could develop only to the 4-cell stage. These results suggest that (1) GV material is important for nucleus remodelling after nuclear transfer, and (2) oocyte cytoplasm has the capacity to dedifferentiate somatic cells during oocyte maturation.
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