Influence of nuclear cytoplasmic interactions on developmental competence of bison

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a unique technology that allows the preservation of the entire genome from an individual, thereby avoiding dilution of valuable alleles. This is an important criterion in endangered species preservation. Our interest in the Canadian wood bison, a threatened species, has brought us to consider the application of SCNT as a method for embryo production and genome preservation. This project will evaluate the developmental competence of bison embryos produced by interspecies SCNT, whereby a bison donor cell is transplanted into a domestic cattle oocyte. Interaction between the bison nucleus and domestic cattle cytoplasm will be examined to determine whether species‐specific differences exist that can potentially affect embryo development. This internship will allow Toronto Zoo to investigate important parameters involved in embryo development that will assist them with the implementation of SCNT protocols for non‐domestic cattle species. Access to embryo micromanipulation station, PCR equipment, epifluorescence microscopes and digital imaging systems will allow production and improve analysis of SCNT embryos.

Felipe Perecin
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. W. Allan King