Livestock Cloning – How long?
Mar 29, 2022
How Long Does it Take to Produce a Cloned Calf, Piglet, Lamb, or Kid?
The process of livestock cloning and the time involved is determined by the species you are cloning.
- For Bovine the process begins the day you order a kit to take a tissue sample on your rock star. Trans Ova Genetics will send the kit the same day or when requested. When the sample receives the kit, they can take the sample as soon as possible and return it using the Fed Ex labels provided. You want to take the samples and return them the same day, or refrigerate overnight and return them the next day. T=The kit is shelf-stable up until the point that a sample is introduced into it.
- Once the tissue sample arrives at the TOG lab, it will take one of two paths.
- If a client has requested an Express Tissue Bank, the sample will be frozen intact on the date of receipt or the next day if the sample arrives in the evening. These samples will remain in a frozen state until they are thawed and upgraded to a Genetics Preservation or discarded many years later.
- If a client has requested a Genetic Preservation or cell line, the tissue samples will go into tissue culture which can take anywhere from one to two weeks. At the end of this time period, the lab will freeze anywhere from 1 million cells to multiple millions of cells. These samples will remain in a frozen state until they are called upon to be used in a cloning effort, or they are discarded many years later.
- If the client has requested cloned calves be produced from the cell line the number of calves requested is determined and the calving date requested is set. Cells from the cell line will be thawed several days prior to the cloning date, at which time the cloning lab will reconstruct cloned embryos using oocytes from a recipient source and the cells from the cell line. These embryos then go through a process called electrofusion which basically “jump starts” the cloned embryo. From here they go into SOF (synthetic oviductal fluid) culture, just like IVF embryos, for about 1 week. At the end of that week, they are transferred into synchronous recipients when they are seven days old.
- The gestation length for those that become pregnant will be as if the conception date was the NT (nuclear transfer) date. So if your NT or cloning date is April 6, the calves will be born ~1/13/2023.
- In summary, it takes one to two weeks to complete the culture process for a Genetic Preservation.
- It takes 10 days to get embryos transferred into recipients during the cloning process.
- The gestation of the calf will be the normal gestation for that breed, starting with the NT date as if it were the conception date. 283 days for most Bos Taurus breeds up to 295 days for most Bos Indicus.
- The process/timeline of producing a cell line or Genetic Preservation is the same for pigs, sheep, and goats.
- The difference is that pig embryos are transferred on Day 1 or Day 4 post NT. And sheep and goats are transferred on Day 4 or Day 7 post NT.
As always, thank you for your questions about Genetic Preservation and Livestock Cloning. If you submit a question for us to answer, and we use your question, you will receive a free Genetic Preservation!
Advanced Technology Sales and Production Manager
For more information on cloning, visit our livestock cloning page or past cloning blog posts.
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