Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The perspective of the incompatible of nucleus and mitochondria in interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer for endangered species.

Abstract

Taking into account the latest Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in which 25% of all mammals are threatened with extinction, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) could be a beneficial tool and holds a lot of potential for aiding the conservation of endangered, exotic or even extinct animal species if somatic cells of such animals are available. In the case of shortage and sparse amount of wild animal oocytes, interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT), where the recipient ooplasm and donor nucleus are derived from different species, is the alternative SCNT technique. The successful application of iSCNT, resulting in the production of live offspring, was confirmed in several combination of closely related species. When nucleus donor cells and recipient oocytes have been used in many other combinations, very often with a very distant taxonomical relation iSCNT resulted only in the very early stages of cloned embryo development. Problems encountered during iSCNT related to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)/genomic DNA incompatibility, mtDNA heteroplasmy, embryonic genome activation of the donor nucleus by the recipient oocyte and availability of suitable foster mothers for iSCNT embryos. Implementing assisted reproductive technologies, including iSCNT, to conservation programmes also raises concerns that the production of genetically identical populations might cause problems with inbreeding. The article aims at presenting achievements, limitations and perspectives of iSCNT in maintaining animal biodiversity.