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ADVANCEMENTS IN GENOME EDITED LIVESTOCK



  Jun 24, 2024

ADVANCEMENTS IN GENOME EDITED LIVESTOCK



INTRODUCTION

Genome editing, a process of altering or restructuring genes using genetic engineering technology, has revolutionized livestock production. Compared to traditional breeding strategies, genome editing can introduce desirable alleles more precisely and rapidly, enhancing genetic advancement. This technology has significant applications in disease resistance, increased production, improved milk quality, elimination of milk allergens, and overall animal health and welfare.

KEY TECHNOLOGIES IN GENOME EDITING

1. Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN):
• ZFN uses engineered proteins to create double-strand breaks at specific locations in the DNA, allowing for targeted gene disruption or correction.

2. Transcription Activator-like Effector Nucleases (TALEN):
• TALENs are similar to ZFNs but use transcription activator-like effectors to recognize and bind to specific DNA sequences, enabling precise cuts and gene modifications.

3. CRISPR-Cas9:
• CRISPR-Cas9 is a more recent and versatile technology that uses a guide RNA to direct the Cas9 enzyme to specific DNA sequences, allowing for multiple genomic cuts in a simpler and more efficient manner.

APPLICATIONS IN LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

1. Disease Resistance:
• Genome editing can enhance resistance to diseases such as Tuberculosis, Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV), and Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV).

2. Increased Production:
• Techniques like myostatin knockout can lead to increased muscle mass, while other edits can ensure the generation of all-male progeny, optimizing livestock production.

3. Improved Milk Quality:
• Editing genes can eliminate allergens in milk or humanize bovine milk by knocking out beta-lactoglobulin, making it safer for human consumption.

4. Animal Welfare:
• Genome editing can produce hornless cattle, reducing injuries among livestock and improving animal welfare.

5. Pharmaceutical Protein Production:
• Edited livestock can be used as bioreactors to produce pharmaceutical proteins, offering new avenues for medical and scientific research.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

The ethical implications of genome editing in livestock must be addressed through international agreements and regulatory frameworks. Ensuring the responsible use of this technology is crucial for its acceptance and application in livestock genetic improvement projects.

FUTURE OUTLOOK

Genome editing holds the potential to transform livestock production, making it more efficient and sustainable. By precisely introducing valuable genes into livestock, breeders can produce native, regionally adapted animals that meet specific needs. The continued advancement and application of genome editing technologies will likely lead to significant breakthroughs in the science of life, benefiting both agriculture and human health.


SRIRAM’S
 
 


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