Cloning Flies: Embryonic Nuclear Transplant in Drosophila melanogaster

A. Haigh, W. MacDonald, V. Lloyd. Life Sciences Center, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.

Nuclear transfer involves the transplantation of one or more nuclei from a donor cell or embryo to an enucleated recipient embryo, creating a genetically identical cloned organism. Embryonic and somatic nuclear transplantation has been successful to varying degrees in arthropods, amphibians, and mammals. We have successfully used embryonic nuclear transfer to create viable adult Drosophila clones. Embryonic H2A-GFP tagged donor nuclei were transplanted into fertilized functionally enucleated embryos. Approximately 10% of recipients survive through embryogenesis, while less than 1% eclose and metamorphose as viable adults. Nuclear transplant success rates are comparable to those observed in mammals and survival rates appear inversely proportional to the age of donor nuclei. We are currently investigating the nature of the developmental defects seen in unviable clones and the ability of somatic cell nuclei to support Drosophila development.

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