The world’s first cloned Xizang cattle species have been born in Southwest China’s Xizang Autonomous Region. Endangered cattle breeds Zhangmu cattle and Apeijiaza cattle, found on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, were successfully bred artificially using somatic cell cloning technology.
The researchers collected the ear tissue of Zhangmu cattle and Apeijiaza cattle, established a fibroblast cell line, and used somatic cell nuclear transfer technology to prepare clones embryos. The cloned embryos were transplanted into surrogate cows, and after full-term pregnancy, eight cloned calfs were obtained.
In 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the National Animal Husbandry Station, and relevant Xizang departments urgently launched a rescue and protection operation for Zhangmu cattle and Apeijiaza cattle, collected blood samples of the two types of cattle, and completed whole-genome resequencing data collection, and finally achieved the rescue and protection of endangered cattle breeds in Xizang through somatic cell conservation, cloned embryo restoration and other technologies.
Looking ahead, authorities will carry out cloned embryo transplantation of Zhangmu cattle and Apeijiaza cattle in Xizang, combining cloning technology with conventional breeding technology to build a complete genetic system and improve resource protection and utilization system.