Livestock Cloning Overview (2.57MP)
Emergency Livestock Protocols (155KB)
Biopsy Information Form (116KB)
Cloning livestock empowers you to leverage the value of your most profitable animals
Trans Ova Genetics is proud to be a worldwide leader in animal genetic preservation and cloning. We’ve successfully
cloned thousands of farm animals and preserved the genes of thousands more. We bring over three decades of expertise
in assisted reproductive technologies to meet the needs of our clients. Our team of veterinary scientists works
in close collaboration with breeders and farmers to understand and deliver answers for their needs.
Whether your business is managing beef or dairy cattle, pigs, goats or sheep, we can help you greatly expand the reproductive
potential of your top animals, keep up with demand for their semen, embryos and offspring, preserve their genes
as insurance against unexpected injury or loss, quickly improve performance, quality, consistency and predictability
within your herd, and expand your marketing opportunities.
Not all animals have the same income potential. Whether your business is dairy cattle, beef cattle, bucking bulls,
longhorns or exotic cattle, we help you identify, preserve and reproduce the genetics of your top-producing cattle.
We can help you create multiple genetic ‘twins’ to your top-producing dam, thereby greatly increasing
the number of embryos and offspring.
You also have the opportunity to simultaneously mate her genetic ‘twins’ to multiple sires, which can help
you quickly identify the ‘magical mating’ that produces the next generation of exceptional genetics.
Additional copies of a top-producing sire ensure that you’ll have enough semen supplies to meet demand and
will expand your opportunities to offer natural service sires.
Ovine & Caprine
Some goats and sheep far outperform their peers. Trans Ova’s cloning services enable you to multiply the impact
of these exceptional animals with superior performance and phenotype. By producing genetic ‘twins’,
we can help you speed the production of the next generation of superior genetics, improving performance throughout
Whether you breed pigs for show or for food production, the ability to multiply the impact of exceptional animals on
the breeding herd through conventional reproduction is limited. Trans Ova helps you more effectively leverage your
most valuable pigs by creating genetic twins to enhance breeding efforts and improve performance throughout the
America’s Most Trusted Livestock Cloning Company
At Trans Ova Genetics, we have been devoted to livestock reproductive technology for 38 years. This includes the entire toolbox
of assisted reproductive technology including embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, sexed semen, genetic preservation and
cloning. Our team of devoted scientists, caring veterinarians and expert professionals are the leaders in livestock cloning
with literally thousands of cloned cattle, pigs, sheep and goats produced since our first cloned calf was born in 1998.
The production of your cloned calf, piglet, lamb and kid is diligently nurtured by a dedicated team of trained professionals who have years of experience
in a successful program. With 20 years of experience delivering healthy animals to our clients, they are unparalleled in the
world of cloning technology.
Genetic Preservation (GP) – a Genetic Preservation preserves the cells and DNA from your elite animal. Starting with a small tissue sample, we produce
millions of cells, that are genetically identical to your special animal, after a culture period of several weeks.
At that point the cells are frozen for long term storage. A small portion of those cells will be used should you decide
to clone in the future. The fee for a Genetic Preservation is $1600.
Express Tissue Bank (ETB) – an Express Tissue Bank allows for the preservation of DNA from an elite animal on an economical basis. Several small
tissue samples are frozen intact to produce an ETB. If you are not sure you will ever clone the animal but want to
preserve the DNA while you can, this may be the option for you. If you do decide to clone later, the ETB will be cultured
into a GP to get the individual cells that we need to clone, and the GP fee will be incurred at that time.The fee for
an ETB is $500.
Cloning – all our livestock programs are offered as live animal programs. Trans Ova Genetics will produce cloned embryos in their lab to implant
into TOG recipients, which will be gestated and birthed at TOG. The babies are raised to weaning at Trans Ova Genetics
and delivered to clients after weaning. This includes a live calf, live piglet, live lamb and live goat program.Some
options like the pig and small ruminant programs have an on-farm option where the client can use their own recipients
as well.The cloning programs vary by species. Please contact a Trans Ova representative for details on your species.
A cloned animal is a genetic twin to an existing animal, just born at a later place in time.
Through the cloning process, progressive producers can duplicate the animals that contribute the most value in their herds and forward their goals to produce more efficient, healthier animals, and better-quality food products. The influence of these animals, through breeding, can help create a more consistent supply of tender, flavorful beef, for example. Another example of a cloning application is in the case of an animal lost early in its breeding career due to death or injury; perhaps even before the value of its genetics were fully discovered. Cloning technology can also help extend an elite animal’s genetic influence to contribute to the improvement of food animal production, by increasing embryo or semen production through cloned animals. And cloning provides a unique opportunity for clients with superior castrated males (steers, barrows, and wethers) to produce an intact cloned male, for breeding purposes.
An elite animal, the genetic donor, provides a tissue sample that will be cultured into a cell line or Genetic Preservation (GP). These cells will be cryopreserved or frozen until they are used in the cloning process later. The tissue sample may come from the ear or tail of the genetic donor animal. An economical alternative, an Express Tissue Bank (ETB), is provided for those producers who wish to preserve many samples or simply are not certain they will move forward with the cloning process. In this program, the tissue sample is frozen intact. Ultimately, an ETB must be cultured into a GP, or cell line, if the client desires to clone later.
You can place an order for a Genetic Preservation, Express Tissue Bank, or a cloning agreement by simply calling 1-800-999-3586 Ext 3104 for Diane Broek. An order can also be placed through your Trans Ova Genetics customer service representative.
The word ͞cloning͟ is simply a term to describe Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT). Once cells are produced from the tissue sample provided by a genetic donor, they are combined with an enucleated oocyte (unfertile egg with the nucleus removed) and fused together using a process called electrofusion. The resulting embryos are cultured and transferred into recipient mothers within one week, with variation per species. ͞Dolly the Sheep was the first mammal to be produced using SCNT cloning technology more than 20 years ago.
For more than 38 years, Trans Ova Genetics has been working closely with cattle breeders on advanced reproductive technologies. That involves more than 16 years of experience with cloning technologies and encompasses thousands of cloned animals.
As with all advanced reproductive technologies, cloning is part of a carefully planned and implemented genetic advancement program, uniquely defined to achieve individual client goals. For clients that have animals at the elite genetics level and marketing caliber for cloning, Trans Ova Genetics has dedicated their trained, professional team specialists to ensure the best possible care through the entire process.
Yes, Trans Ova now offers services for small ruminants.
In the cloning process, the animal produced using cloning technology will carry a nuclear genome (DNA) that is a genetic match to the genetic donor animal. In other words, nuclear genotypes (as produced for breed registry DNA genotyping) of the cloned animal will be the same as the genetic donor that provided the tissue sample to produce the cell line or Genetic Preservation. If you are cloning a breed that utilizes genomic evaluations, the genomics of the cloned animal will also be the same as the genetic donor.
In January 2008, the FDA released their Final Risk Assessment that stated that the products from cloned animals and their offspring are safe, that there is no difference in food produced from cloned animals and their offspring, thus there is no reason to require labeling on all products. The offspring of cloned animals are conventionally bred and are not cloned animals themselves.
Adult animals are the result of G x E (genetics x environment). When we produce a cloned animal we will make a genetic match to the genetic component but we cannot possibly mimic all of the environmental influences that have exerted influence on that genotype though the years. The personality of an animal is certainly influenced by life experiences but it would be unrealistic to expect that a cloned animal will have exactly the same personality as the original genetic donor. That being said, we often hear about clients who marvel at how closely the cloned animals will exhibit behavior or actions very similar to the genetic donor, although they never met each other.
The cost to produce a genetic twin, using cloning technology, can vary with the volume of animals produced. In general, bovine cloning will start at approximately $20,000 per cloned calf and go down with volume. This does include the production costs related to the entire process, including cloned embryo production and recipient mother care, as well as the clone calf.
Yes, it is safe to eat a clone. In January 2008, the FDA released their Final Risk Assessment that stated that the products from cloned animals and their offspring are safe, that there is no difference in food produced from cloned animals and their offspring, thus there is no reason to require labeling on all products.
The word “cloning” is simply a term to describe Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT). Once cells are produced from the tissue sample provided by a genetic donor, they are combined with an enucleated oocyte (unfertile egg with the nucleus removed) and fused together using a process called electrofusion. The resulting embryos are cultured and transferred into recipient mothers within one week, with variation per species. “Dolly the Sheep” was the first mammal to be produced using SCNT cloning technology more than 20 years ago.
A cloned animal is simply an animal produced using cloning technology, which is an assisted reproductive technology like AI (artificial insemination), ET (embryo transfer) or IVF (in vitro fertilization). There is not a specific test to determine or label an animal as a cloned animal since they have not had any genes or markers added or genes deleted. They are a genetic match to the genetic donor who was selected because of her/his elite status. Cloning technology is often used to make an irreplaceable animal….replaceable.
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Genetic Preservation Instructions Deceased Livestock
Emergency Livestock Protocols (155 KB)
Time is of the essence in a post-mortem situation. If the animal/tissue has been kept under optimal conditions post mortem, cool
(approximately 4ºC), not frozen, then the maximum length of time we can accept the biopsy samples is 5 days post mortem.
Storage at higher temperatures will decrease the chance of successful preservation and should be avoided. Keep in mind that
each day the animal has been deceased minimizes the chance of a successful preservation. Please be aware the best way to assure
a successful preservation is to have your animal biopsied while it is alive. These instructions are to be used for obtaining
tissue for genetic preservation from deceased animals. Tissue samples received will be used to establish cell cultures, and
the resulting cells will be harvested and stored in liquid nitrogen
DO NOT ship samples on Friday as our lab does not receive shipments on the weekends. If samples are from a deceased animal and
need to be received in lab as soon as possible, contact Trans-Ova for alternate instructions.
Razor Sterilizing Agent (i.e. Ethanol, Rubbing Alcohol) Sterile Gauze or lean Cloth Scalpel Blade or Sterile Knife Tweezers
Ziploc Bags or Sterile Blood Tubes (without heparin) or Sterile Container Ice Packs or Ice in Ziploc Bag Styrofoam Box
for Shipment Newspaper or Bubble Wrap Customer Contract (if not previously signed)
Items to Be Sent from Trans-Ova for hair Card DNA Collection
- Two (2) Hair Cards in Ziploc Bag
- Hair Card Instructions
- Return Envelope
Recommended tissue types for gene banking include: flank skin, muscle, and ear. We prefer to receive one to two samples from each
- Using a marker, clearly label one container or Ziploc bag for each sample with the following:
- a. Sample type (ear, flank skin, muscle)
- b. Collection date
- c. Date of death
- d. Animal ID (ear tag, brand, and/or tattoo)
- Label one Ziploc bag for DNA analysis.
Sample Collection Protocol
- Thoroughly wash hands to avoid further contamination.
- For skin and ear samples, shave the area where the biopsy will be taken.
- For all samples, pour alcohol (sterilizing agent) on sterile gauze or a clean cloth.
- Rub the surface of the biopsy area with the gauze or cloth to remove any dirt or contaminants.
- Allow the area to air dry.
- Sterilize knife or scalpel and tweezers with alcohol.
- Cut two pieces of tissue approximately 2 inches square. Remove the tissue pieces using the tweezers, and place two in the appropriately
labeled containers/Ziploc bags to be shipped to our lab. Place the third tissue piece in the Ziploc bag labeled for DNA
analysis and store in the refrigerator until the FTA card is received from our lab. DO NOT SEND THIS TISSUE PIECE WITH
THE OTHER SAMPLES.
- Repeat for other tissue type(s). Only one tissue piece from one sample type is needed for DNA analysis.
- Place samples in the refrigerator until ready to ship.
Simple Alternative Sample Collection Protocol
- Thoroughly wash hands to avoid further contamination of ear.
- Cut off the ear of the deceased animal with a clean knife or scalpel (You can clean knife/scalpel with rubbing alcohol or ethanol).
- Put ear in a Ziploc bag and label Ziploc bag as stated above (Labeling Instructions).
- Place in refrigerator until ready to ship. DO NOT FREEZE!
Shipment Procedure for Tissue Samples
- Place the ice packs in the bottom of a Styrofoam box.
- Wrap the samples in newspaper or bubble wrap, so they will not come in direct contact with the ice.
- Place the samples on top of the ice packs.
- Place any contracts in a Ziploc bag and include in the box.
- Seal the box, and immediately send samples to Trans-Ova via FedEX PRIORITY OVERNIGHT.
FTA Card Instructions
Hair Card (DNA Analysis)
After an animal is cloned from your animal’s cells, DNA analysis will be performed to verify the identity of the animal.
In order to store your animal’s DNA for this purpose, DNA needs to be collected using a DNA hair card. You need to collect
samples as soon as you can.
DNA Card Protocol (hair):
- Pull 20-30 pieces of hair from the tail of the animal. Make sure the follicle bulbs are intact.
- Peel back the plastic cover on the inside of the hair card.
- Insert the follicle end of the hairs and seal the plastic cover.
- Trim the hair
- Date and label the back of the hair card with the animal’s name.
- The animal’s owner and the person collecting the blood sample must sign and print their name on the card.
- Enclose the hair card in the Ziploc bag, one per bag, and place them in the return shipment along with the biopsy samples
**This is required on all animals. This will later be used to verify DNA analysis on cloned animals. This MUST BE SIGNED BY
THE OWNER OF THE ANIMAL and the person collecting samples. ****Please complete TWO cards.
Shipment Procedure for hair card only
- Place the hair card in the Ziploc bag in the return envelope provided.
- Seal the envelope and call Federal Express (800-463-3339) to pick up the envelope for delivery our lab.