Assessment of the proportion of transgene-bearing sperm by fluorescence in situ hybridization: A novel approach for the detection of germline mosaicism in transgenic male founders

Elena Ibáñez, Josep Molist, Francesca Vidal, Josep Egozcue, Josep Santal

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Genetic mosaicism is frequent among transgenic animals produced by pronuclear microinjection. A successful method for the screening of founder animals for germline mosaicism prior to mating would greatly reduce the costs associated with the propagation of the transgenic lines, and improve the efficiency of transgenic livestock production. With this aim, we have devised a simple method to detect integrated transgenes in individual spermatozoa using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The experiments reported here were undertaken to investigate the efficiency of this FISH-based approach to accurately evaluate the proportion of transgene-bearing sperm and to be applied for the detection of potential germline mosaics. Sperm samples from mice homozygous and hemizygous for a β-lactoglobulin transgene were analyzed in a first set of experiments. A high hybridization efficiency was achieved, and the proportions of transgene-positive sperm cells in both homozygous (94.8-98.2%) and hemizygous (49.8-51.9%) animals were close to the expected frequencies (100 and 50%, respectively). To evaluate the sensitivity of the assay more directly, simulated mosaic samples with 5, 10, 15, 20 and 40% of transgene-bearing spermatozoa were then prepared and analyzed by FISH. Significant differences in the frequency of transgene-positive sperm were observed between all mosaic samples, indicating that even small deviations (5%) from the expected 50% transgene transmission rate in a founder animal could be reliably detected with our assay. Therefore, the method proposed represents a novel approach for the identification of germline mosaic founder males in livestock transgenic projects and a much more economic and faster alternative to breeding. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-172
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2001

Keywords

  • FISH
  • Livestock
  • Spermatozoa
  • Transgenic mice

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