CRISPR aka Cas9 gene-editing technology was used for the first time in successful production of cows that have higher resistance to bovine tuberculosis. The research team from the College of Veterinary Medicine under the Northwest A&F University located in Shaanxi in China, recently made use of an edited version of the CRISPR gene modifying technology that was used to introduce a new kind of gene in the genome of cow with no other side effects on the genetics of the animal.
The lead author of this research, Dr. Yong Zhang, adds, “”We used a novel version of the CRISPR system called CRISPR/Cas9n to successfully insert a tuberculosis resistance gene, called NRAMP1, into the cow genome. We were then able to successfully develop live cows carrying increased resistance to tuberculosis. Importantly, our method produced no off target effects on the cow genetics meaning that the CRISPR technology we employed may be better suited to producing transgenic livestock with purposefully manipulated genetics.”
CRISPR technology is now being widely used in several laboratories across the world. Its accurate results and simple manner of genetic code modification makes it a superior choice. Dr. Zhang further explains, “.When you want to insert a new gene into a mammalian genome, the difficulty can be finding the best place in the genome to insert the gene. You have to hunt through the genome, looking for a region that you think will have the least impact on other genes that are in close proximity. We employed a meticulous and methodological approach to identify the best suited region for gene insertion, which we show has no detectable off target effects on the bovine genome”
During this research, they inserted 11 calves with a few genes with the help of CRISPR technology to help them develop a better resistance to tuberculosis. A close genetic analysis showed that calves had NRAMP1 infused in their genetic code and none of them showed any detectable off target effects while those inserted with previous technique showed other side effects.
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