CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing improved meat volume and cashmere production in goats

goat jpg

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As one of the first domestic farm animals, the goat is one of the most important livestock species and provides a variety of products, including fiber, milk, meat, and hides. Furthermore, goats have also been used as a model in biomedical studies

Recent advances in the study of the CRISPR/Cas9 system have provided a precise and versatile approach for genome editing in various species. However, the applicability and efficiency of this method in large animal models, such as the goat, have not been extensively studied.

In an attempt to improve the performance of cashmere goats considering both meat and cashmere production purposes, two genes that are associated with muscle development (MSTN) and hair length (FGF5), were selected as target genes.

Here, by co-injection of one-cell stage embryos with Cas9 mRNA and sgRNAs targeting two functional genes (MSTN and FGF5), we successfully produced gene-modified goats with either one or both genes disrupted.

The results showed that simultaneous editing of several sites was achieved in large animals, demonstrating that the CRISPR/Cas9 system has the potential to become a robust and efficient gene engineering tool in farm animals, and therefore will be critically important and applicable for breeding.

Read full, open access article: Generation of gene-modified goats targeting MSTN and FGF5 via zygote injection of CRISPR/Cas9 system

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