First transgenic rabbits born in Turkey

First transgenic rabbits born in Turkey
First transgenic rabbits born in Turkey

ISTT member Gul Bakirer, from the University of Istambul, informed us about the first transgenic rabbits born in Turkey, as the result of an international research project where she has collaborated. These genetically-modified rabbits were produced by pronuclear microinjection of a DNA hyperactive transposon carrying the green-fluorescent protein reporter gene. This is a collaborative research project led by Prof. Sema Birler (Istanbul University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Reproduction and Artificial Insemination) involving up to 13 researchers, research assistants and PhD students from two universities in Turkey (Istambul and Marmara), as well as two researchers from the Hawai’i University Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (Stephan Moisyadi, former ISTT member and Associate Professor at the UH Institute for Biogenesis Research [IBR] and Joel Marh, IBR Transgenic Facility Director). Emeritus Professor Ryuzo Yanagimachi, the founder of IBR, and Stefan Moisyadi travelled to Istanbul in November 2011 to set up the collaboration with the University of Istanbul and Marmara University. Stefan Moisyadi and Joel Marh returned to Istanbul this past June to further assist their collaborators in Turkey for the successful generation of these transgenic rabbits. The aim of the experiment was to show that the transposon-transgenes devised in Hawai’i could also be used in rabbits, as a first step towards the generation of additional transgenic rabbits producing proteins of interest in their milk. Two of the eight rabbits obtained in the litter (25%) were found to shine fluorescent green, and hence to be transgenic. Additional ongoing experiments, by the same Hawai’i-Turkish collaborative effort, are expected to produce similar transgenic sheep soon.

Some of the researchers from the Istambul University involved in this achievement. From left to right: Ramazan Arici (PhD student), Ayse Can (PhD student), Prof. Sema Birler (coordinator of this study) and Prof. Serhat Alkan.
Some of the researchers from the Istambul University involved in this achievement. From left to right: Ramazan Arici (PhD student), Ayse Can (PhD student), Prof. Sema Birler (coordinator of this study) and Prof. Serhat Alkan.

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