Production of a mitochondrial-DNA identical cloned foal using oocytes recovered from immature follicles of selected mares. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cloned animals possess mitochondria derived from the host ooplast, which typically differ genetically from those of the donor. This is of special concern to horse breeders, as maternal lines are prized and athletic performance is a key factor in genetic value. To evaluate the feasibility of producing mitochondrial-identical cloned foals, we collected oocytes from immature follicles of two mares, BL and SM, maternally related to the donor stallion. In vitro matured, enucleated oocytes were treated with roscovitine-synchronized donor cells and blastocysts were transferred transcervically to recipient mares. In Mare BL, 10 aspiration sessions yielded 45 oocytes, of which 12 matured and seven were successfully recombined. One blastocyst was produced, which did not yield a pregnancy. In Mare SM, three aspiration sessions yielded 53 oocytes, of which 27 successfully recombined. These were assigned to either Scriptaid or Scriptaid plus Vitamin C treatments for the first 12 to 16 hours of embryo culture. Two blastocysts were produced from each treatment. One pregnancy was established after transfer from the Scriptaid treatment. This resulted in a viable foal whose genomic DNA and mitochondrial DNA matched to those of the donor animal. These results indicate that production of mitochondrial-identical cloned foals can be achieved using oocyte recovery from a very small number of selected mares. Despite mitochondrial homogeneity, the results varied with mare; Mare BL yielded both significantly fewer oocytes per aspiration session (P < 0.001) and significantly fewer reconstructed oocytes per oocyte recovered ( P < 0.001) than did Mare SM.

published proceedings

  • Theriogenology

author list (cited authors)

  • Choi, Y., Ritthaler, J., & Hinrichs, K.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Choi, Young-Ho||Ritthaler, Justin||Hinrichs, Katrin

publication date

  • January 2014