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Generation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) in endangered wild animals

Grant number: 20/11479-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Applied Zoology
Principal Investigator:Luís Fábio Silveira
Grantee:Marcel Henrique Blank
Host Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/23548-2 - Evaluation, recovering and conservation of endangered animal species from the Pernambuco Centre of Endemism, AP.BTA.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):22/03780-6 - Interspecific transplant of iPSCs cells using genetically engineered sterile host: a model for conservation of endangered birds of Pernambuco Endemism Center, BE.EP.PD


As elsewhere in the world, human activities have been putting Brazilian wildlife at risk. This challenging scenario has reinforced the importance of developing strategies aimed at the genetic conservation through cryobank development. In this sense, the use of somatic cells is a promising field due to several factors, as: obtaining (i.e., even at dead animals), handling and cell culture. Furthermore, molecular reprogramming of somatic cells has become a promising tool in the conservation of endangered species, as it allows the generation of pluripotent stem cells induced from differentiated adult cells (e.g. fibroblasts), with the ability to self-renew indefinitely and differentiate into several cell types, including germ cells. Therefore, the objective of this project is to establish a simple technique for obtaining, cryopreservation and replication of somatic cells cultured "in vitro", as well as in the long term to establish a derivation protocol of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in birds. Finally, our project goal is develop a biotechnology capable of preserving and recovering genetic-evolutive information from endangered bird species at the Pernambuco Endemism Center (CEP). (AU)

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