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Interspecific transplant of iPSCs cells using genetically engineered sterile host: a model for conservation of endangered birds of Pernambuco Endemism Center

Grant number: 22/03780-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Applied Zoology
Principal Investigator:Luís Fábio Silveira
Grantee:Marcel Henrique Blank
Supervisor: Mike McGrew
Host Institution: Museu de Zoologia (MZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Edinburgh, Scotland  
Associated to the scholarship:20/11479-9 - Generation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) in endangered wild animals, BP.PD


As in other parts of the world, human activities are putting Brazilian wildlife at risk. This challenging scenario has been reinforced the importance of developing strategies for genetic material conservation of endangered species. In macrolecithal species, like birds, cryopreservation of the oocyte and zygote is not possible due to the large size and high lipid deposited within the egg. Moreover, cryopreserved avian sperm has poor fertilization rates when used in artificial insemination. In this sense, the use of somatic cells appears as a promising alternative due to its ease obtaining, even post mortem. Furthermore, the molecular reprogramming of somatic cells has become a promising tool in the conservation of endangered species, as it allows the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from differentiated adult cells (e.g., skin fibroblasts), with the ability to self-renew indefinitely and differentiate into different cell types, including primordial germ cells (PGCs). Therefore, the objective of this project is to establish a protocol for the derivation and transplantation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from adult somatic cells from quail using a genetically sterile host chicken embryo (GS). Finally, our project aims to establish biotechnology capable of preserving and rescuing genetic-evolutionary information on endangered bird species from the Pernambuco Endemism Center (PEC). (AU)

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