29 baby mice were produced out of 210 attempts at breeding from two female mice.
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences were able to produce healthy mice with two mothers that went on to have normal offspring of their own. Mice from two dads were also born but only survived for a couple of days.
In a different experiment, there were attempts to breed mice from poop. However, they were only able to get fertilized cells from the poop and get them to split once into a two-cell embryo. There was two much damage from the bile and toxins.
The work shows how far they can push gene therapy and stem cell manipulation.
• Haploid ESCs display PGC-like methylation profiles following in vitro cultivation
• Parthenogenetic and androgenetic haploid ESCs show different demethylation dynamics
• phESCs carrying 3 deleted imprinted regions support normal growth of bimaternal mice
• ahESCs carrying 7 deleted imprinted regions produce live full-term bipaternal mice
Unisexual reproduction is widespread among lower vertebrates, but not in mammals. Deletion of the H19 imprinted region in immature oocytes produced bimaternal mice with defective growth; however, bipaternal reproduction has not been previously achieved in mammals. We found that cultured parthenogenetic and androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells (haESCs) display DNA hypomethylation resembling that of primordial germ cells. Through MII oocyte injection or sperm coinjection with hypomethylated haploid ESCs carrying specific imprinted region deletions, we obtained live bimaternal and bipaternal mice. Deletion of 3 imprinted regions in parthenogenetic haploid ESCs restored normal growth of fertile bimaternal mice, whereas deletion of 7 imprinted regions in androgenetic haploid ESCs enabled production of live bipaternal mice that died shortly after birth. Phenotypic analyses of organ and body size of these mice support the genetic conflict theory of genomic imprinting. Taken together, our results highlight the factors necessary for crossing same-sex reproduction barriers in mammals.
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