Mouse pups born from unfertilised eggs through genetic manipulation

Parthenogenesis, the development of offspring from unfertilised eggs, was thought to be impossible in mammals, but researchers have used genetic trickery to make it happen

Life 7 March 2022

The parthenogenetic mouse and the offspring. The parthenogenetic mouse was generated by targeted epigenetic rewriting of multiple imprinting control regions. The parthenogenetic mouse exhibited normal reproductive performance as an adult.

An adult mouse that developed from an unfertilised egg, and her pups

YANCHANG WEI

A genetically manipulated mouse pup born from an unfertilised egg survived to adulthood and reproduced, demonstrating a type of reproduction that was thought to be impossible in mammals.

In many plants and some animals, offspring can develop from unfertilised eggs or ovules in a process called parthenogenesis.

In normal sexual reproduction in animals, an egg and a sperm – each containing one set of genetic material – fuse, giving the embryo two copies of each gene. To avoid conflicts …

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