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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Zootechnical performance of cloned cattle and offspring: Preliminary results

Heyman Y, Richard C, Rodriguez-Martinez H, Lazzari G, Chavatte-Palmer P, Vignon X, Galli C


This paper presents information on the evolution of sets of cloned heifers of Holstein breed in comparison to that of control heifers derived from artificial insemination (AI) in the same farm, as well as data on a set of cloned bulls and their semen characteristics. Preliminary observations on a group of calves sired by a cloned bull and offspring of cloned females are reported. Mean birth weight in the clone group (50 females) was statistically higher than that of 68 contemporary female controls obtained by AI (49.27 +/- 10.98 vs. 40.57 +/- 5.55 kg, respectively, p < 0.05). Growth rate was within normal values for Holstein heifers (from 0.7 to 0.8 kg/day) and daily gain was not influenced by the high or low birth weight of clones. Within animals of the same clone, variability of daily gain was reduced compared to their control counterparts. Semen production from three cloned bulls was within the parameters expected for young bull of the same age. A direct comparison of morphological analysis was made between the frozen thawed semen of the donor bull and of his three clones collected at the same age. The overall semen picture appeared within acceptable limits and the clones presented similar percentages of sperm abnormalities (80% of morphologically normal spermatozoa) as the donor. These preliminary results suggest no deleterious effect of cloning on the semen picture of cloned sires. Frozen semen from one clone bull was used for an AI trial, resulting in 65% pregnancies, 25 live calves were naturally delivered. Concerning the offspring of both female and male clones, the phenotypical and clinical observation of the calves in the first week of age did not reveal any clinical abnormality, suggesting that the deviations observed in clones are not transmitted to the progeny

Published in

Cloning and Stem Cells
2004, Volume: 6, number: 2, pages: 111-120

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

    Publication identifier


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