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Xena: small cloned piglet

Genome Biology20001:spotlight-20000818-02

  • Published:


  • Somatic Cell
  • Growth Characteristic
  • Genetic Change
  • Good Growth
  • Dark Color

On 2 July 2000, a small black piglet was delivered by a white sow. Xena's dark color was a clue that she was not the warrior princess whose name she bears but the product of the first successful pig cloning from fetal cells. As reported in the 18 August Science, this cloning adds to reports of cloned sheep, cattle, and goats (Onishi et al., Science 2000, 289:1188-1190). Xena was produced using a technique developed in mice in which a nucleus from a somatic cell is microinjected into an enucleated oocyte. This technique contrasts with the cell-fusion method used to produce Dolly. It took the transfer of 110 embryos to produce one live cloned piglet. But if the process can be made more efficient, Xena's creators hope to use cloning to propagate pigs with good growth characteristics, and to make genetic changes that will allow pig organs to be used in xenotransplants.


  1. Xena, Warrior Princess, []
  2. Science Magazine, []
  3. Sheep cloned by nuclear transfer from a cultured cell line.Google Scholar
  4. Eight calves cloned from somatic cells of a single adult.Google Scholar
  5. Production of goats by somatic cell nuclear transfer.Google Scholar
  6. Full-term development of mice from enucleated oocytes injected with cumulus cell nuclei.Google Scholar
  7. Sheep cloned by nuclear transfer from a cultured cell line.Google Scholar


© BioMed Central Ltd 2000