Development of a transposon-based technology for transfection of day 0 chicken embryos
Although the chicken embryo has been a classical model for developmental studies, the lack of straightforward technologies for chicken transgenesis limited the usefulness of this animal model. Here, we assessed electroporation and lipofection approaches for in ovo transfection of Sleeping beauty transposon system in stage X-XII chicken embryos. Electroporation of chicken embryos could transfect the trophectodermal cells. Then, a mixture of transposon lipoplexes and high concentrated carboxymethylcellulose (HCC) solution was injected into the subgerminal cavity of day 0 embryos. The lipoplex-HCC mixture substantially increased the number of trophectodermal cells expressing the reporter. Importantly, the reporter fluorescent was detected in cells inside of embryos as well as circulation cells in the bloodstream during days 3-4 of incubation. This study provided evidence for direct in ovo transfection of early chicken embryos, though the long-term outcome of this approach warrants further studies.