The domesticated buffalo - An emerging model for experimental and therapeutic use of extraembryonic tissues

Large animals play important roles as model animals for biomedical sciences and translational research. The water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is an economically important, multipurpose livestock species. Important assisted reproduction techniques, such as in vitro fertilization, cryo-conservation of sperm and embryos, embryo transfer, somatic cell nuclear transfer, genetic engineering, and genome editing have been successfully applied to buffaloes. Recently, detailed whole genome data and transcriptome maps have been generated. In addition, rapid progress has been made in stem cell biology of the buffalo. Apart from embryonic stem cells, bubaline extra-embryonic stem cells have gained particular interest. The multipotency of non-embryonic stem cells has been revealed, and their utility in basic and applied research is currently investigated. In particular, success achieved in bubaline extra-embryonic stem cells may have important roles in experimental biology and therapeutic regenerative medicine. Progress in other farm animals in assisted reproduction techniques, stem cell biology and genetic engineering, which could be of importance for buffalo, will also be briefly summarized.



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