Researchers at the Institute of Animal Reproduction in Uruguay (IRAUy), led by Alejo Menchaca (ISTT Member), in collaboration with members of the Transgenic and Experimental Animal Unit (UATE) of the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, led by Martina Crispo (ISTT Member) and Ignacio Anegon‘s laboratory (ISTT Member), of the Transgenic Rats common facility, ITERT, INSERM, Nantes, France, working in Europe but born in Uruguay, have announced the generation of several green transgenic sheep made with lentiviruses carrying a GFP reporter transgene. These green animals represent the first transgenic sheep produced in Uruguay, and in SouthAmerica. According to the press release and the authors of this biotechnological project, up to nine transgenic sheep were generated last year, 6 months ago, at the IRAUy, after 2 years of work.
This proof-of-concept experiment demonstrates the technological skills and capacity of these teams and institutions in Uruguay, who have been able to produce these first transgenic lambs, and hence, they must be praised by their achievement. In the future, additional genetically modified livestock will be created, aiming to produce recombinant proteins of biomedical or industrial interest in the milk of these transgenic animals, following similar experiments already carried out in other countries. The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is proud to count among its members these three excellent researchers and wishes to congratulate them for their success in their experiments.
The most immediate precedents for genetically modified livestock in SouthAmerica include transgenic goats generated in 2009 by the team of Vicente Freitas (ISTT Member) at the State University of Ceará, Fortaleza (Brazil), expressing hG-CSF in their milk, and several transgenic cows generated by a biotech firm, Biosidus, and by INTA, in Argentina, in 2008 and 2011, respectively, producing therapeutical proteins in their milk.