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Evidence (see P.G. Shiels, A.J. Kind, K.H. Campbell, et al. (1999) Analysis of telomere lengths in cloned sheep. Nature 399, 316-17) suggested that Dolly may have been "genetically older" than her actual age would have suggested. As mammals age, the chromosomes in somatic cells tend to shorten from the telomeres. Therefore, older individuals have shorter chromosomes in their somatic cells than younger ones. When researchers analyzed the chromosomes in the somatic cells of Dolly when she was about 3 years old, the lengths of her chromosomes were consistent with a sheep that was significantly older, say, 9 or 10 years old. (Note: As described in the chapter, the sheep that donated the somatic cell that produced Dolly was 6 years old, and her mammary cells had been grown in culture for several cell doublings before a mammary cell was fused with an oocyte.)
A. Suggest an explanation for why Dolly's chromosomes seemed so old.
B. Let's suppose that Dolly at age 11 gave birth to a lamb named Molly; Molly was produced naturally (by mating Dolly with a normal male). When Molly was 8 years old, a sample of somatic cells was analyzed. How old would you expect Molly's chromosomes to appear, based on the phenomenon of telomere shortening? Explain your answer.
C. Discuss how the observation of chromosome shortening, which was observed in Dolly, might affect the popularity of reproductive cloning.
Not all inherited traits are determined by nuclear genes (i.e., genes located in the cell nucleus) that are expressed during the life of an individual. In particular, maternal effect genes and mitochondrial genes are notable exceptions. With these ideas in mind, let's consider the cloning of sheep (e.g., Dolly).
A. With regard to maternal effect genes, is the phenotype of such a cloned animal determined by the animal that donated the enucleated egg or by the animal that donated the somatic cell nucleus? Explain.
B. Does the cloned animal inherit extranuclear traits from the animal that donated the egg or from the animal that donated the somatic cell? Explain.
C. In what ways would you expect this cloned animal to be similar to or different from the animal that donated the somatic cell? Is it accurate to call such an animal a "clone" of the animal that donated the nucleus?
Different traits have been modified in transgenic plants :
Plant protection that makes the transgenic plants resistant to herbicides , to insects and to fungal pathogens.
Plant quality that improve the plant storage , and change its composition.
Also transgenic plants could be used as biodegradable plastics , Vaccines , Antibodies...
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