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Stem Cells Save Endangered Fish September 13, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, Science & Technology.
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Salmon Spawn Baby Trout in Experiment – Forbes.com
Initial attempts to transplant sperm-producing cells into normal masu salmon mostly produced hybrids of the two species that didn’t survive.

This time, Yoshizaki engineered salmon to be sterile. He then injected newly hatched salmon with stem cells destined to grow into sperm that he had culled from male rainbow trout.

Once they were grown, 10 of 29 male salmon who got the injections produced trout sperm, called milt.

Here’s the bigger surprise: Injecting the male cells into female salmon sometimes worked, too, prompting five female salmon to ovulate trout eggs. That’s a scientific first, Yoshizaki said. The stem cells were still primitive enough to switch gears from sperm-producers to egg-producers when they wound up inside female organs, explained Idaho’s Cloud.

Then Yoshizaki used the salmon-grown trout sperm to fertilize both wild trout eggs and the salmon-grown trout eggs. DNA testing confirmed that all of the dozens of resulting baby fish were pure trout, he reported.

Moreover, those new trout grew up able to reproduce. Sockeye Salmon and Bluefin Tuna are the next endangered species that this technique will be tried on.

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