Technology

Created the first ever genetically modified reptile

CRISPR genome editing technology newsappear almost every day. More recently, scientists have used it to make in a single cell 13,000 changes, and now for the first time used for editing reptile genes. The first genetically modified reptiles were brown anole (Anolis sagrei) type lizards - after changing the genes, they acquired a pale pink hue, and became albinos.

Using the CRISPR method on reptilessome problems arose - the difficulties were related to the peculiarities of their organisms. Usually, the genetic structure is introduced almost immediately after fertilization of the egg, after which the changes are applied to all other cells. Unfortunately, in the case of reptiles the usual approach was impossible.

The fact is that the females of many reptiles, inincluding lizards, sperm is stored in their oviducts for a long time, because of which it is almost impossible to catch the moment of fertilization. There is another problem - the fertilized egg is covered with a shell and does not have internal airspace, so the introduction of an injection greatly increases the risk of damage to the embryo.

Researchers pretty easily got around theserestrictions - they injected into non-fertilized eggs. The enzyme tyrosinase has become an edited gene - when it is inactivated, albinism occurs in animals. In total, scientists injected 146 eggs, and as a result, they were able to get four white-pink lizards.

The new method suggests that in the future, researchers will be able to modify genes and other reptiles. What particular features they will have is still unknown.

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