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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 262-267
Conference review

Creating Porcine Biomedical Models Through Recombineering

1Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, 329 Edward R. Madigan Laboratory, 1201 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
3Department of Pharmacology and Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA

Received 16 February 2004; Accepted 17 February 2004

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent advances in genomics provide genetic information from humans and other mammals (mouse, rat, dog and primates) traditionally used as models as well as new candidates (pigs and cattle). In addition, linked enabling technologies, such as transgenesis and animal cloning, provide innovative ways to design and perform experiments to dissect complex biological systems. Exploitation of genomic information overcomes the traditional need to choose naturally occurring models. Thus, investigators can utilize emerging genomic knowledge and tools to create relevant animal models. This approach is referred to as reverse genetics. In contrast to ‘forward genetics’, in which gene(s) responsible for a particular phenotype are identified by positional cloning (phenotype to genotype), the ‘reverse genetics’ approach determines the function of a gene and predicts the phenotype of a cell, tissue, or organism (genotype to phenotype). The convergence of classical and reverse genetics, along with genomics, provides a working definition of a ‘genetic model’ organism (3). The recent construction of phenotypic maps defining quantitative trait loci (QTL) in various domesticated species provides insights into how allelic variations contribute to phenotypic diversity. Targeted chromosomal regions are characterized by the construction of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) contigs to isolate and characterize genes contributing towards phenotypic variation. Recombineering provides a powerful methodology to harvest genetic information responsible for phenotype. Linking recombineering with gene-targeted homologous recombination, coupled with nuclear transfer (NT) technology can provide ‘clones’ of genetically modified animals.