Cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) can be used for the conservation of endangered and extinct animals and elite livestock, and their somatic cells have often been cryopreserved as genetic resources. However, viable cells are not always available when individuals are already dead or when their species have extinct. If the intact genome could be retrieved from such animals, cloned animals could be produced by SCNT technology. Recently, we have demonstrated that viable somatic cells can be obtained from certain bovine organs frozen without cryoprotectant for a decade and that viable cloned animals can be produced from the retrieved cells by SCNT technology. In this mini-review, we discuss recent attempts to rescue animal genetic resources from tissues, organs or bodies frozen without cryoprotectant for a long time.
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Vol. 27 • No. 3