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May 24, 2003

Dello's Double

Ewing and Donna Downen of Downen Livestock in Early, Texas, announced the birth of Dello's Double on May 20th, 2003. The bouncing baby goat is the product of cloning technology developed and performed at Texas A&M University.

This photo was taken when she was just hours old. She weighed 12 pounds at birth and was up nursing in ten minutes. "This morning she was out running and playing in our front pasture like a kid goat should. We watch her like a hawk, though".

Dello Side View

The cell donor for Dello's Double is Dello *Ennobled* who had an impressive record including two national titles. She was the 1999 ABGA National Reserve Grand Champion Boer Doe and the 2000 ABGA National Grand Champion Boer Doe. Downen Livestock purchased Dello *Ennobled* at the Ward dispersal sale with the intentions of cloning her in the future. Dello *Ennobled* was subsequently flushed to Pipeline *Ennobled* in the fall of 2001. She produced 39 grade one embryos with 28 flush offspring kidding out. She was bred back to Pipeline for natural progeny and she kidded with triplets in April of 2002.

Dello *Ennobled* died three days later from pregnancy disease. Fortunately tissue from her had been banked soon after she arrived at the Downen farm. As the kids grew and developed their quality made it obvious to the Downens that a cloning program should be undertaken.

The Downens are becoming old hands at this cloning thing...
"In the fall of 2000 we worked on the first clone project producing our clone from TX63 684 who was named TX63 684 Second Edition ("Megan") who was born in March 2001. Dr. Mark Westhusin, Dr Chuck Long, and Dr Lin Lu performed the nuclear transfers at Texas A&M. The embryos were transported to our farm in Early where they were implanted into our recipient does."

That first successful cloning procedure had required 300 embryos to produce "Megan". Dello's Double is the product of only 70 embryos. Obviously the process is becoming more precise and productive.

Clones are genetically the same as their cell donor but are really new animals - the donor and clone are essentially identical twins. Clones are registered as unique individuals and their registration certificates designate them as clones. Cloning is a tool we can use to retrieve genetics from the past if done properly. "It is best to bank tissue on animals before they die and have it cultured and stored properly. Then at a time when we want, we can enter into a cloning project with the intention of producing animals that will benefit our breeding program".

Megan Preg

The clone TX63 684 Second Edition has already produced flush kids sired by Pipeline *Ennobled*. She will kid in May of this year with natural kids sired by Downen P134, a Pipeline *Ennobled* X Dello *Ennobled* son. "Cloning has been very beneficial to Downen Livestock. We appreciate the hard work Dr Westhusin, Dr Long and Dr Lu have done for us and we are looking forward to another clone project in the fall of 2003".

And just what is the Downens' initial breeding plan for Dello's Double?
"We'll flush her using Pipeline *Ennobled* semen". The Downens had thought ahead - when Pipeline *Ennobled* died they had already collected his semen several times.

Copyright © 2003,, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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