Due to its amenability to manipulations, to live observation and its striking similarities to mammals, the chicken embryo has been one of the major animal models in biomedical research. Although it is technically possible to genome-edit the chicken, its long generation time (6 months to sexual maturity) makes it an impractical lab model and has prevented it widespread use in research. The Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) is an attractive alternative, very similar to the chicken, but with the decisive asset of a much shorter generation time (1.5 months). In recent years, transgenic quail lines have been described. Most of them were generated using replication-deficient lentiviruses, a technique that presents diverse limitations. Here, we introduce a novel technology to perform transgenesis in quail, based on the in vivo transfection of plasmids in circulating Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs). This technique is simple, efficient and allows using the infinite variety of genome engineering approaches developed in other models. Furthermore, we present a website centralizing quail genomic and technological information to facilitate the design of genome-editing strategies, showcase the past and future transgenic quail lines and foster collaborative work within the avian community.
Ian Harper (Manager), Stephen Firth (Manager), Alex Fulcher (Operator), Oleks Chernyavskiy (Operator), Margaret Rzeszutek (Other), David Potter (Manager), Volker Hilsenstein (Operator), Juan Nunez-Iglesias (Other), Stephen Cody (Manager), Irena Carmichael (Operator), Betty Kouskousis (Other), Chad Johnson (Operator), Sarah Creed (Manager) & Giulia Ballerin (Operator)Office of the Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure)