Volume 46 (2009) Issue 2 Pages 136-143
The generation of germline chimeras by the transfer of primordial germ cells (PGCs) requires incorporation of the PGCs of the donor into the gonadal tissue of the recipient embryo. We investigated the utility of soft x-irradiation with application of a lead (12×3×0.25mm, ∼0.1g) shield to the embryo proper for the production of chicken-quail germline chimeras. Chicken embryos shielded during irradiation for 120 s (∼7.2Gy) at stages 13 to 17 showed a hatchability of 35% (106/301), whereas the hatchability of unshielded embryos was 26% (27/105). The relative population of gonadal PGCs at stage 30 for embryos irradiated at stage 13 with or without shielding was 13 and 5%, respectively, of the value for nonirradiated controls. Chicken embryos irradiated at stages 13 or 14 with or without shielding and transfused with quail embryonic blood containing PGCs each exhibited ∼130 relative population of donor PGCs in the left gonad at stage 30. Xenotransplanted hatchlings exhibited donor-derived PGCs as detected by Southern hybridization and PCR. Exposure of chicken embryos to ∼7.2Gy of x-radiation at stage 13 with the application of a lead shield to the embryo proper is thus a feasible approach to depletion of endogenous germ cells and the production of chicken-quail germline chimeras.