The term 'cloning' refers to the production of genetically identical individuals but has meant different things throughout the history of science: a natural means of reproduction in bacteria, a routine procedure in horticulture, and an ever-evolving gamut of molecular technologies in vertebrates. Mammalian cloning can be achieved through embryo splitting, somatic cell nuclear transfer, and most recently, by the use of induced pluripotent stem cells. Several emerging biotechnologies also facilitate the propagation of genomes from one generation to the next whilst bypassing the conventional reproductive processes. In this review, we examine the state of the art of available cloning technologies and their progress in species other than humans and rodent models, in order to provide a critical overview of their readiness and relevance for application in endangered animal conservation.
Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Nuffield Department of Women's and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.