Embryonic stem (ES) cell lines constitute a special class of cell lines derived from the inner cell masses of preimplantation embryos. They are special owing to their unique capability of self renewal and differentiation and propagation in culture for indefinite periods of time. Unlike cancerous cells, they maintain stable chromosomal content and have potential to differentiate into any of the 200 cell type, under appropriate culture conditions. Embryonic stem cell research has gained a tremendous momentum owing to their promises and hopes in regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy, biopharming, and usefulness as in vitro models for studying embryonic development and differentiation. ES cell research in farm animals provides strong incentives for precise genetic manipulation for better health, increased disease resistance, increased milk production and desired composition, increased growth rate with improved carcass composition, enhanced reproductive performance and prolificacy. The potential benefits of using ES cells as donor cells in somatic cell nuclear transfer would boost transgenic animal production. However, with all the promises and hopes, need for more rigorous research and evidence-based therapy is the need of the time, before we could successfully embark on exploitation of ES cells in regenerative medicine. In the current review, establishment, characterization, applications and future challenges of farm animal ES cells are discussed in detail with a special focus on bubaline ES cell lines.

Keywords: Embryonic stem cells, Buffalo, Garima, Cloning, Regenerative medicine.

How to cite this article: Shah SM, Saini N, Ashraf S, Kaur R, Chauhan MS. Stem Cell and Cloning Research in Farm Animals: A Special Focus on Buffalo. MGM J Med Sci 2014; 1(4):163-173.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None