China Clones Scores of Plants, Pigs, Sheep, Rabbits, Cows

China has already developed 47 transgenic plant species, cloned goats and transplanted genes into pigs, rabbits, sheep and cows, according to an official report released Tuesday.

According to the report released by the Ministry of Science and Technology at a press conference in Beijing, that by the end of 1996, the transgenic plant species on which China had been researching reached 47, concerning 103 kinds of genes.

The report said that China has been successful to clone goats by adopting the fetus somatic cell of the transgenic goat and adult somatic cell. "The rate of success is 10-20 times as many as Sheep Doly," the report said.

China has also bred pigs, rabbits and sheep of growth hormone (GH) transfer. According to the report, the general rate of external source gene introduction into the animals was 2.1 percent, reaching the world's advanced level. "China has obtained remarkable achievement in animal cloning and transgenic animals," said the report, entitled "Present Status of the Chinese Hi-Tech Agriculture and Its Goal during the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2001-2005)."

The report said that through efforts in the past decade, China has made remarkable achievements in pest and disease resistance, quality improvement, herbicide resistance and security control in genetic engineering of plants.

According to the report, China has reached the world's advanced level in the research field of improving crops with radiation and of the application of nucleon tracing technique to agricultural chemicals. Among the mutation breeds which have been cultivated, ten have won national invention awards.

(Xinhua 05/29/2001)

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