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Unveiling derivation and application of spermatid-like haploid embryonic stem cells

Dr. Jinsong Li, from the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, visited the School of Life Sciences of Nanjing Normal University for academic exchange, and gave an informative lecture on “Derivation and application of spermatid-like haploid embryonic stem cells” on Monday, November 29, 2017.

Dr. Li was awarded the honor of Distinguished Top One Hundred Scholars in China which came with funding to support his research project, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also one of the winners of the National Outstanding Youth Fund.
In his presentation, Dr. Li introduced that a generation of androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells (AG-haESCs) can support full-term embryonic development upon injection into MII oocytes, leading to a generation of semi-cloned (SC) mice. However, the major drawbacks of this study are the frequently observed aberrant development of AG-haESC-derived embryos and the very low birth rate of healthy SC mice (around 2% of total SC embryos), which both greatly restrict the applications of AG-haESCs. Recently, they have shown that AG-haESCs, carrying deletions in the DMRs (differentially DNA methylated regions) controlling two paternally repressed imprinted genes, H19 and Gtl2, designated as DKO-AG-haESCs, can efficiently support the generation of SC pups at a rate of 20%. They proposed that this new technology is feasible for medium-scale targeted screening at organism level, especially for developmental phenotypes, using the appropriate sgRNA libraries targeting preselected candidate genes. They will test this hypothesis and study the development of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in vivo using a “spermatid-like” haploid cell-mediated genetic screening system.