SinoGene, a private biotechnology company in China, has successfully cloned a dog named Long Long, China's first dog created via somatic cell cloning and the world's first dog created via gene editing.
Long Long is not related to its surrogate mother and is a clone of the dog Apple, world's first dog using gene editing, according to the test results produced by a police dog training base of the Ministry of Public Security located in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province, said the company.
Long Long was born on May 28. Another surrogate dog gave birth to two cloned dogs on June 14.
Since the cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1997, scientists have moved on to other mammals including mice, cows, goats, pigs, cats, rabbits and horses. Dogs are considered one of the animals that are most difficult to clone, the Beijing-based newspaper Science and Technology Daily reported Wednesday.
The cloned dog also makes China the second country to master the dog somatic cell cloning technology, after South Korea, said the company.
Zhao Jianping, deputy general manager of SinoGene, told the Global Times Thursday that this technology will be applicable to both working dogs and pet dogs.
"In China there is a significant shortage of working dogs, which include police dogs, sniffer dogs and guide dogs. They are difficult to breed and most of them are purchased from overseas," said Zhao.
"The Nanchang police dog training base has expressed interest in our technology and is now discussing the possibilities of cooperation with us," he added.
"The technology will also benefit pet owners who have formed a strong bond with their dogs. It will be too painful for them to see their dogs pass away. A cloned dog would be able to help with that," said Zhao.
China's first commercial cloning company was established in 2014 in East China's Shandong Province with the birth of three cloned Tibetan mastiff puppies, the Xinhua News Agency reported.