Germline Ablation in Goats

Unmet Need: Accurate and dependable breeding of desired traits

While livestock all over the world exhibit a variety of traits that allow them to survive in different environments, they don’t always have other qualities breeders deem to be desirable, like high quality meat or growth potential. In the past, people would bring in a male – or sperm from a male – with these traits to mingle with the genetics of a female that was adapted to survive that environment. While this may help produce hybrid offspring with a combination of genetics that are both desirable and help the animal survive, it is often a costly and clumsy process, not to mention time consuming.

The Technology: Method of producing male goats that pass on desirable traits

Researchers at WSU have produced male goats by knocking out the evolutionary conserved germ cell specific gene. In males lacking this gene function, the germline is eliminated by apoptosis thus leading to sterility, but testicular tissue development and other physiological processes are normal. The utility of this outcome is that germline ablated knockout males can serve as surrogate recipients for transplantation of sperm producing stem cells from another male with desired characters.


  • Agriculture and farming
  • Food production


  • Fast and predictable trait selection
  • Reliable

Patent Information:

Provisional patent filed

Learn More

Scott Steiger
Associate Director
Washington State University
(509) 335-7065
Reference No: TECH-20/3344


Jon Oatley
Irina Polejaeva

Key Words

Animal Research
Genome editing
Germline Ablation
Spermatgonial stem cell