Developing genetically transformed chickens, using genome editing, to solve animal welfare and sustainability issues in agriculture
Research project 11
Project researcher: Dr. Yuval Cinnamon

The poultry industry accounts for over 1/3 of dietary protein production worldwide. The dietary protein originates mainly from two sources, table eggs from layer hens and broiler meat. There are strong indications that the world population will rise by 30% by 2050, increasing in world population and demand for food, mainly in the developing world. Thus, there is an urgent need to increase food production to sustain the next generations economically and cost-effectively.

To date, <57 billion broilers are used annually for food worldwide. This is <10 times more than all the rest of the livestock animals altogether (count-wise, WPSA, 2018).  A significant increase in broiler egg production per hen would lower the required hens, thereby improving productivity and animal welfare issues and contributing to worldwide sustainability.

The massive use of poultry does not come without consequences, including animal welfare and sustainability issues. The research focuses on solving these problems, improving companionate rearing, reducing the number of chickens used in the industry, preserving rare genetic diversity, and bettering global sustainability. This process is done using genome editing tools directed to specific genes-of-target, while ensuring the health of the genetically transformed chickens.

מחקר מס' 11 – יובל צינמון
Separation of PCR product on agarose gel

Research areas:

The research in the lab focuses on developmental biology and embryology, mainly using the chick embryo as a model organism.
In our lab we focus on several fields from basic science to cutting-edge biotechnology:

  • Developing technologies to create genetically transformed chickens, to solve critical animal welfare issues and to secure global nutrition.
  • Early stages of development, studying the blastulation, cardiogenesis, and reproduction in chickens.
  • Developing powerful imaging using the High Resolution Episcopic Microscopy.

Research partners:

מיכל מימון

Michal Mimon
Lab manager (BA)

Email: michalma@volcani.agri.gov.il

Institution:
Animal Research, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

Dr. Enbal Ben-Tal Cohen

Dr. Enbal Ben-Tal Cohen
Postdoctoral researcher

Institution:
Animal Research, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

Tatiana Kushnir

Dr. Tatiana Kushnir
Postdoctoral researcher

Institution:
Animal Research, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

ד"ר אולגה גנין

Olga Genin
MSc, technician, volunteer

Institution:
Animal Research, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.