Areas of Research

Development of Transgenic Animals

The purposes of these researches are:

- To generate transgenic animals with the goal to produce pharmaceutical proteins .

- To develop transgenic fish with improved specificity for growth- related effect

The transgene used in microinjection is a construct of metallothionein promotor fused to the structural region of a growth hormone gene. Transfer of purified gene constructs into pronucleus of mouse zygotes and fish embryos was accomplished by microinjection. The presence of hGH in mice and in adult fish which were developed from microinjected embryos, was indicated by PCR using two primers specific for hGH. Five of the mice were identified as being transgenic animals. The growth rate of 60-day transgenic loaches was 1.7 to 2.3 times faster than the control ones. Successfully generating transgenic goldfish and loach opens possibilities to improve growth rate in commercially important fish species. For this purpose a collaborative research project entitled "Generation of trangenic Spinibarbus denticulatus for growth hormone gene" between AGT and Institute of Hydrobiology Wuhan (China) was carried out. We are doing use DNA promotor and structural genes from fish spesies to make the DNA constructs for gene transfer. These "all fish" gene constructs are no adverse effect on the insertion of DNA into the fish genome.

Development of molecular markers to assist selection

Genetic markers are molecular labels which identify genes and are valuable to the animal industry as tools of animal selection and as tools to identify the genetic basic for variation in economically important traits. Identifying important genes and markers which predict their inheritance will allow breeders to determine genetic merit more accurately and at younger ages than is currently possible. Starting from the assumption that genes which influence the variabilities of performance and adaptation traits most probably have different alleles, many laboratories have sought for superior gene variants. So identification of candidate genes in autochthonous breeds, which are strongly adapted to the special agricultural system is of scientific as well as applied relevance. For this purpose a project with Germany entitled "The analysis of DNA variants in candidate genes for breeding of autochthonous pigs breeds in Vietnam" is starting since 2001. The objectives of the project are: (i) to analyse DNA variants in gene loci which affect economic important trait value of production and adaptation. (ii) to analyse allele and genotype frequencies in local breeds of Vietnam in comparision to European breeds. (iii) to calculate some associations between DNA variants and economic important traits. The results will be significant for breeding on genotypes within regional crossbreed programmers in order to optimise adaptation as well as performance. Moreover, DNA variants are essential for a targeted description of genetic resources in pig.

Analytical Biotechnology

In recent years there has been an increase in the use of biomolecules (eg. enzymes, antibodies, nucleic acid etc) as a tool for the recognition and monitoring of many compouds of analytical interest. AGT is in the development of

a dipstick immunoassay for determination of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D).
a dipstick assay using acetylcholinesterase specific for insecticide (organophosphate and carbamate group).
development of sensitive chemiluminescent immuno-biotechnology for detection of chlorinated herbicides.
Genetic diversity of livestock and aquatic animals

Conservation of livestock and aquatic animals diversity requires knowledge of genetic variation within and between lines/breeds. Characterization of the phylogenic relationships among different lines/breeds allows targeting of resources and efforts to breeds most threatened and most distinct, as a means of conserving the spectrum on intra-specific variation. The AFLP, RAPD, RFLP and DNA sequence analysis techniques have been chosen for assessing the genetic diversity and relationship within and among different populations of shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and catfish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) and mud crab Scylla. For livestock such as pig, the microsatellite marker have been using for analysis of genetic and diversity and relationship within/between Vietnamese indigenous and European pig breeds.