Transgenic birds were expected to be an excellent transgenic bioreactor for the production of recombinant pharmaceutical proteins. However, the only successful transgenic bioreactors have been based on mammals. We have developed two key techniques for obtaining transgenic birds. For bird embryo culture, we identified that the low rate of hatchability of cultured embryos is caused by limited oxygen and calcium availability. In quail embryo culture using a chicken eggshell as a culture vessel, hatchability increased to 80% by the supplement of calcium lactate in addition to oxygen aeration. A fully artificial vessel for quail embryo culture using a gas-permeable Teflon membrane was also designed. Although the hatchability was lower than that of cultures using a surrogate eggshell, we succeeded in hatching of bird embryos using a fully artificial vessel. For transgene introduction, a replication-defective pantropic retroviral vector based on Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMLV) pseudotyped with vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSV-G) was injected to laid embryos at the blastodermal stage, and the embryos were hatched in vitro to generate G0 birds. The viral vector sequence was detected in the tissues of all G0 birds. The germ-line transmission efficiency was more than 80%. Plural copies of the transgene were inserted into the genome of G1 transgenic progeny.
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