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The Veterinary Research Institute extends its congratulations to the gorilla family and Prague Zoo on the birth of a gorilla cub. Professor Rubes’ team from the Department of Genetics and Reproductive Biotechnologies ascertained that the newborn is a female.

The baby lowland gorilla, born to Duni in Prague Zoo on 2 January, is a female. The sex was determined through a special blood test carried out at the Veterinary Research Institute. The sex was confirmed using a special examination, during which DNA was isolated from the umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord.

"First, we isolated DNA from the placenta and umbilical cord. Then we subjected the DNA to the polymerase chain reaction with special primers, which means that we used the primers to amplify a section located on the Y chromosome, which carries the SRY gene determining the male sex," explains Prof. Rubeš. "The DNA was then used in gel electrophoresis to determine the presence of the gene. When the absence of the gene was identified, it became clear that the offspring is female. On the other hand, if it had been present, the offspring would have been male, he added." (source: Prague Zoo)

The VRI has long been cooperating with zoological gardens, primarily with Prague Zoo and Dvůr Králové Zoo, on several grant projects. However, this cooperation is not limited to the Czech Republic. For example, colleagues have participated in the identification of pure lineage karyotypes of the dik-dik at Leipzig Zoo.

The Department of Genetics and Reproductive Biotechnologies has also been involved in karyotyping and sex determination in orangutans and other species, including the aardvark, not only from blood samples but also non-invasively from hairs.

Prague Zoo is expecting another gorilla cub to be born and Prof. Rubes can look forward to further cooperation!