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Leveraging Avian AAV in Pekin Duck Research

In the cell and gene therapy space, we typically associate AAV with therapeutics for treatment of disease. However, the technology of using a viral vector for delivery of a transgene is not restricted to human medicine. The potential for AAV-mediated delivery of altered transgenes is also applicable in agriculture and production of economically sustainable livestock.

A stylized image of geese.

Note: Pictured are Mirus geese (not Pekin ducks).

This study by Robinson et al. explores the potential use of an avian AAV (A3V)1 for delivery of transiently expressed genes to the brain of Pekin ducks, an important species of duck used for meat around the world. In this study, the authors successfully deliver fluorescent transgenes via A3V both in vitro and in vivo, in both dividing and non-dividing cell types, to begin establishing a workflow to further explore the reproductive characteristics of the Pekin duck.

While A3V has previously been used for alteration of chicken cells,2 this study demonstrates the utility of using A3V in Pekin ducks for the first time. This new tool opens research avenues for ultimately improving on the reproduction rates and capacity of Pekin duck to support the growing world market for duck meat.



Title: Use of Avian Adeno-Associated Virus for the Delivery of Transgenes to Pekin Duck Cells in vitro and in vivo
Authors: Carleigh Robinson, Gregory Fraley and Benjamin Kopek
Journal: bioRxiv, 12 March 2022.
DOI: 10.1101/2022.03.11.484008
Product Usage: Production of avian AAV (A3V) through transfection of HEK 293T cells was performed with TransIT-VirusGEN® Transfection Reagent. Viral preps were titered and used for transduction of Pekin Duck embryo cells in culture and neuronal cells in vivo.

Discover more ways transfection is applied in production of AAV by visiting our Citations Database.


  1. Yates, V. J., et al.Infection and Immunity (1973).
    DOI: 10.1128/iai.7.6.973-980.1973
  2. Matsui, R., et al.PloS One (2012).
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048730

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