Germplasm Program coordinator Harvey Blackburn and technician Ginny Schmit
place germplasm samples into a liquid nitrogen tank for long-term storage.
Click the image for more information about it.
National Germplasm Repository Receives Semen from
Historic Bulls By Marty Clark June
Scientists with the Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) are busy cataloguing a valuable collection of
genetic material that could help breeders preserve the genetic diversity of
beef and dairy cattle.
Thousands of samples of bull semen were donated last year to ARS by
ABS Global, a major livestock
artificial insemination company based in DeForest, Wis. The company donated its
historic bull semen collection to the ARS
Animal Germplasm Program (NAGP) at the
Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, in Fort Collins, Colo.
The company's collection, which dates from the 1960s, contains more
than 200,000 units of semen from 6,000 bulls representing 43 beef and dairy
ARS , the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief in-house scientific research agency, is responsible for
preserving genetic material--such as seeds, plant cuttings and semen--in
germplasm repositories around the country.
ABS Global announced its donation last fall at the
American Dairy Science Association
conference on genetic resources in Cheyenne, Wyo. The NAGP received the
collection in March. Since then, ARS animal geneticist
D. Blackburn has been incorporating the donation into the germplasm system.
The new material will make it possible to research genetic changes in
a breed over a 30-year period. Not only does it broaden the existing NAGP
collection, it strengthens strategic germplasm reserves and provides DNA for
bovine genome researchers and for industry partners to develop animals with key
traits such as disease resistance and improved meat and milk production.