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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING THE PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF MORONE SPECIES CULTURE

Location: Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center

Title: Cryopreservation of sperm of the endangered gila trout, Oncorhynchus gilae

Authors
item Fuller, Adam
item Carmichael, Gary - USFWS

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2007
Publication Date: March 1, 2007
Citation: Fuller, S.A., Carmichael, G.J. 2007. Cryopreservation of sperm of the endangered gila trout, Oncorhynchus gilae. Journal of Applied Aquaculture. 19(1):71-79.

Interpretive Summary: Gila trout are native to the Gila River drainage in New Mexico and Arizona and the headwaters of the Verde River drainage in Arizona. The species is currently protected as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Cryopreservation is now a widely used method for long-term storage of fish semen. It is an effective tool for conserving diversity in threatened and endangered species, and can also be used for selective breeding programs. However, there is no one protocol that seems to work with all species of fish. To determine the potential of this technique as a tool in the recovery of this endangered species, we looked at the impact of five freeze-protectants and four preservatives of different concentrations on sperm swimming activity in Gila trout. We tested preservatives already used for other fish species to decide what would be best to use on Gila trout. Preservatives were tested to see at what concentration Gila trout sperm would begin swimming. Five freeze protectors were tested at different concentrations to determine the most suitable for use with Gila trout sperm. There was no difference in Gila trout sperm swimming activity exposed to different preservatives. There was no difference in toxic effect or post-freeze swimming activity among the different freeze protectors because there were big differences in sperm swimming activity with all the different fish tested.

Technical Abstract: Gila trout, Oncorhynchus gilae, are native to the headwaters of the Gila River drainage in New Mexico and Arizona and the headwaters of the Verde River drainage in Arizona. The species is currently protected as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Cryopreservation of sperm is now a widely used method for long-term storage of fish semen. It is an effective tool for conserving genetic diversity in threatened and endangered species, and can also be used for genetic improvement through selective breeding programs. However, there is no one protocol that seems to work with all species of fish. To determine the potential of this technique as a tool in the recovery of this endangered species, we sought to examine the effects of five cryoprotectants and four extenders of varying concentrations on post-thaw motility of Gila trout spermatozoa. Gila trout gametes were collected from broodstock located at Mora Fish Technology Center, Mora, New Mexico. We tested three extenders used successfully in other fish species to determine the most appropriate for use with Gila trout spermatozoa. Extender concentrations were tested to see at what osmolality there was no activation of spermatozoa. Five cryoprotectants were tested at varying concentrations to determine the most suitable for use with Gila trout spermatozoa. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in motility of Gila trout spermatozoa exposed to different extenders. The concentration at which no spermatozoa were observed actively swimming was 453 mOsm/kg calcium-free Hanks' Balanced Salt Solution. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in toxic effect or post-thaw motility among the different cryoprotectants or concentrations due to high motility variation between individuals. However, 9% dimethyl-sulfoxide yielded consistently higher mean post-thaw motility (23%). Larger sample sizes might be able to reduce the amount of intra-treatment variation, which will allow us to determine whether DMSO offers superior protection for Gila trout spermatozoa.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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