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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Research Project #435254

Research Project: Cryopreservation of Catfish Sperm Samples for Use in the Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit’s Breeding Program

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Project Number: 6066-31000-012-16-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

The objective of this project is to cryopreserve catfish sperm samples to be used at the Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit (WARU) in genetic evaluations and development of improved catfish germplasm for release to U.S. catfish producers. Development and maintenance of a cryopreserved catfish sperm repository samples is critical for use in the WARU catfish breeding program. Cryopreservation allows use of various mating designs useful in breeding programs, and is critical for our channel catfish x blue catfish hybrid catfish breeding program because male fish must be killed to obtain sperm samples and without cryopreserved sperm samples their genetic contribution is lost. Hybrid catfish now represent 60% of catfish produced annually by U.S. catfish farmers and a significant effort is being made at WARU to improve genetics of hybrid catfish for important production traits. In addition, a repository of cryopreserved sperm provides needed redundancy for preservation of unique and valuable catfish germplasm.

Sperm samples from blue and channel catfish identified as critical to the Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit (WARU) catfish breeding program will be cryopreserved and used in matings designed to estimate genetic merit of catfish for economically important traits. Based on genetic evaluations, improved catfish germplasm will be developed at the Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Stoneville, Mississippi. Cryopreserved sperm samples will be stored at both the WARU facility in Stoneville, Mississippi, and the ARS National Animal Germplasm Repository in Fort Collins, Colorado.