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item Blackburn, Harvey

Submitted to: World Congress of Genetics Applied in Livestock Production
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2002
Publication Date: 8/1/2002
Citation: Blackburn, H.D. 2002. Management of u.s. genetic resources. World Congress of Genetics Applied in Livestock Production. 33:521-524.

Interpretive Summary: U.S. livestock genetic resources are the basic underpinning of profitable livestock production system. Effective management of animal genetic resources requires knowledge of a breed's population status, its genetic structure and collating cryopreserving germplasm to re-introduce lost genetic diversity or in worse case scenarios regenerate an entire breed. Accomplishing such tasks requires a partnership between government, university and private industry. The National Animal Germplasm Program has been developed to accomplish the task of protecting genetic diversity and in so doing interact with a broad group of academic, industrial and technical specialists. To date, NAGP has acquired and cryogenically stored animal groups of 5 of 6 major species groups.

Technical Abstract: The National Animal Germplasm Program's (NAGP) mission is to cryopreserve U.S. animal genetic resources, provide information on genetic resources (in situ and ex situ), and assist breed associations in assessing genetic diversity. Six specialist species committees (dairy cattle, beef cattle, small ruminants, aquaculture, poultry and swine) have been formed, and these groups serve as a focal point for NAGP efforts. There are three underlying elements in developing cryopreserved germplasm: all breeds should be represented in the collection; the collection should be active where germplasm is added and utilized; and collections should be collected repeatedly to capture genetic changes of a breed over time. All species committees have initiated collection activities, information system development, and activities evaluating within-breed genetic diversity and population trends for in situ populations.