Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #408278

Research Project: National Animal Germplasm Program

Location: Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research

Title: Incorporation of biotechnologies into gene banking strategies to facilitate rapid reconstitution of populations

item Blackburn, Harvey
item AZEVEDO, HYMERSON - Embrapa
item Purdy, Phil

Submitted to: Animals
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/9/2023
Publication Date: 10/11/2023
Citation: Blackburn, H.D., Azevedo, H.C., Purdy, P.H. 2023. Incorporation of biotechnologies into gene banking strategies to facilitate rapid reconstitution of populations. Animals. 13(20),3169.

Interpretive Summary: Animal gene banks are collections of germplasm (i.e., semen, eggs, embryos, DNA, cells, tissues, organs) samples from a variety of agricultural species that can be used to recreate animal populations, expand the genetic diversity within a population, or be used for genetic analyses. A variety of assisted reproductive technologies can be used with these germplasm samples resulting in the production of live animals. The efficiency and efficacy of those technologies have been improved, and therefore, it is imperative that new models are developed for the use of germplasm in the most expeditious and judicious manner. Consequently, this manuscript describes these models and suggests gene bank collection goals for germplasm samples that are necessary to achieve success.

Technical Abstract: National animal gene banks that are responsible for conserving livestock, poultry, and aquatic genetic resources need to be capable of utilizing a broad array of cryo-technologies coupled with assisted reproductive technologies to reconstitute either specific animals or populations/breeds as needed. This capability is predicated upon having sufficient genetic diversity (usually encapsulated by number of animals in the collection), units of germplasm or tissues, and ability to reconstitute animals. While FAO (2023) has developed a set of guidelines for gene banks on these matters, those guidelines do not consider applications and utilization of newer technologies (e.g., primordial germ cells, cloning from somatic cells) which can radically change how gene banks collect, store, and utilize genetic resources. This paper reviews the current status of using newer technologies, explores how gene banks might make such technologies part of their routine operations, and illustrates how combining newer assisted reproductive technologies with older approaches enables populations to be reconstituted more efficiently.