Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 30-33

Biobanking and fertility preservation for rare and endangered species

Comizzoli, Pierre

For more than 25 years, systematic gatheringand cryo-storage of biomaterials from diverse wildspecies have been ongoing to save gene diversity andimprove captive (ex situ) and wild (in situ) animalmanagement. Cryo-storage of biomaterials offers broadopportunities - from helping understand the fundamentalbiology of unstudied species to enhanced conservationbreeding, genomics and veterinary medicine. Whilepromoted for decades, the banking of germplasm, tissue,blood and DNA from wildlife species only recently hasbeen considered by some to be a core function of animalconservation programs. Importantly, reproductivebiotechnologies and fertility preservation are criticaltools for saving and maintaining endangered species andare tightly related to biobanking. Some successes havebeen reported with the use and integration of artificialinsemination (with fresh or frozen-thawed semen) inconservation programs. However, not a single wildspecies is currently managed through oocyte freezing orembryo-based technologies. This is primarily due to thelack of knowledge of species biology, as well asinadequate facilities, space, expertise, and fundingneeded for their successful application. Morefundamental studies on animal reproductive biology aswell as more fertility preservation options are neededwith all parties involved (reproductive technologists,zoo biologists and conservationists) adopting parallelefforts to sustain wild populations and habitats.(AU)

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