INVITED REVIEW
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 640-645

Biobanking efforts and new advances in male fertility preservation for rare and endangered species


Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Veterinary Hospital, PO Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013, USA

Correspondence Address:
Pierre Comizzoli
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Veterinary Hospital, PO Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.153849

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Understanding and sustaining biodiversity is a multi-disciplinary science that benefits highly from the creation of organized and accessible collections of biomaterials (Genome Resource Banks). Large cryo-collections are invaluable tools for understanding, cataloging, and protecting the genetic diversity of the world's unique animals and plants. Specifically, the systematic collection and preservation of semen from rare species has been developed significantly in recent decades with some biobanks now being actively used for endangered species management and propagation (including the introduction of species such as the black-footed ferret and the giant panda). Innovations emerging from the growing field of male fertility preservation for humans, livestock species, and laboratory animals are also becoming relevant to the protection and the propagation of valuable domestic and wild species. These new approaches extend beyond the "classical" methods associated with sperm freezing to include testicular tissue preservation combined with xenografting or in vitro culture, all of which have potential for rescuing vast amounts of unused germplasm. There also are other options under development that are predicted to have a high impact within the next decade (stem cell technologies, bio-stabilization of sperm cells at ambient temperatures, and the use of genomics tools). However, biobanking efforts and new fertility preservation strategies have to expand the way beyond mammalian species, which will offer knowledge and tools to better manage species that serve as valuable biomedical models or require assistance to reverse endangerment.


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