Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The ongoing mass extinction of animal species at an unprecedented rate is largely caused by human activities. Progressive habitat destruction and fragmentation is resulting in accelerated loss of biodiversity on a global scale. Over decades, captive breeding programs of non-domestic species were characterized by efforts to optimize species-specific husbandry, to increase studbook-based animal exchange, and to improve enclosure designs. To counter the ongoing dramatic loss of biodiversity, new approaches are warranted. Recently, new ideas, particularly the application of assisted reproduction technologies (ART), have been incorporated into classical zoo breeding programs. These technologies include semen and oocyte collection, artificial insemination, and in-vitro embryo generation. More futuristic ideas of advanced ART (aART) implement recent advances in biotechnology and stem-cell related approaches such as cloning, inner cell mass transfer (ICM), and the stem-cell-associated techniques (SCAT) for the generation of gametes and ultimately embryos of highly endangered species, such as the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) of which only two female individuals are left. Both, ART and aART greatly depend on and benefit from the rapidly evolving cryopreservation techniques and biobanking not only of genetic, but also of viable cellular materials suitable for the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). The availability of cryopreserved materials bridges gaps in time and space, thereby optimizing the available genetic variability and enhancing the chance to restore viable populations.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.theriogenology.2021.04.006

Type

Journal article

Journal

Theriogenology

Publication Date

15/07/2021

Volume

169

Pages

76 - 88

Keywords

Biobanking, Cryopreservation, In-vitro-gametogenesis, Self-sustaining population, Stem cell technologies