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A low-tech, cost-effective and efficient method for safeguarding genetic diversity by direct cryopreservation of poultry embryonic reproductive cells
22/08/22 11:52AM
Hu, Tuanjun, Taylor, L., Sherman, A., Tiambo, C.K., Kemp, S.J., Whitelaw, B., Hawken, R.J., Djikeng, A. and McGrew, M.J. 2022./. eLife 11:e74036.


Chickens are an important resource for smallholder farmers who raise locally adapted, genetically distinct breeds for eggs and meat. The development of efficient reproductive technologies to conserve and regenerate chicken breeds safeguards existing biodiversity and secures poultry genetic resources for climate resilience, biosecurity, and future food production. The majority of the over 1600 breeds of chicken are raised in low and lower to middle income countries under resource-limited, small-scale production systems, which necessitates a low-tech, cost-effective means of conserving diversity is needed. Here, we validate a simple biobanking technique using cryopreserved embryonic chicken gonads. The gonads are quickly isolated, visually sexed, pooled by sex, and cryopreserved. Subsequently, the stored material is thawed and dissociated before injection into sterile host chicken embryos. By using pooled GFP and RFP-labelled donor gonadal cells and Sire Dam Surrogate mating, we demonstrate that chicks deriving entirely from male and female donor germ cells are hatched. This technology will enable ongoing efforts to conserve chicken genetic diversity for both commercial and smallholder farmers, and to preserve existing genetic resources at poultry research facilities.

Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/117814