World Aquaculture Society Meetings

Add To Calendar 20/02/2017 13:45:0020/02/2017 14:05:00America/ChicagoAquaculture America 2017DEVELOPMENT OF AN AQUATIC GERMPLASM AND GENETIC RESOURCES CENTER   Room 11The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY

DEVELOPMENT OF AN AQUATIC GERMPLASM AND GENETIC RESOURCES CENTER  

Terrence R. Tiersch* and J. Michael Christensen
 
Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center
School of Renewable Natural Resources
Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
2288 Gourrier Road, Baton Rouge, LA  ttiersch@agcenter.lsu.edu

Cryopreservation of sperm was developed at the same time (late 1940s) for bulls and fishes.  Livestock operations were quick to adopt this new technology because it greatly simplified a long-standing need to distribute improved genetics throughout animal herds whereby artificial insemination with thawed sperm could replace the cost and effort involved in transporting and maintaining live bulls necessary to service cows.  Fish hatcheries did not immediately recognize such needs, and for this and other reasons such as a lack of commercial-scale processing, cryopreservation has not yet been generally employed for aquatic species as a means to develop, maintain, and distribute genetic improvement.  

The LSUAC Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center (AGGRC) was initiated in to convert the LSU Dairy Improvement Center into a comprehensive, stand-alone facility for research, technology development, teaching, outreach, training, cooperation, and commercial-scaler processing for biobanking and germplasm repository development in aquatic species.  The Dairy Improvement Center (DIC) was created in 1947 as a university-private sector cooperative and has provided services including custom collection and cryopreservation of bull semen for almost 70 years.  Tiersch and co-workers have collaborated with dairy scientists at the DIC since the 1990's to develop commercial-scale cryopreservation techniques for sperm of fish and shellfish.  In 2015 the commercial cooperator (Genex, Inc.) moved its operations to facilities in other states, and the DIC facility became available for transition into dedicated use with aquatic species.  The facilities comprise 23,000 ft2 of laboratory, office, cold-room, and barn space including a conference room and space specifically designed for use as a cryopreservation center.  In addition there are several outbuildings (an additional 5,500 ft2) that can be converted into fish holding space.

The AGGRC combines 25 years of experience in cryopreservation and repository development with hundreds of aquatic species with facilities suitable for research and commercial-scale cryopreservation.  Staffing includes biological and engineering expertise, and projects emphasize standardization of repository development by development of devices for specific activities in the cryopreservation process.  Prototyping and testing are performed with 3-D printing and microfabrication capabilities.  The facility is located adjacent to the LSU campus and enables easy access and collaboration with students and scientists at the university, including teaching of classes. In addition to separate research and commercial-scale laboratories, we have developed a self-contained mobile laboratory that can perform high-throughput cryopreservation at cooperating facilities.

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