World Aquaculture Society Meetings

OPPORTUNITIES AT THE LSUAC AQUATIC GERMPLASM AND GENETIC RESOURCES CENTER

Amy Guitreau*, William Childress and Terrence R. Tiersch
 
Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center
School of Renewable Natural Resources
Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
2288 Gourrier Road, Baton Rouge, LA  AGuitreau@agcenter.lsu.edu

Cryopreservation and repository development is beginning to move into commercial application for aquatic species.  Such activities have been performed at an industrial level in livestock for decades.  Livestock germplasm approaches can provide methods, equipment and experience that can be transferred to fish and shellfish; they can also provide facilities.  The LSUAC Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center (AGGRC) was initiated to convert the LSU Dairy Improvement Center (DIC) 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.  In 2015 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.  The mobile laboratory can provide comparable quality and throughput as work performed at AGGRC. creating the opportunities for species that are be troublesome to transport.  Cryopreserving on-site also allows genetic data (blood or tissue samples) and environmental data (water quality, location) to be collected along with the germplasm.  This is especially valuable at cooperating hatcheries or with field studies.   

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