Animal (Jan 2008)

A protocol for the cryoconservation of breeds by low-cost emergency cell banks – a pilot study

  • E. Groeneveld,
  • NguyenHuu Tinh,
  • W. Kues,
  • NguyenThi Vien

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2, no. 1
pp. 1 – 8


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A protocol was developed for collection and storage of somatic cell samples under adverse conditions with little infrastructure, for somatic-cell banks as a backup for endangered livestock breeds. The procedure, which is uniform across species, includes sample collection with ear taggers with an integrated tag/vial system, and recording of global positioning system (GPS) coordinates, digital images and breed information. In a pilot study, the procedures were tested on six local Vietnamese populations of pigs, sheep and goats. Initial investment was around €3000, while the total variable cost for sampling one breed with 25 females and 25 males was less than €1000. With support from local organisations, the sampling of six breeds with 300 animals was carried out in 2 months. The protocol and the complete workflow for setting up a somatic-cell bank, together with data collection, are described. The procedure has proved practicable and exceedingly cheap relative to the cryopreservation of semen or embryos.