Cryoconservation of animal genetic resources in europe and two African countries: A gap analysis

Leroy, Gregoire; Boettcher, Paul; Besbes, Badi; Danchin-Burge, Coralie; Baumung, Roswitha; Hiemstra, Sipke J.


Cryoconservation is one of the main strategies to conserve farm animal genetic resources, providing opportunities for genetic improvement and adaptation to changes in production environments and consumer demands. In this study, we combine livestock breed-related data from the Domesticated Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) and information provided by gene banks from 15 European and 2 non-European countries on material stored for livestock breeds to analyze the gaps in cryomaterial collections according to species, countries and various breed categories. Out of the 2949 breeds registered in DAD-IS for these countries, 15.9% have been reported to have material stored in gene banks, but only 4.3% have material sufficient to allow breed reconstitution. The proportion of breeds with stored cryomaterial was greater than 20% for ruminants and pigs, between 10% and 20% for equids, and below 10% for rabbit and avian species. According to the results of two logistic regressions, countries show significant differences in the proportion of populations collected for cryostorage, while breeds not-at-risk are more likely to have cryomaterial preserved than are other breeds. Also, a relatively larger proportion of transboundary breeds have cryomaterial in gene banks than do local breeds, likely due in part to the fact that multiple countries have the opportunity to collect this material. These results highlight the need for increased efforts in material collection for at-risk local breeds and regional coordination on cryoconservation of material from transboundary breeds.