Veiligstellen dierlijke genetische diversiteit in ex situ collecties

The aim of this project is to establish and to manage gene bank collections of farm animal genetic resources ex situ. Conservation of genetic diversity between and within domestic animal breeds is an insurance for the future. A broad genetic base is crucial to deal with future changes in environment, markets for animal products and animal production systems. In addition, domestic animal breeds of Dutch origin are a valuable part of our cultural heritage. Conservation of farm animal genetic diversity ex situ is an important complementary strategy to in situ conservation. CGN will expand its gene bank collections for farm animal species of economic importance (cattle, pig, sheep, goat, horse, chicken) as well as for other domestic animal species which have a cultural value (duck, goose, rabbit, pigeon, dog).

For most native Dutch cattle breeds a core semen collection in terms of numbers of bulls and numbers of semen has been realised, which is also the case for the heath sheep breeds and some pig / poultry breeds. However, for the horse breeds and many sheep and goat breeds core collections have not been established yet. Besides semen also genetic material other sources will be added to the collections (e.g. embryos and ovarian tissue). For the different species, methods to collect, to cryopreserve, to maintain and to use cryopreserved material will be validated.

Gene bank collections (ex situ) can be used to support in situ conservation and will be made available for scientific research purposes.