|POSTER: Developing a Germplasm Repository Framework for Aquaculture Species
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AFS Virtual Spring Conference 2020 Conference Poster Abstract
1 Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
In 2017, the cattle industry in the U.S. was valued at roughly $50 billion, while the entirety of U.S. aquaculture in 2018 was valued at $1.5 billion. A large part of the cattle industry’s success can be attributed to rapid genetic improvement through breeding programs that utilize commercial-scale cryopreservation and germplasm repositories. Despite development of cryopreservation protocols for a number of aquatic species, aquatic germplasm repositories are not yet commercially relevant. Institutions do not have the framework to build functional, industry-scale repositories that include: 1) standardization of cryopreservation protocols, 2) quality control checkpoints, 3) biological data associated with samples in the repository, and 4) standard shipping practices. The mission of the Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center (AGGRC) is “to provide global leadership for the development of germplasm repositories and commercialization of genetic resources for aquatic species”. In the past, the AGGRC has cryopreserved and stored a number of important aquaculture species including catfish, zebrafish, oysters, and cnidarian species. The AGGRC uses an interdisciplinary approach and is integrating biology with industrial engineering to address industrial-scale application. Open-source hardware design is another fundamental tenet of the AGGRC that grants greater access and diverse technology application to the user community. The intention is to standardize freezing and storage practices to ensure quality control, efficiency, and accessibility similar to the repositories that support the cattle industry.