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Chicken seme cryopreservation and use for the restoration of rare genetic resources

Abstract : For the past 50 yr, practices for ex situ preservation of endangered breeds have been extended. Semen and primordial germ cells, gonadic tissues have been frozen to create genetic stocks of chicken genetic diversity in cryobanks. Semen cryopreservation stays the preferred method since it is not invasive. Many protocols have been developed to cryopreserve chicken semen, but they give highly variable success rate. The aim of the present study was to standardize and prove the effectiveness of semen long-term storage for the restitution of lost families. We showed that semen straws stored for 18 yr in liquid nitrogen did not lose their fertilizing ability. We demonstrated the usefulness of cryopreserved semen stored in the French National Cryobank for the recovery of families of a subfertile experimental chicken line. In order to highlight the standardization of the cryopreserved method, different cryoprotectant protocols were also tested on a rare breed, freezing/thawing and insemination conditions were controlled. The best results were obtained using glycerol protocol, a sperm dilution of 1:4 (semen:extender). The insemination dose of 200 million sperm/female was as efficient as 400 million of sperm. Altogether, these results demonstrated the effectiveness of chicken semen long-term storage for the restoration of lost genetic resources and highlighted the importance of standardized chicken semen cryopreservation using procedures combining biophysical (cryoprotectants, freezing/thawing conditions) and zootechnical (artificial insemination) features.
Keywords : preservation cryobanks
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Aurore Thelie, Amélie Bailliard, François Seigneurin, Tatiana Zerjal, Michele Tixier-Boichard, et al.. Chicken seme cryopreservation and use for the restoration of rare genetic resources. Poultry Science, Poultry Science Association, 2019, 98 (1), pp.447-455. ⟨10.3382/ps/pey360⟩. ⟨hal-02622557⟩

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