Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 39, Number 4, July-August 2007
Page(s) 465 - 479
Published online 06 July 2007
Genet. Sel. Evol. 39 (2007) 465-479
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2007015

The costs of breed reconstruction from cryopreserved material in mammalian livestock species

Gustavo Gandinia, Flavia Pizzib, Alessandra Stellac and Paul J. Boettcherb, d

a  Department VSA, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
b  Instituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, CNR, Milan, Italy
c  CERSA-Parco Tecnologico Padano, Lodi, Italy
d  IAEA/FAO Joint Division for Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna, Austria

(Received 9 August 2006; accepted 9 January 2007; published online 6 July 2007)

Abstract - The aim of this work was to compare costs, in the horse, cattle, sheep, swine, and rabbit species, for the creation of gene banks for reconstruction of an extinct breed, using different strategies: embryos-only, embryos in combination with semen, and semen-only. Three cost measures were used: time required for population reconstruction, cost for creation of the gene bank, number of years-keeping-female to reach reconstruction. Semen costs were estimated across four scenarios: the presence or absence of a commercial market for semen, purchase of semen donors, and semen extracted from the epididymus. The number of cells were doubled to take into account the creation of two storage sites. The strategy embryos-only required the shortest time to reach reconstruction. With the strategy embryos + semen, time increased with decreasing proportions of embryos. With semen-only, reconstruction time varied from 2 to 21 years. A high variation of costs was observed across species and strategies, from 360 Euros in the rabbit to 1 092 300 in the horse. In all species, the embryos-only strategy was about 10% more expensive than using 90% embryos + semen. Decreasing the percentage of embryos further diminished costs. The number of years-keeping-female ranged across strategies, from 2 in the rabbit, to a maximum of 12 878 in the horse.

Key words: conservation cost / genetic conservation / breed reconstruction / gene bank / mammalian livestock

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2007