Animal genetic resources
The Animal Section is in-charge of the conservation of livestock, poultry, and insect genetic resources, collection of relevant data such as geographical distribution, maintenance of mutants or lines with useful physiological traits, and implementation of an efficient long-term preservation system to the maintain genetic diversity. The animal genetic resources are available for research purposes and have been utilized for genetic analyses, studies on diversity, physiology, ecology, and the development of novel foods and other products.
Methods for conservation of animal genetic resources
Animal genetic resources indispensible in agriculture and bioindustries are conserved in collaboration with the sub-banks to facilitate efficient preservation and maintenance appropriate for a specific animal. The conservation methods include the ex situ conservation method that involves collecting fertilized eggs or semen for cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen, and the in situ conservation method that involves maintenance of live population of animals in their adaptive environment .
Conservation of livestock and poultry resources
Livestock and poultry genetic resources are preserved ex situ using fertilized eggs, semen and somatic cells or in situ using live populations of animals. In the case of chicken, the primordial germ cells (PGC) which will differentiate into ova or spermatozoa are also used because long term conservation of chicken eggs is difficult.
Conservation methods for silkworm
For conservation of a silkworm strain, it is important to rear each strain every year. The cycle for preservation involves collecting fertilized eggs, hatching the eggs and feeding the larvae from spring to autumn.