Potential of Biobanking in the Nordic Countries

Conservation of farm animal genetic resources should rely on a combination of complementary in situ and ex situ efforts. The focus of cryopreservation lies in mid- to longterm storage. In this context, it is worthwhile to consider the storage of additional materials besides semen, embryos and oocytes, such as somatic cells or nuclear DNA. The storage of such materials adds a new dimension to the importance of AnGR, besides its direct use in livestock production, namely as a source of information for fundamental as well as applied research by linking biological samples to phenotypic, genetic and cellular information. Comparative and evolutionary information is of increasing value due to the use of new molecular and/or gene-expression technologies.

We have established a group of experts, mostly from Nordic countries, in order to assess and discuss the potential of biobanking of all types of AnGR materials in the Nordic countries. An article was published in July 2016 in the scientific journal PLOS Biology. These views will be distributed to generate focus and hopefully funding for biobanking activities for domesticated animals.