• A comparative genomics multitool for scientific discovery and conservation

      Genereux, Diane P.; Serres, Aitor; Armstrong, Joel; Johnson, Jeremy; Marinescu, Voichita D.; Murén, Eva; Juan, David; Bejerano, Gill; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Chemnick, Leona G.; et al. (2020)
      The Zoonomia Project is investigating the genomics of shared and specialized traits in eutherian mammals. Here we provide genome assemblies for 131 species, of which all but 9 are previously uncharacterized, and describe a whole-genome alignment of 240 species of considerable phylogenetic diversity, comprising representatives from more than 80% of mammalian families. We find that regions of reduced genetic diversity are more abundant in species at a high risk of extinction, discern signals of evolutionary selection at high resolution and provide insights from individual reference genomes. By prioritizing phylogenetic diversity and making data available quickly and without restriction, the Zoonomia Project aims to support biological discovery, medical research and the conservation of biodiversity.
    • Characterization of cultured adult Corturnix japonica testicular germ stem cells using seven stem cell markers.

      Jensen, Thomas; Poling, Matthew; Charter, Suellen; Durrant, Barbara S.; (2010)
      ...The large avian oocyte and the inability to consistently superovulate birds make techniques such as cloning and oocyte cryopreservation unlikely tools for avian conservation. Instead, the use of domestic birds as hosts to produce sperm of exotic species for use in artificial insemination may be a practical approach to conserve avian germplasm....
    • Rewinding extinction in the northern white rhinoceros: Genetically diverse induced pluripotent stem cell bank for genetic rescue

      Korody, Marisa L.; Ford, Sarah M.; Nguyen, Thomas D.; Pivaroff, Cullen G.; Valiente-Alandi, Iñigo; Peterson, Suzanne E.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Loring, Jeanne F. (2021)
      Extinction rates are rising, and current conservation technologies may not be adequate for reducing species losses. Future conservation efforts may be aided by the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from highly endangered species. Generation of a set of iPSCs from multiple members of a species can capture some of the dwindling genetic diversity of a disappearing species. We generated iPSCs from fibroblasts cryopreserved in the Frozen Zoo: nine genetically diverse individuals of the functionally extinct northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) and two from the closely related southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum). We used a non-integrating Sendai virus reprogramming method and developed analyses to confirm the cells’ pluripotency and differentiation potential. This work is the first step of a long-term interdisciplinary plan to apply assisted reproduction techniques to the conservation of this highly endangered species. Advances in iPSC differentiation may enable generation of gametes in vitro from deceased and non-reproductive individuals that could be used to repopulate the species.
    • The Frozen Zoo

      Ryder, Oliver A. (2012)
      Wildlife gene banks provide a tool for studying species and monitoring conservation efforts