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Conservation of cattle genetic resources: Current global status and advancements in cryobiology

posted on 2020-05-20, 00:00 authored by Andrew Taylor-Robinson, VH Do, James KinderJames Kinder
Domestic animal genetic resources, including those of cattle, are important for food security, economic development and the cultural heritage of all countries. As with other livestock and poultry species, many cattle breeds are at risk of extinction. The principal underlying reason for the loss of both beef and dairy breeds is an escalating rate and scale of economic and urban development as a result of the increasing global human population. A direct effect of these associated factors is the great emphasis that is placed on agricultural sustainability and animal production systems to provide sufficient food for the ever-increasing number of humans even though there are decreasing natural resources for this food production. Government policies for cattle conservation have been developed on all continents but there are vast differences in detailed aspects of these policies among countries. Initiatives to conserve cattle genetics, including the provision of gene banks for cattle, are well established in industrialized nations. In contrast, less economically developed countries are currently experiencing problems in safeguarding the preservation of local cattle breeds although there exists an immense diversity of animal genetic resources. This disparity is due to differences in a range of key factors such as national strategies, economic status, engagement of private sector companies and available technological capacity. The successful oversight and management of cattle genetic resources has major implications for the biotechnology industry and thus for the growth of a nation’s economy. The combination of applying cryobiology to germplasm conservation and implementing national strategies to maintain living genetic resources is, therefore, essential to ensure the sustainability and diversity of cattle breeds. To this end, the advancement of cryopreservation technologies and the international prioritization of conservation breeding are both imperative. In this chapter, we describe the current global status of conservation of cattle genetic resources and the cryo-technologies that are available to facilitate protection of this valuable natural reservoir of bovine genetic diversity. Worldwide adoption of such a policy has led to unique adaptations by cattle to a great variety of local environments.



Gorawala P; Mandhatri S



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Nova Science Publishers

Place of Publication

Hauppauge, NY, USA

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

National Key Laboratory of Animal Cell Technology, National Institute of Animal Sciences, Hanoi, Vietnam; Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Era Eligible

  • Yes

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