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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Preservation of chick primordial germ cells in liquid nitrogen and subsequent production of viable offspring.

Conservation of genetic material in chickens was attempted by preserving primordial germ cells in liquid nitrogen. Primordial germ cells collected from the blood of embryos at stage 13-15 of White Leghorn and Barred Plymouth Rock breeds were concentrated by Ficoll density gradient centrifugation. The primordial germ cells were then suspended in a freezing medium containing 10% dimethyl sulfoxide. The temperature of the cell suspension was decreased by 1 degree C min-1 to -80 degrees C; the suspension was then placed in liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees C) and stored for 4-5 months. The cell suspension was thawed by taking it out of liquid nitrogen and placing it in water at 4 degrees C. The viability of the frozen-thawed primordial germ cells was 94.2%. One hundred frozen-thawed cells were injected into the bloodstream of recipient embryos (stage 14-15) from the other breed, from which blood had been drawn before the injection. These embryos were cultured in recipient eggshells until hatching. Viable offspring derived from the frozen-thawed primordial germ cells were obtained by mating male and female germline chimaeras or by mating the chimaeras with Barred Plymouth Rock chickens, and the offspring showed normal reproductive performance. This technique for cryopreservation of primordial germ cells giving rise to viable offspring makes it possible to conserve genetic material in avian species.[1]


  1. Preservation of chick primordial germ cells in liquid nitrogen and subsequent production of viable offspring. Naito, M., Tajima, A., Tagami, T., Yasuda, Y., Kuwana, T. J. Reprod. Fertil. (1994) [Pubmed]
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