Common goals, different stages: the state of the ARTs for reptile and amphibian conservation

Simon Clulow, John Clulow, Ruth Marcec-Greaves, Gina Della Togna, Natalie E Calatayud

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Amphibians and reptiles are highly threatened vertebrate taxa with large numbers of species threatened with extinction. With so many species at risk, conservation requires the efficient and cost-effective application of all the tools available so that as many species as possible are assisted. Biobanking of genetic material in genetic resource banks (GRBs) in combination with assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to retrieve live animals from stored materials are two powerful, complementary tools in the conservation toolbox for arresting and reversing biodiversity decline for both amphibians and reptiles. However, the degree of development of the ARTs and cryopreservation technologies differ markedly between these two groups. These differences are explained in part by different perceptions of the taxa, but also to differing reproductive anatomy and biology between the amphibians and reptiles. Artificial fertilisation with cryopreserved sperm is becoming a more widely developed and utilised technology for amphibians. However, in contrast, artificial insemination with production of live progeny has been reported in few reptiles, and while sperm have been successfully cryopreserved, there are still no reports of the production of live offspring generated from cryopreserved sperm. In both amphibians and reptiles, a focus on sperm cryopreservation and artificial fertilisation or artificial insemination has been at the expense of the development and application of more advanced technologies such as cryopreservation of the female germline and embryonic genome, or the use of sophisticated stem cell/primordial germ cell cryopreservation and transplantation approaches. This review accompanies the publication of ten papers on amphibians and twelve papers on reptiles reporting advances in ARTs and biobanking for the herpetological taxa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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