CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES OF THE INIA DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL REPRODUCTION
Since the sixties, the Department of Animal Reproduction of INIA, then belonging to the so-called ‘Animal Biology Board’, worked on different sperm freezing techniques. At the beginning of the eighties, work focussed on the freezing of embryos (rodents, rabbits and ruminants), determining the different methodologies for superovulation treatments and for obtaining, handling and transferring the embryos, most of them of commercial use in the present. Currently, these widely described and contrasted technologies have been applied for the conservation of domestic breeds and wild species in danger of extinction, with the intervention of most researchers and with various funding sources, fundamentally by the Strategic Action of "Support to Conservation of Genetic Resources of Agrifood Interest", included within the National Program of Agrifood Resources and Technologies, as well as with funds from the different Autonomous Communities.
Also, and within the mentioned INIA Strategic Action, the maintenance and inventory of the collections has also been financed with the main objective of guarantee the correct conservation of animal genetic resources of interest for agriculture and food of the Department of Animal Reproduction of INIA, ensuring the viability of samples stored.
There have also been developed and are programs and agreements for the ex-situ (in vitro) conservation of endangered wild species, which has led the storage of genetic material, mainly seminal doses, of emblematic species at serious risk of extinction.
All these actions have led the publication of a large number of papers in both national and international journals, as well as the development of a software (Germobank®) which allows to carry out an exhaustive control of the stored samples (semen, oocytes, embryos and somatic cells) and their quality. This software is registered in the Intellectual Property Registry of the Community of Madrid (2003).
Since March 22, 2013, the Department has an exemption from compliance with RD 841/2011, which stablishes the basic conditions for the collection, storage, distribution and comercialization of genetic material, as it is a research center. Therefore, only in the cases in which the genetic material is transferred or used to another location, it will be necessary to request the competent authority of the Community of Madrid an exception to compliance with the requirements established in RD 841/2011.
STOCKS OF THE ZOOGENETIC RESOURCES BANK OF THE INIA ANIMAL REPRODUCTION DEPARTMENT
As indicated above, the Department of Animal Reproduction has personnel of recognized international prestige in the field of gametes, embryos and cells conservation of various species, as well as in the evaluation of the quality of stored products, as it has made a considerable number of conservation activities over the last five decades in both native breeds and wild species in danger of extinction or of special interest, which have allowed the storage of a high number of samples of interest.
The principal lines of research include both fundamental research on basic aspects such as fertilization, the control of the reproductive cycle or embryonic development and applied research, such as ex situ in vitro conservation, and the application of the reproductive technologies to improve livestock production or to support conservation programs. The Animal Reproduction Department is a unique center in Spain, since there are specialists in animal reproduction of all domestic and wild species, being a national and international reference researh center on the control of the reproductive cycle and on the manipulation and cryopreservation of gametes, embryos and somatic cells. The conservation of animal genetic resources activity involves practically all the researchers of the Department, who have been participating for years on activities for the conservation of native breeds and wild species in danger of extinction.
Each one of the research groups involved in the conservation of genetic material, is responsible for the control, qualitative characterization and management of their stocks that are published below: