Amphibians: Use artificial cloning from frozen or fresh tissue
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Conservation breeding programmes are being used more frequently for threatened amphibian species. However, captive breeding often results in loss of genetic variation. This may mean that animals bred for release to the wild have reduced fitness. Freezing, or ‘cryopreservation’, of sperm and eggs or tissue, allows them to be stored until they are needed. Gene banks can therefore be created for amphibians ensuring that species’ genetic variation is preserved. It also means that the number of a particular species needed in captivity can be reduced and genes can be swapped between captive facilities. Cloning is the process whereby organisms are artificially produced with identical genetic material to the single ancestor from which a tissue sample has been preserved. This technique could be used to produce clones of individuals from threatened or even extinct amphibian species for use in captive breeding or reintroduction projects.