Uccheddu, Stefania (2012) Reproductive biotechnologies: a new approach for Cervids conservation. Doctoral Thesis.
Reproductive biotechnologies have great potential as a tool for the conservation of endangered mammal species. We tried to apply some assisted reproductive techniques (ART) in the sardinian regional context, widely considered for its peculiar biodiversity. Our research had been driven in particular at cervids, Fallow deer (Dama dama, Linneus 1758) and Sardinian red deer (Cervus elaphus corsicanus, Exrleben 1777). This subspecies is strictly protected and is included as a Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. First of all, we set up a genetic resource bank. Our first aim has been the preservation of gametes and somatic cells but also the application on somatic cell nuclear transfer. Sheep oocytes have been used as cytoplast, while fallow deer and Sardinian red deer as caryoplast. In vitro production of fallow deer embryos has been obtained in cloning but also thank to in vitro fertilization(IVF) of homologous oocytes. Semen had been previously tested for fertility in heterologous IVF with sheep oocytes. Our results showed that ART applications preserves the current genetic diversity, gives future reproductive opportunities and could allow more rapid expansion of a population. In conclusion, the study of reproduction is fundamental for conserving species, populations and, indirectly, the vitality of entire ecosystems. However, at the moment, a successful management of wildlife depends also on intensive genetic and reproductive management.
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