Abstract # 80:

Scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 18 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY PROGRAM AT THE CARIBBEAN PRIMATE RESEARCH CENTER (CPRC)

J. Gonzalez-Martinez, S. M. Nichols, L. Gierbolini, H. S. Martinez and M. Rivera
Caribbean Primate Research Center, University of Puerto Rico, Caribbean Primate Research Center, University of Puerto Rico, Sabana Seca 00952-1053, USA
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The CPRC has been conducting research in reproductive biology based on a colony of Cayo Santiago-derived, Indian-origin rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) which serve as an excellent model for both biomedical research and species conservation. An alternative approach to in situ conservation includes gene banking and the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as oocyte in vitro maturation, in vitro fertilization, and artificial insemination. Although many of these ‘high-tech’ solutions have not yet been proven viable for pragmatic wildlife conservation, basic research and development of these emerging tools can provide necessary information needed to optimize these techniques and institute ART as a routine practice in conservation efforts. The CPRC Reproductive Biology Program focuses on research examining relationships between aging and oocyte and embryo quality (as measured by cytogenetic and developmental characteristics), as well as development of optimal preservation techniques for macaque embryos and spermatozoa. Data resulting from research performed on non-threatened species may be extrapolated to their closely related counterparts that are threatened or endangered. In addition, transport of the material used in ART – gametes and embryos – is much easier, economical and safer than whole animal transportation. The successful application of ART to conservation biology thus holds great promise for the preservation of ecologically valuable species.