Ex situ conservation
In accordance with the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 6 June 2008 (Journal of Laws, 2008, no. 108, item 691), the National Research Institute of Animal Production has been designated to implement activities in the conservation of farm animal genetic resources, namely to collect and store the biological material of different farm animal species subject to cryoconservation.
For the purpose of ex situ conservation of farm animal genetic resources, the National Bank of Biological Material (NBBM) was established in 2014 at the National Research Institute of Animal Production.
The location of the NBBM on the grounds of a research institution enables effective cooperation of the research staff, highly experienced in the cryopreservation of biological material, with the coordinators of the genetic resources conservation programmes for different species of farm animals.
Biological Material Storage Centres
The National Bank of Biological Material holds facilities for storage of biological material from farm animals such as cattle, horses, pigs, sheep and goats. The District Veterinary Officer assigned the centres (see more) with the following ID numbers depending on the type of biological material stored and species of animals:
|Number||Name of the Centre|
|12062302||Bovine semen storage centre|
|12062303||Equine semen storage centre|
|12062304||Porcine semen storage centre|
|12062305||Ovine and caprine semen storage centre|
|12062401||Centre for storage of and trade in bovine embryos and oocytes|
|12062402||Centre for storage of and trade in equine embryos andoocytes|
|12062403||Centre for storage of and trade in porcine embryos and oocytes|
|12062404||Centre for storage of and trade in ovine and caprine embryos and oocytes|
Significance of the NBBM
The key role of the National Bank of Biological Material (NBBM) is to collect and store biological material from the breeds covered by the Genetic Resources Conservation Programme and from animals with outstanding production and breeding characteristics.
The material collected at the NBBM is a reserve gene pool in the event of emergence of threats jeopardizing the biodiversity of animal populations, such as extinction of breeds and epidemics of animal diseases. Apart from regularly increasing the amount of the collected biological material, we attach great importance to quality control. The Department of Reproductive Biotechnology and Cryoconservation of the National Research Institute of Animal Production has specialized research facilities and test equipment needed to fulfil all of these goals.
Leading role of the National Research Institute of Animal Production in ex situ conservation of farm animal genetic resources in Poland
In 1968, in order to achieve the goals of the then breeding concepts, the Ministry of Agriculture established at the National Research Institute of Animal Prodution the Central Semen Bank (CSB), currently known as the Bank of Biological Material. The main task of the CSB was to store the semen of young bulls subjected to breeding evaluation; the semen was delivered from all AI stations in Poland. In addition, due to the growing imports of semen, the Ministry of Agriculture entrusted the CSB to evaluate and qualify the semen for insemination in Poland.
In 1968, the first biological material (semen) from a conservation breed (Polish Red bull) was stored at the CSB. The collection was gradually expanded with the semen of Polish Red, Polish Red and White, Polish Black and White, and Whitebacks bulls. This collection was the only bank of biological material in Poland; it was unique with regard to both genotypes and the amount of stored material.
In order to preserve biological material from the other species of farm animals, in 2012 the historic stables located at the site of the National Research Institute of Animal Production were modernized for the needs of the National Bank of Biological Material. Two years later, the District Veterinary Officer assigned veterinary ID numbers to the different centres storing biological material from farm animals: cattle, horses, pigs, sheep and goats.
The year 2014 saw the official opening of the NBBM, which stores biological material from the above species of farm animals in the form of semen, embryos and oocytes.