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JORDBRUK-Jord, planter og husdyr

Visualisation of vitellogenin dynamics and associated physiology in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

Awarded: NOK 2.6 mill.

Access to a cryopreservation technology for honeybee sperm is highly important for commercial as well as for scientific reasons. On the national scene it will improve the Norwegian honeybee breeding system substantially by permitting selection based on pr ogeny testing and more systematic exploration of genome combinations. As such, it will contribute to the development of a primary production in Norway that has a substantial unrealised export potential. Scientifically, it will open up for a whole range of important functional genomic studies on honeybees (making use of specific strains or mutants) that today are too laboursome and expensive to perform. The cryopreservation of sperm has been a long-standing problem within the honeybee research community. S everal protocols have been tried without apparent success. However, all the protocols have had in common that virgin queens have been artificially inseminated with sperm cryopreserved and thawed by various means. By this, the sperm have had to survive fo r weeks and months in the spermatheca of the queen before being used to fertilise eggs. According to common cryobiological wisdom, cryopreserved germ plasm should be used almost immediately after thawing. The project intends t o circumvent this apparently insurmountable barrier encountered by previous workers in the field by making use of intra-cytoplasmatic sperm injection. This is a completely new strategy that will allow active use of cryopreserved sperm in less than one hou r after thawing, and it is dependent on a freezing and thawing technique that leaves the cell membrane uncompromised. We are in a good position to succeed with this project. Our laboratory is acknowledged internationally to be leading the development of protocols for nuclear trans plantation, quantitative microinjection, embryo cloning, egg provision techniques, and cryop reservation of preblastoderm nuclei in honeybees, and the research achievements and goals were rated as very good by an international panel reviewing Norwegian bi ological research last year. Our collaborator, dr. Greg Hunt at Purdue University is one of t he leading honeybee molecular geneticists in the world. e of t

Funding scheme:

JORDBRUK-Jord, planter og husdyr

Thematic Areas and Topics

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