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Development of cryopreservation techniques for early stages zebrafish (Danio rerio) oocytesTsai, Sujune (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2009-01)Cryopreservation of germplasm of aquatic species offers many benefits to the fields of aquaculture, conservation and biomedicine. Although successful fish sperm cryopreservation has been achieved with many species, there has been no report of successful cryopreservation of fish embryos and late stage oocytes which are large, chilling sensitive and have low membrane permeability. In the present study, the sensitivity to chilling and toxicity of cryoprotectants of early stage zebrafish ovarian follicles were studied before designing protocols for their cryopreservation using controlled slow cooling. The effect of cryoprotectant, freezing medium, cooling rate, method for cryoprotectant removal, post-thaw incubation time and ovarian follicle developmental stage were investigated. In vitro culture method for early stage zebrafish ovarian follicles were also developed. The studies showed that stage I and II ovarian follicles are less sensitive to chilling than stage III follicles and methanol was the least toxic cryoprotectant. 4M methanol in potassium chloride (KCl) buffer was found to be the optimal cryoprotective solution and the optimum cooling rate was 4 °C/min for stage I and II follicles. Although the highest survivals after 2 h post-thawed incubation were 50.7 ± 4.0% for stage II ovarian follicles obtained with FDA+PI staining, ADP/ATP ratios of the cryopreserved follicles were significantly increased indicating increased cell death. Furthermore, in vitro culture experiments showed that there was no growth for stage I and II ovarian follicles after cryopreservation, indicating that successful cryopreservation of early stage zebrafish ovarian follicles at liquid nitrogen still remains elusive. From in vitro culture study, 90% L-15 medium at pH 9.0 containing 10 IU/ml hCG was effective for in vitro culture of stage I and II ovarian follicles. Systematic study on cryopreservation of early stage fish ovarian follicles at liquid nitrogen temperature is reported ii here for the first time. The results will provide useful information on the future development of protocol design for successful cryopreservation of early stage fish ovarian follicles.