Administrative Supplement: Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center

Grants and Contracts Details


Specific project activity The Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC) is a P40 Research Resource that distributes laboratory axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) to researchers and educators nationally and internationally. The AGSC is funded as an NIH P40 Animal Resource Center through 2025, ensuring the availability of axolotl stocks to biomedical research labs into the future. The AGSC maintains wildtype, mutants, and transgenics as living stocks because methods have not been optimized for cryopreservation of axolotl germplasm. This presents a critical barrier because the AGSC has finite resources to accomplish two primary objectives: 1) Sustain an irreplaceable, captive-bred population for axolotl stock production, and 2) Provide new genetic stocks that enhance research using the axolotl. Additionally, axolotl investigator labs are not setup to maintain all newly created transgenic and knockout lines as living stocks, nor are they setup to distribute stocks to other researchers. Development of a cryopreservation protocol would allow the AGSC to freeze and store low priority stocks, thereby freeing up tanks for higher priority and new stocks. More generally, it would enable the AGSC to function as a repository to manage, archive, and distribute axolotl stocks for the axolotl community. The AGSC is currently collaborating with Dr. Terrence Tiersch who leads the Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. Dr. Tiersch currently has an R24 grant to help the AGSC and other aquatic model resource centers optimize sperm cryopreservation protocols and develop more efficient strategies for managing germplasm Specifically in regards to the AGSC, Dr. Tierch’s group is working with AGSC staff to develop a strategy to optimally manage, archive, and distribute axolotl germplasm. To ultimately become a germplasm repository, the AGSC will need to build infrastructure. Currently, the AGSC does not have any of the essential pieces of equipment that are required to assess germplasm quality, prepare samples, store samples, and thaw samples for rederiving lines. Recently, Dr. Tiersch and Dr. Harvey Blackburn, who leads the United States Department of Agriculture National Animal Germplasm Program in Fort Collins, Colorado, prioritized a list of equipment that is essential for building cryopreservation infrastructure in the AGSC and other aquatic model organism centers that provide Xenopus, Aplysia, Xiphophorus, and Zebrafish (Table 1). Based on expert advice provided by Dr. Tiersch and Dr. Blackburn, supplemental funding provided by the Alteration and Renovation Administrative Supplement Funding Opportunity is requested to purchase pieces of cryopreservation equipment needed for the AGSC.
Effective start/end date3/1/152/28/22


  • Office of the Director


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