Banking Genetic Resources

Frozen Zoo

Stem Cells and Genetic Rescue of Critically Endangered Species

...we generated stem cells from the critically endangered northern white rhino and the endangered African primate, the drill.

Barcoding for Species Conservation

Currently, we are involved in several collaborative projects that are using barcoding data for species conservation.

Sequencing Genomes and Serving Conservation

We are helping guide the studies, design the experiments, and generate the samples that feed the latest generation of DNA sequencers, capable of sequencing literally millions of genomes.

A Challenge for Reptile Researchers

Unknown numbers of these former pets have been released into the Everglades where they are thriving—much to the detriment of the natives!

New Tools for Genetic Rescue

Banked cells from genetically valuable individuals may offer a means to conserve genetic diversity in the captive population.

Genome Studies of Great Apes in the Wild and in Zoos

Studies of DNA sequence variation in great ape genomes has been limited in terms of the numbers of animals studied and the amount of DNA sequence information amassed. This new study is the most comprehensive study yet undertaken…

Identifying the Elephant in the Room

Asian elephants are more closely related to the extinct woolly mammoth than they are to either species of African elephant.

DNA Barcoding for Conservation

The carefully collected and maintained frozen tissues and cell cultures that have been banked in the Frozen Zoo® over the last thirty-seven years comprise a unique resource contributing to the description and classification of vertebrate diversity.

Stem Cell Science Offers Hope for Conservation

It is remarkable that our Frozen Zoo® now contains frozen cell cultures of 9,000 individual birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and, even, fish.

I Dream of Genome

It is an exciting time to be a geneticist, in large part because, with the advent of the era of genome sequencing, we stand to see an explosion of information that will advance our understanding of biology.

“Horsing Around” with Genetics

The Przewalski’s horse that survives today bears an uncanny resemblance to the horses in many cave paintings.

Sequencing Orangutan Genome for Conservation

Sequencing the orangutan genome has provided new tools for evaluating gene pool diversity of orangutan populations managed in zoos and in the wild.

Chilling Conservation at the Frozen Zoo

Celebrating its 37th birthday this year, our Frozen Zoo® continues to grow in new and exciting ways and make fundamental contributions to conservation research initiatives.

Gorillas: Getting to Know Our Kin

Among great apes, gorillas are one of our closest relatives, sharing nearly 98 percent of similar nuclear genetic material with humans.

Conservation and DNA Barcoding

DNA barcoding is an emerging technology that provides a method for identifying species from unrecognizable samples of blood, bone, meat, hair, feathers, or feces. It is also recognized as a valuable basic research tool for refining our understanding of biodiversity.

Preserving Genetic Lines for Conservation

Diversity on Ice: We are creating genetically valuable offspring using thawed gametes in assisted reproduction.

Collecting and Preserving African Elephant Semen

In August 2003, seven African elephants Loxodonta africana africana came from Swaziland to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in an attempt to improve conservation efforts in Swaziland and launch a reproductive program at the Park to benefit the demographics and genetic structure of the current captive population of African elephants in North America.

Chill Out: Frozen Zoo® Aiding Conservation Projects

Our mission is to help preserve the legacy of life on Earth for future generations by establishing and maintaining genetic resources in support of worldwide efforts in research and conservation.

Adding Amphibians to the Ark

The Frozen Zoo® at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is a precious and irreplaceable resource. It represents one of the most important ex situ conservation efforts undertaken in the last 37 years. Presently, about 90 percent of its approximately 10,000 accessions consist of mammalian taxa, although the most rapidly expanding components of the Frozen Zoo®, in terms of new taxa, consist of avian and reptilian species.

Comparative Studies of Great Apes and Other Primates

It has long been know that significant disease risks are associated with quality and type of diet. In the genomics era, it has become clear that risk for specific diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis, as well as certain types of cancer, are associated with genetic risk factors and the environmental effect of diet.

Genetic Studies in Cameroon

In recent years, the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research Central Africa Regional Program has begun to make a significant contribution to both the Institute and external genetics research programs that have clear relevance to conservation objectives.