To build new tools for the continued protection and propagation of coral from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), an international group of coral and cryopreservation scientists known as the Reef Recovery Initiative joined forces during the November 2011 mass-spawning event. The outcome was the creation of the first frozen bank for Australian coral from two important GBR reef-building species, Acropora tenuis and Acropora millepora. Approximately 190 frozen samples each with billions of cells were placed into long-term storage. Sperm cells were successfully cryopreserved, and after thawing, samples were used to fertilize eggs, resulting in functioning larvae. Additionally, developing larvae were dissociated, and these pluripotent cells were cryopreserved and viable after thawing. Now, we are in a unique position to move our work from the laboratory to the reefs to develop collaborative, practical conservation management tools to help secure Australia?s coral biodiversity.
Hagedorn, M., van Oppen, M. J. H., Carter, V., Henley, M., Abrego, D., Puill-Stephan, E., ... Spindler, R. E. (2012). First frozen repository for the Great Barrier Reef coral created. Cryobiology, 65(2), 157 - 158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cryobiol.2012.05.008