Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Development of methods for cryopreservation of gametes and glochidia of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionae)


September 2007 - August 2010


Cryopreservation of the gametes and larvae of critically endangered mussels has been identified as an important goal of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Freshwater Mussels. The ability to obtain genetic material for several of these species is waning, and cryopreservation of gametes and/or glochidia, to be available for future technological developments, poses the last hope for prevention of permanent extinction. This project will test previously developed techniques for oysters and other invertebrates, to determine applicability for freshwater mussels.

The specific objectives of this project are as follows:
1. to determine the osmolality of the reproductive fluids in the gonad of Q. quadrula, and the effect of osmotic pressure on sperm motility.
2. to determine the effects of four cryopreservation variables on sperm post-thaw sperm motility and fertilization rate of Q quadrula.
3. to determine the effects of four cryopreservation variables on oocyte post-thaw fertilization rate of Q quadrula.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 238

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 54

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 673

Scientific Publications: 1905

Presentations: 4236



  • Richard NevesPrincipal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • USFWS Region 4

Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey