The emerging role of open technologies for community-based improvement of cryopreservation and quality management for repository development in aquatic species

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Genetic resources of aquatic species are of tremendous value, but worldwide these are maintained almost exclusively as live populations. This is extremely expensive and insecure, and largely results from a pervasive lack of production capability, quality management, and reproducibility in cryopreservation that are barriers in development of germplasm repositories. Community-based technology approaches are emerging that can stimulate research previously limited by a lack of affordable, customizable equipment. Open-access technologies can provide for custom design and fabrication not available through traditional manufacturing. This can assist repository development with robust sample production methods and strong quality management, and can greatly improve reproducibility and standardization. Open technologies can support establishment of new communities of users, makers, and developers that collectively strive to develop open hardware in a distributed (i.e., non-centralized) fashion that can yield aggregate throughput. This occurs through use of consumer-level tools, supplies, software, and equipment, free exchange of designs and modifications, and a shared sense of mission. For cryopreservation and repository development, we have identified 14 categories of open hardware for a processing pathway, and six categories for a quality management pathway. Open hardware offers economic incentives to develop repositories for aquatic species, something that has not occurred despite 70 years of research largely focused on protocol development rather than practical applications. Advanced development of custom scientific hardware enhancing open technologies will be facilitated by interdisciplinary collaboration across biological and engineering fields. This manuscript is a contribution to the Special Issue in memory of Dr. Duane Garner, a leader in the sperm biology.

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Animal Reproduction Science

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