Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Renewable Natural Resources

Document Type



Germplasm repositories offer many potential benefits to commercial farm operations, including preserving genetic resources and increasing production capabilities. Aquaculture industries have yet to take advantage of repository storage despite decades of research evaluating cryopreservation protocols. Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica), for example, are a useful research species when addressing this problem. Oysters are an economically important aquaculture species and a high-throughput cryopreservation method for oysters already exists. To address the gap between protocol research and commercial application a different approach is necessary that can analyze the requirements of repository development at multiple organizational levels. The goal of this dissertation was to advance repository development in commercial aquaculture species by integrating repository activities into oyster aquaculture systems at the Pathway, Center, and Network Levels. Beginning at the smallest scale, the Pathway Level focuses on the steps of a particular process (e.g., cryopreservation) that takes place in a repository facility. The Center Level encompasses multiple processes within a repository facility and its community. At the largest scale, the Network Level outlines the relationships of multiple repositories and their surrounding communities. The chapters of this dissertation provided tools for repository development at each organizational level using concepts from different fields of study. Chapters 2 and 3 operated at the Pathway Level and used industrial engineering principles to create process maps and simulation models of the cryopreservation pathway. Chapters 4 and 5 operated at the Center Level and used aquaculture and physiology research to evaluate the types of data that can be collected about genetic lines stored in a repository. Finally, Chapter 6 operated at the Center and Network Levels. This chapter used industrial engineering concepts to assess data management requirements and to outline the exchange of materials and information between a repository and the surrounding community. By understanding the complex organizational structure of repository networks and by analyzing the processes that take place within them, repositories can be incorporated and sustained in aquaculture industries.



Committee Chair

Tiersch, Terrence R.