Interspecific germ cell transplantation: a new light in the conservation of valuable Balkan trout genetic resources?

Jelena Lujić, Zoran Marinović, Simona Sušnik Bajec, Ida Djurdjevič, Béla Urbányi, Ákos Horváth

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Interspecific transplantation of germ cells from the brown trout Salmo trutta m. fario and the European grayling Thymallus thymallus into rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss recipients was carried out in order to improve current practices in conservation of genetic resources of endangered salmonid species in the Balkan Peninsula. Current conservation methods mainly include in situ efforts such as the maintenance of purebred individuals in isolated streams and restocking with purebred fingerlings; however, additional ex situ strategies such as surrogate production are needed. Steps required for transplantation such as isolation of high number of viable germ cells and fluorescent labeling of germ cells which are to be transplanted have been optimized. Isolated and labeled brown trout and grayling germ cells were intraperitoneally transplanted into 3 to 5 days post hatch rainbow trout larvae. Survival of the injected larvae was comparable to the controls. Sixty days after transplantation, fluorescently labeled donor cells were detected within the recipient gonads indicating successful incorporation of germ cells (brown trout spermatogonia and oogonia—27%; grayling spermatogonia—28%; grayling oogonia—23%). PCR amplification of donor mtDNA CR fragments within the recipient gonads additionally corroborated the success of incorporation. Overall, the transplantation method demonstrated in this study presents the first step and a possible onset of the application of the germ cell transplantation technology in conservation and revitalization of genetic resources of endangered and endemic species or populations of salmonid fish and thus give rise to new or improved management strategies for such species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1487-1498
Number of pages12
JournalFish Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018



  • Oogonia
  • Salmo trutta
  • Spermatogonia
  • Thymallus thymallus
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science

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