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Reproductive Biology

Gamete Biology & Embryology

The study of gamete and embryo physiology provides basic information that is necessary to better understand the complexities of their function and survival in vivo and in vitro. These data are crucial for the development of advanced reproductive techniques, including semen handling and evaluation , artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and gamete/embryo cryopreservation, which can provide alternative methods for the preservation of genetic material and management of captive and wild populations. Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) can be used to: 1) overcome poor reproductive function, 2) increase reproductive yield, 3) distribute genetics of valuable individuals or 4) overcome health or behavioural issues (e.g. physical handicaps, mate incompatibility). As part of Toronto Zoo and SSP® recommendations, monitoring and banking of Toronto Zoo animals, as well as implementation of ARTs when necessary, are routinely carried out.

Additional links:
Semen Handling and Evaluation
Artificial Insemination
In Vitro Fertilization
Cryopreservation / Genome Resource Banking