LSU AgCenter leads the effort to preserve aquatic genetic diversity

Preserving genetic material for aquatic species is the mission of the LSU AgCenter Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center.

The LSU AgCenter Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center (AGGRC) is playing a crucial role in preserving animal and plant species vital for commercial aquaculture and biomedical research. Dedicated to their mission, the center aims to safeguard the genetic diversity of aquatic species for generations to come.

Situated on the LSU campus, the AGGRC houses a diverse array of aquatic species, some of which are no longer found in the wild or are on the brink of extinction.

“It’s got a very clear mission — to preserve the genetic resources of fish and shellfish,” explained AGGRC Director Dr. Terry Tiersch. “And we work every day to come up with ways to do that.”

Beyond preservation, some species at the AGGRC serve a significant purpose in biomedical research because they share genetic similarities with humans. Dr. Tiersch noted that these small aquatic species are becoming increasingly valuable in biomedical studies, offering a cost-effective and easily grown alternative to traditional research animals like monkeys, dogs, and mice.

The facility integrates cutting-edge technology, including 3-D printers strategically placed throughout the facility. These printers play a pivotal role in creating specialized equipment capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, enhancing the center’s research capabilities.

“It may seem strange, but they’re there because it gives us the capability to make new things, to test them, to break them and refine them and distribute them to other people.” Dr. Tiersch said.

Crucially, the center adopts an open-sharing approach, providing hardware developed in-house to the public and similar research groups. This collaborative spirit aims to reduce research costs and streamline processes for fellow researchers across the globe.

“That way, they don’t have to go to some very expensive place with very expensive equipment that may be very far away,” he explained. “They can do it right there in their very own locations.”

Recognizing the economic potential in preserving genetic material, Dr. Tiersch envisions multi-billion dollar business opportunities emanating from the conservation efforts led by the LSU AgCenter Aquatic Germplasm and Genetic Resources Center.

Related Stories
Global food prices inched upward for the third consecutive month according to the latest FAO Food Price Index. While some Americans struggle to source their next meal, others are ordering high-priced food delivery straight to their door more than ever before.
The University of Tennessee AgResearch Center (UTIA) plans to open a new commercial broiler chicken facility at its Spring Hill education center by 2025 to conduct cutting-edge poultry industry research.
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser took time to visit our Nashville studio and discuss his state’s integral support of CMA Fest with longtime friend, RFD-TV’s own Tammi Arender.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join us as we interview members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.