Development and application of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) for the conservation of anuran amphibians

Aimee Jade Silla

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    627 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) encompass a range of techniques that manipulate reproductive endocrinology, gametes, and embryos, for the purpose of enhancing reproductive success. The emerging field of amphibian ART has gained momentum in recent years due to the alarming rate at which amphibians are declining worldwide. Current estimates report 30.3% (1,917) of amphibian species are threatened with extinction, a greater proportion than any other vertebrate class. In response to the amphibian extinction crisis, numerous institutions have initiated captive breeding programmes (CBPs). CBPs play a key role in maintaining populations of endangered species, but in most cases reproductive rates are too low to support long-term reintroduction programmes. A powerful new approach to ex situ conservation has emerged, where sophisticated ART techniques are coupled with traditional captive breeding methods in order to improve the propagation and genetic management of threatened vertebrate species. To date, few studies have attempted to apply ART to Australian anurans, and the success of such studies has been limited. This thesis aimed to advance our understanding of how to a) successfully control aspects of the amphibian endocrine system to promote gamete-release, and b) optimise artificial fertilisation (AF) protocols to maximise fertilisation success. Chapter 2 provides a direct comparison of the effectiveness of two exogenous hormones, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRHa) as inducers of spermiation in eight, previously unstudied Australian anurans. Importantly, this study was the first to investigate patterns in spermiation responses across species, and found that all species belonging to the family Myobatrachidae responded better to LHRHa, while species from the family Limnodynastidae released a greater number of spermatozoa in response to hCG.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2012


    Dive into the research topics of 'Development and application of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) for the conservation of anuran amphibians'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this