Genome resource banking is the systematic collection, storage, and redistribution of biomaterials in an organized, logistical, and secure manner. Genome cryobanks usually contain biomaterials and associated genomic information essential for progression of biomedicine, human health, and research. In that regard, appropriate genome cryobanks could provide essential biomaterials for both current and future research projects in the form of various cell types and tissues, including sperm, oocytes, embryos, embryonic or adult stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and gonadal tissues. In addition to cryobanked germplasm, cryobanking of DNA, serum, blood products, and tissues from scientifically, economically, and ecologically important species has become a common practice. For revitalization of the whole organism, cryopreserved germplasm in conjunction with assisted reproductive technologies, offer a powerful approach for research model management, as well as assisting in animal production for agriculture, conservation, and human reproductive medicine. Recently, many developed and developing countries have allocated substantial resources to establish genome resources banks which are responsible for safeguarding scientifically, economically, and ecologically important wild type, mutant, and transgenic plants, fish, and local livestock breeds, as well as wildlife species. This review is dedicated to the memory of Dr. John K. Critser, who has made profound contributions to the science of cryobiology and establishment of genome research and resources centers for mice, rats, and swine. Emphasis will be given to application of genome resource banks to species with substantial contributions to the advancement of biomedicine and human health.
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