Cryopreservation of sperm of Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis



Now that transgenic strains of Xenopus laevis and X. tropicalis can be generated efficiently and with genomic sequence resources available for X. tropicalis, early amphibian development can be studied using integrated biochemical and genetic approaches. However, housing large numbers of animals generated during genetic screens or produced as novel transgenic lines presents a considerable challenge. We describe a method for cryopreserving Xenopus sperm that should facilitate low maintenance, long-term storage of male gametes. By optimising the cryoprotectant, the rates of cooling and thawing, and conditions for fertilisation, sperm from the equivalent of one-eighth of a X. laevis testis or of two X. tropicalis testes have been cryopreserved and used to fertilise eggs of both species after thawing. Sperm undergo a substantial loss of viability during a freeze-thaw cycle, but sufficient survive to fertilise eggs. Gametes of mutagenised frogs are being stored in connection with a screen for developmental mutations. genesis 41:41–46, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.