To preserve the world's biodiversity, the establishment of genome resource banks is desirable. These institutions can preserve gametes, embryos and tissues that, when needed, can be used to replenish a genetically dwindling population or species that are extinct in the wild or, theoretically, recreate an extinct species. A wide variety of options for genetic preservation has been developed over the short history of tissue and cell cryopreservation and success varies between classes and species. New technologies are still emerging; thus, when collecting samples, these should be of a wide variety to cover current and future technologies. Such samples can include (but should not be limited to) gametes, embryos, testicular and ovarian tissues, somatic cells or cell lines, and whole organs or whole animals. We will review the various current and emerging preservation technologies, and discuss their advantages and limitations.