Theses and Dissertations


Amanda Gillis

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Vance, Carrie Kim

Committee Member

Kouba, Andrew J.

Committee Member

Allen, Peter J.

Committee Member

Marcec-Greaves, Ruth M.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 6 months||forever||5/15/2021

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Life Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


The world is currently facing an amphibian extinction crisis and wild salamanders and newts (Order: Caudata) are the most disadvantaged with 52% of species threatened. Captive breeding programs are been established to act as assurance colonies, but they are overwhelmingly failing due to the lack of environmental cues to stimulate reproduction and other factors. Therefore, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are being developed to overcome these barriers. This project expands upon the limited existing information on caudate ART through studies in the model species, Ambystoma tigrinum, for application to threatened species. Specific objectives included the characterization of motility longevity in artificially collected sperm samples, investigation of cryoprotective agents and freeze rates in sperm cryopreservation, and application of ART in three at-risk newt species. This study informs needed future advances in caudate ART protocols, especially sperm cryopreservation, and demonstrates their transferability to threatened species across families.



Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant # MG-30-17-0052-17