The Acipenseridae is an ancient species that faces internal and external threats including the loss of species genetic integrity through frequent interspecific hybridization, habitat degradation, and overfishing for their roe processed into caviar. Dramatic decrease in sturgeon populations attracted attention of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that categorized them as the most critically endangered, more than any other group of species. All 27 sturgeon species are on the IUCN Red List of threaten species with 17 categorized as critically endangered and four considered to be extinct.

We obtained (cruelty free)  cells from 100 Sturgeon females, with a mucosa swab,  removed  partially debris, cultured harvested cells and will co-culture with FGSCs to generate immortalized ovarian cell lines. A design of experiments (DOE) approach will then be applied to identify conditions and cultivations durations that favour differentiation of cultured cells into mature eggs.

Image 2. Histology of a H. huso (Beluga Sturgeon) early female gonad. Kuhl et al. 2020