BIOZAR’s Group, of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology of the University of Zaragoza, is co-directed by María Teresa Muiño Blanco and José Álvaro Cebrián Pérez, and it is integrated in the IUCA institute. The group's work is part of basic and applied research in the areas of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Reproduction, Ecology and Environment, and Animal Production.

The group consists of 15 researchers. Sperm is one of the basic elements involved in the reproductive process, becoming factors of amplification of the possibilities to increase animal populations. That, from a few males can be obtained many seminal doses who’s allow to develop comprehensive programs of insemination or "in vitro" fertilization and subsequently embryo transfer.

Cryopreservation is one of the basic processes of seminal dose preparation. Gamete cryopreservation would allow the availability of banks of genetic resources for their implementation in biogeographic near or far areas and use them at present time or at a future time to resolve crisis periods for any animal specie.

In addition, the availability of sperm and embryos stored would increase the genetic variability of populations.

Our group has been working for the past 20 years on sperm biology and technology of sperm conservation, and their involvement in the development of animal populations, using as a model sheep semen.      

OBJECTIVES


    The aim of the research group is to increase and improve the reproductive efficiency in domestic and wild animal species, being the nucleus of tis research work the ovine specie.

The group is co-directed by Drs. Maria Teresa Muiño and Jose Cebrián, being integrated into the IUCA. The group's work is related with applied and basic research in the areas of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Animal Production.


   The specific objectives of the group cover different aspects of cellular and molecular biology related to reproductive management that directly affect the fertilizing capacity of semen doses and therefore, the efficiency and performance of farms. The main objectives are:

  1. The preparation and selection of semen doses with high fertilizing capacity.

  2. The development of cryoprotectants and cryopreservation systems for these doses.

  3. The study and control of capacitation and acrosome reaction.

  4. The physiological mechanisms involved in sperm maturation.

  5. Routes of triggering and controlling sperm apoptosis.

  6. The preparation of semen doses "sex-directed".

  7. The fertilization "in vitro" development.

  8. The functionality of hormone receptors presents in the spermatozoa


   Our group is developing several research projects simultaneously, at national, regional and international outlets collaboration in developing national and regional plans within the area of livestock, in particular paragraphs of animal production technology improvement, and in turn, within the objective of improving reproductive technologies in livestock species. Our studies are focused on basic technology and methodology of breeding sheep that are potentially transferable to the sector. In order to this aim our group has a strong cooperation with the CENSYRA (Movera) and others Aragon associations with greater presence in the sector, such as the “Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos de Rasa aragonesa” (ANGRA), and “Cooperativa Grupo Pastores” UPRA.

The use of Biology and Reproductive Biotechnology for animal production, and to recover or increasing animal populations in danger of extinction, constitutes essential tools within the plans of improvement and preserving native fauna. Reproductive processes can be crucial instruments in the growth and development of animal populations. In this context, the collection, preparation and availability of seminal doses of high-quality and reproductive efficiency represent a technological challenge that includes most of the species.