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Pullman, WA, United States

After the first successful transfer of mammalian embryos in 1890, it was approximately 60 years before significant progress was reported in the basic technology of embryo transfer (ET) in cattle. Starting in the early 1970s, technology had progressed sufficiently to support the founding of commercial ET programs in several countries. Today, well-established and reliable techniques involving superovulation, embryo recovery and transfer, cryopreservation, and IVF are utilized worldwide in hundreds, if not thousands, of commercial businesses located in many countries. The mean number of embryos produced via superovulation has changed little in 40 years, but there have been improvements in synchrony and hormonal protocols. Cryopreservation of invivo-derived embryos is a reliable procedure, but improvements are needed for biopsied and invitro-derived embryos. High pregnancy rates are achieved when good quality embryos are transferred into suitable recipients and low pregnancy rates are often owing to problems in recipient management and not technology per se. In the future, unanticipated disease outbreaks and the ever-changing economics of cattle and milk prices will continue to influence the ET industry. The issue of abnormal pregnancies involving invitro embryos has not been satisfactorily resolved and the involvement of abnormal epigenetics associate with this technology merits continued research. Last, genomic testing of bovine embryos is likely to be available in the foreseeable future. This may markedly decrease the number of embryos that are actually transferred and stimulate the evolution of more sophisticated ET businesses. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Kaimio I.,Faba Co. | Mikkola M.,Faba Co. | Mikkola M.,University of Helsinki | Lindeberg H.,University of Eastern Finland | And 3 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of sex-sorted semen on the number and quality of embryos recovered from superovulated heifers and cows on commercial dairy farm conditions in Finland. The data consist of 1487 commercial embryo collections performed on 633 and 854 animals of Holstein and Finnish Ayrshire breeds, respectively. Superovulation was induced by eight intramuscular injections of follicle-stimulating hormone, at 12-hour intervals over 4 days, involving declining doses beginning on 9 to 12 days after the onset of standing estrus. The donors were inseminated at 9 to 15-hour intervals beginning 12 hours after the onset of estrus with 2 + 2 (+1) doses of sex-sorted frozen-thawed semen (N = 218) into the uterine horns or with 1 + 1 (+1) doses of conventional frozen-thawed semen (N = 1269) into the uterine corpus. Most conventional semen (222 bulls) straws contained 15 million sperm (total number 30-45 million per donor). Sex-sorted semen (61 bulls) straws contained 2 million sperm (total number 8-14 million per donor). Mean number of transferable embryos in recoveries from cows bred with sex-sorted semen was 4.9, which is significantly lower than 9.1 transferable embryos recovered when using conventional semen (P ≤ 0.001). In heifers, no significant difference was detected between mean number of transferable embryos in recoveries using sex-sorted semen and conventional semen (6.1 and 7.2, respectively). The number of unfertilized ova was higher when using sex-sorted semen than when using conventional semen in heifers (P < 0.01) and in cows (P < 0.05), and the number of degenerated embryos in cows (P < 0.01), but not in heifers. It was concluded that the insemination protocol used seemed to be adequate for heifers. In superovulated cows, an optimal protocol for using sex-sorted semen remains to be found. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

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