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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Nagy P.,Emirates Industries for Camel Milk and Products | Skidmore J.A.,Camel Reproduction Center | Juhasz J.,Emirates Industries for Camel Milk and Products
Animal Reproduction Science | Year: 2013

Despite their production potential and ability to survive on marginal resources in extreme conditions, dromedaries have not been exploited as an important food source. Camels have not been specifically selected for milk production, and genetic improvement has been negligible. High individual variation in milk production both within the population and within breeds provides a good base for selection and genetic progress. In this paper, we discuss the possibilities and constraints of selective breeding for milk production in camels, and include a summary of the use of embryo transfer at the world's first camel dairy farm. Embryo transfer is an integral part of the breeding strategy at the camel dairy farm because it increases selection intensity and decreases the generation interval. Using high milk-producing camels as donors and low producing camels as recipients, 146 embryos were recovered (6.1±1.0 embryos/donor; range: 0-18). Embryos were transferred non-surgically into 111 recipients (83 single and 28 twin embryo transfers). Pregnancy rate at 21 days and 5 months was 55% (61/111) and 45% (50/111), respectively. Finally, a total of 46 recipients delivered a live calf. These results document the utility of embryo transfer using high milk producing dromedaries as donors. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Skidmore J.A.,Camel Reproduction Center
Society of Reproduction and Fertility supplement | Year: 2010

The reproductive efficiency of camels is low under natural pastural conditions and so the use of artifical insemination and embryo transfer are becoming increasingly important to improve their breeding potential. Methods to control their reproductive cycle are therefore essential. This review describes characteristics of the ovarian follicular wave pattern in camels and exogenous hormonal control of ovulation. It also summarizes the difficulties involved with artifical insemination and analyzing the highly gelatinous semen, and reports on the latest methods used to try and reduce the viscosity and liquefy camel semen. In addition an account is given of different hormonal and physical methods used to synchronise follicular waves, and various hormone treatments used to broaden the availability of ovulated, asynchronous and non-ovulated recipients are discussed.

Wani N.A.,Camel Reproduction Center | Wernery U.,Central Veterinary Research Laboratory
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2010

The present experiment was aimed to compare the effect of different protein supplementation sources, foetal calf serum (FCS), oestrous dromedary serum (EDS) and BSA, in experiment 1, and the effect of different concentrations of epidermal growth factor (EGF), in experiment 2, on in vitro nuclear maturation of the dromedary oocytes. Cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were harvested from the ovaries collected from a local slaughterhouse by aspirating the visible follicles in PBS supplemented with 5% FCS. Pooled COCs were randomly distributed to 4-well culture plates containing 500 μl of the maturation medium and cultured at 38.5°C in an atmosphere of 5% CO 2 in air for 32-36 h. The basic maturation medium consisted of TCM-199 supplemented with 0.1 mg/ml L-glutamine, 0.8 mg/ml sodium bicarbonate, 0.25 mg/ml pyruvate, 50 μg/ml gentamicin, 10 μg/ml bFSH, 10 μg/ml bLH and 1 μg/ml estradiol. In experiment 1, this medium was supplemented with 10% FCS, 10% EDS or 0.4% BSA, whereas in experiment 2, it was supplemented with 0.4% BSA and 0, 10, 20 or 50 ng/ml of EGF. The oocytes were fixed, stained with 1% aceto-orcein stain and their nuclear status was evaluated. Oocytes were classified as germinal vesicle, diakinesis, metaphase-I, anaphase-I (A-I), metaphase-II (M-II) and those with degenerated, fragmented, scattered, activated or without visible chromatin as others. There was no difference (p > 0.05) observed in the proportion of oocytes reaching M-II stage between the media supplemented with FCS (71.5 ± 4.8), EDS (72.8 ± 2.9) and BSA (72.7 ± 6.2). In experiment 2, a higher proportion (p < 0.05) of oocytes reached M-II stage when the medium was supplemented with 20 ng/ml of EGF (81.4 ± 3.2) when compared with the media supplemented with 10 ng/ml (66.9 ± 4.1) and control (67.2 ± 7.1) groups. It may be concluded that the maturation media for dromedary camel oocytes can be supplemented with any of the three protein sources, i.e. FCS, EDS and BSA without any significant differences on the maturation rates. Also, a supplementation of 20 ng/ml of EGF in the maturation medium seems to be optimal and improves the nuclear maturation of dromedary camel oocytes. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Wani N.A.,Camel Reproduction Center | Skidmore J.A.,Camel Reproduction Center
Theriogenology | Year: 2010

In Experiment 1, studies were conducted to apply the transvaginal ultrasound guided ovum pick-up (OPU) technique in dromedary camels after their ovarian super-stimulation and in vivo oocyte maturation. In Experiment 2, the developmental potential of two commonly used oocyte types, i.e., in vivo matured oocytes collected by OPU and abattoir derived in vitro-matured oocytes was compared after their chemical activation. In Experiment 3, developmental competence of oocytes collected from super-stimulated camels by OPU, matured either in vivo or in vitro, was compared after their chemical activation. Mature female dromedary camels super-stimulated with a combination of eCG and pFSH were given an injection of 20 μg of the GnRH analogue, buserelin 24, 26, or 28 h before the scheduled OPU. For collection of cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) the transducer was guided through the vulva into the cranial most portion of the vagina and 17-gauge, 55 cm single-lumen needle was placed in the needle guide of the ultrasound probe and advanced through the vaginal fornix and into the follicle. Follicular fluid was aspirated using a regulated vacuum pump into tubes containing embryo-flushing media. Aspirates were searched for COCs using a stereomicroscope, and they were then denuded of cumulus cells by hyaluronidase and repeated pipetting. The oocytes were classified as mature (with a visible polar body), immature (with no visible polar body), activated (with divided or fragmented ooplasm) and others (degenerated and abnormal).Overall an average of 12.12 7.9 COCs were aspirated per animal with an oocyte recovery rate from the aspirated follicles of about 77%. The majority (> 90%) of the collected COCs by OPU were with loose and expanded cumulus cells. The proportion of matured oocytes obtained at 28-29 h (91.2 4.1) and 26-27 h (82.1 3.4) were higher (P < 0.005) when compared with those obtained at 24-25 h (40.4 16.3) after GnRH administration. In Experiment 2, a higher proportion (P < 0.05) of in vivo matured oocytes cleaved (84.6 2.1 vs. 60.9 6.6) and developed to blastocyst stages (52.4 4.1 vs. 30.5 3.3) when compared with in vitro matured oocytes collected from slaughterhouse ovaries. In Experiment 3, no difference was observed between the developmental competences of oocytes, collected from super stimulated camels, matured in vitro with those collected after their in vivo maturation. In conclusion, about 80. -90% mature oocytes can be collected by ultrasound guided transvaginal ovum pick-up from super-stimulated dromedary camels 26. -28 h after GnRH administration. The developmental response, to chemical activation, of in vivo matured oocytes collected by ultrasound guided transvaginal OPU is better than in vitro matured oocytes obtained from slaughterhouse ovaries. However, no difference was observed in the developmental competence of oocytes collected by OPU whether they were matured in vivo or in vitro. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Skidmore J.A.,Camel Reproduction Center | Billah M.,Camel Reproduction Center
Reproduction, Fertility and Development | Year: 2011

The aim of the present study was to investigate the use of exogenous progesterone and equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG) in non-ovulated and ovulated, asynchronous dromedary camel recipients being prepared for an embryo transfer programme. The uteri of 12 mated donor camels were flushed non-surgically 7 days after ovulation and 42 embryos were recovered. In Experiment 1, 16 embryos were transferred non-surgically to recipients on Day 3 or 4 after ovulation (ov+3 and ov+4, respectively). Each recipient received a daily dose of 75mg, i.m., progesterone-in-oil from 2 days before embryo transfer until 6 days after ovulation. Thereafter, the progesterone dose was reduced to 50mg on Day 7 and finally to 25mgday-1 on Days 8 and 9. Nine of 16 recipients (56%; ov+3, n=4; ov+4, n=5) became pregnant compared with none of eight non-progesterone treated controls, into which embryos were transferred on Day 4 after ovulation. In Experiment 2, 18 non-ovulated recipients received 75mg, i.m., progesterone-in-oil daily from 3 days before until 12 days after non-surgical transfer of a Day 7 blastocyst, at which time pregnancy was diagnosed by ultrasonography. All pregnant recipients continued to receive 75mg progesterone-in-oil daily for a further 6 days, when each camel received 2000IU, i.m., eCG. Progesterone treatment was then reduced to 50mgday-1 and, when a follicle(s) ≥1.3cm in diameter were present in the ovaries, each animal received 20 μg buserelin to induce ovulation. Once the corpora lutea had developed, progesterone treatment was reduced to 25mgday-1 for a final 3 days. Fourteen of 18 recipients (78%) became pregnant and seven of these (50%) remained pregnant after eCG treatment. Of the seven pregnancies that were lost, two were lost before eCG treatment, two did not respond to eCG treatment and three responded to eCG treatment and ovulated, but lost their pregnancies 6-8 days after the last progesterone injection. © CSIRO 2011.

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