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Test-tube calf embryos more likely to survive Texas summers
Date:9/2/2010

ation group was bred using either timed schemes or following detected estrus. The other two groups had embryo transfers seven days after completion of the estrus synchronization protocol.

During a period of 40 to 47 days after the transfers, all cows were checked to see if they were pregnant. Of those receiving fresh embryos, about 42 percent were pregnant. Those receiving frozen embryos had a substantially lower pregnancy rate of about 29 percent. As expected, the artificial insemination group had the lowest pregnancy rate of about 18 percent.

Bilby and Stewart diagnosed the cows again at 90 to 104 days after treatment. As expected, they found an overall drop in pregnancy rates, but those receiving fresh embryos still had the highest pregnancy rate at more than 36 percent, compared to frozen embryos at about 28 percent and artificially inseminated at 17 percent.

"The use of in-vitro produced embryos with sex-sorted semen can bypass the deleterious effects of heat stress on fertility while increasing the number of heifer pregnancies," Bilby said. "This could be a viable option for producers to adopt to maintain fertility during summer months."

Bilby also emphasized that using fresh or frozen embryos pared with sex-sorted semen instead of artificially inseminating not only increased the number calves born, but also increased the number of heifers born. With frozen embryos, 80 percent of calves born were heifers and 88 percent with fresh embryos, compared to 50 percent using artificial insemination.


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Contact: Robert Burns
rd-burns@tamu.edu
903-834-6191
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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