LOPU calves2.JPG

SERVICIO DE PRODUCCIÓN DE EMBRIONES IN VITRO A PARTIR DE OVOCITOS DE BOVINOS Y BUFALINOS PREPÚBERES

With the advent of genome marker-selection, it is now possible to predict the phenotype of an animal from birth. For example, one can predict a calf will become an elite milk producer by taking a DNA sample a few days after birth. Consequently, a growing interest for reproducing elite females at prepubertal ages has developed and no other technique can provide more efficient means for collecting oocytes from calves of 2-6 months of age than Laparoscopic Ovum Pick-Up (LOPU), i.e. the technology we originally developed for sheep and goats. So far, with >200 dairy calf collections we are averaging >20 oocytes/calf/LOPU with a rate of conversion to blastocyst of 10-20% and a pregnancy rate after transfer of 50-60%. This means that, in average, we can produce 1-2 pregancies per calf per LOPU session. Considering most (or all) these pregnancies will result in calves born before the mother reaches age and weight to be bred for the first time, the acceleration of genetic gain is substantial.  

PREPUBERTAL IN VITRO PRODUCTION SERVICES FOR BOVINE CALVES OF 2-6 MONTHS OF AGE

With the advent of genome marker-selection, it is now possible to predict the phenotype of an animal from birth. For example, one can predict a calf will become an elite milk producer by taking a DNA sample a few days after birth. Consequently, a growing interest for reproducing elite females at prepubertal ages has developed and no other technique can provide more efficient means for collecting oocytes from calves of 2-6 months of age than Laparoscopic Ovum Pick-Up (LOPU), i.e. the technology we originally developed for sheep and goats. So far, with >200 dairy calf collections we are averaging >20 oocytes/calf/LOPU with a rate of conversion to blastocyst of 10-20% and a pregnancy rate after transfer of 50-60%. This means that, on average, we can produce 1-2 pregnancies per calf per LOPU session. Considering most (or all) of these pregnancies will result in calves born before the mother reaches age and weight to be bred for the first time, the acceleration of genetic gain is substantial.  

terneras holando web
Holstein calf  ovary
Oocytes after IVM
Bovine blasts
Bufalitas
Holstein calf  ovary2
Buffa calf oocytes
IMG_0661

PREPUBERTAL IN VITRO PRODUCTION SERVICES FOR BUFFALO CALVES OF 2-6 MONTHS OF AGE

Similar results can be obtained with buffalo calves of 2-6 months of age. We worked with swamp buffalo calves in partnership with Novagen in Brazil and obtained an average of 20 oocytes per calf in a single LOPU session. We also worked with Mediterranean (Water) buffalo calves at McGill University in collaboration with the Ontario Water Buffalo Co. and obtained an average of 16 oocytes/calf/session in a program where the same animals were collected from 6 times in a period of 3 months. A pregnancy rate of 40% was obtained when in vitro embryos were transferred into adult recipients. It is noteworthy that the advantage mentioned above for dairy bovine calves is multiplied in the case of buffaloes if one considers that sexual maturation is not reached in this species until they are 24-30 months of age, so the babies will be born at least one year before the mother reaches age of sexual maturity for first breeding