Review: Recent advances in bovine in vitro embryo production: reproductive biotechnology history and methods
In vitro production (IVP) of embryos and associated technologies in cattle have shown significant progress in recent years, in part driven by a better understanding of the full potential of these tools by end users. The combination of IVP with sexed semen (SS) and genomic selection (GS) is being successfully and widely used in North America, South America and Europe. The main advantages offered by these technologies include a higher number of embryos and pregnancies per unit of time, and a
... of time, and a wider range of potential female donors from which to retrieve oocytes (including open cyclic females and ones up to 3 months pregnant), including high index genomic calves, a reduced number of sperm required to produce embryos and increased chances of obtaining the desired sex of offspring. However, there are still unresolved aspects of IVP of embryos that limit a wider implementation of the technology, including potentially reduced fertility from the use of SS, reduced oocyte quality after in vitro oocyte maturation and lower embryo cryotolerance, resulting in reduced pregnancy rates compared to in vivo–produced embryos. Nevertheless, promising research results have been reported, and work is in progress to address current deficiencies. The combination of GS, IVP and SS has proven successful in the commercial field in several countries assisting practitioners and cattle producers to improve reproductive performance, efficiency and genetic gain.