The high cost associated with conventional methods for producing and freezing bovine embryos restricts the use of the technology to the high value pedigree sector of the cattle breeding industry. Frozen embryos are an extremely cost effective and bio secures method for dissemination of bovine genetics. In order to promote the use of this valuable technology in the much larger commercial sector, this project seeks to significantly reduce frozen embryo production costs. In-vitro maturation, fertilisation and culture (IVP) of embryos provides the best opportunity for reducing the cost of production per se, but IVP embryos do not tolerate the freezing process well and calving rates after embryo transfer into recipients are not commercially acceptable. The purpose of the research is to develop an effective method for freezing IVP embryos by defining the culture and freezing media constituents, which are necessary to produce an embryo with good post-thaw viability. It will also be necessary to develop a method for packaging embryos for freezing, which complies with animal health regulations.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards