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Plasma progesterone profiles, ovulation rate, donor embryo yield and recipient embryo survival in native Saloia sheep in the fall and spring breeding seasons

Plasma progesterone profiles, ovulation rate, donor embryo yield and recipient embryo survival in native Saloia sheep in the fall and spring breeding seasons

Theriogenology 60(3): 521-532

The response to superovulatory (SOV) and estrus synchronization (ES) treatments and the fertility of donor (n=68) and recipient (n=118) Saloia ewes was evaluated in the fall and spring breeding seasons. The proportion of acyclic ewes at treatment time was significantly higher in the spring than in the fall (42.6% versus 4.0%, P<0.00001). Donors treated with eCG had a significantly higher mean number of follicles over 5mm in diameter in the ovaries at embryo recovery and a significantly lower mean efficiency of recovery than FSH-treated ewes. These negative effects were more pronounced in the fall than in the spring, which resulted in a significantly lower mean number of total and fertilized ova recovered from eCG-treated ewes, compared to FSH donors in the fall, but not in the spring. Season had no significant effect on the ovulation rate and plasma P4 concentrations of recipients treated with a progestagen plus eCG combination. Although the recipient lambing and embryo survival rates were higher in the fall than in the spring the differences were not significant. No significant differences were observed in the ovulation rate or P4 concentrations of recipients that lambed compared to those that did not lamb. These preliminary results show that, in Portugal, response of Saloia ewes to SOV or ES treatments and donor fertility following the SOV treatment were similar in the spring and the fall, which suggests that in the spring acyclic ewes are in moderate anestrus. The effect of season on fertility following embryo transfer should be confirmed in further studies involving a larger number of animals. The semilaparoscopic transfer method reported here allowed lambing and embryo survival rates higher (although not significantly) than a standard surgical approach.

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Accession: 003886800

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PMID: 12763165

DOI: 10.1016/s0093-691x(03)00045-1

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