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Embryo Transfer in Indigenous Livestock




  • Embryo_Transfer_in_Indigenous_Livestock

    Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) is a technique that can increase the reproduction rate of cows many fold. Normally, a cow can give birth to only one calf in one year. In MOET, the ovaries of a cow (called embryo donor cow that is usually a high-milk-producing one) are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce 5 – 10 eggs (on an average) instead of usual one egg.

     

    Embryo_Transfer_in_Indigenous_Livestock

    Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) is a technique that can increase the reproduction rate of cows many fold. Normally, a cow can give birth to only one calf in one year. In MOET, the ovaries of a cow (called embryo donor cow that is usually a high-milk-producing one) are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce 5 – 10 eggs (on an average) instead of usual one egg. The cow is inseminated to fertilize these eggs which are then removed from its uterus 6 – 7 days after insemination. These fertilized eggs or “embryos” can then be transferred individually into the wombs of ‘recipient cows’ which are usually low producing animals. The recipient cows nourish these embryos and give birth to the calves of donor cow after 9 months. The technique has been used not only to increase the reproduction rate of elite cows, sheep and goats but also to introduce new breeds of livestock in an area.

     NARC was pioneer in Pakistan to carry out work on embryo transfer in cattle, buffalo and sheep. Jersey cows (a high milk producing breed of exotic cattle) maintained at Animal Sciences Institute of NARC were superovulated. Embryos collected from these donor cows were transferred to low milk producing non-descript local cows. In this way, pure Jersey calves were born to local cows for the first time in Pakistan in 1987. Successful pregnancies were also achieved by transferring Sahiwal embryos to the non-descript cows. First embryo transfers in sheep of Pakistan were also performed at NARC when embryos collected from a fine-wool, imported breed of sheep (Rambouillet) were transferred to Salt Range sheep of Pakistan. Furthermore, important information was generated regarding superovulation and embryonic development in buffalo. First buffalo calf from frozen embryo was also produced.

    A number of courses were held to train university and provincial scientists in embryo transfer technique. Our scientists also helped provincial research institutes to set up ET programmes. The technique/expertise is available in the country now.

    Key References 

    Anwar, M., A. Mehmood, W. H. Pirzada, and W. Ahmad. (1989). First bovine embryo transfer in Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research 10: 192-194. 

    Ullah, N., and M. H. Javed. (1992). First successful sheep embryo transfer in Pakistan. Pakistan Veterinary Journal 12: 160-162.


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