Skip to main content Accessibility help

Factors of importance when selecting sows as embryo donors

  • A. Nohalez (a1), C. A. Martinez (a1), J. Reixach (a2), M. Diaz (a2), J. Vila (a2), I. Colina (a2), I. Parrilla (a1), J. L. Vazquez (a1), J. Roca (a1), M. A. Gil (a1), H. Rodriguez-Martinez (a3), E. A. Martinez (a1) and C. Cuello (a1)...


The improvement in porcine embryo preservation and non-surgical embryo transfer (ET) procedures achieved in recent years represents essential progress for the practical use of ET in the pig industry. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of parity, weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI) and season on reproductive and embryonic parameters at day 6 after insemination of donor sows superovulated after weaning. The selection of donor sows was based on their reproductive history, body condition and parity. The effects of parity at weaning (2 to 3, 4 to 5 or 6 to 7 litters), season (fall, winter and spring), and WEI (estrus within 3 to 4 days), and their interactions on the number of corpus luteum, cysts in sows with cysts, number and quality of viable and transferable embryos, embryo developmental stage and recovery and fertilization rates were evaluated using linear mixed effects models. The analyses showed a lack of significant effects of parity, season, WEI or their interactions on any of the reproductive and embryonic parameters examined. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that fertilization rates and numbers of viable and transferable embryos collected at day 6 of the cycle from superovulated donor sows are not affected by their parity, regardless of the time of the year (from fall to spring) and WEI (3 or 4 days).


Corresponding author



Hide All
Angel, MA, Gil, MA, Cuello, C, Sanzhez-Osorio, J, Gomis, J, Parrilla, I, Vila, J, Colina, I, Diaz, M, Reixach, J, Vazquez, JL, Vazquez, JM, Roca, J and Martinez, EA 2014. The effects of superovulation of donor sows on ovarian response and embryo development after nonsurgical deep-uterine embryo transfer. Theriogenology 81, 832839.
Beebe, LFS, Bouwman, EG, McIlfatrick, SM and Nottle, MB 2011. Piglets produced from in vivo blastocysts vitrified using the Cryologic Vitrification Method (solid surface vitrification) and a sealed storage container. Theriogenology 75, 14531458.
Behan, JR and Watson, PF 2005. The effect of managed boar contact in the post-weaning period on the subsequent fertility and fecundity of sows. Animal Reproduction Science 88, 319324.
Belstra, BA, Flowers, WL and See, MT 2004. Factors affecting temporal relationships between estrus and ovulation in commercial sow farms. Animal Reproduction Science 84, 377394.
Brüssow, KP, Torner, H, Kanitz, W and Rátky, J 2000. In vitro technologies related to pig embryo transfer. Reproduction Nutrition Development 40, 469480.
Castagna, CD, Peixoto, CH, Bortolozzo, FP, Wentz, I, Neto, GB and Ruschel, F 2004. Ovarian cysts and their consequences on the reproductive performance of swine herds. Animal Reproduction Science 8, 115123.
Clark, LR, Komkov, A and Tribble, LF 1986. Effects of parity, season, gonadotropin releasing hormone and altered suckling intensity on the interval to rebreeding in sows. Theriogenology 26, 299308.
Flowers, WL and Alhusen, HD 1992. Reproductive performance and estimates of labor requirements associated with combinations of artificial insemination and natural service in swine. Journal of Animal Science 70, 615621.
Gherpelli, M and Tarocco, C 1996. A study on the incidence and clinical evolution of the ovarian cysts in the sow. In Proceedings of the 14th Congress of the International Pig Veterinary Society, 7–10 July 1996, Bologna, Italy, p. 587.
Guthrie, HD, Henricks, DM and Handlin, DL 1974. Plasma hormone levels and fertility in pigs induced to superovulate with PMSG. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 41, 361370.
Holtz, W and Schlieper, B 1991. Unsatisfactory results with the transfer of embryos from gilts superovulated with PMSG and hCG. Theriogenology 35, 12371249.
Hughes, PE 1998. Effects of parity, season and boar contact on the reproductive performance of weaned sows. Livestock Production Science 54, 151157.
Hughes, PE and Varley, MA 2003. Lifetime performance of the sow. In Perspectives in Pig Science (ed. J Wiseman, MA Varley and B Kemp), pp. 333335. Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, UK.
Hurtgen, JP, Leman, AD and Crabo, B 1980. Seasonal influence on estrous activity in sows and gilts. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 176, 119123.
Knox, RV and Rodriguez Zas, SL 2001. Factors influencing estrus and ovulation in weaned sows as determined by transrectal ultrasound. Journal of Animal Science 79, 29572963.
Koketsu, Y and Dial, GD 1997. Factors influencing the postweaning reproductive performance of sows on commercial farms. Theriogenology 47, 14451461.
Koketsu, Y, Takahashi, H and Akachi, K 1999. Longevity, lifetime pig production and productivity, and age at first conception in a cohort of gilts observed over six years on commercial farms. Journal of Veterinary Medicine Science 61, 10011005.
Liptrap, RM and Doble, E 1981. Relationship of prostaglandin F2α to cystic ovarian follicles in the sow. British Veterinary Journal 137, 289299.
Macháty, Z, Day, BN and Prather, RS 1998. Development of early porcine embryos in vitro and in vivo. Biology of Reproduction 59, 451455.
Martinez, EA, Angel, MA, Cuello, C, Sanchez-Osorio, J, Gomis, J, Parrilla, I, Vila, J, Colina, I, Diaz, M, Reixach, J, Vazquez, JL, Vazquez, JM, Roca, J and Gil, MA 2014. Successful non-surgical deep uterine transfer of porcine morulae after 24 hour culture in a chemically defined medium. PLoS One 9, 104696.
Martinez, EA, Cuello, C, Parrilla, I, Martinez, CA, Nohalez, A, Vazquez, JL, Vazquez, JM, Roca, J and Gil, MA 2016. Recent advances toward the practical application of embryo transfer in pigs. Theriogenology 85, 152161.
Martinez, EA, Martinez, CA, Nohalez, A, Sanchez-Osorio, J, Vazquez, JM, Roca, J, Parrilla, I, Gil, MA and Cuello, C 2015. Nonsurgical deep uterine transfer of vitrified, in vivo-derived, porcine embryos is as effective as the default surgical approach. Scientific Reports 5, 10587.
Poleze, E, Bernardi, ML, Amaral Filha, WS, Wentz, I and Bortolozzo, FP 2006. Consequences of variation in weaning-to-estrus interval on reproductive performance of swine females. Livestock Science 103, 124130.
Pursel, VG and Johnson, LA 1975. Freezing of boar spermatozoa: fertilizing capacity with concentrated semen and a new thawing procedure. Journal of Animal Science 40, 99102.
Ryan, PL and Raeside, JI 1991. Cystic ovarian degeneration in pigs: a review I. Irish Veterinary Journal 44, 2225.
Soede, NM and Kemp, B 1997. Expression of oestrus and timing of ovulation in pigs. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 52 (suppl.), 91103.
Wallenhorst, S and Holtz, W 2002. Embryo collection in prepubertal gilts and attempts to develop an improved embryo transfer technique. Veterinary Record 150, 749751.
Wright, JM 1998. Photographic illustrations of embryo developmental stage and quality codes. In Manual of the International Embryo Transfer Society (ed. DA Stringfellow and SM Siedel), pp. 167170. International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS), Savoy, Illinois, USA.
Ziecik, AJ, Biallowicz, M, Kaczmarek, M, Demianowicz, W, Rioperez, J, Wasielak, M and Bogacki, M 2005. Influence of estrus synchronization of prepubertal gilts on embryo quality. Journal of Reproduction and Development 51, 379384.


Factors of importance when selecting sows as embryo donors

  • A. Nohalez (a1), C. A. Martinez (a1), J. Reixach (a2), M. Diaz (a2), J. Vila (a2), I. Colina (a2), I. Parrilla (a1), J. L. Vazquez (a1), J. Roca (a1), M. A. Gil (a1), H. Rodriguez-Martinez (a3), E. A. Martinez (a1) and C. Cuello (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed