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Influence of selected (pre-)maturational parameters on in vitro development and sex distribution of bovine embryos

  • Eva Abele (a1), Hanna Stinshoff (a2) (a1), Ana Hanstedt (a1), Sandra Wilkening (a1), S. Meinecke-Tillmann (a3) and Christine Wrenzycki (a1) (a4)...


The objectives of this research were to study the influence of a reduced oxygen concentration during in vitro maturation (IVM) and examine the effect of follicular glucose concentration on bovine in vitro development and sex distribution. In the first experiment, abattoir-derived cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) were matured under 5% O2 or 20% O2. Secondly, COC were isolated and the glucose (G) concentration of each follicle was determined. COC were pooled in groups (G<1.1mMol or G≥1.1mMol) according to the glucose content before being subjected to in vitro production (IVP). Cleavage and development rates were assessed on days 3, 7 and 8 post insemination. Blastocysts of each group were sexed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Expanded blastocysts were stained to assess total cell numbers and live–dead cell ratio. Cleavage and development rates stayed similar after reducing the O2 concentration during IVM. The sex ratio of embryos generated from oocytes matured under 5% O2 was shifted in favour of the female (♀: 61.9%), whereas the sex ratio of embryos belonging to the IVM 20% O2 group did not differ significantly from the expected 50:50 ratio. Neither a ‘higher’ nor a ‘lower’ intrafollicular glucose concentration influenced cleavage and development rates, cell numbers or live–dead cell ratio. Eighty five per cent (G<1.1) and 63.6% (G≥1.1) of the analysed embryos were female. In summary, neither a reduced O2 concentration during IVM nor selection based on follicular glucose concentrations affected the morphological quality of embryos. Although the sex distribution was shifted in favour of female embryos in all three experimental groups, more male embryos could be seen in the G≥1.1 group compared with the G<1.1 group.


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All correspondence to: Hanna Stinshoff. KGGA, Frankfurter Str. 106, 35392 Giessen, Germany. Tel: +49 641 9938742. Fax: +49 511 856 7693. e-mail:


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Please cite as Abele, Stinshoff et al., 2012.



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