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Identification of factors & mechanisms in embryo culture associated with large offspring syndrome - LS3305

Harnessing the potential of modern reproductive technologies for the ruminant livestock industries will be essential for the UK to regain its competitive advantage for meat and milk production. For example, a slimmed down dairy industry producing dairy replacement heifers from fewer cows using sexed semen (with the remainder producing beef calves from in vitro produced male embryos) would drastically reduce the current wastage and welfare crisis incurred by a gross surplus of low quality stock. The appropriate technologies are semen sexing, which is near market, and in vitro embryo production which was in the market place until undermined by `The Large Offspring Syndrome' (LOS; 1-5). Significant MAFF funded research effort has brought us close to resolving LOS problem. Our advances in identifying disruptive gene effects (patent pending; 6) and successfully pinpointing critical developmental windows during embryogenesis (7) has provided us with the basis to now make the final solution of the problem a realistic goal. In view of our evidence that the oocyte per se is susceptible to perturbations that could lead to LOS (5), the present proposal will extend our investigations to the pre-fertilization phase. This additional research is essential to safeguard emerging ovum pick up technology which avoids the disease risks inherent in reliance from post mortem abattoir derived ovaries. The proposal is supported by those at the forefront of animal breeding and will be disseminated for use by British and European breeders as appropriate.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Identification of factors & mechanisms in embryo culture associated with large offspring syndrome   (979k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2004

Cost: £619,382
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Roslin Institute, Edinburgh (BBSRC)
Animal Production              
Livestock Farming              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study