In the horse, rates of blastocyst production after nuclear transfer are low. This study was conducted to examine the effect of activation via injection of different volumes of sperm extract or via injection of murine mRNA for PLC-, a sperm-specific protein which induces Ca2+ oscillations in all species thus far studied, on blastocyst development after nuclear transfer. Two biopsy samples from the same horse were also examined for cloning efficiency. Donor fibroblasts cultured from a skin biopsy taken from a 19-year-old mare were treated with 15 m R-roscovitine for 18 to 24 h before direct injection into enucleated ooplasts. Ionomycin treatment, 5 m for 4 min, was used in all activation treatments, as the combination of ionomycin with sperm extract provided the highest blastocyst development and foaling rates in our previous report (Hinrichs et al. 2007 Reproduction 134, 319325). All treatments were followed by incubation in 2 mm 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h. Differences in blastocyst development between treatments were analyzed using Fisher's exact test. In Experiment 1, reconstructed oocytes were injected with sperm extract for 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, or 1.6 s at a fixed pipette diameter and injection pressure, and then treated with ionomycin. The blastocyst rate (9.8%) for 0.1 s was significantly higher than that for 0.2 s (0%) or 0.8 s (1.4%). In Experiment 2, murine PLC- mRNA (0.25 g L1) was injected into reconstructed oocytes 20 to 30 min before or after ionomycin treatment and compared with a control treatment (injection of 2 to 4 pL sperm extract 20 to 50 min after ionomycin exposure). There were no differences in blastocyst development among treatments (0, 4.5, and 5.6%, respectively). Transfer of 10 blastocysts produced in Experiments 1 and 2 resulted in 5 pregnancies: however, all were lost before 70 days of gestation. In Experiment 3, a second skin biopsy was obtained from the same mare and cells from this tissue sample were used for nuclear transfer concurrently with cells from the first sample, using the control method above. Blastocyst production was higher using cells from the second biopsy sample (4/23 v. 0/23; P = 0.05). Transfer of these four blastocysts yielded four pregnancies, two of which continued to term and produced viable foals. These results indicate that blastocyst development after injection of sperm extract is dependent upon the volume injected, that injection of murine PLC- mRNA does not improve blastocyst formation under the given conditions, and that the efficiency of cloning may vary with biopsy sample even from the same animal.