Impact of fetal vs. maternal contributions of Bos indicus and Bos taurus genetics on embryonic and fetal development1. Academic Article uri icon


  • To evaluate how the inclusion of Bos indicus genotype influences early fetal development in cattle, a reciprocal embryo transfer approach was used in a completely randomized design with a 2 2 2 factorial arrangement of treatments to generate 55 pregnancies over 2 consecutive years (n = 55). Recipient cows were randomly assigned to (i) a diet that met daily energy maintenance requirements (MAINT) or (ii) a diet that restricted intake to 70% of the energy maintenance requirements (RESTR). Angus (AN) and Brangus (BN) embryo donors were superovulated and artificially inseminated with female sexed-sorted semen from the same breed. Embryos were then randomly transferred to either AN or BN recipients fed their respective diets for 28 d. Recipients remained on the dietary scheme until day 91 of gestation and were then comingled and fed a common diet that met their energy requirements until calving. Measurements included pregnancy establishment at day 28 of gestation, interferon-stimulated genes (ISG) expression in peripheral blood leukocytes, pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAG; using two commercial [A1 and A2] and one in-house assay), and fetal crown-to-rump length (CRL). Recipients in the RESTR diet had lower BWs and BCS (diet day; P < 0.01) than MAINT recipients. Energy-restricted AN recipients experienced greater (recipient breed diet, P < 0.01) pregnancy failure by day 28 than the other recipient breed diet combinations. Restricted recipients that received AN embryos experienced greater pregnancy failure than RESTR recipients receiving BN embryos (embryo breed diet; P = 0.03). No relevant differences were observed in ISG expression (P > 0.10). Recipients that received BN embryos had greater plasma concentrations of PAG in both A1 (embryo breed day, P < 0.01) and A2 (embryo breed; P < 0.01). Alternatively, recipients that received AN embryos had greater plasma concentrations of PAG for the in-house assay (embryo breed day; P < 0.01). In addition, fetuses from AN recipients had greater CRL on day 91 (breed day, P < 0.01). In summary, Bos taurus cows experienced greater pregnancy failure when nutrient restricted. Furthermore, fetal size and the profile of PAG production during early gestation differed between B. indicus-influenced and B. taurus cattle.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Fontes, P., Oosthuizen, N., Ciriaco, F. M., Sanford, C. D., Canal, L. B., Pohler, K. G., ... Lamb, G. C.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Fontes, Pedro LP||Oosthuizen, Nicola||Ciriaco, Francine M||Sanford, Carla D||Canal, Luara B||Pohler, Ky G||Henry, Darren D||Mercadante, Vitor RG||Timlin, Claire L||Ealy, Alan D||Johnson, Sally E||DiLorenzo, Nicolas||Lamb, G Cliff

publication date

  • April 2019