• To compare the in vitro fertilization (IVF) and production (IVP) of embryos from low and high antral follicle count (AFC) heifers, AFC were determined on 106 heifers using transrectal ultrasonography. Ten heifers with the lowest AFC (avg. 13.2) and 10 heifers with the highest AFC (avg. 27.4) with evidence of oestrous cyclicity were synchronised with 2 injections of prostaglandin F2 (PGF2); half were harvested on Days 5 to 6 and half on Days 15 to 16 of the oestrous cycle. The IVF procedures included protocols for semi-defined media and were as described (IVP Protocol, P. J. Hansens Laboratory, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA). Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) from follicles less than 8mm in diameter were cultured in maturation medium (5% CO2; 38.5C) for 24h. Matured COC were fertilised using thawed frozen semen from a crossbred bull that was purified using Percoll gradient separation procedures. Motile spermatozoa were added to COC in fertilization medium at a final concentration of 1106 spermatozoa per mL. About 24h later, presumptive zygotes were placed in microdrops of development medium under oil, and cultured (5% CO2, 5% O2, balance N2, 38.5C). On Days 3 and 8 after fertilization, cleavage and blastocyst development rates, respectively, were assessed. Data were analysed using the mixed procedure of SAS (SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA) and the model included the effects of collection day, group (high or low AFC), and their interaction. More COC (P<0.0005) were collected from high than low AFC heifers (30.3 v. 9.33.12 per heifer). Both the number and percentage of COC that cleaved had an interaction between collection day and group (P<0.03). The interaction appeared to be due to low cleavage and development rates on 1 of 4 collection days (appeared not related to day of oestrous cycle). Although high compared to low AFC heifers had more COC that cleaved (18.7 v. 4.41.84 per heifer), the percentage of cleaved COC did not differ (59.2 v. 49.83.36%). There were no significant differences between high and low AFC heifers in the number of blastocysts (3.1 v. 0.61.21 per heifer) or in the percentage of COC that developed to blastocysts (8.8 v. 5.23.60%). In previous replicates (years), we reported that high AFC heifers had more COC collected, more COC that cleaved, and more COC that developed to blastocysts than low AFC heifers. In contrast, in this study numbers of COC that developed to blastocysts did not significantly differ between high and low AFC heifers. Additionally, the percentage of COC that cleaved, and that developed to blastocyst have been similar between high and low AFC heifers. Therefore, high compared to low AFC heifers may produce more IVP embryos; however, AFC does not appear to affect the competence of an oocyte to develop and mature to the blastocyst stage.

published proceedings

  • Reproduction Fertility and Development

author list (cited authors)

  • Chase, C. C., Cushman, R. A., McNeel, A. K., Amundson, O. L., Perry, G. A., Tenley, S. C., ... Miles, J. R.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Chase, CC||Cushman, RA||McNeel, AK||Amundson, OL||Perry, GA||Tenley, SC||Wood, JR||Cupp, AS||Vallet, JL||Miles, JR

publication date

  • January 2016