Methods to Increase Reproductive Efficiency in Cattle
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Objective 1. Determine mechanisms that regulate reproductive processes impacting production efficiency in cattleRole of molecular pathways in regulating reproductive function (MN, SD, USDA-MARC, TX): A successful pregnancy requires synchrony between embryo development and the uterus. Therefore, understanding the factorsthat influence follicular development, oocyte competence, embryo development, and fetal survival will lead to the developmentof procedures that facilitate a large rate of pregnancy success, expedite genetic progress, and increase the profitability andsustainability of the beef and dairy industries. Planned research will investigate the changes in 1) ovarian gene expressionassociated with the age related decline in fertility, 2) age and nutritional influences on oocyte gene expression, and 3) andsteroid influences on uterine gene expression and embryo/fetal survival.Impact of maternal environment on progeny (FL, MN, MS, ND, NE, ND, MN, USDA-MARC, TX): With the advancement of the theory of developmental programming it is becoming evident that nutrient intake by the pregnantfemale can influence progeny performance via epigenetic modifications of gametes and the early embryo in addition toalterations in nutrient partitioning that may augment placental function. Hence, a paradigm shift has occurred with the realizationthat modifying diets of reproducing females to enhance reproductive or growth performance may indirectly impact performanceof their progeny..........