Modulation of ovarian function to improve suitability for reproductive biotechnology application in local and crossbred Cattle

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Addis Ababa University


Ovarian function is influenced by various intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Breed related variations, nutrition; local environmental conditions are among the major sources of differences in response to application of reproductive biotechnologies. It is of paramount importance to understand specific ovarian functions amenable to modifications in order to improve suitability for advanced technologies such as fixed time artificial insemination (FTAI), ultrasound guided ovum pickup (OPU) and in vitro embryo production (IVP). In the first part of this study, estrus sign/s that best correlate with the time of ovulation and pregnancies rate to insemination at FTAI was evaluated in 27 Boran*Holstein crossbred dairy heifers. The second part explored ovarian response to estrus synchronizing hormones by cow realated factors and pregnancy rate to FTAI after ovulation synchronization using GnRH and PGF2α with or without progesterone augmentation (CIDR vaginal insert) in native Borans and Boran*Holstein crossbred dairy cows. The third part assessed the effect of CL, follicle ablation, administration of different doses/frequency of FSH, and different coasting period in Boran cows. Result indicated that, the frequency of occurrence of various estrus signs, length of estrus, and onset of estrus, was not affected (P>0.05) by estrus type. Irrespective of estrus type, standing estrus (r=1, P<0.05), and mounting other heifers (r=0.87, P<0.05) showed a strong positive correlation with ovulation time. Ovulation rate and pregnancy rate on day 32 was significantly higher (P<0.05) in cows that received CIDR augmentation to the double GnRH and PGF2α protocol compared to those that did not. When time of insemination was considered conception rate to insemination 19h post second GnRH administration was significantly higher (P<0.05) for Ovsynch group compared to Cosynch group. Presence of CL did not influence mean number of follicles aspirated, oocyte recovery rate, and quality of oocyte and cleavage rate. Divided dose of 175 IU FSH and 350 IU FSH ignificantly (P<0.05) improved the mean number of medium and large follicles compared to single dose while the 48h coasting period significantly improved (P<0.05) oocyte grade, oocyte maturation rate and cleavage rate. It could be concluded that standing estrus best predict ovulation time. Insemination scheduled at 19h of standing estrus significantly increase conception rate as this sign best correlates with the mean time of ovulation. Further, CIDR priming to the synchronization protocol greatly improve ovulation rate and subsequent pregnancy. Follicular ablation and administration of divided doses of FSH prior to OPU and a coasting period of just 48hr improves follicular population and oocyte recovery rate. Hwever, future studies are recommended to answer why Boran cows’ with morphologically smaller CL than Boran*Holstein cows have larger amount of progesterone than Boran*Holstein. Why some heifers that ovulated to D0 GnRH did not ovulate to D9 GnRH. As some of the CL that were present at day of start were lost at PGF2α the effect of stages of estrus cycle at the start of hormone treatment shoud be assessed both in Boran and Boran*Holstein cattle.



Boran, Boran*Holstein, Coasting period, Conception rate, Estrus sign, Follicle stimulating hormone, in vitro fertilization, Ovum pick up, ovarian response