Improving the Efficiency of Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer – Maternal Recognition of Pregnancy in Capra Hircus.
Profitability in livestock production is linked to reproductive success. For all mammalian pregnancies the first 30 days is the most critical stage for survival of the conceptus (i.e. the early embryo and associated fetal membranes). Fertilization rate of 90–95% are achieved normally in healthy, non-lactating does. Studies on early embryonic losses are rare in goats. However, post-fertilization embryonic mortality rates for moderate-producing cows were estimated at 40%, with 70–80% of these losses occurring between days 8 and 16 after insemination. This suggests that of all domestic animal pregnancies that fail, the largest proportion is lost during the earliest stages of conceptus - uterine interactions. This number is likely magnified when artificial insemination and embryo transfer is used to improve genetic merit. This seminar will provide background information and updates on studies conducted at the International Goat Research Center that focus on changes occurring at the maternal fetal interface during early pregnancy. Knowledge of key mechanisms that operate during maternal recognition of pregnancy may provide a means to widen the window of receptivity to blastocyst attachment and increase the success rates of artificial insemination and embryo transfer.