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Biotechnology in Animal Breeding

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Catherine Moloney

on 30 October 2014

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Transcript of Biotechnology in Animal Breeding

Artificial insemination is the process of collecting sperm cells and mechanically depositing them into the reproductive tract of a female with the objective of achieving conception (Althouse, 2007).

The rectovaginal technique uses a sterile, disposable catheter which contains the semen.
The artificial insemination process:
• Catheter is inserted into the vagina
• A gloved hand in the rectum guides the catheter (only in large animals)
• Catheter enters the cervix
• Catheter enters the uterus
• Semen is deposited (slowly) into the uterine body.
(DairyVietnamCo. Ltd., 2014).

Video 1: How to breed horses using artificial insemination
Fig. 1 Artificial Insemination diagram in cattle
How is AI applied in industry?
AI is a very popular biotechnology used for breeding in cattle, swine and poultry production. Over 70% of dairy cattle operations are completed using AI technology. Methods to analyse, process and store semen have developed over time and there is continual development of species-specific AI techniques (Althouse, 2007).

AI is used with both beef and dairy cattle with the intent of producing offspring with selective desirable characteristics such as; high milk yield, high carcass quality, calving ease, birth weight and docility (College of Agricultural Sciences, 2014).
What is AI?
What is Embryo Transfer?
Embryo Transfer involves transferring one or more embryos from the reproductive tract of one female to another. This can be done either using surgical or nonsurgical procedures.
The donor animal needs to be superovulated in order to produce several oocytes. This is done by either injecting progesterone or FSH
Signs of ovulation should be observed and 12 hours after the donor shows signs of being in oestrus:
sperm should be inseminated
12 hours later should be inseminated again
The embryos can be recovered between day 6-8 of oestrus occurring
Foley catheter is inserted into vagina and through cervix
Balloon of the catheter is positioned at uterine horns; so both horns can be flushed resulting in high embryo recovery rates
Uterine horns are flushed approximately 4-6 times.
Immediately after examination, preparation for cryopreservation or immediate transfer begins.
The Cassou inseminating gun is inserted into vagina and into the uterine horns to the corpus luteum where the embryos are released (FAO Corporate Document Repository, 2014).

How is Embryo Transfer applied in industry?
Embryo Transfer
Artificial Insemination
Artificial Insemination
Embryo Transfer
Evaluation of effectiveness
Biotechnology in Animal Breeding
By Shannon Mcguigan
Catherine Moloney
& Johanna Pettipher

Althouse, G. (2007) “Artificial Insemination.” In: Schatten, H., Constantinescu, G.M. Comparative Reproductive Biology. Oxford. Blackwell Publishing.
Chen, D.Y., Wen, D.C., Zhang, Y.P., Sun, Q.Y., Han, Z.M., Lian, L., Shi, P., Li, J.S., Xiangyu, J.G., Liu, Z.H., Kou, Z.H., Wu, Y.Q., Chen, Y.C., Wang, P.Y. amd Zhang, H.M. (2001) “Interspecies Implantation and Mitochindria Fate of Panda-Rabbit Clones Embryos” Biology of Reproduction, 67(2), 637-642.
Christiansen, S.B. and SandØe, P. (2000) “Bioethics: limits to the interference with life” Animal Reproduction Science, 60-61(), 15-29.
College of Agricultrual Sciences (2014) Using Artificial Insemination in a Commercial Breeding Herd. Available at: http://extension.psu.edu/animals/beef/reproduction/articles/using-artificial-insemination-in-a-commercial-breeding-herd (Accessed: 28 October 2014)
Council on Animal Affairs (2010) Breeding and Reproductive Technologies. Available at: http://www.rda.nl/home/files/caanl_breeding_and_reproductive_technologies_report.pdf (Accessed: 05 October 2014)
DairyVietnamCo.,Ltd (2014) Artificial Insemination in dairy cattle. Available at: http://dairyvietnam.com/en/Artificial-insemination-AI-and-heat-detection/Artificial-insemination-in-dairy-cattle.html (Accessed: 05 October 2014)
FAO Corporate Document Repository (2014) Training manual for embryo transfer in cattle. Available at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/T0117E/T0117E04.htm#ch4.1 (Accessed: 06 October 2014).
Figure 1: Raad voor Dierenaangelegenheden ()
Breeding & Reproductive Technologies.
Available at: http://nongae.gsnu.ac.kr/~cspark/teaching/chap17.html (Accessed: 06 October 2014).
Hanekemp, W.J.A. (2002) "Transfer of Beef Embryos in Dairy Cows: Influence of Recipient and Embryo Quality on Pregnancy Rate and Calving Peformance" 34(6), 459-463.
Hasler, J. F. (2003) "The current status and future of commercial embryo transfer in cattle." Animal Reproduction Science. 79(3-4) 245-264
Hasler, J.F. (2007) "Embryo Transfer and In Vitro Fertilization.” In: Schatten, H., Constantinescu, G.M. Comparative Reproductive Biology. Oxford. Blackwell Publishing.
O'Connor, M. and Peters, J. (2003) Artificial Insemination Technique. Available at: http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/health/reproduction/insemination/artificial-insemination-technique (Accessed: 05 October 2014)
Payan-Carreira, R., Miranda, S. and Niżański, W. (2011) “Artificial Insemination in Dogs” In: Manafi, M. Artificial Insemination in Farm Animals. InTech.
Rauw, W.M., Kanis, E., Noordhuizen-Stassen, E.N. and Grommers, F.J. (1998) "Undesirable side effects of selection for high producion efficieny in farm animals: A review" Livestock Production Science, 56(1), 15-33.
Seidel, Jr, G.E., Seidel, S.E. (1991) "Training Manual for Embryo Transfer in Cattle". USA: Animal Reproduction Laboratory, Colorado State University.
Video 1: Youtube () Video 1: How to breed horses using artificial insemination. Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=J538n44UPmA (Accessed: 15 October 2014).
Young, L.E., Sinclair, K.D. anf Wilmut, I, (1998) "Large offspring syndrome in cattle and sheep" Reviews of Reproduction, 3(3), 155-163.

1,098 words
Ethical Issues
Artificial Insemination
Embryo Transfer
Research conducted at The Pennsylvania State University has determined the accuracy of trained inseminators when depositing semen in a cows uterus. The success rate was 39%, with the rod tip placements in the uterine body and 40% of the semen deposited being equally distributed within the uterine horns. The remaining 60% were within the cervix or disproportionately in one uterine horn. Participants within the study showed how consistent placement of the rod tip within the uterine body is a difficult task (O'Connor and Peters, 2003).

The insemination technique requires mental concentration, attention to detail and a clear understanding of reproductive anatomy. This illustrates how essential routine retraining and updating is for maximum conception success. A goal of 45% first-time conception rates is ideal, and no more than 1.8 services per cow per conception (O'Connor and Peters, 2003).

Selection for high milk production bred into dairy cattle has increased the risk of udder and locomotion disorders and calving difficulties.
Pigs bred for large litter size and lean meat have a higher chance of producing animals with an insufficient thermoregulation capacity and subsequently have a higher piglet mortality rate.
Selection for rapid growth in broiler chickens has led to a high occurrence of leg problems, as well as various other health problems.
Various dog and cat breeds, bred with a short snout and a wide skull suffer from breathing and birthing problems.
Bubble eye goldfish have poor vision and extremely vulnerable eyes, as well as reduced vitality and an abnormally short lifespan.
(Council on Animal Affairs, 2010).
Animal Welfare in
breeding biotechnologies
1. Invasive surgery is used to collect embryos in pigs and sheep (Christiansen and SandØe, 2000).

2. When the embryo is manipulated in vitro, it can cause gestations to last longer and result in higher incidences of birthing difficulties in sheep and cattle. This can cause unnecessary stress to the animal (Christiansen and SandØe, 2000).

3. Embryo transfer can result in large offspring syndrome which can complicate parturition (Young
et al
, 1998).

4. When dairy cows give birth to beef offspring it results in higher incidences of dystocia due to longer gestation periods and larger birth weights (Hanekemp, 2002).
1. Selecting for only desirable traits can result in the gene pool losing genetic diversity. This trait selection has led to an increase in livestock physiological problems (Christiansen and SandØe , 2000).

2. Selection of lean tissue and fast growth has led to delayed onset of puberty and leg problems in pigs (Rauw
et al
, 1998).

3. AI may result in the male or female experiencing psychological or physical trauma; possibly a result of inexperienced inseminator (Payan-Carreira et al, 2011).

4. There's a possible risk of passing on congenital diseases/disorders (Payan-Carreira et al, 2011).

5. A potential to overuse semen from a single male; resulting in confused parentage (Payan-Carreira et al, 2011).

6. Mating behaviours cannot be entirely fulfilled by both male and female

7. Denies process of natural selection
Semen collection for AI
There are several semen collection techniques that can be used; artificial vaginas that can be mounted on teaser animals, and electroejaculation where rectal probes emit electrical stimulation which causes the animal to ejaculate (Althouse, 2007).
Embryo transfer is popular in livestock industries; especially in the dairy industry for several reasons:
It can be used to increase the reproductive rates of cows with unique traits; such as disease resistance and large milk yield, even if they have become infertile from disease, injury or age.
100% of the desired genes can be imported/exported which allows increased variation in the gene pool.
MOET (multiple ovulation and embryo transfer) allows a reduced generation interval as there is less need for progeny testing (as the genetic traits for the offspring is already known). As a result bulls and heifers can be bred straight away.
It can also allow twinning to occur which increases productivity (Seidel, Jr and Seidel, 1991).

Farm Industry
The use of embryo transfer has significant importance to the conservation of the Giant Panda. Panda cell nuclei are being put into rabbit oocytes. These oocytes are then implanted into cat uterus’ (Chen et al, 2001).

Embryo transfer success is difficult to evaluate over a varied set of species due to the differences in embryo growth; different species’ require different temperatures for optimum embryo growth as well as different implantation times. Therefore a good knowledge of the specific species undergoing the treatment and its anatomy and optimum requirements is essential (Hasler, 2007).

A comparison made in 2003 (Hasler, 2003), based on data collected in the ET program at Em Tran Inc. involving beef and dairy cows, shows how the average number of embryos produced per superovulated donor has not increased in 25 years prior to the study. The mean number of embryos per donor was 4.6 in 1979 and 4.8 in 1999, showing no significant change. However, embryo production has increased when calculated on embryos per unit time basis, without any obvious problem(s) or a change in the superovulation process (Hasler, 2003).

It is also difficult to determine how many calves are born in ET compared to AI or natural breeding as not all breeders belong to an organisation, and those that do, a significant number do not return census forms (Hasler, 2003).

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