Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Conference Paper

Status of embryo production in the world

P. Blondin

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In the last century, agriculture has seen the introduction of innovating reproductive biotechnologies that have permitted this field to grow significantly. In the early 20th century, introduction of semen cryopreservation and artificial insemination has propelled animal agriculture worldwide with the possibility to import and export in a biosecure way genetics from different species. Then, with the development of embryo transfer, it was possible to import and export not only half of the genetic component by disseminating frozen embryos in biosecure manners. Later, the introduction of ultrasonography (which gave us transvaginal ovum pick-up) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) revolutionized the speed at which generations of embryos could be produced thus shortening the generation gaps between these important genetics for farmers. Finally, the introduction of genomics again revolutionized the precision and speed at which farmers could identify the desired genetics. The bovine industry is an example of a niche that profited by the development of these technologies. In the last 15 years, IVF embryo production has increased significantly year after year with an all-time high of 42% of the total embryos produced in 2013 were of IVF origin. There are several reasons why IVF is being used more and more in the embryo transfer business: in vitro culture media have improved significantly; Introduction of sexed semen for IVF permits farmers to get over 90% of embryos of the desired sex; The interval between generations has reduced significantly with the identification of the next elite male and female genetics using genomic technology. The international agricultural community will benefit by integrating new technologies such as IVF in their operations. It is important that international societies such as SBTE and IETS continue to support scientists and players in this field to develop these technologies.


genomics, in vitro fertilization, IVF, sexed semen
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