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

Brazilian embryo industry in context: pitfalls, lessons, and expectations for the future

João Henrique Moreira Viana, Ana Cristina Silva Figueiredo, Luiz Gustavo Bruno Siqueira

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The aim of this review is to provide a brief description of the current situation of the embryo industry in Brazil, in the context of the national and international livestock production scenario. Total number of embryos produced (375,894) declined in 2015 in comparison with the previous years. B. taurus dairy breeds and crossbreds accounted for 51.8% of the total embryo production. Moreover, the percentage of frozen-tawed embryos transferred reached 22.8% in 2015, the highest value in a decade. A greater proportion of embryos were produced in vitro, both in dairy (97.2%) and beef (90.2%) breeds. The use of embryo technologies in Brazil has remarkably increased 726.5% in the past 20 years, but still represents only 0.33% of the number of cows and heifers at reproductive age. Nonetheless, embryo transfer (ET) accounted for an estimated 19.7% of all purebred calves born and registered by the Brazilian Zebu Cattle Breeders Association in the period 2005-2015, highlighting the importance of ET for animal breeding and genetic improvement of the herd. In the world´s context, Brazil is the largest producer of bovine in vitro produced (IVP) embryos, but is ranked only 11th based on an index of intensity of use of embryo technologies, below Canada, USA and various European countries. This scenario demonstrates a potential for further increases in embryo production in Brazil, mainly associated with the expected adoption of new technologies by a large proportion of dairy and beef farms; the use of embryo technologies for large scale production of crossbreds; and to eventual increases in the international embryo import/export activity.


cattle production, embryo technologies, statistics.


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