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  • Author: M Tamassia x
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M Tamassia, Y Heyman, Y Lavergne, C Richard, V Gelin, JP Renard and S Chastant-Maillard

There have been few studies on a possible maternal influence on in vitro embryo production in cows. The objective of this study was to evaluate the maternal influence on oocyte production and in vitro blastocyst formation rate using repeated ovum pick-up and in vitro fertilization. Six contemporary cows raised on the same farm and with varied genetic origins were submitted to 42 weeks of ovum pick-up organized into four series. Collected oocytes were fertilized in vitro with spermatozoa from a different bull for each series. In total, 1933 oocytes were recovered from 3936 follicles with a recovery rate of 57.2% and a mean oocyte collection of 4.6+/-0.2 (mean+/-SEM) per animal per session. Animals were ranked according to their oocyte production. The best oocyte donor was the same female in all four series. No relationship was identified between oocyte production and blastocyst production rate (r=-0.08). The mean blastocyst rate was 28.8% with significant variation among animals. The best and the worst blastocyst producers were always the same animals independent of the semen used. The results of the present study support the hypothesis that in cattle, the oocyte donor influences the production of blastocysts. Furthermore, they demonstrate that oocyte and embryo production are independent factors. Further studies are necessary to identify the maternal or oocyte factors responsible for such differences.