Bovine embryo technologies

Theriogenology. 2003 Jan 15;59(2):599-616. doi: 10.1016/s0093-691x(02)01243-8.


Embryo technologies are a combination of assisted reproduction, cellular and molecular biology and genomic techniques. Their classical use in animal breeding has been to increase the number of superior genotypes but with advancement in biotechnology and genomics they have become a tool for transgenesis and genotyping. Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) has been well established for many years and still accounts for the majority of the embryos produced worldwide. However, no progress has been made in the last 20 years to increase the number of transferable embryos and to reduce the side effects on the reproductive performance of the donors. In vitro embryo production (IVP) is a newer and more flexible approach, although it is technically more demanding and requires specific laboratory expertise and equipment that are most important for the quality of the embryos produced. Somatic cell cloning is a rapidly developing area and a very valuable technique to copy superior genotypes and to produce or copy transgenic animals. More knowledge in oocyte and embryo biology is expected to shed new light on the early developmental events, including epigenetic changes and their long lasting effect on the newborn.Embryo technologies are here to stay and their use will increase as advances in the understanding of the mechanisms governing basic biological processes are made.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Biotechnology*
  • Cattle / embryology*
  • Cloning, Organism
  • Embryo Transfer / veterinary
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / veterinary
  • Genomics*
  • Male
  • Ovulation
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / veterinary*