Current knowledge and future challenges in camelid reproduction

Soc Reprod Fertil Suppl. 2007;64:297-313. doi: 10.5661/rdr-vi-297.

Abstract

Reproductive biology research on camelids offers some interesting peculiarities and challenges to scientists and animal production specialists. The objective of this paper is to review camelid reproduction, advances in reproductive physiology and reproductive biotechnologies in camelids and discuss some areas for further research. In the female, the focus has been on understanding follicular dynamics. This has allowed development of synchronization and superovulation strategies to support embryo transfer technologies which are now commonly used in camels. Some advances have been achieved in preservation of embryos by vitrification. Fertilization, early embryo development and embryo signaling for maternal recognition of pregnancy are still not fully understood. New information on the interaction of the developing embryo and the endometrium may shed some light on this signaling as well as the mechanism of prevention of luteolysis. The presence of a seminal ovulation-inducing factor (OIF) was confirmed in llamas and alpacas. Chronology of oocytes maturation has been described. In vitro production of embryos has been achieved resulting in successful pregnancies and births in the dromedary. These techniques offer a new tool for the production and study of interspecies/cross-species embryos and their effect on pregnancy. Male reproductive function remains poorly studied. Semen preservation and artificial insemination still present many challenges and are not used in production at the moment. The involvement of climatic and nutritional conditions as well as the role of leptin in the regulation of reproductive function need to be evaluated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breeding / methods*
  • Camelus / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal
  • Sexual Maturation / physiology