The latest data on in vitro fertilization from the International Embryo Transfer Society (www.iets.org) indicates that 87.5% of the world’s in vitro fertilized embryos were transferred into cows in South America. Of these, more than 85% were transferred in Brazil. In Vitro Brazil is one of the largest IVF f in the world and is the world leader in vitrification technology. They have therefore been chosen as the logical partner for Rankin Operations.
(Inside of IVF lab on farm)
There are many advantages of IVF over regular in vivo embryo collection and transfer:
- The interval between flushes can be largely reduced and the number of viable embryos per year can be significantly increased;
- Females do not need to be taken out of production to perform IVF and may even be pregnant during oocyte retrieval;
- There is a significant reduction on the reliance of super stimulation hormones used for in vivo production of embryos;
- The potential for the use of sexed-sorted sperm to generate embryos of a desired sex and a reduced cost; and,
- Once the laboratory has been established, embryos may be generated at a lower cost than in vivo embryos.
The technology therefore provides an avenue for faster genetic improvement of South African livestock.
(Cows being prepared at IVF station on farm)