AETA President’s Report – Summer 2019

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Published on: July 26, 2019

Greetings fellow AETA members:

As the summer heat settles in, we wish everyone a safe and relaxing season. The year tends to pass quickly, and we continue to gear up for our annual convention in beautiful Colorado Springs. We thank Dr. Matt Dorshorst and his convention planning team for their outstanding efforts on this convention. You can be certain we have planned a special event for all of you!

Our research committee has added a poster contest for all AETA and CETA members to participate in, including students. This will spice up our exhibitor area for additional interaction and educational opportunities. Up to 10 students will receive complimentary registration as an incentive to participate. We will continue to award our student scholarship winners as well.

AETA has teamed up with AASRP to host a small ruminant embryo transfer seminar at Ohio State University in June, and we continue to provide the Edwin Robertson Embryo Transfer Seminar at Virginia Tech with AABP in August. We have enjoyed collaborating with other allied partners in our industry to provide the best educational opportunities in the business.

IETS has invited AETA and CETA to a joint convention in 2023. We will fully analyze the schedule and logistics of this concept for that calendar year to decide whether the opportunity works well for each of the organizations involved. Please contact us with your comments and suggestions.

We hope you continue to appreciate the efforts of our promotion and membership committees. We completed a new brochure for use at AABP and AASRP seminars and conventions as well as other events throughout the year. Facebook has attracted a lot of attention from users who “like” our page and follow the news and highlights of our association. The AETA brand has been promoted nationally and internationally.

AETA has a lot to celebrate, and our committees are vibrant and innovative. We invite you to participate and serve as well as provide feedback to us throughout the year so we can steadily communicate with members. Thank you for the opportunity to serve this great organization, and we look forward to visiting with you in Colorado this fall.

Matt Iager, DVM

Proposed By-Laws Changes to be Voted on at AETA Annual Business Meeting–October 25, 2019

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Published on: July 26, 2019

Dear AETA members:

The purpose of AETA is to unite those organizations and individuals in the United States engaged in the embryo transfer industry into an affiliated federation operating under self- imposed standards of performance and conduct. As AETA delivers on education and standards of quality through its certification program, we become the “voice” for our diverse membership.

Based on recommendations from the membership, the board has proposed the following modifications to the By-Laws relating to membership categories. The reasons for the changes are several. These changes will make official some membership categories that have been previously offered but not officially recognized in the By-Laws, such as Life Membership. It will also make official reduced membership fees to former student members for one year following graduation. The proposed changes will also move the Association in the direction of a professional association and away from a trade association. We feel this is important to continue to foster relationships with other professional veterinary and animal science organizations such as AABP, AASRP, and IETS. This transition will allow the Association to continue to fulfill its primary purpose of education and promoting a high standard of quality through certification. Finally, it will reduce some redundancy in the membership categories by combining Regular and Associate Membership into only Associate Membership.

  • Professional: An individual who is actively engaged in the embryo transfer industry who is a licensed veterinarian in the US or holds a PhD in reproductive physiology from a US institution. Other equivalent degrees as approved by the Board of Directors. Professional Members are eligible to vote, serve on committees, and hold an office in the Association.
  • Associate: Organizations or individuals engaged in a business or occupation related to the embryo transfer industry that do not meet the requirements for Professional, Emeritus, Life, or Student Memberships. These Associate Members may not vote but will otherwise be entitled to full privileges of membership and can attend meetings, serve on committees, and receive newsletters.
  • Life: Board of Directors can confer, at its discretion, honorary Life Membership to a practitioner for exemplary service. Life Members may enjoy the rights of their previous Professional Membership status.
  • Emeritus: Individuals who have been Professional Members of the Association for a period of at least 10 years and who deem themselves as retired from activities associated with Professional Membership. Emeritus Members may enjoy the rights of their previous Professional Membership status. Emeritus Membership is granted by an application, in writing, to the Board of Directors, who have the sole right to invoke or revoke the Emeritus status to a Professional Member.
  • Student: Individuals enrolled in an academic program at the graduate level and pursuing either a veterinary degree or PhD in reproductive physiology. Academic status must be verified annually by an academic advisor or a Professional Member. Student Members are not eligible to vote or hold office in the Association. Following graduation, former Student Members are eligible to become Professional Members at half of the cost of the Professional Membership for one year only.

This change in membership classification simplifies our current method and makes it easily distinguishable with less redundancy.

This letter is to inform you of a By-Laws change that will be proposed at the 2019 annual convention in Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 24-26, 2019. We hope you understand and can identify with this proposal. Please reach out to board members with questions you may have.

Sincerely,

AETA Board of Directors

Save the date for the 2019 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention!

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Published on: July 26, 2019

The 2019 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention will be held from October 24–26, 2019, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The conference will take place at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

All of the AETA scientific, social and exhibitor information can be found on the AETA Annual Convention page as it becomes available. Check back often!

Colorado Springs is a wonderful city to hold this convention. Below you will find some links to help you plan your stay.

Garden of the Gods
Pikes Peak Region
Olympic Training Center
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

This is a very small list of the many attractions that Colorado Springs has to offer. Please check out Visit Colorado Springs to customize your stay.

We look forward to seeing you all in beautiful Colorado in October!

Sincerely,

AETA

Recap: AETA/AASRP 2019 Small Ruminant Embryo Transfer Seminar

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Published on: July 26, 2019

The AETA/AASRP 2019 Small Ruminant Embryo Transfer Seminar was held June 19 to 22, 2019, at The Ohio State University Large Animal Services satellite veterinary teaching hospital in Marysville, Ohio. The meeting was organized by Dr. Eric Gordon.

The course started on Wednesday, June 19, with a review of small ruminant reproductive physiology by Dr. Sherri Clark. Dr. Bill Croushore and Dr. Dave Dixon discussed embryos processing, grading, and cryopreservation. Drs. Mattes and Shipley discussed embryo collection, anesthesia, and sync methods as well as more reproductive physiology and handling of semen. Later in the day, a goat was surgically flushed as a demonstration.

On Thursday, June 20, and Friday, June 21, course participants broke out into teams of three and flushed three goats or sheep each day. All flushing occurred under gas anesthesia. After each flush, the teams searched embryos, and viable embryos were cryopreserved. Later in the day, Dr. Shipley discussed semen collection and cryopreservation. He also elaborated on reproductive physiology. On Saturday, June 22, teams of three practitioners each laparoscopically inseminated three ewes.

The meeting went very well, and it is felt that participants were quite satisfied with the value of this course. Dr. Eric Gordon at OSU CVM at Marysville deserves a huge thank you for his efforts in bringing this course together and in convincing clients to provide animals to flush. Dr. Justin Kieffer with OSU Animal Science was a huge help in bringing in his technician staff and in assisting with planning for animal usage in this CE meeting and for providing, via the animal science department, some of the animals used.

Preliminary trials of a specific gravity technique in the determination of early embryo growth potential†

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Published on: July 26, 2019

Read full article here

S.D. Prien,1,2,* C.E. Wessels,2 and L.L. Penrose1

. 2015 Sep; 30(9): 2076–2083.
Published online 2015 Jul 22. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dev178
PMCID: PMC4542720
PMID: 26202920

Abstract

STUDY QUESTION

Can a modified specific gravity technique be used to distinguish viable from nonviable embryos?

SUMMARY ANSWER

Preliminary data suggests a modified specific gravity technique can be used to determine embryo viability and potential for future development.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY

Single embryo transfer (SET) is fast becoming the standard of practice. However, there is currently no reliable method to ensure development of the embryo transferred.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION

A preliminary, animal-based in vitro study of specific gravity as a predictor of embryo development using a mouse model.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS

After a brief study to demonstrate embryo recovery, experiments were conducted to assess the ability of the specific gravity system (SGS) to distinguish between viable and nonviable embryos. In the first study, 1-cell mouse embryos were exposed to the SGS with or without previous exposure to an extreme heat source (60°C); measurements were repeated daily for 5 days. In the second experiment, larger pools of 1-cell embryos were either placed directly in culture or passed through the SGS and then placed in culture and monitored for 4 days.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE

In the first experiment, viable embryos demonstrated a predictable pattern of descent time over the first 48 h of development (similar to previous experience with the SGS), while embryos that were heat killed demonstrated significantly altered drop patterns (P < 0.001); first descending faster. In the second experiment, average descent times were different for embryos that stalled early versus those that developed to blastocyst (P < 0.001). Interestingly, more embryos dropped through the SGS developed to blastocyst than the culture control (P < 0.01).

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION

As this is a preliminary report of the SGS technology determining viability, a larger embryo population will be needed. Further, the current in vitro study will need to be followed by fecundity studies prior to application to a human population.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS

If proven, the SGS would provide a noninvasive means of assessing embryos prior to transfer after assisted reproductive technologies procedures, thereby improving fecundity and allowing more reliable SET.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)

The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding support of the U.S. Jersey Association, the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant through the Undergraduate Science Education Program to Texas Tech University. None of the authors have any conflict of interest regarding this work.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER

none.

Keywords: embryo development, embryo selection, embryo viability, specific gravity, buoyance, noninvasive, zygote, blastocyst

Legality of Compounded Estradiol for Embryo Transfer

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Published on: July 25, 2019

The AABP office has received questions from members regarding the legality of using compounded estradiol products in cattle for embryo transfer protocols. AABP has also been in discussion with the FDA about the use of compounded estradiol products in food animals. Compounding from approved drugs in animals is only permitted under the narrowly defined conditions outlined in AMDUCA (Section 21 CFR 530.13). To be permitted, extralabel use from compounding of approved animal drugs or approved human drugs must be in compliance with all relevant provisions of 21 CFR 530 (AMDUCA), including the provisions limiting extralabel use to treatment modalities when the health of an animal is threatened or suffering or death may result from failure to treat. The extralabel use regulation also does not provide for compounding from active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs or bulk drugs—i.e., the raw chemical) for use in animals. Therefore, it is illegal for veterinarians to use or prescribe compounded estradiol for cattle, or any form of estrogenic compounds for production purposes, including embryo transfer and synchronization protocols. AABP encourages cattle veterinarians to refrain from administering or prescribing compounded estradiol for the following reasons:

  • AMDUCA only allows for extralabel drug use when the health of an animal is threatened. There is no production allowance, particularly for compounding; therefore one cannot use human-approved drugs (e.g., ECP, Pfizer) or a different form of an animal-approved drug (e.g., growth-promoting implants) for production purposes.
  • Compounding from a bulk product is specifically prohibited in AMDUCA regulations.
  • The safety, potency, efficacy, stability, sterility, and disposition of compounded products is unknown. Compounded products do not undergo FDA inspection, potency testing, or efficacy testing. Veterinary compounding pharmacies that also compound for humans are under federal regulation and are FDA inspected; however, this only applies to the human side of the compounding operation. Veterinary compounding pharmacies do not have this level of oversight. There is no guarantee of the safety or efficacy of compounded products, and liability for the use of such products falls on the veterinarian in the event of an adverse reaction or violative residue.
  • Because the safety, efficacy, potency, and disposition of the compounded product is not known, it is impossible to assign a withdrawal interval for compounded products.
  • The use of compounded products in food animals places a veterinarian at risk of professional liability.

The need for estradiol for successful embryo transfer protocols has not been unequivocally established. For example, data from nearly 7,000 collections did not demonstrate a difference when using GnRH in place of estradiol in the protocol.1 Additional references are available on the Reproduction Committee page of the website at https://aabp.org/members/Reproduction.asp. Veterinarians who engage in federally prohibited activities put themselves at risk and also risk the profession’s reputation for appropriate and judicious oversight of pharmaceutical products in our cattle patients. This is especially of concern when using an unapproved and illegally manufactured hormone product.

AABP Newsletter 5 May 2019.

Please contact Dr. Fred Gingrich at fred@aabp.org with any questions.

Submitted by the AABP Reproduction Committee and the AABP Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Biologics.

1Hinshaw, R.H. Comparison of GnRH and estradiol 17β for follicle turnover in bovine superovulation protocols. Proceedings of the American Embryo Transfer Association 2013, p. 15.

In vitro culture systems: how far are we from optimal conditions?

Categories: Research Publications
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Published on: July 25, 2019

C. Wrenzycki

http://dx.doi.org/10.21451/1984-3143-AR869

Anim Reprod, vol.13, n3, p.279-282, 2016

Abstract

Over the past decades in vitro production (IVP) of bovine embryos has been significantly improved. Nevertheless, embryos generated in vitro still differ from their in vivo produced counterparts. Embryos must adjust to multiple microenvironments at preimplantation stages. Consequently, maintaining or mimicking the in vivo situation in vitro will aid to improve the quality and developmental competence of the resulting embryo.

cattle, embryo, in vitro production

AETA President’s Report – Spring 2019

Categories: President's Message
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Published on: April 17, 2019

By Dr. Matt Iager, 2019 AETA President

Greetings to you from AETA. As spring business gears up, don’t forget to take time to interact with friends and family and thank the farmers and ranchers who provide the avenue for our services.

AETA has been busy focusing and planning for a fun and successful 2019! In January, IETS hosted a great conference in New Orleans and expressed their gratitude to affiliate organizations, such as ours. AETA is strongly poised as a leader in our industry. We are very fortunate in our current financial position, goals for our organization, membership involvement, and relationships to allied industries. However, with every organization, we realize our fruitfulness was achieved by many hard-working individuals working for the good of each member, so complacency is never an option.

In March, our Board of Directors met at the convention site in Colorado Springs for our winter board meeting. We made plans for the year and are excited about the many achievements made by each committee, along with ideas to inspire new progress for our committees. We are also very proud and thankful for the many AETA members that volunteer their time and talents to serve these important roles. It’s never too late to volunteer, so please reach out to me or the committee chairs to let us know your interests.

Our social media has been extremely active with over 1,500 Facebook “likes” on the AETA page and over 7,000 individuals being reached in the last 30 days about our posts and promotion. Be sure to “like” AETA on Facebook! We also hope you enjoy the advertising in national breed magazines and also the exposure on the Internet, via webcast, blogs, and news posts from various organizations, all of which continue to brand AETA’s relevance and importance in today’s technology.

The convention committee is finalizing topics and speakers for the convention. You can be sure this convention will be special and memorable. The social events will take place at the resort, which is incredibly tasteful, with a lake, beach area, and Cheyenne Mountain directly adjacent to the resort hotel. The research committee is hosting a poster contest at this year‘s convention, so be sure to look for more information about this new opportunity!

We look forward to the 2019 AETA & CETA joint annual convention, October 24–26, in beautiful Colorado Springs. I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity to serve AETA and look forward to seeing you in Colorado!

Save the date for the 2019 AETA-CETA/ACTE Annual Meeting!

Categories: Annual Meeting
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Published on: April 17, 2019

The 2019 AETA-CETA/ACTE will be held from October 24–26, 2019, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The conference will be held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.

All of the AETA scientific, social, and exhibitor information can be found on the AETA Annual Convention page as it becomes available. Check back often!

Colorado Springs is a wonderful city to hold this convention. Below you will find some links to help you plan your stay.

Garden of the Gods
Pikes Peak Region
Olympic Training Center
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Manitou Springs

This is a very small list of the many attractions that Colorado Springs has to offer. Please check out Visit Colorado Springs to customize your stay.

We look forward to seeing you all in beautiful Colorado in October!

Sincerely,

AETA

AETA Small Ruminant Ovum-Pick-Up Brief

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Published on: April 17, 2019

Submitted by Dr. Kevin Lindell

Recently, Dr. Rachael Gately, Tufts Veterinary Field Service, had the opportunity (through a collaborative research project) to explore the realm of small ruminant ovum pick-up (OPU)/in vitro fertilization (IVF).

We thought it would be interesting to the membership to relay our initial experiences and challenges.

To date, donors have been collected after superstimulation, using protocols somewhat similar to those we use in cattle. Without prior manipulation of the estrus cycle, a SR CIDR is placed on day −7. On day 0 donors receive PG and 1.5 cc of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) AM/PM; day 1 donors receive 1.0 cc of FSH AM/PM and then 1.0 cc of FSH on the morning of day 2. Oocyte collection is performed on day 4, resulting in a coasting period (time between the last FSH injection and time of collection) of approximately 48 hours. Variables such as FSH dosage, number of total injections, and coasting period seemed to make a significant impact on follicular recruitment, size, and competency, although the data set is very small to this point.

Oocyte collection is performed under general anesthesia using a short-needle system. A threaded small ruminant 18-ga OPU needle, attached directly to aspiration tubing (without using a metal rod) has been a relatively simple and successful method for oocyte collection, in conjunction with our regular aspiration/vacuum pump. Although we would ultimately like to offer small ruminant OPU as a purely laparoscopic procedure, it has been difficult to stabilize the ovaries well enough, so we have instead opted to externalize the ovaries briefly for aspiration.

As this procedure seems to be growing in interest amongst our clientele, we are looking forward to additional small ruminant oocyte collection trials and embryo development results.

The abstract below from a recent review article was also a useful tool as we initially organized equipment, consumables, and donor protocols.

Theriogenology (86) 2016

Recent advances in in vitro embryo production in small ruminants

By Maria-Teresa Paramio*, Dolors Izquierdo

ABSTRACT

To increase productivity in the small ruminant industry, the genetic material of these species should be improved. In vitro embryo production could be an important technology to reach this goal by combining selected male and female gametes. In the world, marketing of in vitro-produced embryos is an economical activity which is progressing rapidly in cattle but is practically nonexistent in small ruminants. Since the birth of the first lamb and kid using IVF in the 80s, several studies have been carried out; however, results still are inconsistent and unpredictable. Moreover, significantly fewer research groups are working on embryo production in small ruminants than in cattle and pigs. Although conventional methodologies of oocyte IVM, IVF, and IVC in small ruminants give rise to blastocysts, significant variation exists between experiments. One important reason for these differences is the heterogeneity of the pool of oocytes recovered from ovaries from slaughtered females. Oocyte quality, also referred to as competence, is the key factor in the success of in vitro embryo production programs. Different criteria are used to select the best oocytes for fertilization, such as follicle size, oocyte diameter and morphological appearance, and Brilliant Cresyl Blue staining. New research lines aimed at improving oocyte competence are: (1) arresting nuclear maturation in vitro allowing optimal capacitation of cytoplasm, (2) growing oocytes inside the follicle, and (3) identification of biomarkers of oocyte competence in granulosa and cumulus cells and metabolites in the follicular fluid.

Practice Tip – Battery Backup

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Published on: April 17, 2019

Submitted by Dr. Pat Comyn

This jump starter has come in really handy for those times when I am breeding or placing embryos in a place with no power. With all the moisture we have had in my area in the last year (92 inches), it is sometimes really difficult to get a truck near the working area. Also, trucks near the working area = dented trucks. So this gadget is great for keeping the thaw bath warm. It also charges cell phones.  

 

Comparison of iSperm to current accepted methods for raw semen analysis

Categories: Evidence-Based ET
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Published on: April 17, 2019

Download the poster

Articles of Interest

Categories: Research Publications
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Published on: April 17, 2019

Significant heparin effect on bovine embryo development during sexed in vitro fertilization

Consequences of bovine oocyte maturation, fertilization or early embryo development in vitro versus in vivo: Implications for blastocyst yield and blastocyst quality

Sex control by Zfy siRNA in the dairy cattle

Daily administration of a GnRH analogue enhances sperm quality in bucks during the non-breeding season

Maternal age influences the number of primordial follicles in the ovaries of yearling Angus heifers

Role of cAMP modulator supplementations during oocyte in vitro maturation in domestic animals

Factors in cattle affecting embryo transfer pregnancies in recipient animals

Comparison of luteolysis and timed artificial insemination pregnancy rates after administration of PGF2α in the muscle or the ischiorectal fossa in cattle

Large-scale transcriptional analysis of bovine embryo biopsies in relation to pregnancy success after transfer to recipients

Effects of supplementation of medium with different antioxidants during in vitro maturation of bovine oocytes on subsequent embryo production

Influence of bovine serum albumin and fetal bovine serum supplementation during in vitro maturation on lipid and mitochondrial behaviour in oocytes and lipid accumulation in bovine embryos

50 Survival of sexed ivf-derived bovine embryos frozen at different preimplementation stages of development

141 Bovine embryo development rats are affected when oocytes are matured in different vials containing hepes/bicarbonate buffered medium

The ischiorectal fossa: an alternative route for the administration of prostaglandin in cattle

Effects of nutrition and genetics on fertility in dairy cows

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Published on: April 17, 2019

https://www.publish.csiro.au/RD/RD18364

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 31(1) 40-54 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD18364
Published online: 3 December 2018

Alex Bach

Institucio´Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avanc¸ats (Barcelona 08007, Spain) and Department of Ruminant Production, Institut de Recerca i Tecnologies Agroalimenta`ries (Caldes de Montbui, 08140 Spain). Email: alex.bach@icrea.cat

Optimal reproductive function in dairy cattle is mandatory to maximise profits. Dairy production has progressively improved milk yields, but, until recently, the trend in reproductive performance has been the opposite. Nutrition, genetics, and epigenetics are important aspects affecting the reproductive performance of dairy cows. In terms of nutrition, the field has commonly fed high-energy diets to dairy cows during the 3 weeks before calving in an attempt to minimise postpartum metabolic upsets. However, in the recent years it has become clear that feeding high-energy diets during the dry period, especially as calving approaches, may be detrimental to cow health, or at least unnecessary because cows, at that time, have low energy requirements and sufficient intake capacity. After calving, dairy cows commonly experience a period of negative energy balance (NEB) characterised by low blood glucose and high non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations. This has both direct and indirect effects on oocyte quality and survival. When oocytes are forced to depend highly on the use of energy resources derived from body reserves, mainly NEFA, their development is compromised due to a modification in mitochondrial b-oxidation. Furthermore, the indirect effect of NEB on reproduction is mediated by a hormonal (both metabolic and reproductive) environment. Some authors have attempted to overcome the NEB by providing the oocyte with external sources of energy via dietary fat. Conversely, fertility is affected by a large number of genes, each with small individual effects, and thus it is unlikely that the decline in reproductive function has been directly caused by genetic selection for milk yield per se. It is more likely that the decline is the consequence of a combination of homeorhetic mechanisms (giving priority to milk over other functions) and increased metabolic pressure (due to a shortage of nutrients) with increasing milk yields. Nevertheless, genetics is an important component of reproductive efficiency, and the incorporation of genomic information is allowing the detection of genetic defects, degree of inbreeding and specific single nucleotide polymorphisms directly associated with reproduction, providing pivotal information for genetic selection programs. Furthermore, focusing on improving bull fertility in gene selection programs may represent an interesting opportunity. Conversely, the reproductive function of a given cow depends on the interaction between her genetic background and her environment, which ultimately modulates gene expression. Among the mechanisms modulating gene expression, microRNAs (miRNAs) and epigenetics seem to be most relevant. Several miRNAs have been described to play active roles in both ovarian and testicular function, and epigenetic effects have been described as a consequence of the nutrient supply and hormonal signals to which the offspring was exposed at specific stages during development. For example, there are differences in the epigenome of cows born to heifers and those born to cows, and this epigenome seems to be sensitive to the availability of methyl donor compounds of the dam. Lastly, recent studies in other species have shown the relevance of paternal epigenetic marks, but this aspect has been, until now, largely overlooked in dairy cattle.

Additional keywords: Amino acids, Epigenetics, Fat, Glucose, Minerals, Reproduction, Vitamins

Antral follicle population in prepubertal and pubertal heifers

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Published on: April 17, 2019

https://www.publish.csiro.au/RD/RD18344

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 31(1) 10-16 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD18344
Published online: 3 December 2018

M. M. Seneda (A,D), F. Morotti (A), A. F. Zangirolamo (A,B), N. C. da Silva (A), K. Sanches (A), W. Blaschi (C), and T. R. R. Barreiros (C)

A Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Laborato´ rio de Reproduc¸a˜o Animal, Departamento de Clı´nicas Veterina´rias – Centro de Cieˆncias Agra´rias – Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, Parana, Brazil. B National Institute of Science and Technology for Dairy Production Chain (INCT–LEITE), Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Rodovia Celso Garcia Cid-Campus Universita´rio, PO Box 10011, Londrina, Parana 86057-970, Brazil. C Universidade Estadual do Norte do Parana´ , Laborato´ rio de Biotecnologia da Reproduc¸a˜o Animal, Departamento de Veterina´ria e Produc¸a˜o Animal, Rodovia BR – 369, Km 54, Vila Maria, Bandeirantes, Parana 86360-000, Brazil. D Corresponding author. Email: marcelo.seneda@uel.br

The antral follicle count (AFC) is an important tool in the selection of bovine females destined for biotechnology. However, little is known about AFC in prepubertal and pubertal heifers. Some challenges inherent to the physiology of young females must be considered to achieve efficient rates with different procedures, such as ovum pick-up and IVF. This paper covers some important topics about ovarian physiology related to the population of antral follicles and reproductive efficiency in young female cattle.

Additional keywords: Bos indicus, Bos taurus, calf, embryo production.

Cryopreservation and microfluidics: a focus on the oocyte

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Published on: April 17, 2019

https://www.publish.csiro.au/RD/RD18326

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 31(1) 93-104  https://doi.org/10.1071/RD18326
Published online: 3 December 2018

Gary D. Smith (A,C) and Shuichi Takayama (B)

A Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Physiology, and Urology, Reproductive Sciences Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, USA. B Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA. C Corresponding author. Email: smithgd@umich.edu

Cryopreservation of gametes and embryos has played a critical role in successful assisted reproductive technologies in rodents, domestic farm species, endangered species and humans. With improved success, and changing needs, the utility of gamete or embryo cryopreservation has escalated. In this review we address some of the foundational history of mammalian cryobiology, species-specific utilities, fundamental understandings of cryoprotectant agents and their use in slow-rate freezing and vitrification, and expand on the recent success and uses of oocyte vitrification and warming. In the area of female gamete cryopreservation, emphasis will be placed on not just cell survival, but also perceived and measured affects of cryopreservation on intracellular structures and functions that affect subsequent completion of meiosis with chromatin segregation fidelity, normal fertilisation and embryonic developmental competence. We compare and contrast data from cow, mouse and humans with a focus on using species-comparative developmental biology to guide future studies for improving methodologies for all species. The application of the relatively new technology microfluidics is discussed in relation to moving gradually (i.e. changing the solution over cells in an automated fashion) compared with the stepwise manual movement of cells through changing solution currently used. This use of microfluidics to change the way cells are exposed to cryoprotectant agents can provide new insights into the effects of osmotic stress and cellular strain rates previously unappreciated, precise methods of computational and biological data acquisition and appreciation of morphometric changes to cellular structure in response to different osmotic stresses and strain rates achieved with varying cryoprotectant exposures. Collectively, these devices and methodologies provide a means of achieving incremental improvement of oocyte and zygote cryopreservation with normalised and improved developmental competence. Finally, we look to the past and the future to acknowledge the accomplishment of leaders in the field of mammalian gamete and embryo cryobiology, their inspirational works, their tireless dissemination of information and the potential of new technologies in bioengineering to improve the efficiency and safety of gamete and embryo cryopreservation.

Additional keywords: embryos, gametes, vitrification.

December 2018 President’s Letter

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Published on: December 27, 2018

Happy Holidays!

To begin with, I would like to thank Matt Iager and CETA for putting on an excellent meeting in Montreal this year. I also thank all of you who filled out surveys after the conference. Your feedback provides the information we need to continue to improve our meetings. Congratulations to Dr. Pat Comyn and Dr. Clay Breiner as our newly elected board members. One of the highlights of the meeting for me was the opportunity to present the President’s Award to Dr. Richard Whitaker. Recognizing him for all he has done for this organization was such an honor. We wish him well in his retirement.

This past year has been an extremely difficult one for the dairy industry and I am sure it has had some effect on our businesses. There have been many changes to this industry (genomics etc.) and there will certainly be more in the future. The only constant is change. This organization provides us with a network to navigate through these changes.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve these past four years as a member of the board. It has gone by quickly and has been rewarding. There have been challenges in the past and there will be in the future, but you have elected an excellent group of board members to lead us in the future. The winter board meeting in going to be held the first weekend in March. If anyone has topics they would like us to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the board members.

I encourage all of you to be active in this organization. It is your organization. The interactions and experiences are invaluable. There are many opportunities to serve including being a board member, a committee chair, or committee member. This is the life blood of our organization.

Once again, thank you for allowing me to be your president in 2018.

John Prososki
AETA President

December 2018 President-Elect Letter

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Published on: December 27, 2018

Greetings to everyone during this joyous holiday season and let us be reminded of what is most important in each of our lives. Let us continue to pray for the hard-working farmers and ranchers that allow us the opportunity to serve them. May the farming economy strengthen in the upcoming year.

Our Joint Annual Convention with CETA in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was a great success and we thank the many volunteers who planned this convention and all of you for attending. Plans are underway for a terrific convention in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado, next fall.

Our industry continues to strengthen as we work together and share ideas that add opportunity, value, and success to our embryo transfer businesses. We thank the many individuals that continue to serve AETA and promote our organization. Remember to “LIKE” us on Facebook. Our board of directors, committee chairs and members, and FASS headquarters continue to create effective and efficient tools for success. We invite all of you to participate and serve in some capacity. Please reach out and let us know what interests you have to serve AETA. It’s great to see our vibrant youth at our conventions, and giving back to our organization is the best way to continue its legacy.

We would like to thank Dr. John Prososki for his outstanding leadership as president in 2018. John’s work ethic, energy, and passion inspire all of us in our daily work environments.

AETA looks forward to an outstanding year in 2019. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to contact me or any member of the board as we work for you and strive to lead this organization professionally and with the goals, desires, and objectives of our membership.

I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity to serve as your next president for 2019 and look forward to working closely with you.

Sincerely,
Matthew E. Iager, DVM
AETA President-Elect

New Directors Elected to the AETA Board of Directors

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Published on: December 27, 2018

At the 2018 AETA & CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention, two new directors were elected to the AETA Board of Directors. Their terms will start on January 1, 2019. Clay Breiner, DVM, and Pat Comyn, DVM, are the two new representatives:

Clay Breiner, DVM, was raised on an eastern Kansas cow/calf ranch that markets Hereford and Angus genetics. He received his BS in animal science (1998) and DVM (2002) from Kansas State University.

Upon graduation, he joined Cross Country Genetics as a team veterinarian and has had the privilege of working there with Dr. Kirk Gray for the past 16 years. He has been AETA certified since 2003 and is currently serving on the AETA Certification Committee.

He is married to Kendra Rock, DVM DACT, who is also actively involved in the animal reproduction industry. They have two children, Kennan (7) and Beau (3).

Dr. Breiner’s professional interests include embryo transfer, the use of ultrasound as a predictor of fertility, and ways to manipulate the gender ratio. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family at sporting events or exploring the countryside. He feels the challenge for the future is to make sure that our industry and profession stays relevant to the beef industry.

Pat Comyn, DVM. NCSU-CVM 1988. Owner of Virginia Herd Health Management Service P.C. located in Madison, Virginia. Certified AETA 2005, EU certified, owner breeder of registered Holsteins. I do general food animal medicine/surgery, ET, and OPU – IVF.

I’ve been married to my wife Barbara for 31 years. She is a small animal veterinarian. I have one kid in college (Virginia Tech), and the other kid is a research technician with Zoetis (poultry). I like to follow bird dogs in my spare time.

Join us in Colorado Springs in 2019!

Categories: Annual Meeting
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Published on: December 27, 2018

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Welcome , today is Sunday, September 15, 2019