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Theriogenology. 2005 Jul 15;64(2):363-77.

The effect of gamete co-incubation time during in vitro fertilization with frozen-thawed unsorted and sex-sorted ram spermatozoa on the development of in vitro matured adult and prepubertal ewe oocytes.

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Centre for Advanced Technologies in Animal Genetics and Reproduction (ReproGen), Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


In vitro matured adult (Experiment 1) and prepubertal (Experiment 2) ewe oocytes were co-incubated with unsorted or sex-sorted frozen-thawed spermatozoa for 2 to 3 h (short) or 18 to 20 h (long) to determine the effects of reducing the gamete co-incubation time during IVF on subsequent embryonic development in vitro. For oocytes derived from adult ewes, there were no differences in oocyte fertilization and cleavage at 24 h post insemination (hpi) between types of spermatozoa or co-incubation times (P > 0.05). By 48 hpi, oocyte cleavage was higher after a short (390/602, 64.8%) compared with a long (381/617, 61.7%) co-incubation (P < 0.05), and was not significantly different for unsorted (266/372, 71.5%) and sex-sorted (505/849, 59.9%) spermatozoa. Blastocyst formation from cleaved oocytes was similar for unsorted (150/266, 56.4%) and sex-sorted (295/505, 58.4%) spermatozoa, but was higher after a short (240/390, 61.5%) than long (205/381, 53.8%) co-incubation (P < 0.05). Oocyte development to the blastocyst stage was not different for unsorted (150/372; 40.3%) and sex-sorted (295/847; 34.8%) spermatozoa but was significantly increased by a short (240/602, 39.9%) compared with a long (205/617, 33.2%) co-incubation. Fertilization of oocytes from prepubertal ewes was similar for types of spermatozoa and for duration of co-incubation. Oocyte cleavage (48 hpi) was similar for a short (241/377, 63.9%) and long (226/349, 64.8%) co-incubation with unsorted spermatozoa, but was increased (P < 0.05) by a long co-incubation (286/500, 57.2% versus 163/517, 31.5%) with sex-sorted spermatozoa. Blastocyst formation from cleaved oocytes was similar for unsorted (230/467, 49.3%) and sex-sorted (186/449, 41.4%) spermatozoa, and a short (200/404, 49.5%) or long (216/512, 42.1%) co-incubation. However, oocyte development to the blastocyst stage was higher (P < 0.05) after IVF with unsorted (230/726, 37.1%) than sex-sorted (186/1017, 18.3%) spermatozoa. Reducing the duration of gamete co-incubation did not deleteriously affect the in vitro development of adult and prepubertal ewe derived oocytes after IVF with unsorted and sex-sorted spermatozoa. In general, sex-sorting had no substantial influence on fertilization and embryo development rates.

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