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Anim Reprod Sci. 2006 Jul;93(3-4):366-71. Epub 2005 Oct 26.

Effect of time of artificial insemination on embryo sex ratio in dairy cattle.

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Adaptation Physiology, Department of Animal Science, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The objective of the present study was to examine whether different intervals between insemination and ovulation have an influence on the sex of seven-day-old embryos in dairy cattle. Cows were inseminated once with semen of one of two bulls of proven fertility between 36 h before ovulation and 12 h after ovulation. Time of ovulation was assessed by ultrasound at 4-h intervals. In total, 64 embryos were determined to be male or female. Of these 64 embryos, 51.6% were female. The sex ratio in the various insemination-ovulation intervals (early: between 36 and 20 h before ovulation; intermediate: between 20 and 8 h before ovulation; late: between 8 h before and 12 h after ovulation) did not significantly differ from the expected 1:1 sex ratio (50, 50 and 55% females, respectively). Bull (Bull A and B) and Parity (primiparous and multiparous) had no influence on the expected 1:1 sex ratio either. The number of cell cycles was similar for male and female (P = 0.23) embryos when quality of the embryo (P < 0.0001) was included in the model. The results of this study indicate that, in cattle, the interval between insemination and ovulation does not influence the sex ratio of seven-day-old embryos.

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