Assisted Reproduction Technology
1. Embryo Transfer
Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT) is a technique used to increase the reproduction rate of cows and buffaloes. Embryo transfer simply means collection of an embryo from a donor female and its transfer to the uterus of a recipient female of the same species.
NDDB established Embryo Transfer (ET) facility at SAG, Bidaj in 1987 and started super ovulation of elite cattle and buffaloes and production of in vivo embryos. Right from beginning, ET technology has extensively been used for bull production programmes. Since the inception of the project in 1987, 11584 viable embryos have been produced and 774 male calves born.
Around that time, a Science & Technology Project on Cattle Herd Improvement for Increased Productivity using Embryo Transfer Technology was launched by Ministry of Science & Technology, Dept. of Biotechnology, GoI. For implementation of this project, NDDB was made the Lead Implementing agency. Under this project, NDDB established one Main ET Lab at SAG Bidaj and four Regional ET Labs at CFSP&TI, Hessarghatta (Karnataka), ABC, Salon (UP), ShriNashik Panchavati Panjrapole, Nashik (Maharashtra) and Buffalo Breeding Centre, Nekarikallu (AP). NDDB also established 14 out of 25 proposed State ET centres across the country. Over the project period (1st April 1987 to 31st March 1992), NDDB produced 6824 embryos from cattle and 1452 embryos from buffaloes.
2. In-Vitro Fertilization
IVF is an advanced reproductive technology that is used for production of embryos in in vitro condition for transfer. During IVF, using an ultrasound-guided needle, follicles of ovary of a cow/ buffalo are aspirated through the vaginal wall.A vacuum system is used to recover the contents of each follicle. Once all the follicles are aspirated from ovaries of cow/ buffalo. The oocytes are selected based on the cumulus cell layer. The recovered oocytes are washed before placing into maturation media to mature for 24 hours. Once they have matured, the oocytes will be fertilized with semen and the resulting embryos placed in an incubator for an additional seven days to grow. In between, the media is regularly replaced according to the stage of growth. After that the embryos are transferred into recipient animals that are approximately seven days post-heat, similar to traditional embryo transfer programs.