Preimplantation genomic selection based on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes is expected to accelerate genetic improvement in cattle. However, genome-wide genotyping at the early embryonic stage has several limitations, such as the technical difficulty of embryonic biopsy and low accuracy of genotyping resulting from a limited number of biopsied cells. After hatching from the zona pellucida, the morphology of the bovine embryo changes from spherical to filamentous, in a process known as elongation. The bovine nonsurgical elongating conceptus transfer technique was recently developed and applied for sexing without requiring specialized skills for biopsy. In order to develop a bovine preimplantation genomic selection system combined with the elongating conceptus transfer technique, we examined the accuracy of genotyping by SNP chip analysis using the DNA from elongating conceptuses (Experiment 1) and optimal cryopreservation methods for elongating conceptuses (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, the call rates of SNP chip analysis following whole genome amplification in biopsied cells from two elongating conceptuses were 95.14% and 99.32%, which were sufficient for estimating genomic breeding value. In Experiment 2, the rates of dead cells in elongating conceptuses cryopreserved by slow freezing were comparable to those in fresh elongating conceptuses. In addition, we obtained healthy calves by the transfer of elongating conceptuses cryopreserved by slow freezing. Our findings indicate that the elongating conceptus transfer technology enables preimplantation genomic selection in cattle based on SNP chip analysis. Further studies on the optimization of cryopreservation methods for elongating conceptuses are required for practical application of the selection system.
- Elongating conceptus
- Embryo transfer
- Preimplantation genomic selection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology