Embryo competence and cryosurvival: Molecular and cellular features


Anim. Reprod.




Abstract Global cattle genetic market is experiencing a change of strategy, large genetic companies, traditionally recognized in the artificial insemination field, have also begun to operate in the embryo market. Consequently, the demand for in vitro produced (IVP) embryos has grown. However, the overall efficiency of the biotechnology process remains low. Additionally, the lack of homogeneity of post-cryopreservation survival results of IVP embryos still impairing a massive dissemination of this biotechnology in the field. A great challenge for in vitro production labs is to increase the amount of embryos produced with exceptional quality after each round of in vitro fertilization. Herein, we discuss the molecular and cellular features associated with the competence and cryosurvival of IVP embryos. First, morphofunctional, cellular and molecular competence of the embryos were addressed and a relationship between embryo developmental ability and quality were established with cryosurvival and pregnancy success. Additionally, determinant factors of embryo competence and cryosurvival were discussed including the following effects: genotype, oocyte quality and follicular microenvironment, in vitro production conditions, and lipids and other determining molecules. Finally, embryo cryopreservation aspects were addressed and an embryo-focused approach to improve cryosurvival was presented.

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