Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

Interspecies embryo transfer in camelids: the birth of the first Bactrian camel calves (Camelus bactrianus) from dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius)

A. Niasari-Naslaji A F , D. Nikjou A , J. A. Skidmore B , A. Moghiseh A , M. Mostafaey C , K. Razavi D and A. A. Moosavi-Movahedi E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran 14155-6453, Iran.

B The Camel Reproduction Centre, Dubai 79914, UAE.

C Research Centre for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ardabil 56491-11169, Iran.

D Animal Science Research Institute, Karaj 31585-1483, Iran.

E Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Tehran, Tehran 13145-1365, Iran.

F Corresponding author. Email:

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 21(2) 333-337
Submitted: 22 June 2008  Accepted: 8 September 2008   Published: 27 January 2009


Interspecies embryo transfer is a possible approach that can be used to conserve endangered species. It could provide a useful technique to preserve the Iranian and wild Bactrian camels, both of which are threatened with extinction. In the present study, one Bactrian camel was superovulated using decreasing doses of FSH (60, 40, 30, 30, 20, 20 mg, b.i.d.; Folltropin-V; Bioniche, London, ON, Canada) for 6 days, followed by a single injection of FSH (20 mg, i.m.) on Day 7. Daily ovarian ultrasonography was performed until most of the growing follicles had reached a mature size of 13–17 mm, at which time the camel was mated twice, 24 h apart, with a fertile male Bactrian camel. At the time of first mating, female camels were given 20 μg, i.v., buserelin (Receptal; Intervet, Boxmeer, The Netherlands). One day after the donor camel had been mated, the dromedary recipients (n = 8) were injected with 25 mg, i.v., porcine LH (Lutropin-V; Bioniche) to induce ovulation. Embryos were recovered on Day 8.5 after the first mating and transferred non-surgically into recipients on Day 7.5 after LH injection. Pregnancy was diagnosed 25 days after embryo transfer. Healthy Bactrian camel calves (n = 4) were born without any particular complications at the time of parturition (e.g. dystocia and neonatal diseases). The present study is the first report of the birth of Bactrian camel calves from dromedary camels, as well as the first report of interspecies embryo transfer in old world camelids.


This research was funded by the Research Deputy of the University of Tehran (Project no. 7508044/6/1), Organisation of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Ardabil Province and the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (National Project no. 102), the Iranian National Foundation for Science (INSF) and the Centre of Excellence for Veterinary Research on Iranian Indigenous Animals. The authors thank Intervet and Bioniche for the kind provision of Receptal and Lutropin-V, respectively.


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