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

Effects of dry matter and energy intake on quality of oocytes and embryos in ruminants

Roberto Sartori A C , Camila Spies A and Milo C. Wiltbank B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Animal Science, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (ESALQ), University of São Paulo, Av. Pádua Dias, 11, Piracicaba, SP 13418-900, Brazil.

B Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1675 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.

C Corresponding author. Email: robertosartori@usp.br

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(1) 58-65 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16395
Published: 2 December 2016

Abstract

The success of herd fertility involves the development of healthy follicles, viable oocytes and embryos capable of establishing and maintaining a pregnancy. Herein we discuss how nutrition interacts with reproduction throughout follicle development and pregnancy establishment, focusing on dry matter and energy intake. High feed intake, especially associated with moderate to high body condition, before and through superstimulation protocols, natural or induced single-ovulations or before ovum pick-up has detrimental effects on the quality of oocytes or embryos. Feed restriction or high energy supply can be used strategically to obtain either more or better quality oocytes or embryos. Altering diets that provide different concentrations of circulating insulin may improve ovarian status, oocyte quality, embryo development and pregnancy establishment and maintenance. Some sources of fat can positively affect reproductive performance, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, improving embryo quality and pregnancy. In contrast, fat supplementation in the diet may compromise embryo cryotolerance. Finally, nutrition can alter concentrations of circulating or intrafollicular hormones and metabolites and the expression of genes in cattle oocytes and embryos. For an adequate feeding program to benefit reproductive performance, factors such as genetic group, source of energy, metabolic status, physiological status and level of feed intake must be taken into account.

Additional keywords: bovine, fertility, gamete, nutrition.


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