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RESEARCH ARTICLE

207 EFFECT OF LOCATION AND STAGE OF THE DOMINANT FOLLICLE ON OVULATION AND PREGNANCY RATES IN ALPACAS

M. Cervantes A , W. Huanca A , A. Cordero B , M. Guerra C , X. P. Valderrama C and M. H. Ratto C

A Universidad Mayor Nacional de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;

B Universidad Nacional de La Molina, Lima, Peru;

C Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(1) 261-262 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RDv22n1Ab207
Published: 8 December 2009

Abstract

Gestation in camelids occurs in the left horn regardless of whether ovulation has taken place in the left or right ovary, suggesting uterine embryo migration (Fernandez-Baca S et al. 1970 Biol. Reprod. 3, 243-251). On the other hand, we have previously documented (Ratto MH et al. 2003 Theriogenology 60, 1645-1656) that more than 90% of llamas with the presence of a follicle ≥6 to 7 mm in diameter, regardless of their stage of development, did accept the copula and ovulate after mating. However, it is unknown whether these oocytes are competent to achieving acceptable pregnancy rate. This study was designed to determine the effect of location of the preovulatory dominant follicle (right or left ovary) on ovulation and pregnancy rates and to evaluate the effect of stage of ovarian follicle development at mating (growing, maintenance, and regression) on ovulation rate and embryo survival in alpacas. In Experiment 1, nonlactating alpacas (4-6 years of age) weighing 55 to 75 kg were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups according to the location of the dominant follicle detected by ultrasonography: right ovary [right dominant follicle (RDF); n = 96] or left ovary [left dominant follicle (LDF); n = 108]. Ovulation and pregnancy diagnoses were assessed by ultrasonography on Days 2 (Day 0 = mating) and 30, respectively. Ovulation was defined as the sudden disappearance of a large follicle (≥6 mm) that was detected during the ultrasonographic examination 24 to 36 h after mating. Ovulation rates (96.5 and 96.3% for RDF and LDF, respectively) and pregnancy rates (60.2 and 56.7% for RDF and LDF, respectively) rates did not differ (P = 0.9) among groups. In Experiment 2, nonlactating alpacas (4-8 years of age) weighing 60 to 80 kg (n = 4116) were submitted to ultrasound-guided follicle ablation to synchronize follicular wave emergence and, after daily ultrasonography examination, were randomly assigned to the following groups according to the growth phase and diameter of the dominant follicle: early growing (G1; 5-6 mm, n = 27), mid-growing (G2; 7-12 mm, n = 30); static (G3; 7-12 mm, n = 430), or regressing (G4; 12-7 mm, n = 29). All alpacas were mated with a proven male, except 5 alpacas from G1 that rejected the sire. The ovarian response was determined by ultrasound examinations that were carried out on Day 2 (ovulation rate), Day 9 (CL size), and Day 35 (presence of embryonic vesicle or embryo). Ovulation was determined as described in Experiment 1. No differences were detected in ovulation rate among groups (95, 96, 100, and 96%, respectively; P = 0.8) or in CL size (10.3 ± 0.8; 11.7 ± 0.6; 11.1 ± 0.8; and 11.1 ± 0.9 mm, respectively; P = 0.6). Pregnancy rate was highest in G2 (65.5%), intermediate in G1 (52.4%) and G3 (53.3%), and lowest in G4 (42.9%; P < 0.05). Results suggest that location of the dominant follicle has no influence on ovulation and pregnancy rates and that although mating during the regressing phase of the dominant follicle has no effect on ovulation, pregnancy rate may be compromised.

This study was supported by DID-UACH, Universidad Austral de Chile.


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