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RESEARCH ARTICLE

208 OVARIAN FOLLICULAR DYNAMICS IN SOUTH AMERICAN CAMELIDS: EFFECT OF PLANE OF NUTRITION AND SPECIES

M. P. Cervantes A , T. Orban A and G. P. Adams A
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University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(1) 262-262 https://doi.org/10.1071/RDv22n1Ab208
Published: 8 December 2009

Abstract

Controversy exists regarding characteristics of follicular waves in llamas and alpacas. Lactational status has been shown to influence follicular dynamics, but the effects of species and nutrition have not been critically examined. A 2 × 2 experimental design was used to determine the effects of species (llama v. alpaca) and nutritional status (high-plane v. low-plane) on ovarian follicular wave dynamics. Adult female llamas (n = 16) and alpacas (n = 19), ≥ 3 years old, were assigned randomly to either a high or low plane of nutrition. Nutritional planes were defined by the grazing condition of the native pasture. The respective nutritional conditions were imposed 2 weeks before the start of the observational period. Body condition was estimated at the start of the observational period using a subjective scoring system (1 = very thin, 10 = very fat) and ovarian dynamics were monitored daily by transrectal ultrasonography for 38 days. Data were analyzed by two-way ANOVA and are expressed as mean ± SEM. Body condition scores were not different among groups (6.9 ± 0.35 and 6.6 ± 0.19 for llamas on high and low planes of nutrition, respectively, and 7.2 ± 0.25 and 6.8 ± 0.18 for alpacas on high and low planes of nutrition, respectively). The growing phase of the dominant follicle tended (P = 0.1) to be longer in llamas than in alpacas (9.8 ± 0.47 v. 8.8 ± 0.45 days) and in animals on a high plane of nutrition than in animals on a low plane (9.6 ± 0.50 v. 8.6 ± 0.42 days). Accordingly, the maximum diameter of the dominant follicle tended to be larger in llamas than in alpacas (10.1 ± 0.37 v. 9.1 ± 0.30 mm; P = 0.06) and in animals on a high plane of nutrition than in animals on a low plane (9.9 ± 0.39 v. 9.1 ± 0.27 mm; P = 0.14). The interwave interval was similar between llamas and alpacas (16.5 ± 0.66 v. 15.6 ± 0.42 days; P = 0.29), but was longer (P < 0.01) in animals on a high plane of nutrition than in animals on a low plane (16.9 ± 0.54 v. 15.0 ± 0.44 days); there was no interaction between main effects (P = 0.31). The total lifespan (duration of detection) of the dominant follicle was similar in both llamas and alpacas (22.9 ± 0.75 v. 21.9 ± 0.73 days; P = 0.38) and in animals on a high plane of nutrition than in animals on a low plane (22.7 ± 0.78 v. 22.0 ± 0.70 days; P = 0.53). There was no interaction between main effects (P = 0.21). All females (n = 35/35, 100%) had a follicle ≥ 7 mm (ovulatory size) from Days 7 to 12 after wave emergence. In conclusion, a low plane of nutrition had a suppressive effect on dominant follicle growth, resulting in a shortened interwave interval in llamas and alpacas. The interwave interval was not significantly longer in llamas than in alpacas despite a tendency for a longer growing phase and a larger dominant follicle.

Research supported by Mitchell Group’s Mallkini Alpaca Breeding and Genetic Centre and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


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