Two experiments were conducted to compare conception rates following embryo transfer (ET) of bovine embryos held and transported in Syngro® holding medium (Bioniche, Belleville, Ontario, Canada) with other 2 holding media: Emcare® (ICPbio, Auckland, New Zealand) for in vivo-derived embryos and HEPES-buffered synthetic oviduct fluid (H-SOF) for IVF-derived embryos. The first trial was performed in the period from October through December 2006 at the Curitiba farm in Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A total of 140 in vivo-derived embryos were produced from 20 Nelore donor cows and transferred fresh at the same farm. After each donor recovery, embryos were equally separated per stage (morula or blastocyst) and classification (grades 1, 2, and 3) into 2 Petri dishes, each containing either Syngro or Emcare. The embryos were held for an average of 3 h after recovery, loaded into 0.25-mL straws, and transferred fresh into recipients heifers, which were all previously synchronized with the same hormonal protocol treatment and presented a corpus luteum on the day of transference. Conception rate was checked at approximately 60 days of conception by rectal palpation. The chi-square test was used for statistical analysis. The conception rate of embryos maintained in Syngro was significantly higher than those in Emcare: 64.2% (43/67) v. 47.9% (35/73; P < 0.05). A second experiment was performed between September and December 2008 at Embriza Biotechnology Laboratory, Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. A total of 1689 IVF-derived embryos (stage = 7, quality = 1), produced from Nelore donor cows, were randomly assigned to be held and transported in either Syngro (769) or H-SOF transport medium (920). Transportation time ranged from 1 to 9 h, and the recipient farms ranged from 100 to 1200 km in distance from the Embriza Laboratory. Crossbred recipient heifers (Bos taurus × Bos indicus) were synchronized with prostaglandin or vaginal progesterone device protocols. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed by ultrasonography approximately 60 days after ET. Statistical comparisons were performed using the chi-square test. Conception rates resulting from embryos transported in Syngro (45.1%, 347/769) and in H-SOF (42.0%, 386/920) were not different (P = 0.19).
Financial support from Embriza Biotecnology, Tecnopec LTDA, and Bioniche Animal Health