Special Issue "New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Reproduction".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Giuseppe Campanile
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science and Animal Production, University of Studies of Naples, Naples, Italy
Interests: veterinary; biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The present Special Issue highlights new technologies to improve livestock breeding efficiency. The future of animal production is conditioned by sustainability, welfare and quality production and, particularly, functional molecules. Indeed, new technologies play a pivotal role in modern breeding, facilitating consumer demands from a one health future perspective. New approaches in animal management, including genetics, molecular biology, and reproduction, represent future ways to assure high-quality food.

Dr. Giuseppe Campanile
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Ruminant
  • biology of reproduction
  • one health
  • functional food
  • genetic
  • sustainability
  • breeding technology
  • molecular biology

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Overuse and Sexually Transmitted Infections on Seminal Parameters of Extensively Managed Bulls
Animals 2021, 11(3), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030827 - 15 Mar 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Natural service remains the main breeding method in extensively managed beef herds. Although the bull might be the most important factor in determining herd fertility, its importance has been largely overlooked, focusing instead on female fertility. Management of the bull is critical to [...] Read more.
Natural service remains the main breeding method in extensively managed beef herds. Although the bull might be the most important factor in determining herd fertility, its importance has been largely overlooked, focusing instead on female fertility. Management of the bull is critical to maximize the opportunities for cow conception. Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) are infections associated with reduced conception rates. This study aimed to determine the effect of both IBR and BVD infection, and bull: cow ratio on seminal parameters in the bull and herd fertility. The presence of antibodies to IBR and BVD, seminal parameters (volume, concentration, mass, and progressive motility), and herd fertility were analyzed in 158 extensively managed bulls. Sperm concentration and mass motility, as well as herd fertility, were significantly lower in BVD-positive bulls. No significant differences were found between IBR-positive and -negative bulls in any reproductive parameter. Sperm concentration was negatively affected by BVD infection in both Charolais and Limousin bulls, whereas mass motility and herd fertility were reduced in Limousin bulls only. No differences were observed in the cow: bull ratio between BVD+ and BVD- bulls. A significant negative correlation was detected between the number of cows per bull and herd fertility, which was negatively affected when herds had more than 40 cows per bull. In conclusion, BVD and bull overuse negatively affect the reproductive performance of the herd. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Dietary Supplementation of Conjugated Linoleic Acids and Their Inclusion in Semen Extenders on Bovine Sperm Quality
Animals 2021, 11(2), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020483 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) enhances circulating insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels. Furthermore, fertility rate of breeding bulls is positively correlated to seminal plasma IGF-I concentration. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of dietary CLA supplementation and inclusion to the [...] Read more.
Isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) enhances circulating insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels. Furthermore, fertility rate of breeding bulls is positively correlated to seminal plasma IGF-I concentration. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of dietary CLA supplementation and inclusion to the semen extender on bovine semen quality and freezability. Fourteen bulls, randomly assigned to control (CTL) and CLA (50 g/day) groups, were supplemented for 10 weeks. Samples were collected at Weeks −2 (before supplementation), 0, 4, 6 (during supplementation), 10, and 11 (after supplementation). Blood and seminal plasma were analyzed for IGF-I; the ejaculates were frozen in the following subgroups: CTL (no addition to semen extender), CLA c9, t11 (50 µM), CLA c9, t11 (100 µM), CLA t10, c12 (50 µM), CLA t10, c12 (100 µM), and CLA mix (50 µM each of CLA c9, t11 and CLA t10, c12). Sperm motility, morphology, viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, and reactive oxidative species were assessed. CLA supplementation decreased ejaculates’ total volume, increased sperm concentration, beat cross frequency, and decreased oxidative stress; it also increased plasma and seminal plasma IGF-I levels compared to the CTL. The inclusion of CLA c9, t11 100 µM and CLA mixture in the extender increased live spermatozoa percentage post-thawing compared to other groups. Our results show a beneficial effect of CLA supplementation on semen quality; however, further studies evaluating fertilization rates are necessary to corroborate the results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
FSH Stimulation with Short Withdrawal Improves Oocyte Competence in Italian Mediterranean Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
Animals 2020, 10(11), 1997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10111997 - 30 Oct 2020
Viewed by 527
Abstract
The aim of this work was to evaluate the efficiency of different FSH doses and FSH coasting times before ovum pick-up (OPU) on follicular growth and oocyte competence in buffalo. Experiment 1 involved two different FSH treatments: 40 mg FSH given three (FSH3) [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to evaluate the efficiency of different FSH doses and FSH coasting times before ovum pick-up (OPU) on follicular growth and oocyte competence in buffalo. Experiment 1 involved two different FSH treatments: 40 mg FSH given three (FSH3) or six (FSH6) times, 2 days after dominant follicle removal were tested, with OPU carried out after 40–44 h of coasting. In experiment 2, OPU was carried out after FSH6 protocol followed by 28–32 h (C1), 40–44 h (C2), or 64–68 h (C3) of coasting time. Cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were classified, in vitro matured, fertilized, and cultured. The results demonstrated that FSH6 increased the total number of follicles, the number and percentages of medium and large follicles, the number and the proportion of good quality oocytes, and the number of grade 1,2 and fast-developing blastocysts compared to the control. C3 decreased the percentage of good quality oocyte and blastocyst rates compared to C1 and C2. A higher percentage of fast blastocysts and average number of grade 1,2 blastocysts was observed in C1 compared to C3, with intermediate values found in C2. The improved efficiency in terms of blastocyst yields suggests the use of FSH6 + C1 protocol for ovarian superstimulation in buffalo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
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Open AccessCommunication
Use of GnRH for Synchronization of the Follicular Wave in Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Sheep: A Preliminary Study
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071208 - 16 Jul 2020
Viewed by 752
Abstract
The present study aimed to set up a short-term protocol for synchronization of follicular wave emergence in sheep, concomitant with estrus synchronization, which would improve ovarian response in assisted reproductive technologies. Administration of a single GnRH dose, concomitant with the insertion of a [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to set up a short-term protocol for synchronization of follicular wave emergence in sheep, concomitant with estrus synchronization, which would improve ovarian response in assisted reproductive technologies. Administration of a single GnRH dose, concomitant with the insertion of a progesterone-loaded CIDR device, caused regression of gonadotrophin-dependent follicles ≥4 mm in all the GnRH-treated sheep and in around 80% of the controls treated only with CIDR (p < 0.05). Similar percentages of ewes lost all follicles (around 70%) or only the largest one (around 30%) in both groups. Hence, 54.1% and 70% of the sheep lost all large follicles and initiated a new follicular wave in the control and GnRH groups, respectively (p < 0.05). The remaining sheep showed follicles that were still not dependent of luteinizing hormone (LH). So, in fact, all the sheep had non-dominant follicles after treatment. In conclusion, a treatment including GnRH at CIDR insertion would offer a time- and cost-efficient protocol for inducing follicular turnover and synchronizing a new follicular wave at any stage of the estrous cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Corpus Luteum Color Doppler Ultrasound and Pregnancy Outcome in Buffalo during the Transitional Period
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071181 - 13 Jul 2020
Viewed by 492
Abstract
This study evaluated corpus luteum (CL) development in buffaloes out of breeding season and assessed an early pregnancy diagnosis. Mediterranean buffaloes (n = 29) were synchronized and artificially inseminated. CL B-mode/color Doppler ultrasonography examinations were performed daily from Days 5 to 10 post-synchronization, [...] Read more.
This study evaluated corpus luteum (CL) development in buffaloes out of breeding season and assessed an early pregnancy diagnosis. Mediterranean buffaloes (n = 29) were synchronized and artificially inseminated. CL B-mode/color Doppler ultrasonography examinations were performed daily from Days 5 to 10 post-synchronization, recording CL dimensions and blood flow parameters. Blood samples were collected on the same days for the progesterone (P4) assay. Data were grouped into pregnant or nonpregnant and retrospectively analyzed. The total pregnancy rate was 50.0% (13/26) on Day 45. A significant difference between CL average area in pregnant and nonpregnant buffaloes was recorded only on Day 10. Pregnant buffaloes showed a significantly higher mean P4 concentration and higher mean time average medium velocity (TAMV) values from Day 5 to Day 10 compared to nonpregnant buffaloes. Linear regression analysis showed a significant relationship between P4 levels and TAMV. Multiple logistic regression highlighted a significant influence of TAMV on pregnancy outcome, particularly on Day 8. This is probably due to the strong relationship between TAMV and P4 production. Both TAMV and P4 could be used to predict pregnancy starting on Day 6, although a more reliable result was obtained at Day 10. Thus, the period between Days 5 and 10 is critical for CL development during the transitional period in buffalo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Bull Semen Metabolome in Relation to Cryopreservation and Fertility
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061065 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 707
Abstract
Semen cryopreservation determines several sperm damages, including the loss of fertility-associated proteins. The purpose of the study was to compare the metabolite contents in bovine sperm and seminal plasma before and after cryopreservation, and between high- and low-fertility bulls in vitro. Forty-eight ejaculates, [...] Read more.
Semen cryopreservation determines several sperm damages, including the loss of fertility-associated proteins. The purpose of the study was to compare the metabolite contents in bovine sperm and seminal plasma before and after cryopreservation, and between high- and low-fertility bulls in vitro. Forty-eight ejaculates, collected from eight bulls (six per bull), were analyzed by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. Cryopreservation resulted in an over-expression of lysophosphatidylcholine (0:0/18:2(9Z,12Z)) in seminal plasma. In addition, higher levels of glycine betaine and pyro-l-glutaminyl-l-glutamine were observed in cryopreserved compared to fresh spermatozoa. The fresh seminal plasma of high-fertility bulls showed an over-expression of l-acetylcarnitine, glycerol tripropanoate, 2,3-diacetoxypropyl stearate and glycerophosphocholine, and an under-expression of lysophosphatidylcholine and butyrylcarnitine, compared to low-fertility bulls. Higher levels of glycerophosphocholine and lysophosphatidylcholine (16:0/0:0) were recorded in fresh spermatozoa from high-fertility bulls. In high-fertility bulls, a greater content of glycerophosphocholine and lower levels of butyrylcarnitine, glycine betaine and l-carnitine were found in cryopreserved seminal plasma, and lower levels of glycine betaine were detected in cryopreserved spermatozoa. In conclusion, cryopreservation affects bovine semen metabolome at both plasmatic and cellular compartments, and metabolic profile differs between high- and low-fertility bulls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Milk Metabolomics Reveals Potential Biomarkers for Early Prediction of Pregnancy in Buffaloes Having Undergone Artificial Insemination
Animals 2020, 10(5), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050758 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 676
Abstract
This study aimed to identify potential biomarkers for early pregnancy diagnosis in buffaloes subjected to artificial insemination (AI). The study was carried out on 10 pregnant and 10 non-pregnant buffaloes that were synchronized by Ovsynch-Timed Artificial Insemination Program and have undergone the first [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify potential biomarkers for early pregnancy diagnosis in buffaloes subjected to artificial insemination (AI). The study was carried out on 10 pregnant and 10 non-pregnant buffaloes that were synchronized by Ovsynch-Timed Artificial Insemination Program and have undergone the first AI. Furthermore, milk samples were individually collected ten days before AI (the start of the synchronization treatment), on the day of AI, day 7 and 18 after AI, and were analyzed by LC–MS. Statistical analysis was carried out by using Mass Profile Professional (Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA, USA). Metabolomic analysis revealed the presence of several metabolites differentially expressed between pregnant and non-pregnant buffaloes. Among these, a total of five metabolites were identified by comparison with an online database and a standard compound as acetylcarnitine (3-Acetoxy-4-(trimethylammonio)butanoate), arginine-succinic acid hydrate, 5′-O-{[3-({4-[(3aminopropyl)amino]butyl}amino)propyl]carbamoyl}-2′-deoxyadenosine, N-(1-Hydroxy-2-hexadecanyl)pentadecanamide, and N-[2,3-Bis(dodecyloxy)propyl]-L-lysinamide). Interestingly, acetylcarnitine was dominant in milk samples collected from non-pregnant buffaloes. The results obtained from milk metabolic profile and hierarchical clustering analysis revealed significant differences between pregnant and non-pregnant buffaloes, as well as in the metabolite expression. Overall, the findings indicate the potential of milk metabolomics as a powerful tool to identify biomarkers of early pregnancy in buffalo undergoing AI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Factors That Optimize Reproductive Efficiency in Dairy Herds with an Emphasis on Timed Artificial Insemination Programs
Animals 2021, 11(2), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020301 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Reproductive efficiency is closely tied to the profitability of dairy herds, and therefore successful dairy operations seek to achieve high 21-day pregnancy rates in order to reduce the calving interval and days in milk of the herd. There are various factors that impact [...] Read more.
Reproductive efficiency is closely tied to the profitability of dairy herds, and therefore successful dairy operations seek to achieve high 21-day pregnancy rates in order to reduce the calving interval and days in milk of the herd. There are various factors that impact reproductive performance, including the specific reproductive management program, body condition score loss and nutritional management, genetics of the cows, and the cow comfort provided by the facilities and management programs. To achieve high 21-day pregnancy rates, the service rate and pregnancy per artificial insemination (P/AI) should be increased. Currently, there are adjustments in timed artificial insemination (TAI) protocols and use of presynchronization programs that can increase P/AI, even to the point that fertility is higher with some TAI programs as compared with AI after standing estrus. Implementation of a systematic reproductive management program that utilizes efficient TAI programs with optimized management strategies can produce high reproductive indexes combined with healthy cows having high milk production termed “the high fertility cycle”. The scientific results that underlie these concepts are presented in this manuscript along with how these ideas can be practically implemented to improve reproductive efficiency on commercial dairy operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
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Open AccessReview
Laparoscopic Ovum Pick-Up Followed by In Vitro Embryo Production and Transfer in Assisted Breeding Programs for Ruminants
Animals 2021, 11(1), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010216 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 424
Abstract
The potential of laparoscopic ovum pick-up (LOPU) followed by in vitro embryo production (IVEP) as a tool for accelerated genetic programs in ruminants is reviewed in this article. In sheep and goats, the LOPU-IVEP platform offers the possibility of producing more offspring from [...] Read more.
The potential of laparoscopic ovum pick-up (LOPU) followed by in vitro embryo production (IVEP) as a tool for accelerated genetic programs in ruminants is reviewed in this article. In sheep and goats, the LOPU-IVEP platform offers the possibility of producing more offspring from elite females, as the procedure is minimally invasive and can be repeated more times and more frequently in the same animals compared with conventional surgical embryo recovery. On average, ~10 and ~14 viable oocytes are recovered by LOPU from sheep and goats, respectively, which results in 3–5 transferable embryos and >50% pregnancy rate after transfer. LOPU-IVEP has also been applied to prepubertal ruminants of 2–6 months of age, including bovine and buffalo calves. In dairy cattle, the technology has gained momentum in the past few years stemming from the development of genetic marker selection that has allowed predicting the production phenotype of dairy females from shortly after birth. In Holstein calves, we obtained an average of ~22 viable oocytes and ~20% transferable blastocyst rate, followed by >50% pregnancy rate after transfer, declaring the platform ready for commercial application. The present and future of this technology are discussed with a focus on improvements and research needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies in Ruminant Breeding)
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