Update on the vitrification of bovine oocytes and in vitro-produced embryos

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© 2019 IETS. The combined use of reproductive technologies, such as transvaginal ovum-pick up and in vitro embryo production followed by direct transfer of cryopreserved embryos, has great potential for enhancing genetic selection and optimising cross-breeding schemes in beef and dairy cattle production systems. This, along with an effective cryopreservation procedure for cow oocytes, will enable the long-term conservation of female genetic traits and the advance of embryo biotechnology in this species. However, the low fertilisation rates and developmental competence of cryopreserved oocytes still need to be improved. Over the past two decades, many research efforts tried to overcome individual features of the bovine oocyte that make it notoriously difficult to cryopreserve. In addition, pregnancy rates associated with in vitro-produced (IVP) embryos remain lower than those obtained using in vivo counterparts. This, together with a lack of a standard methodology for IVP embryo cryopreservation that provides easier and more practical logistics for the transfer of IVP embryos on farms, has hindered international genetic trade and the management of embryo banks. This review updates developments in oocyte and IVP embryo vitrification strategies targeting high production efficiency and better outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • cattle
  • cryoinjury
  • embryo transfer
  • lipids
  • membrane permeability


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