THE Isabela State University (ISU) Cagayan Valley Small Ruminants Research Center (CVSRRC) has announced a breakthrough in embryo transfer (ET) technology after it has successfully developed protocols for artificial insemination (AI).
Jonathan Nayga, CVSRRC director, explained that ET is a technique where embryos are collected from a superior donor female and transferred to a recipient or surrogate dam to carry the pregnancy.
“With the technology, purebred animals can be delivered using a small number of superior breeders,” Nayga added.
Headed by the university president, Ricmar Aquino, ISU said the livestock sector is one of the priority fields of ISU’s Research and Extension thrust. The university noted that through the years, it has continuously provided new options to facilitate the upgrading of stocks under CVSRRC supervision using artificial breeding technologies.
The CVSRRC started in 2009 to develop AI protocols for small ruminants, maximizing the superiority of the male breeder while allowing faster upgrading of stocks. With the completion of the laboratory and other support facilities in 2017, the university under the new leadership of Aquino proposed to explore the possibility of ET technology application.
The ET activity at ISU-CVSRRC is a project of the Department of Science and Technology Balik Scientist Program (DoST BSP) under the DoST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development or Pcaarrd support.
According to ISU, Miguel Mervin Pajate, a veterinarian and ET expert who is currently residing in Dubbo, Australia, was tapped earlier this year to serve as the expert to train ISU researchers on the technology.
Nayga also led a team that was trained on selection and preparation of donor and recipient does, superovulation of embryo donors and synchronization of recipient does, and embryo collection, grading, storage and thawing.
On Jan. 27, 2023, Nayga said an upgraded Doe became a recipient of an embryo produced from purebred Boer buck and 75 percent upgraded Doe. He noted that the animal, known as a surrogate Doe, is a native goat raised in one of the goats’ farms in the Echague town in Isabela province and that it delivered a male kid that weighs 1.5 kilograms.
Nayga said this new development demonstrated the feasibility of ET application using the facilities of the university.
At present, farms under CVSRRC’s supervision are organized to test the local protocol developed from the engagement of the DoST BSP expert.