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Selected Aspects of Advanced Porcine Reproductive Technology

Kikuchi, K., Kashiwazaki, N., Nagai, T., Nakai, M., Somfai, T., Noguchi, J., Kaneko, H.
Reproduction in domestic animals 2008 v.43 no.s2 pp. 401-406
biotechnology, embryogenesis, genetic resources, in vitro culture, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, laboratory animals, oocytes, ploidy, swine
In vitro fertilization (IVF) of in vitro matured (IVM) oocytes in pigs has become the most popular method of studying gametogenesis and embryogenesis in this species. Furthermore, because of recent advances in in vitro culture (IVC) of IVM-IVF embryos, in vitro production (IVP) of embryos now enables us to generate viable embryos as successfully as for in vivo-derived embryos and with less cost and in less time. These technologies contribute not only to developments in reproductive physiology and agriculture but also to the conservation of porcine genetic resources and the production of cloned or genetically modified pigs. However, in IVP, there still remains the problem of abnormal ploidy, which is caused by performing procedures under non-physiological conditions. In recent years, unique technologies such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or xenografting of gonadal tissue into immunodeficient experimental animals have been developed to help conserve gamete resources. These technologies combined with IVP are expected to be useful for the conservation of gametes from important genetic resources. Here, we discuss the developmental ability and normality of porcine IVP embryos and also the utilization of ICSI and xenografting in advancing biotechnology in pigs.