Author(s): George F, Kerschen D, Van Nuffel A, Rees JF, Donnay I
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Abstract The aim of the present study was to improve the sanitary quality of in vitro-produced bovine embryos by using plant protein hydrolysates (plant peptones) as substitutes for animal proteins. Peptones were compared with bovine serum albumin (BSA) as the protein source in synthetic oviduct fluid medium and the quality of the resulting embryos was determined. Two batches of peptones (wheat and cotton) were selected on the basis of their anti-oxidant properties. When added to the culture medium, both peptones (at 0.56 mg mL(-1) for cotton peptone and at 0.18 mg mL(-1) for wheat peptone) led to similar developmental and hatching rates compared with 4 mg mL(-1) BSA and embryos were equally resistant to freezing and able to elongate after transfer. Surprisingly, a significant decrease in reduced glutathione (GSH) content was observed when embryos were produced with plant peptone instead of BSA. Supplementation of the culture medium with precursors of GSH (cysteine and beta-mercaptoethanol) significantly increased the GSH content. A shift of the sex ratio towards male embryos was seen for Day 8 embryos cultured with wheat peptone, whereas no shift was observed for embryos cultured in the presence of BSA or polyvinylpyrrolidone. In conclusion, culture with plant peptones enables embryos to be obtained at a similar rate and of similar quality to that seen following the use of BSA. The use of the plant peptones increased the sanitary quality of the embryos and decreased the cost of embryo production.
This article was published in Reprod Fertil Dev
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering