Short communication: Establishment and maintenance of donkey-in-mule pregnancy after embryo transfer in a non-cycling mule treated with oestradiol benzoate and long-acting progesterone

Marina Bottrel, Thomaz Fortes, Isabel Ortiz, Manuel Hidalgo, Jesús Dorado

Abstract


Female mules are considered as infertile; however, they could be used as recipients in interspecific embryo transfer. This study reports for the first time how it is possible to obtain the birth of a live Andalusian donkey foal after transfer a donkey embryo to a non-cycling mule. Two non-cycling mules were used as recipients, oestradiol benzoate was administered when donors showed oestrus and long-acting progesterone after ovulation. The mules also received long-acting progesterone every 7 days until 120 days of gestation. One embryo was collected from the two donor jennies and transferred to one of the mules after 5 days of progesterone treatment. Pregnancy was established and maintained after embryo transfer. The pregnant mule carried to term and delivered a live donkey foal after 375 days of pregnancy. In conclusion, non-cycling mules treated with oestradiol benzoate and long-acting progesterone can be successfully used as recipients of donkey embryos, which open new ways for the conservation of endangered donkey species.


Keywords


between-species embryo transfer; donkey embryo; mule recipient; Andalusian donkey

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2017154-11653