Reproductive Technology in Farm Animals: New Facets and Findings: A Review
Farm animal selection and reproduction are on the threshold of the application of new biotechnologies. Modern biotechnologies will allow advances to be made. Research into physiology and embryology has provided a basis for the development of technologies that increase productivity of farm animals through enhanced control of reproductive function. The livestock provides many opportunities to utilize these disciplines and evolving competencies. Artificial insemination, embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, cloning, transgenics and genomics all are components of the tool box for present and future applications. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate reproductive function has important implications for this diverse field. Several peptides play a role in determining the normal functioning of the neuroendocrine regulation of reproduction. Kiss1 neurons have emerged as primary transducers of internal and environmental cues to regulate the neuroendocrine reproductive axis. Leptin serves as a metabolic signal that acts on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis to enhance GnRH and LH secretion and ovarian function. Leptin effects on Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) /LH secretion are mediated by NPY and kisspeptin. In recent years, livestock productivity has been increased by improved reproduction. Various techniques have been developed and refined to obtain a large number of offspring from genetically superior animals or obtain offspring from infertile animals. These techniques include: artificial insemination, cryopreservation of gametes or embryos, induction of multiple ovulations, embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, sex determination of sperm or embryos, nuclear transfer, cloning, etc. Further the wide development radio-immuno-assay technology offers wide scope for improving the reproductive efficiency of farm animals. RIA technique for early non-pregnancy diagnosis can be integrated in to AI programmes in order to increase their effectiveness, reduce the unproductive period of dairy cows and increase the economic benefits to farmers. The greater challenge lies ahead for animal researchers is to integrate and potentially exploit these novel technologies in a society-friendly manner. Accepting this challenge and working towards achieving such targets should enable us to reap maximum benefits from the farm animal sector.
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