W4112: Reproductive Performance in Domestic Ruminants

(Multistate Research Project)

Status: Active

SAES-422 Reports

Annual/Termination Reports:

[01/01/1970] [06/30/2023]

Date of Annual Report: 01/01/1970

Report Information

Annual Meeting Dates: 05/17/2022 - 05/18/2022
Period the Report Covers: 10/01/2020 - 09/30/2021


Brief Summary of Minutes


<p><strong>W4112</strong></p><br /> <p>Reporting period: 10/1/2020 to 9/30/2021</p><br /> <p>Meeting Date: May 17 and 18, 2022</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p><strong>Accomplishments</strong></p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Progress and Important Discoveries by W4112 Objectives </span></strong></p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Objective 1</span></strong> Elucidate fundamental cellular, physiological, endocrine, and behavioral mechanisms that regulate gamete development and quality and enhance the management of reproductive function leading to development of translational reproductive biotechnologies.</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Evidence was produced that preantral follicles, although not FSH-dependent, express FSH receptors and the cellular machinery necessary to respond to FSH, and the supplementation of high doses of FSH enhances growth of preantral follicles within the ovarian cortex. (California)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Phenotypically, the SLICK1 mutation is associated with a short, slick hair coat and confers increased thermotolerance. In SLICK1 carrier animals, the JAK/STAT signaling via pSTAT3 might be reduced in hair follicles, which may affect downstream gene transcription. However, the presence of the SLICK1 allele could provide an advantage to reproductive efficiency of Holstein heifers by improving the rate of pregnancy to first service compared to non-carrier animals. (California)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Development of bovine fluid tests to distinguish open from pregnant cows. Concept studies have been completed testing the accuracy of an early &le; day 18 Open Cow Test (OCT) test for pregnancy status and are in the middle of a 1,000-cow clinical trial. (Colorado)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>A marker for selection of in vitro derived embryos, this marker is differently expressed in morphologically (IETS scoring system) good compared to bad day 5, 6 and 7 bovine in-vitro derived embryos. Use of this marker to select the best embryos may improve embryo transfer rates in IVF-derived embryos in cows and possibly in humans. (Colorado)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>SNP associated with fertility have been identified based on gene expression in the corpus luteum, endometrium, embryo, white blood cells and milk. (Colorado)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>The secretory pattern of LH in response to E2 (25 &micro;g IM) was determined in normal weight, obesity and lean body weight, and revealed a profound alteration associated with obesity characterized by a blunted and delayed LH surge. Upon returning to normal weight, normal LH surge dynamics were re-established. The results also show that return to normal weight in ewes restores peak LH concentration and timing of the LH surge. (Colorado)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Use of sperm health-reflecting biomarkers with high throughput image-based flow cytometry (IBFC) and artificial intelligence, deep learning analysis as a method to create bioimage algorithms that can detect sperm acrosome health status (reflected by lectin PNA-Cy5) on brightfield images alone. (Iowa)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Bull breed appears to have little influence on sperm quality assessments among yearling bulls meeting threshold requirements for passing breeding soundness evaluation exams. However, reactive oxygen species proved to have a detrimental effect on spermatozoa function. (Kansas)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Altered carbohydrate metabolism within the cumulus-oocyte complex likely contributes to the decreased competency of oocytes from small pre-ovulatory follicles exposed to an exogenous GnRH-induced gonadotropin surge. (ARS-Montana)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Systemic inflammation or inability of red blood cells to carry oxygen may contribute to delayed&nbsp;puberty. (Nebraska)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A (VEGFA) isoforms (mainly angiogenic VEGFA165) can rescue the Polycystic ovary syndrome-like phenotypes in High A4 cows. Naturally occurring High A4 cows are present in beef and dairy herds in the US and other countries. (Nebraska)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Feeding spent hemp biomass to rams did not significantly affect total testicular weight, seminiferous tubule diameter, or DAZL immunoexpression. (Oregon)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Pramel1 is required to maintain normal spermatogenesis by regulating germ cell differentiation in response to retinoic acid signaling. (Pennsylvania)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Progesterone receptor membrane component (PGRMC) 1 and PGRMC2 are essential for spermatogenesis and male fertility. It is proposed that PGRMC proteins play essential and multifaceted roles in spermatogenesis during mitosis, meiosis and spermatid elongation. These studies offer the first in vivo insights into the functional role of PGRMC proteins in male gametogenesis. (Wyoming)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>The value of a breeding soundness evaluation as evidenced by ram fertility is still lacking. Passing a breeding soundness evaluation did not seem indicative of field fertility in rams. (Wyoming)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Objective 2 </span></strong>Identify impacts of reproductive management, animal management and stress on follicle recruitment, ovulation, corpus luteum function, and pregnancy.</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Oral exposure to a mixture of phthalates reduces IGF1 content and significantly disrupts the ovarian antral follicle proteome. Intrafollicular IGF1 was significantly increased in the pre-antral follicles of mice treated with the Phthalate mixture, the effects were also visible in a dose-dependent manner. (Arizona)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Cow-calf herds from the same base genetics are exposed to two different management systems: graze irrigated pastures (IRR) year-round with hay and supplement, and sagebrush steppe range (RAN) from May &ndash; December then they are managed similarly to the IRR group. Analysis of animal performance in these systems over the past 5 years demonstrated a reduction in calf growth, cow body weight and cow body condition in the RAN system compared with the IRR system. These results indicate significant differences in nutritional exposure during the first two trimesters of gestation and early calf life. (Idaho)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Energy restrictions after AI had slight negative effects on embryo developmental stage, quality and blastomeres on d 6 and d 7 without affecting progesterone or IGF-1 concentrations in plasma. Post-AI energy restriction reduced Ca and S concentrations and embryo presence reduced Mg and S concentration in flush media. Post-AI nutrient restriction for 14 days revealed similar plasma concentration of protein, glucose, cholesterol, and progesterone across diet, but NEFA was elevated among nutrient restricted heifers. When an embryo was recovered, Mg and S were decreased in uterine flush media. (ARS-Montana)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Work is undergoing to identify cell types, issues, and biological pathways that are sensitive to the maternal diet, and results will be used to develop strategic supplementation strategies to improve embryo development and pregnancy retention following periods of maternal dietary stress. (Montana)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Excess steroid production can be a major factor that causes anovulation in cattle populations. (Texas A&amp;M, Arizona, MS)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Luteolysis is associated with metabolic pathways that reduce mitochondrial energy production, stimulate free radicals and collagen synthesis and activate immune cells. (New Mexico, Colorado)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Objective 3 </span></strong>Determine mechanisms regulating normal embryo development, pregnancy establishment, and maintenance by exploring maternal and paternal factors, including genomics, immune responses, fetal programming, and conceptus/uterine signaling.</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) fetuses have altered glucose response. Prenatal therapy of both oxygen and glucose normalizes insulin secretion and whole-body glucose fluxes IUGR fetuses. (Arizona)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Evidence has been produced that IUGR presents sexually dimorphic programing of obesity, where males that had experience fetal growth restriction presented fewer fat cells compared to controls, and these effects were not observed in females. (Arizona)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>An in vivo RNA interference (RNAi) within the sheep placenta was developed to examine the function and relative importance of genes involved in conceptus development (PRR15 and LIN28), placental nutrient transport (SLC2A1 and SLC2A3), and the placenta derived hormones (CSH). (Colorado)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>The direct actions of CSH are to promote blood flow and nutrient uptake by the uteroplacental unit as present regardless of degree of severity of placental insufficiency, and CSH likely plays a role in modulating placental metabolism that ultimate promotes maximal placental glucose transfer. (Colorado)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Subcutaneous delivery of IFNT protects the ovine corpus luteum from exogenously delivered prostaglandin F2-alpha. mRNA expression of steroidogenic enzymes StAR, HSD3&beta;1, CYP11A1, transcription factors JUN and FOS, and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2) were not regulated in the corpus luteum at 48h after PGF2 challenge; however, steady state levels of luteal LHCGR, TNFaIP6, TGF&beta;2, and XIAP mRNAs were found to be higher in the IFN-infused ewes. (Colorado)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Poor maternal nutrition (over and restricted feeding) impacts metabolic factors and glucose tolerance in sheep offspring. In addition, maternal diet affects hepatic mRNA expression of specific epigenetic factors which may contribute to altered metabolism and liver function. Furthermore, both sperm small RNA composition and expression levels are significantly altered in responses to poor maternal gestational nutrition in sheep. (Connecticut)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Over-feeding during gestation increased meat tenderness, which may be due to reduced collagen cross-linking by lysis oxidase. (Connecticut)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Removal of sperm with damaged acrosomes before freezing improved field fertility in a sire specific manner. (Montana)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Nutrient restriction and melatonin supplementation alter concentrations of neurotransmitters and their metabolites in a seasonally dependent manner. In addition, maternal nutrient restriction in spring calving dams may shift fetal pancreatic islet size from medium to large clusters, while increasing the average size of the cell clusters. Conversely, melatonin supplementation in fall calving dams decreased the average size of the cell clusters, which may alter pancreatic function later in life. (Mississippi)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>There are sire-driven effects on embryonic development, embryos from sires with reduced ability to produce embryos (low performing) are delayed in development and have increased arrest at the 5-6 cell stage possibly due to a genetic or non-genetic contribution from the sperm. In addition, embryos from low performing begin development under increased stress, which impacts their ability to undergo cleavage and continue development. Their autophagic response alone is not robust enough to mitigate this stress by the morula stage, preventing a proportion from reaching the blastocyst stage. (Missouri)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Effects of sire are also encountered on placental development, using an in vitro model it is possible to identify sires with limited trophectoderm growth and PAG production that are in higher risk to experience pregnancy loss in the first 40 days of pregnancy. (Missouri)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>The addition of FGF2, LIF and IGF1 (FLI) to culture medium increase the proportion of embryos that reach the blastocyst stage. However, by day 15 of development embryos produced under the influence of FLI are developmentally like those produced in control culture medium and thus have the competency to develop into healthy offspring. (Missouri)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>IVP-derived male embryos were more susceptible to alterations in gene expression and these effects extend to the peri implantation period including genes associated with placental development. (Missouri)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Preeclampsia sFLT-1 and PLGF remained elevated months later after suppressing CXCL12-CXCR4, suggesting a clear role of CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling during placentation and provide strong evidence that altering CXCL12-mediated signaling during early placentation induces enduring placental effects manifesting later in gestation. In addition, CXCL12 stimulates production of select cytokines, rather than P4 in the CL to assist in CL establishment and survival. (New Mexico)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Restricted- and over-feeding negatively impact protein and mRNA expression of key chemokines and growth factors implicated in proper placenta development and function. (New Mexico)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Parthenogenetic embryos have different secretion patterns and products compared to normal IVF embryos. (Texas)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Repeated PGF2&alpha; release may alter steroid hormone production; however, does not negatively affect pregnancy status during the transition period to late embryonic development. (Texas)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>The current method to evaluate sire fertility using SCR does not truly represent the field&nbsp;fertility status in these groups of animals evaluated. Large variance in pregnancy loss between days 30 and 60 of gestation were observed among sires and these phenotypes should be considered when evaluating sire fertility in order to increase the score reliability. (Iowa, Missouri, Montana (ARS))</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Transcription factor (TCF) 3 and TCF12 are dynamically up-regulated in gonadotrope cells during estrus and are essential for female fertility through their regulation of <em>Lh&beta;</em> transcription. (Wyoming)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Homeostatic levels of PGRMC1 are fundamentally required for normal gestation. PGRMC protein expression is disrupted in most women&rsquo;s reproductive diseases. (Wyoming)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>There is no negative effect of seminal plasma supplementation on embryo morphology or reproductive performance of offspring. (Wyoming)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>Supplementation of 1.8 mM choline chloride to the culture medium does not impact embryo development to the blastocyst stage or pregnancy establishment. (Wyoming)</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p><strong>Collaborations</strong></p><br /> <ul><br /> <li>Tod Hansen (CSU) will analyze bovine uterine flushings from Texas for Interferon-tau concentrations.</li><br /> <li>Tod Hansen (CSU) will analyze bovine fluid samples from Montana (USDA-ARS) for Interferon-tau concentrations.</li><br /> <li>Colorado will facilitate transmission electron microscopy and histopathology analysis of sperm compared to high throughput image-based flow cytometry (IBFC) and artificial intelligence, deep learning analysis as methods to evaluate quality of sperm analyzed in Iowa.</li><br /> <li>Becky Poole (Texas) and Andrea Cupp (Nebraska) are collaborating on vaginal microbiome and perhaps uterine during puberty and after ovariectomy within our pubertal classification heifers.</li><br /> <li>Anna Denicol (California) and Andrea Cupp (Nebraska) are collaborating on collecting ovarian cortex in vivo- California and Nebraska</li><br /> <li>Dave Grieger (Kansas) and Andrea Cupp (Nebraska) are collaborating on developing professional development in reproduction for FFA instructors (High School Ag Teachers) and conducting antral follicle counts/ultrasound in heifers- K-State and Nebraska &nbsp;</li><br /> <li>Sofia Ortega (Missouri) and Ky Pohler (Texas A&amp;M) are collaborating on bi parental vs uniparental embryos/pregnancies, PAG ablation effects on pregnancy establishment, and sire effects on pregnancy establishment</li><br /> <li>Collaborations are underway with Karl Kerns (Iowa), Tom Geary and Sarah McCoski (Montana) on IVP embryos on pregnancy success</li><br /> <li>NMSU will continue to collaborate with the laboratories of Drs. Govoni &amp; Reed at Connecticut investigating the impacts that nutritional stress during gestation has on select chemokines and growth factors and their functions in the placenta using a sheep model. &nbsp;</li><br /> <li>Geary (USDA-ARS, Miles City with Sofia Ortega (Missouri), Sarah McCoski (Montana), &amp; Karl Kerns (Iowa): Embryonic cell differentiation of IVP &amp; conventional embryos as it related to pregnancy success in cattle.</li><br /> <li>Geary, Ortega &amp; Kerns: Evaluation of biomarkers on sperm involved with fertility using nano-purification and in vitro development.</li><br /> <li>Geary, Kerns, &amp; David Grieger (Kansas): Flow cytometry evaluation of bull semen.</li><br /> <li>Geary &amp; McCoski: Effects of heifer nutrition on uterine metabolome and embryonic development.</li><br /> <li>Geary &amp; Tod Hansen (Colorado): Early pregnancy diagnosis in beef heifers and cows associated with pregnancy maintenance.</li><br /> <li>Geary, Brenda Alexander (Wyoming), &amp; Michelle Kutzler (Oregon): Comparison of the ram breeding soundness evaluation with functional sperm fertility measures using flow cytometer.</li><br /> </ul>


Impact Statements

  1. Male fertility prediction improves livestock operations’ economics. Collaborators (IA, MO, MT) of the W4112 multistate reproduction group have improved the ability to measure male fertility using flow cytometry, image-based deep learning algorithms, and embryonic development in vitro. These biotechnologies enhance the male fertility prediction capabilities for livestock producers to improve pregnancy success and decrease embryonic loss associated with male subfertility, which improves economic outcomes.
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Date of Annual Report: 06/30/2023

Report Information

Annual Meeting Dates: 05/21/2023 - 05/23/2023
Period the Report Covers: 05/15/2022 - 05/14/2023


Brief Summary of Minutes

W4112 Multistate Meeting 2023 Minutes

Fairbanks, Alaska

Monday, May 22, 2023

In attendance

Virtual: Ky Pohler-TAMU, Karl Kerns-Iowa State University, Caleb Lemley- Mississippi State University

In-person: Sofia Ortega-University of Wisconsin, John Hall-University of Idaho, Rebecca (Becky) Poole- TAMU, Jeremy Block-University of Wyoming, Sarah McCoski-University of Montana, Brenda Alexander-University of Wyoming, David Grieger-Kansas State University, Andrea Cupp-University of Nebraska, Ryan Ashley-New Mexico State University, Tod Hansen-Colorado State University, Milan Shipka-University of Alaska, Leslie Edgar-New Mexico State University, Jessica Nora Drum-SDSU, John Stevens-Utah State University, Rocio Rivera-University of Missouri


8:30 am – Business meeting called to order by Sofia Ortega

  • 2022 meeting minutes approval- Ky Pohler moved to approve, Andrea Cupp second.

  • Location for 2024 meeting- Tod said Reno (2 to 4 votes), Andrea said Madison (majority votes). The 2024 meeting will be in Madison, Wisconsin.

  • New officer election- Becky Poole is the Secretary in 2023 and Chair in 2024. David Grieger will be Secretary in 2024 and Chair in 2025. Andrea moved for Jessica Nora Drum to be Member at Large and Sofia second. Jessica will be Secretary in 2025 and Chair in 2026.

  • Station updates- Started at 8:45 am and ended at 9:38 am

  • Break at 9:40 am


10:00 am – USDA update with Mark Mirando and Kamilah Grant

10:55 am – Station reports (asked to keep to approximately 15 minutes each) by Andrea Cupp-University of Nebraska, John Stevens-Utah State University, Caleb Lemley- Mississippi State University, John Hall-University of Idaho

12:00 pm – Adjourn for lunch.

1:00 pm – Station reports continued by Tod Hansen-Colorado State University, Jessica Nora Drum-SDSU, Karl Kerns-Iowa State University, David Grieger-Kansas State University (led to an open discussion on teaching methods to engage all types of undergraduate students including pre-vet, production, etc. and ensure student learning), Rocio Rivera-University of Missouri, Ryan Ashley-New Mexico State University

2:55 pm – Meeting adjourned for the day for Alaska Agriculture Tour and Salmon Bake dinner.



Tuesday, May 23, 2023

In attendance (New)

Virtual: Rick McCosh-Colorado State University


8:35 am – Impact statement workshop with Sarah Delheimer via Zoom

10:00 am – Station reports continued by Sarah McCoski-University of Montana, Becky Poole- TAMU, Jeremy Block and Brenda Alexander-University of Wyoming, Sofia Ortega-University of Wisconsin

11:30 am – Worked on impact statements for the annual report

            Gamete/Ovulation/Fertilization: KS, NE, CA, CO, IA, TX, NM – Lead KS

            Embryo Development/Recognition: UT, FL, CO, WI, WY, MT, SD – Lead WY

            Placentation/Fetal Development: MO, TX, NM, MS – Lead NM

            Postnatal Outcomes: CO, ID, MS – Lead ID

Meeting adjourned at 12:48 pm


<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Accomplishments</span></strong></p><br /> <p><strong><em>Short-term outcomes: </em></strong></p><br /> <ol><br /> <li>Established best practices for the training and evaluation of interdisciplinary statisticians, especially those working with agricultural collaborators. <em>Utah</em></li><br /> <li>We empowered researchers to better design studies in order to achieve best statistical power in generalized linear mixed models.<em>Utah</em></li><br /> <li>This project also furthered a collaboration within the W-4112 group. An MS student has completed her research in the NM station and now will be entering a Ph.D. program with W4112 member Sofia Ortega (WI station). <em>New Mexico, Wisconsin</em></li><br /> </ol><br /> <p><strong><em>Outputs from the group during this reporting period: </em></strong></p><br /> <ol><br /> <li>80 peer-reviewed manuscripts</li><br /> <li>67 published abstracts</li><br /> <li>13 Invited oral presentations</li><br /> <li>8 theses/dissertations.</li><br /> </ol><br /> <p><strong><em>Activities</em></strong></p><br /> <p><strong><em>Objective 1</em></strong></p><br /> <ol><br /> <li>We are working on the refinement of tissue cryopreservation and culture techniques that will improve the prospects of using this as a tool for fertility preservation and efficiently tap into the abundant ovarian reserve of immature oocytes, improving the efficiency of assisted reproduction in cattle. <em>California</em></li><br /> <li>We found evidence of the presence of neurotransmitters and their synthesis and metabolism in the bovine conceptus, which could have greater implications in establishing postnatal offspring behavior. <em>Colorado</em></li><br /> <li>We learned that bulls differentially capacitate and release zinc ions in response to the concentration of bicarbonate present. This is important for the development of translational reproductive biotechnologies to analyze sire fertility potential using economical methods. <em>Iowa</em></li><br /> <li>We showed that the zinc ion localization patterns exist in additional ruminants &ndash; goats. This could further our understanding of goat fertility. <em>Iowa</em></li><br /> <li>We characterized a mechanism to identify potentially differentially expressed genes between low- and high-quality bovine oocytes. <em>Utah</em></li><br /> <li>We established that cumulus cells of the ovarian follicle generate non-erythroid hemoglobin that is transported into the oocyte through transzonal projections. This non-erythroid hemoglobin seems to have at least an antioxidant role that may protect the oocyte and subsequent early embryo should fertilization occur from genotoxic stress. <em>Wyoming</em></li><br /> <li>PRAMEY may be used as a biomarker for sperm quality and sperm function. <em>Pennsylvania</em></li><br /> </ol><br /> <p>&nbsp;<strong><em>Objective 2</em></strong></p><br /> <ol start="8"><br /> <li>Understanding the roles that FSH may play in the development of preantral follicles is of critical importance as many ovarian stimulation protocols used in assisted reproduction use the hormone to promote antral follicle growth. <em>California</em></li><br /> <li>We partially confirmed our hypothesis of an association of cytological endometritis and DMI and lactation performance. Additionally, cytological endometritis at both 15 DIM and at 30 DIM was associated with days to first ovulation, and further studies should now investigate this association with subsequent reproductive outcomes (i.e., pregnancy), taking into consideration the cows&rsquo; intake. <em>Illinois</em></li><br /> <li>Identification of metabolic pathways disrupted in the d14 conceptus were identified in beef heifers exposed to a reduced plane of nutrition. These pathways may be used for targeted supplementation protocols in heifers during the post-AI feedlot to range transition to improve pregnancy retention. <em>Montana</em></li><br /> <li>The open cow test is promising. Testing will continue in clinical trials while improvements in both the level of detection and method of sample collection will continue. <em>Colorado</em></li><br /> <li>We learned that IL-1&beta; could have potential as a therapeutic treatment for enhancing uterine receptivity and improving preimplantation embryo development and survival. <em>Wyoming</em></li><br /> <li>We could determine that post-natal growth and development of calves can be programmed by exposure to choline during the preimplantation period. <em>Wyoming</em></li><br /> <li>Understanding the neural mechanisms for the generation of the preovulatory GnRH/LH surge may enable future technologies to improve fertility and may provide insight to how fertility is suppressed during stress. <em>Colorado</em></li><br /> <li>Understanding cells that make up CL will allow for the development of organoid structures that can be used in vitro to understand signal transduction and metabolic mechanisms critical for luteal function. <em>Nebraska</em></li><br /> <li>Identifying sheep that also have High A4 populations indicates that this phenomena of naturally occurring androgen excess mammalians may be more wide-spread and that they all can be utilized as models for women who have been diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). <em>Nebraska</em></li><br /> <li>Understanding how the elimination of VEGFA may affect other hormones (AMH) and follicular development and reserve are critical to elucidating VEGFA&rsquo;s function in the granulosa cells. <em>Nebraska</em></li><br /> </ol><br /> <p>&nbsp;<strong><em>Objective 3</em></strong></p><br /> <ol start="18"><br /> <li>Identification of genetic markers associated with fertility, in addition to efforts to improve our understanding of the regulation of maternal recognition of pregnancy and embryo survival. <em>Colorado</em></li><br /> <li>Improving our understanding of how BVDV programs the fetal immune system and impacts postnatal responses to secondary infections may help in identifying pregnancies and post-natal calves at risk as well as developing therapeutic approaches to control the infection. <em>Colorado</em></li><br /> <li>We showed that paternal factors at estrus, such as treating embryo recipient cows with pooled seminal plasma, decreased embryo size, increased uterine artery resistance index, and decreased birth weights. <em>Mississippi</em></li><br /> <li>Comparative animal models, such as cow and sheep, provide additional insight into the importance of glucose, fructose, minerals, and amino acids on the development of the conceptus and how dietary supplementation may enhance reproductive performance and successful outcomes of pregnancy and neonatal survival. <em>Texas</em></li><br /> <li>Increased understanding of interferon tau-induced cell signaling may provide greater insight into pregnancy recognition signaling, as well as effects of interferon tau and progesterone/progestamedins to enhance transport of nutrients into the uterine lumen that are essential for establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. <em>Texas</em></li><br /> <li>Increased understanding of prostaglandin function in the developing pregnancy. <em>Texas</em></li><br /> <li>Increased understanding of the maternal vs paternal genome contributions to pregnancy and pregnancy loss. <em>Texas</em></li><br /> <li>We characterized the various methods currently used for dealing with high missingness and zero inflation in single-cell RNA-seq data. <em>Utah</em></li><br /> <li>Suppressing CXCL12-mediated signaling during implantation induces enduring placental effects manifesting later in gestation, highlighting the importance of this chemokine axis during implantation and placentation. <em>New Mexico</em></li><br /> <li>Determined phenotypes to identify sires with potential fertility problems and developed a system to screen and identify sires of high and low fertility before they are released to the field which could improve overall herd fertility and profitability. <em>Wisconsin</em></li><br /> <li>We are working on improving embryo development in vitro through cell culture modifications. The addition of FLI has been shown to improve embryonic development, cryotolerance, and pregnancy rates. By improving the IVP system, we can improve technology adoption by end users. <em>Wisconsin&nbsp;</em></li><br /> <li>We have validated a candidate mutation responsible for the Holstein Fertility Haplotype&ldquo;HH2&rdquo;. This provides us with insights into gene function and embryo development. Moreover, by knowing the exact mutation we can phase it out of the population by selective breeding. <em>Wisconsin&nbsp;</em></li><br /> <li>Identified methods/approaches to mitigate pregnancy complications associated with LOS and enhance producer profitability. <em>Missouri</em></li><br /> </ol><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <p>&nbsp;</p>


<p>&nbsp;</p><br /> <ol><br /> <li>Abedal-Majed M.A., Abuajamieh M., Al-Qaisi M., Sargent K.M., Titi H.H., Alnimer M.A., Abdelqader A., Shamoun A.I. &amp; Cupp A.S. (2023) Sheep with ovarian androgen excess have fibrosis and follicular arrest with increased mRNA abundance for steroidogenic enzymes and gonadotropin receptors. J Anim Sci 101.</li><br /> <li>Abedal-Majed M.A., Springman S.A., Jafar H.D., Bell B.E., Kurz S.G., Wilson K.E. &amp; Cupp A.S. (2022a) Naturally occurring androgen excess cows are present in dairy and beef herds and have similar characteristics to women with PCOS. J Anim Sci 100.</li><br /> <li>Abedal-Majed M.A., Springman S.A., Sutton C.M., Snider A.P., Bell B.E., Hart M., Kurz S.G., Bergman J., Summers A.F., McFee R.M., Davis J.S., Wood J.R. &amp; Cupp A.S. (2022b) VEGFA165 can rescue excess steroid secretion, inflammatory markers, and follicle arrest in the ovarian cortex of High A4 cowsdagger. Biol Reprod 106, 118-31.</li><br /> <li>Amaral T.F., Gonella-Diaza A., Heredia D., Melo G.D., Estrada-Cortes E., Jensen L.M., Pohler K. &amp; Hansen P.J. (2022) Actions of DKK1 on the preimplantation bovine embryo to affect pregnancy establishment, placental function, and postnatal phenotypedagger. Biol Reprod 107, 945-55.</li><br /> <li>Ault-Seay T.B., Moorey S.E., Mathew D.J., Schrick F.N., Pohler K.G., McLean K.J. &amp; Myer P.R. (2023) Importance of the female reproductive tract microbiome and its relationship with the uterine environment for health and productivity in cattle: A review.</li><br /> <li>Baskaran P., Mohandass A., Gustafson N., Bennis J., Louis S., Alexander B., Nemenov M.I., Thyagarajan B. &amp; Premkumar L.S. (2023) Evaluation of a polymer-coated nanoparticle cream formulation of resiniferatoxin for the treatment of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. 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Impact Statements

  1. Nearly one-half of all pre-weaning lamb deaths occur on the day of birth with low birth weight being the single greatest contributor to lamb mortality. TX is working on elucidating mechanisms of placental development to improve placental function and reduce lamb mortality in order to improve the efficiency of ruminant livestock production systems.
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