In Vitro Embryo Production (IVEP) is a widely dominated technology in livestock and humans.In wild animals it can contribute to the balance of the number of animals in endangered species such as the jaguar (Panthera onca), in certain biomes, allowing the increase of its genetic variability. The technique briefly comprises the following steps::
1) Oocyte collection by Laparoscopic Ovum Pick-up (LOPU) in felines;
2) In Vitro Maturation (IVM) of oocytes;
3) In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) of mature oocytes, which is the union of the male gamete (sperm) with the female gamete (oocyte) in a laboratory environment;
4) In vitro culture (IVC) of zygotes for 2 to 7 days;
5) Embryo cryopreservation and / or
6) Embryo transfer (ET) for receiving, preferably at the blastocyst stage.
The development of IVEP technologies allows the preservation of germplasm of animals of excellent genetic level, allowing to store embryos for future use.
IVEP biotechnologies include intracytoplasmic spermatoid injection (ICSI) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), a tool that may be of fundamental importance for the viability of critically endangered wild animal populations.
Laparoscopic aspirated cougar oocytes, matured in vivo (A) and not matured (B).