Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fertility Study Looks At Ovulation's Intricate Workings

Date:
June 21, 2005
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are getting ever closer to finding out what makes animals tick reproductively. In efforts to boost fertility in beef cattle, researchers have discovered that the follicle--a tiny structure within a cow's ovary that releases the egg--must reach full maturity for pregnancy to have the best chance of success.

Reproductive physiologist Tom Geary prepares to take a blood sample from a cow to measure her hormones. An ultrasound monitor on the right indicates this cow is 45 days pregnant.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are getting ever closer to finding out what makes animals tick reproductively. In efforts to boost fertility in beef cattle, researchers have discovered that the follicle--a tiny structure within a cow's ovary that releases the egg--must reach full maturity for pregnancy to have the best chance of success.

Pinpointing which hormonal cues enable the follicle to attain maturity is still keeping the scientists busy--but their findings are already important for livestock producers who would like to artificially inseminate all of their beef cows at the same time. The study could also shed light on issues concerning human fertility.

Tom Geary, a reproductive physiologist at ARS' Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Mont., helped conduct the studies, along with reproductive physiologist Michael Smith at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

George Perry, a graduate student who worked with Geary and Smith before joining the Animal and Range Science Department at South Dakota State University in Brookings, once theorized that follicle size might be the best indicator of a cow's readiness to ovulate and establish a pregnancy.

But in a recent study, the researchers found that when cows were allowed to naturally ovulate, it didn't matter what size their follicles were--their bodies intuitively knew when the tiny, blisterlike structures were ready to release the eggs.

To induce ovulation in cows, beef producers administer the hormone known as GnRH. As the study points out, if the hormone is injected before a follicle is mature enough, pregnancy has a lower chance of success.

Follicular cells may not be fully developed at the time of induced ovulation because they're not producing enough estrogen, according to Geary. So he and other Ft. Keogh researchers are currently looking to see if extra estrogen helps coax follicle maturity along. This work could lead to higher fertility rates in industry artificial insemination programs.

The researchers' studies relating to follicle maturity were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Fertility Study Looks At Ovulation's Intricate Workings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050619194234.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2005, June 21). Fertility Study Looks At Ovulation's Intricate Workings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050619194234.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Fertility Study Looks At Ovulation's Intricate Workings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050619194234.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins