2010 Volume 56 Issue 6 Pages 623-629
The ability to rescue gametes from endangered or wildlife species and to subsequently produce viable embryos holds tremendous potential as a means to increase the population size of endangered or wildlife species. The objective of this study was to assess the meiotic and developmental competence of oocytes recovered from postmortem ovaries of the Indian blackbuck. Oocytes collected from the ovaries of dead blackbucks were allowed to mature in vitro and then tested for developmental potential by activation with ionomycin followed by treatment with 6-dimethylaminopurine. The average number of oocytes recovered per ovary was 10.9, and recovery of the oocytes did not depend on the presence or absence of the corpus luteum, on the side, size and weight of the ovaries or on the type of oocytes recovered. The proportion of good quality oocytes showing cumulus expansion and extrusion of the first polar body were 79.3% and 46.1% when cultured with gonadotropins. In vitro maturation studies indicated that the proportion of oocytes that reached MII stage was significantly higher when good quality oocytes (68%) were used compared with fair quality oocytes (48%) when cultured in the presence of gonadotropins. Furthermore, fifty eight percent of the in vitro matured oocytes cleaved, and thirteen percent of the cleaved oocytes developed into blastocysts. These findings suggest that the oocytes recovered from postmortem ovaries of the blackbuck can be utilized for production of embryos.