Application of sexed semen technology to in vitro embryo production in cattle

Matthew B. Wheeler, Jack J. Rutledge, Amy Fischer-Brown, Tara VanEtten, Samantha Malusky, David J. Beebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Use of sexed semen in conjunction with in vitro embryo production is a potentially efficient means of obtaining offspring of predetermined sex. For thousands of years, livestock owners have desired a methodology to predetermine the sex of offspring for their herds. The ability to sort individual sperm cells into viable X- and Y-chromosome-bearing fractions made producers' sex selection dreams reality in the 1990s and now semen can be sexed with greater than 90% accuracy with use of a flow cytometric cell sorter. Several concerns regarding the implementation of sexed semen technology include the apparent lower fertility of sorted sperm, the lower survival of sorted sperm after cryopreservation and the reduced number of sperm that could be separated in a specified time period. These issues are discussed in this review. There are also a number of issues that appear to influence the success rates of using sexed semen to produce bovine embryos in vitro. These issues include reductions in fertilization rates, lower cleavage rates, blastocyst rates and pregnancy rates, partial capacitation of the sperm, dilute sperm samples and sire variation. These subjects are also addressed in this paper. Finally, we will describe a recent field trial in which female Holstein embryos produced using the combined technologies of sex-selected semen and microfluidics were transferred either as single or bilateral twin embryos into beef cattle recipients, demonstrating these technologies' contributions to viable embryo production. The results indicate that large-scale transfer of in vitro produced, Holstein heifer embryos to beef recipients is a feasible production scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2006


  • Bovine
  • Embryo
  • In vitro production
  • Sexed semen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Application of sexed semen technology to in vitro embryo production in cattle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this