A comparative analysis of the efficacy of three cryopreservation protocols on the survival of in vitro-derived cattle embryos at pronuclear and blastocyst stages

Van Huong Do, Simon Walton, Sally Catt, Andrew W. Taylor-Robinson

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The effectiveness of three cryopreservation protocols (slow freezing, short equilibration vitrification and long equilibration vitrification) on in vitro-derived cattle embryos at expanded blastocyst and pronuclear stages was compared. 199 expanded blastocysts of good quality were assigned randomly into four treatment groups [control, non-cryopreserved (fresh, unfrozen); and the three cryopreservation methods]. The re-expansion of the cryopreserved blastocysts after 24 h in vitro culture was similar to that of the fresh control group. However, the hatching rate of expanded blastocysts after 48 h culture was significantly less for the slow freezing group (31/47; 66.0%) than for both the short equilibration vitrification (46/51; 90.2%) and long equilibration vitrification groups (42/50; 84.0%). Denuded presumptive zygotes at the pronuclear stage (14–18 h post-insemination) were assigned randomly to the same four treatment groups and, following thawing, embryos were assessed for their capacity to cleave and to develop into a blastocyst. Overall, cleavage rates of cryopreserved zygotes were significantly less than those of the fresh control. The blastocyst formation rate of slow-frozen zygotes (4/81; 4.9%) was significantly less than that of zygotes subjected either to short equilibration vitrification (18/82; 22.0%) or long equilibration vitrification (16/74; 21.6%). All cryopreservation groups showed rates of blastocyst formation that were significantly less than that of the fresh control (51/92; 55.4%). Collectively, our findings indicate that vitrification is the preferred technology to cryopreserve in vitro-derived cattle embryos at expanded blastocyst and pronuclear stages. Moreover, short equilibration vitrification technology can improve outcomes and be more efficient by taking less time to perform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Cattle
  • Cryopreservation
  • In vitro-derived embryo
  • Pronuclear
  • Slow freezing
  • Vitrification

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