Some unique buffalo calves were born at the Ontario Buffalo Company in Stirling, ON. Their genetic mothers were only 4 months of age at the time their oocytes were collected by laparoscopy, fertilized and cultured in vitro and implanted one week later in adult recipients that carried the pregnancies to term. All procedures except the transfer to the recipient cows were conducted at the Large Animal Research Unit (LARU) in Macdonald Campus, under supervision of Drs. Vilceu Bordignon and Hernan Baldassarre (Animal Science), as part of a University-Industry Collaborative Research sponsored by an NSERC grant and the industry partner.
The technology was originally developed and optimized by the Bordignon research team working with Holstein calves in 2015-2016, and more recently it was applied to Mediterranean (dairy) buffaloes, where it can be twice as significant to accelerate genetic progress, given that it takes almost two years for buffaloes to reach sexual maturity compared with one year in cattle. The buffalo calves born are the first in North America generated using these technologies.
PHOTOS: A= Buffalo calves (oocyte donors) at LARU; B= Oocytes collected by laparoscopy from one of the calves; C= Janette, the first buffalo calf from a buffalo calf born in North America' D= The Bordignon Lab Team and Ontario Buffalo Company team at LARU