Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research into cetacean reproduction leads to birth of killer whales by artificial insemination

13.05.2004


A systematic program of research into the reproductive physiology of killer whales by a team of scientists from SeaWorld, the National Zoological Park, and the Zoological Society of San Diego has culminated in the first live births of any cetacean--the group of marine mammals that includes whales and dolphins--by means of artificial insemination.


Mother killer whale and her male calf.



In a report set for publication in the journal Biology of Reproduction, the team, headed by Dr. Todd R. Robeck, based at SeaWorld San Antonio, notes that their research will allow sperm of killer whales in zoological facilities to be stored by a technique known as "genome resource banking" or GRB. GRB, used in conjunction with artificial insemination, could play an important role in ensuring the genetic vitality of captive marine mammals.

Robeck’s team studied one male and five female killer whales to evaluate the reproductive physiology of these animals. The females were between 13 and 20 years old and weighed about 5,000 pounds. The male was 20 years old and weighed more than 11,000 pounds. All were trained to cooperate in a variety of procedures involved in the research.


Noninvasive techniques were used to collect data on reproductive hormonal patterns of the killer whale, and ultrasound exams helped establish the time of ovulation.

Semen collected from the male orca for use in the artificial insemination trials was either liquid-stored for up to three days or preserved by freezing and later thawed.

Eight attempts at artificial insemination over the course of two years led to three pregnancies, one from thawed sperm and two from liquid-stored sperm. One male calf and one female calf were born. The third pregnant female, who died of unrelated causes, was carrying a male fetus. Paternity tests confirmed that all three calves resulted from artificial insemination.

Although killer whales are common throughout the oceans of the world, the population in zoological facilities numbers only 48, mostly in small, genetically isolated groups. Since 1985, natural breeding of captive killer whales has led to 27 births, but natural breeding sometimes requires moving animals between facilities.

Robeck and his team point out that artificial insemination capabilities will help maintain their genetic diversity.

Dr. Todd R. Robeck | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ssr.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>