Original Paper

European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 239-246

Reproductive potential of domestic Ovis aries for preservation of threatened Ovis orientalis isphahanica: in vitro and in vivo studies

  • S. M. HosseiniAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Embryology, Cell Sciences Research Centre, Royan Institute, ACECR
  • , M. FazilatiAffiliated withDepartment of Food Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology
  • , F. MoulaviAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Embryology, Cell Sciences Research Centre, Royan Institute, ACECR
  • , M. ForuzanfarAffiliated withDepartment of Basic Science, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht Branch
  • , M. HajianAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Embryology, Cell Sciences Research Centre, Royan Institute, ACECR
  • , P. AbediAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Embryology, Cell Sciences Research Centre, Royan Institute, ACECR
  • , N. NasiriAffiliated withFood and Drug Engineering Group, Narges-e-Talaii Research Cooperation
  • , A. K. KavehAffiliated withDepartment of Environment
  • , A. H. ShahverdiAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Embryology, Cell Sciences Research Centre, Royan Institute, ACECRDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Embryology, Reproductive Medicine Research Centre, Royan Institute, ACECR
    • , M. R. HemamiAffiliated withDepartment of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology
    • , M. H. Nasr-EsfahaniAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Embryology, Cell Sciences Research Centre, Royan Institute, ACECRDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Embryology, Reproductive Medicine Research Centre, Royan Institute, ACECRIsfahan Fertility and Infertility Center Email author 

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Abstract

Although the potential use of reproductive biotechnology for safeguarding of endangered wildlife species is undoubted, initial evaluation of the genetic and reproductive relationship between the endangered mammals and those closely related species is indispensable. Isfahan mouflon Ovis orientalis isphahanica is now considered as a threatened species by International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Therefore, little is known about the biology of this species. This study was carried out to investigate the possible reproductive potential of domestic sheep for ex situ conservation of the Isfahan mouflon. Somatic cell cultures were taken from ear biopsies of the wild and domestic sheep and were used for karyotype analysis. Semen samples were collected by electroejaculator from the wild and domestic rams. The spermatological characteristics of the collected semen samples were determined and used for both cryopreservation and cross-insemination of the synchronized wild and domestic female sheep. To establish a cryobank for the threatened species biomaterials, freezed samples of the somatic cells and semen were transferred to a cryotank. The result suggested that Isfahan mouflon has conserved its chromosomal integrity as previously observed and contains the same chromosomal number as the domestic sheep (2n = 54). The semen samples of both species revealed similar cryoviability (>35% gross motility postthawing). Cross-insemination of both species resulted in successful pregnancy. It was suggested that domestic sheep possesses the required biological characteristics to be considered for safeguarding of the Isfahan mouflon.

Keywords

Isfahan mouflon Ovis orientalis isphahanica Domestic sheep Reproductive potential Karyotype