In vivo rabbit embryo production and cryopreservation review. Application to ex situ conservation and rederivation




embryo, superovulation, cryopreservation, rederivation, rabbit


The development of reproductive technologies in this species is contributing decisively to the development of rabbit farming and the preservation of genetic resources. Obtaining embryos is an essential step to both genetic diffusion and the preservation of genetic resources from genetic erosion or natural disasters. In rabbits, it is common for embryos to be recovered post-mortem after ovarian hyperstimulation with gonadotrophins, although the quality and number of embryos are variable, affecting the embryo viability and offspring rate by the donor. In vivo embryo production within a conservation programme aims not only to obtain a large number of embryos, but also that they come from a greater number of male and female origins, in order to ensure an adequate representation of the original population. This is why both the quality and quantity of embryos obtained per donor rabbit and the rate of donors with offspring after embryo cryopreservation must be considered, as well as the response of the embryos to the chemical, physical and physiological stress to which they are subjected in the rederivation process and its postnatal repercussions on those that survive. Rederived rabbits from cryopreserved and transferred embryos showed phenotypic growth changes, which calls into question the neutrality of the technique and its usefulness in those cases in which a control population is required.


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Author Biographies

Jose S. Vicente, Universitat Politècnica de València

Institute of Science and Animal Technology (ICTA)

María P. Viudes-de-Castro, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA)

Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Animal (CITA)

Francisco Marco-Jiménez, Universitat Politècnica de València

Institute of Science and Animal Technology (ICTA)


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