Impact of Embryo Transfer Technology on the Production of Artificial Insemination Sires for the U.S. Dairy Cattle Industry
Embryo transfer has played an important role in genetic improvement of dairy cattle over the past several decades. Embryo transfer (ET) has impacted the dairy cattle industry not only through the production of cows via ET, but also through the production of bulls who have subsequently been utilized in the artificial insemination (AI) industry. In this study we attempted to quantify the magnitude of impact that ET has made in the production of AI sires used in the U.S. dairy cattle industry. By analyzing publicly available data from five major bovine AI companies we discovered that 99% of currently available Holstein AI sires and 95% of currently available Jersey AI sires were produced via ET or had parents or grandparents produced via ET. These data clearly demonstrate the impact that ET has played in dairy cattle genetic improvement through the production of AI sires. To the best of our knowledge these data are the first to quantify the impact of ET technology on production of AI sires used in U.S. dairy cattle industry.