Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Embryo Transfer, Placental Alterations, and the Developing Foal

An interesting new article from Kentucky Equine Research highlights new findings about how a recipient mare can influence the foal she is carrying.

I think if you are a breeder who uses embryo transfer, you're probably pretty savvy about how it works and what you can expect. So maybe you already knew how much a recipient mare can influence the foal - but I didn't. I knew, of course, that after the foal is born, the recipient mare has some influence in teaching the foal, and perhaps the mare's place in the herd might influence how the young horse is treated. But I was surprised to learn how much the recipient mare can influence the foal before birth.

Here's an excerpt:

“We know that the placenta does more than simply nourish the developing foal. The placenta also transmits stimuli from the maternal environment to the fetus. Those stimuli result in placental adaptations in terms of function, size, and shape,” explained Laura Petroski, B.V.M.S., veterinarian for Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

She added, “The genetic makeup of the recipient mare can also influence the genetics of the foal—a process now referred to as epigenetics.”

For the full article, click here to visit the KER website.

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