GENT - Researchers at Ghent University have made a foal from an immature frozen egg thawed, ripened, fertilized and grown into an embryo. This was then planted in a carrying mare at the Animal Embryo Center Diergaerderhof in Maria-Hoop in Dutch Limburg. On May 12, the stallion VICSI was born, a world priest, announced the UGent Wednesday.
The name of the test tube feeder refers to the two techniques used: vitrification (an egg-freezing method) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Never before, all of these steps were successfully applied to a horse. Embryos may, however, be frozen, but not egg cells so far.
According to UGent, the technology offers great possibilities, because a genetically valuable mare does not need to decide more quickly what semen should be fertilized. This also applies to the conservation of genetic material from rare or endangered horse breeds and equidae as zebras.