Abstract #8

# 8
R. W. Rorie*1, H. R. Newberry1, T. D. Lester1, M. Acharya1, C. R. Hansen1, 1University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA.

This study examined the relationship between serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) concentration at weaning and breeding to determine if either or both measures could predict subsequent fertility of beef heifers. Blood was collected from 71 Angus based heifers at ~7 and 14 months of age and serum stored frozen (−20°C) until analysis for AMH, using bovine AMH ELISA kits (AL115; Ansh Laboratories, Webster, TX, USA). Before breeding, transrectal ultrasonography was used to determine cyclic status of heifers. Heifers received 25 mg of prostaglandin F (PGF) and those detected in oestrus were AI ~12 h after detected oestrus. Heifers not detected in oestrus after 7 days received a second PGF injection and oestrus detection and AI continued for 4 days. Ten days later, the heifers were exposed to fertile bulls for a 45-days breeding season. At 50 to 60 days after insemination, transrectal ultrasonography was used to identify pregnant heifers and to confirm conception date based on fetal size. At 60 days after bull removal, ultrasonography was performed to determine pregnancy in heifers conceiving during the breeding season and confirm continuing pregnancy in heifers previously identified as pregnant. Based on fetal size at ultrasonography, the oestrous cycle after initiation of breeding when conception occurred was estimated. For comparison, AI pregnancies were considered cycle 1, and pregnancies initiated during subsequent 21-day intervals of the breeding season were classified as cycles 2, 3, and 4, respectively. For analysis, frequency distribution was used to assign serum AMH concentration measured at weaning, breeding, and the change from weaning to breeding, into quartiles. Comparisons were then made via Chi-squared analysis for heifers in each quartile that were cyclic at synchronization, detected in oestrus, conceived after AI, pregnant at the end of the breeding season, and the estimated cycle that conception occurred. Comparison of heifers based on serum AMH quartiles at weaning failed (P ≥ 0.35) to detect any effect of AMH on subsequent heifer cyclicity at breeding, oestrous response after synchronization, AI conceptions, overall pregnancy rate, or estimated oestrous cycle of the breeding season when conception occurred. Based on AMH concentration at breeding, heifers in the lowest quartile (Q1) had a lower (10%; P = 0.02) AI conception rate than heifers in other quartiles (43 to 73%), and conceived at a later oestrous cycle (P = 0.03) in the breeding season. Comparison of heifers based on the change in AMH concentrations from weaning to breeding revealed that none of the heifers in the lowest quartile (Q1) conceived after AI, compared with 80% in the highest quartile (Q4; P < 0.001). Heifers in the lowest quartile also conceived at a later oestrous cycle in the breeding season than heifers in the other quartiles (P = 0.01). Results indicate that either AMH concentration at breeding or the change in AMH from weaning to breeding can identify beef heifers more likely to conceive to AI and to conceive early in the breeding season.