The novel reproductive biology of the female flying-fox and its implications for the successful development of an artificial insemination programme

Melville, D. F., O'Brien, G. M. and Johnston, S. D. (2011). The novel reproductive biology of the female flying-fox and its implications for the successful development of an artificial insemination programme. In Bradley Law, Peggy Eby, Daniel Lunney and Lindy Lumsden (Ed.), The biology and conservation of Australasian bats (pp. 128-135) Mosman, NSW Australia: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. doi:10.7882/FS.2011.015


Author Melville, D. F.
O'Brien, G. M.
Johnston, S. D.
Title of chapter The novel reproductive biology of the female flying-fox and its implications for the successful development of an artificial insemination programme
Title of book The biology and conservation of Australasian bats
Place of Publication Mosman, NSW Australia
Publisher Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.7882/FS.2011.015
Year available 2011
Series RZS Forum Series
ISBN 9780980327243
0980327245
ISSN 0067-2238
Editor Bradley Law
Peggy Eby
Daniel Lunney
Lindy Lumsden
Volume number 35
Start page 128
End page 135
Total pages 8
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Subjects 1103 Clinical Sciences
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Flying-fox species worldwide are under threat of extinction. Artificial insemination (AI) has the potential to play a primary role in the conservation of endangered flying-foxes, through the genetic and reproductive management of captive colonies. Semen from surviving wild populations, or from separate captive colonies, can be utilised to maintain genetic vigour, thus preventing in-breeding in potential seed populations that can then be returned to restored habitat. The development of AI technology in flying-foxes has been hampered by the atypical reproductive biology of female Megachiroptera. Pteropids have a duplex uterus, with separate cervices, and a well-defined ovarian vascular complex that provides a counter-current exchange system between the ovary and ipsilateral uterine horn. This arrangement reduces systemic circulation of steroid reproductive hormones and makes it difficult to accurately characterise the endocrinology of the oestrous cycle; it is also consistent with the apparent lack of overt behavioural oestrus in these species. Low concentrations of peripheral oestradiol also mean that vaginal cytology is not a strong correlate of reproductive status. If AI is to be utilised as a conservation strategy in flying-foxes, it is vital that an accurate method of oestrus detection or ovulation induction be established. The integrated examination of plasma hormones, behaviour and vaginal cytology, following direct hormonal stimulation of folliculogenesis in the ovaries, may improve the signal to noise ratio in this subtle physiological system. Such improved sensitivity may make it possible to develop an accurate method of oestrus detection. Combined with the continuing development of the remaining steps in AI, this will ensure the progress of establishing an AI protocol in flying-fox species.
Keyword Fruit bat
Oestrus detection
Progesterone
Pteropus
Spermatozoa
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
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