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<jats:p>This study assessed the interactive effects of carbohydrate type (fibre vs starch) and fatty acid (FA) supplementation (0% vs 6% calcium soaps of palm oil FA) on the post-fertilisation development of oocytes recovered from low and moderate body condition score (BCS) heifers. A secondary objective was to compare the FA composition of plasma to that of granulosa cells (GCs) and cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) from these animals, and to relate these findings to the developmental potential of oocytes. Plasma, GCs and COCs were recovered from 32 heifers on day 5 of a synchronised oestrous cycle for FA analyses. Oocytes were also recovered on days 10 and 15 of the same cycle after short-term ovarian stimulation (FSH + GnRH), and matured, fertilised and cultured to the blastocyst stage<jats:italic>in vitro</jats:italic>. High levels of dietary starch increased (<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>&lt; 0.01) plasma insulin but, together with dietary FA, reduced (<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>&lt; 0.05) blastocyst yields in low, but not in moderate, BCS heifers. Diet-induced alterations to the FA content of plasma were less apparent in GCs and COCs. In summary, although dietary lipids increased the FA content of COCs, the selective uptake of saturated FAs at the expense of mainly polyunsaturated FAs within the follicular compartment ensured that the FA composition of COCs was largely unaffected by diet. However, the concentration of saturated FAs within COCs was inherently high, and so further increases in FA content may have impaired post-fertilisation development. The data establish a robust nutritional framework for more detailed studies into the mechanistic effects of dietary composition on the post-fertilisation developmental potential of oocytes.</jats:p>

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Journal article





Publication Date





247 - 258