The in vitro development of buffalo oocytes up to the blastocyst stage was studied in serum-free, semidefined media containing bovine serum albumin, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), insulin, transferrin and selenium (ITS) and epidermal growth factor (EGF). In experiment 1, oocytes aspirated from abattoir-derived ovaries were cultured in eight serum-free, semidefined culture media containing different combinations of these four factors. In experiment 2, the maturation of buffalo oocytes and the development of the embryos were compared in a complex co-culture system and in the serum-free, semidefined media. Supplementation with FSH and EGF significantly (P0·05) increased the maturation rates of buffalo oocytes, and the yield of blastocysts was higher (P0·05) in media containing EGF and ITS. The yield of blastocysts was lower in the serum-free semidefined media (P0·05) than in the complex co-culture system.
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