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McNair Scholars Program

Hollie Davis


Education: Bachelor of Science in animal sciences and industry (December 2004)

McNair Project: What Effects Do Elapsed Time and Methods of Handling Have on the Amount of Atresia and Quality of mRNA Contained in the Bovine Ovarian Follicle? (2003)

Mentor: Timothy Rozell, Ph.D.

Handling methods and storage temperatures are important factors to consider when working with mRNA and follicular fluid. In past experiments consistent results were not being achieved when a RT-PCR or Northern Blot was run on the RNA aspirated from ovaries shipped from Nebraska. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if this was due to the fact that the increase of time between slaughter and aspirating the ovaries allowed the mRNA to start its degradation process before testing.

Bovine ovaries were collected from the Tyson Meat Processing Facility in Emporia, Kansas, and were transported with in two hours to the laboratory. The ovaries were divided at the processing facility into three different experimental groups. One group was transported at approximately 25 C, the second group was transported in ice, approximately 4 C, and the third group was transported after being snap frozen in liquid nitrogen, approximately -70 C. Upon returning to the lab a sampling of ovaries from each experimental group was further divided into subgroups based on time; 2 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours.

Based on the results from the experiment, the ideal time and temperature to aspirate and grade ovaries seems to be 2 hours post harvest and storage at 25 C. This group yielded the most evenly distributed numbers for grades. With this in mind I would recommend an alternate method of shipping ovaries in the future.