An asymmetric distribution of the sexes within the left and right uterine horns has been described in multiple species. A series of experiments were conducted to evaluate the sex ratio (% male) of calves gestated in the left and right uterine horns, as well as the sex ratio of embryos originating from the left and right ovaries of cattle. The sex ratio of calves gestated in the right uterine horn of naturally mated cows was significantly higher compared with the sex ratio of calves gestated in the left uterine horn. In addition, the sex ratio of the left and right uterine horns differed significantly from parity. The sex ratio of embryo transfer calves born following transfer to the left and right uterine horns was not significantly different. Additionally, the proportion of male embryos collected from the right uterine horns was significantly greater than from the left uterine horns of superovulated cows. The sex ratio of embryos collected from the left and right uterine horns of unilaterally ovariectomized cows was not significantly different. However, more female than male embryos were produced when left ovary oocytes fertilized in vitro. In conclusion, the results of these experiments demonstrate that a significantly greater proportion of males are gestated in the right uterine horn of cattle and a greater proportion of females in the left. Additionally, the data indicate that sex-specific selection pressure may be applied to embryos by ovarian factors rather than by the uterine environment.
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Vol. 81 • No. 5