Seventeenth International Congress on Animal Reproduction (ICAR 2012), Vancouver, Canada

We welcome the world to Canada, and specifically the beautiful city of Vancouver, for the 17th ICAR. We are confident that this will be a most memorable congress and that the proceedings will be a valuable contribution to the literature.

The organization of the Congress is an immense task; it would have been simply impossible without the commitment and efforts of numerous volunteers, particularly the members of the Local Organizing Committee. First, we acknowledge the willingness of the ICAR Executive Committee to accept our bid to host this congress – the first ICAR ever in Canada – and subsequently their advice regarding content and logistics. Ideas regarding themes, specific lectures and potential speakers were sought from colleagues around the world and, after many iterations, these were reviewed, revised and refined into a final programme. We are particularly grateful to the efforts of the session chairs; we tasked them with interacting with the invited speakers, receiving proceedings articles, coordinating peer reviews and ultimately chairing the session. The efforts of Prof. Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez and his colleagues at Wiley-Blackwell are deeply appreciated; they were extremely patient and supportive in receiving manuscripts and getting them typeset for publication in the proceedings supplement of RDA. Similarly, we appreciate the efforts of the staff at FASS, who provided the infrastructure and support for us to receive, review and revise abstracts. In that regard, more than 700 abstracts were submitted and getting them reviewed and ensuring revisions were done was a heroic task shared by many. Collectively, hundreds of persons served as peer reviewers for the invited articles and abstracts, making critical contributions to the quality and credibility of the proceedings.

Special thanks are owing to all of those who contributed to the Congress by accepting our invitations to serve as invited speakers, as well as those who submitted abstracts; we look forward to taking in your presentations.

We are deeply appreciative of the assistance of MCI, the professional conference organizers, who have attended to a myriad of details involved in preparing for and operating the Congress. Finally, we extend our deep appreciation to all persons and companies who made in-kind or financial contributions to support ICAR 2012.

In closing, thanks to everyone who helped make this to happen. Welcome to Vancouver and enjoy the meeting!

John Kastelic, Chairman Scientific programme

Local Organizing Committee, International Congress on Animal Reproduction, ICAR 2012

Gregg P. Adams (Chair), Lori Adams, Divakar Ambrose, Muhammad Anzar, Orleigh Bogle, Ali Honaramooz, John Kastelic, Reuben Mapletoft, Roger Pierson, Rajadurai Rajamahendran, Jaswant Singh, Jacob Thundathil, Paula Tribulo, Jimena Yapura

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Session Chairs and Reviewers

The ICAR 2012 Local Organizing Committee wishes to express sincere gratitude to the Session Chairs and Reviewers for their help with manuscript evaluations. Session Chairs are identified by an asterisk.*

Gregg P. Adams*

Fuller Bazer

Keith Betteridge

Gerrit J. Bouma

Claudia Carraro

Alberto Cebrian-Serrano

Andras Dinnyes*

John Dobrinsky*

Ina Dobrinski*

Luiz Franca

Fulvio Gandolfi*

Richard Fayer-Hosken

Robert Gilbert

Susana María Giuliano

Peter Hansen*

William V. Holt*

Shirley Johnston*

Satyun Kalkunte

John P. Kastelic*

W. Allan King*

Harpreet Kochhar*

Sergio Ledda

Pat Lonergan*

Matt Lucy*

Chis Maxwell*

Ian Mayer

Alfredo Meno

Bruce Murphy*

Szabolcs Nagy

Samuel Paiva

Jorge Piehita

Flavia Pizzi

Yves Plante

Malgorzata Pozor

Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez

Heywood R. Sawyer

Martin Sheldon

Fred Silverside

Lulu Skidmore

Steve Stice

Peter Sutovsky

William Thatcher

Regina Turner

J. L. Vaughan

Rao Veeramachaneni*

Ramakrishnan Vishwanath

Pablo Visconti