National Zoo Gains a Baby Panda

PGFM Assay a Hero in Predicting Time of Birth

The overjoyed zoo staff reported their resident Giant Panda, Mei Xiang, gave birth on August 21st, 2020, and you can watch both Mei Xiang and her new cub in real time on their Panda Cam! This is Mei Xiang’s fourth cub, and at 22 years old, she is the oldest panda in the U.S. to successfully give birth1. The zookeepers are “genuinely thrilled” about the birth not only because of the age of the mother, but because pandas are notoriously bad breeders, imperiling their species’ survival both in the wild and in captivity.

Many breeding programs, like the Smithsonian’s, use assay kits to measure reproductive hormones like estrogens and progesterone to determine ovulation. PGFM, a prostaglandin metabolite, is a useful, non-invasive pregnancy marker in both urine and fecal samples for predicting parturition or the timing of birth. Arbor Assays uses a highly specific antibody to measure PGFM, and the assay has been used in humans, pandas, buffaloes, cattle, cats, dogs, and mice. In the case of Mei Xiang, our PGFM ELISA Kit made one National Zoo staff member “a hero”!

  • Measure pregnancy course in 90 minutes
  • Use fecal extracts, urine, serum, plasma, and TCM
  • Enough reagents for 39 or 231 samples in duplicate
  • No cross-reactivity to other PGF-related metabolites
  • Stable 4˚C liquid reagents
  • Well-cited in publications for use in a variety of species


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Estradiol ELISA Kits
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Estrone-3-Glucuronide (E1G) ELISA Kits
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Pregnanediol-3-Glucuronide (PDG) ELISA Kits
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Progesterone ELISA Kits
K025-H1/H5 – Citations

Testosterone ELISA Kits
K032-H1/H5 – Citations

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1. Ortiz, A. & Fazio, M. (2020). National Zoo Panda Gives BirthThe New York Times

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