Sample records for fecundity embryo loss

  1. Transgenerational effects alleviate severe fecundity loss during ocean acidification in a ubiquitous planktonic copepod. (United States)

    Thor, Peter; Dupont, Sam


    Ocean acidification (OA) caused by anthropogenic CO2 emission is projected for thousands of years to come, and significant effects are predicted for many marine organisms. While significant evolutionary responses are expected during such persistent environmental change, most studies consider only short-term effects. Little is known about the transgenerational effects of parental environments or natural selection on the capacity of populations to counter detrimental OA effects. In this study, six laboratory populations of the calanoid copepod Pseudocalanus acuspes were established at three different CO2 partial pressures (pCO2 of 400, 900 and 1550 μatm) and grown for two generations at these conditions. Our results show evidence of alleviation of OA effects as a result of transgenerational effects in P. acuspes. Second generation adults showed a 29% decrease in fecundity at 900 μatm CO2 compared to 400 μatm CO2 . This was accompanied by a 10% increase in metabolic rate indicative of metabolic stress. Reciprocal transplant tests demonstrated that this effect was reversible and the expression of phenotypic plasticity. Furthermore, these tests showed that at a pCO2 exceeding the natural range experienced by P. acuspes (1550 μatm), fecundity would have decreased by as much as 67% compared to at 400 μatm CO2 as a result of this plasticity. However, transgenerational effects partly reduced OA effects so that the loss of fecundity remained at a level comparable to that at 900 μatm CO2 . This also relieved the copepods from metabolic stress, and respiration rates were lower than at 900 μatm CO2 . These results highlight the importance of tests for transgenerational effects to avoid overestimation of the effects of OA. © 2014 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Association of testosterone and antimüllerian hormone with time to pregnancy and pregnancy loss in fecund women attempting pregnancy. (United States)

    Sjaarda, Lindsey A; Mumford, Sunni L; Kuhr, Daniel L; Holland, Tiffany L; Silver, Robert M; Plowden, Torie C; Perkins, Neil J; Schisterman, Enrique F


    To examine whether higher T and/or antimüllerian hormone (AMH) was associated with anovulation, time to pregnancy (TTP), or pregnancy loss risk among healthy, fecund women without diagnosed polycystic ovary syndrome. Prospective cohort study conducted as a secondary analysis from the Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction randomized trial. University medical centers. A total of 1,198 healthy, eumenorrheic women aged 18-40 years attempting spontaneous pregnancy with one to two prior pregnancy losses were included. Women were categorized by baseline antimüllerian hormone (AMH), as a surrogate marker of antral follicle count, and T concentrations; the highest quartile for each was "high," and below the top quartile (i.e., lower 75% of values) was "norm," forming four groups: norm T/norm AMH (n = 742), norm T/high AMH (n = 156), high T/norm AMH (n = 157), and high T/high AMH (n = 143). Not applicable. Anovulation, pregnancy incidence, TTP, and pregnancy loss incidence. Women with high T/high AMH had a greater anovulation risk (risk ratio 1.58, 95% confidence interval 1.13-2.22) compared with women with norm T/norm AMH, but with imprecise differences in incidence of pregnancy, TTP, or pregnancy loss. Women with higher T and AMH had more frequent anovulatory cycles but with marginal impacts on TTP or pregnancy loss. A continuum of mild inefficiency in reproductive function may be related to higher T and AMH, including in fecund women with normal menstrual cycles and no clinical diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome, but with unclear effects on fecundability and pregnancy loss. NCT00467363. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. No-Disjunction and loss of anafasica Hamster-human hybrid embryos of two cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ponsa, I.; Tusell, L.; Alvarez, R.; Genesca, A.; Miro, R.; Egozcue, J.


    To investigate the possible effect anafasica the ionizing radiations in masculine germinal cells a new test it has been developed combining two techniques, the fecundation interspecific gives ovocitos hamster without area pellucid with human sperms and the fluorescent in situ hybridization in cells in interface using probes gives DNA specific centrometricas. Analyzing the segregation gives the chromosomes marked in the embryos two cells, you can detect the reciprocal products easily an anomalous segregation. Give this way the recount the fluorescent signs in the nuclei siblings and in the micronucleus it provides an esteem the due aneuploidy to errors meiotic or premiotic, with this way the resulting aneuploidy the errors in the first division mitotic the embryos, as much no-disjunction as lost anafasica

  4. Is human fecundity changing?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smarr, Melissa M; Sapra, Katherine J; Gemmill, Alison


    Fecundity, the biologic capacity to reproduce, is essential for the health of individuals and is, therefore, fundamental for understanding human health at the population level. Given the absence of a population (bio)marker, fecundity is assessed indirectly by various individual-based (e.g. semen ...

  5. Disparities in reproductive outcomes according to the endometrial preparation protocol in frozen embryo transfer : The risk of early pregnancy loss in frozen embryo transfer cycles. (United States)

    Hatoum, I; Bellon, L; Swierkowski, N; Ouazana, M; Bouba, S; Fathallah, K; Paillusson, B; Bailly, M; Boitrelle, F; Alter, L; Bergère, M; Selva, J; Wainer, R


    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of stimulated and artificial endometrial preparation protocols on reproductive outcomes in frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycles. We performed a retrospective study of 1926 FET cycles over a 3.5-year period in the Fertility Unit at a University Hospital. Stimulated and artificial protocols were used for endometrial preparation. The embryos for FET were obtained from either in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles. Live birth rate and early pregnancy loss rates were retrospectively compared. In artificial protocols, oral or vaginal administration of oestradiol 2 mg two or three times a day was followed by vaginal supplementation with progesterone 200 mg two or three times a day. In stimulated protocols, recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone was administered from day 4 onward. Vaginal ultrasound was used for endometrial and ovarian monitoring. A pregnancy test was performed 14 days after FET. If it was positive, oestradiol and progesterone were administered up until the 12th week of gestation in artificial cycles. We defined early pregnancy losses as biochemical pregnancies (preclinical losses) and miscarriages. Data on 865 artificial cycles (45% of the total) and 1061 stimulated cycles (55%) were collected. Early pregnancy loss rate was significantly lower for stimulated cycles (34.2%) than for artificial cycles (56.9%), and the live birth rate was significantly higher for stimulated cycles (59.7%) than for artificial cycles (29.1%). In frozen embryo transfer, artificial cycles were associated with more early pregnancy loss and lower live birth rate than stimulated cycles.

  6. Pregnancy loss after frozen-embryo transfer--a comparison of three protocols

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tomás, Candido; Alsbjerg, Birgit; Martikainen, Hannu


    was similar in all groups (27.7%, 29.1%, and 24.3%, respectively). Moreover, no differences were seen between groups regarding the live-birth rate (20.1%, 23.5%, and 20.7%, respectively). A logistic regression analysis showed that the type of protocol was the only predictor of pregnancy loss, while age...... of embryos and ET. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Pregnancy test rate, clinical pregnancy rate, and pregnancy loss rate. RESULT(S): The natural cycle followed by P (NC + P) was used in 26% of cycles, the natural cycle with hCG (NC + hCG) in 10%, and the substituted cycle with estrogen and P (E + P) in 64......% of cycles. The rate of transfers after thawing was similar in all groups (87.2%, 73.9%, and 87.2%, respectively). There was a significantly higher positive pregnancy test rate in the E + P (34.3%) and NC + hCG (35.5%) cycles as compared with the NC + P cycles (26.7%). However, the clinical pregnancy rate...

  7. High serum IGF-1 levels are associated with pregnancy loss following frozen-thawed euploid embryo transfer cycles. (United States)

    Irani, Mohamad; Nasioudis, Dimitrios; Witkin, Steven S; Gunnala, Vinay; Spandorfer, Steven D


    An elevated level of insulin growth factor (IGF-1) in rat uterine fluid has been shown to exert detrimental effects of embryo development possibly leading to an increase in pregnancy loss. Interestingly, the administration of somatostatin to rats undergoing superovulation reduced IGF-1 levels in uterine luminal fluid and thus reversed its deleterious effects on embryo development and increased the number of normal embryos. Therefore, we investigated whether serum levels of IGF-1 correlate with the incidence of pregnancy loss following IVF. To account for aneuploidy and the effect of hormonal supplementation on serum IGF levels, we only included natural frozen-thawed euploid embryo transfer (N-FET) cycles. Sera collected in the follicular phase (cycle day 10) were tested for levels of IGF-1, IGF-2, and IGF-binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) using quantitative ELISA. A total of 156 N-FET cycles were included: 120 resulted in a live birth whereas 36 led to a first trimester pregnancy loss. Women with a pregnancy loss had significantly higher serum IGF-1 levels compared to those who achieved a live birth (18.0 ± 1.1 vs. 14.6 ± 0.7 ng/mL, respectively). The two groups had comparable serum IGF-2 and IGFBP-1 levels. There was no significant difference in maternal age, body mass index, gravidity, parity, number of prior miscarriages, peak endometrial thickness, or infertility diagnosis between the two groups. In conclusion, women undergoing euploid blastocyst transfer with elevated serum IGF-1 concentrations may be at increased risk of pregnancy loss. This may constitute a novel molecular explanation of pregnancy loss of euploid conceptus. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Caffeine intake and fecundability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tina Kold; Henriksen, T B; Hjollund, N H


    and caffeine intake from different sources on the probability of conception. From 1992 to 1995, a total of 430 couples were recruited after a nationwide mailing of a personal letter to 52,255 trade union members who were 20 to 35 years old, lived with a partner, and had no previous reproductive experience...... of menstrual cycle. No dose-response relationship was found among smokers. Among males, the same decline in point estimates of the FR was present. Smoking women whose only source of caffeine was coffee (>300 mg/d) had a reduced fecundability odds-ratio (FR = 0.34; 95% CI 0.12-0.98). An interaction between...

  9. Embryotoxic cytokines-Potential roles in embryo loss and fetal programming. (United States)

    Robertson, Sarah A; Chin, Peck-Yin; Femia, Joseph G; Brown, Hannah M


    Cytokines in the reproductive tract environment at conception mediate a dialogue between the embryo and maternal tissues to profoundly influence embryo development and implantation success. Through effects on gene expression and the cell stress response, cytokines elicit an epigenetic impact with consequences for placental development and fetal growth, which in turn affect metabolic phenotype and long-term health of offspring. There is substantial evidence demonstrating that pro-survival cytokines, such as GM-CSF, CSF1, LIF, HB-EGF and IGFII, support embryos to develop optimally. Less attention has been paid to cytokines that adversely impact embryo development, including the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF, TRAIL and IFNG. These agents elicit cell stress, impair cell survival and retard blastocyst development, and at sufficiently high concentrations, can cause embryo demise. Experiments in mice suggest these so-called 'embryotoxic' cytokines can harm embryos through pro-apoptotic and adverse programming effects, as well as indirectly suppressing uterine receptivity through the maternal immune response. Embryotrophic factors may mitigate against and protect from these adverse effects. Thus, the balance between embryotrophic and embryotoxic cytokines can impart effects on embryo development and implantation, and has the potential to contribute to endometrial 'biosensor' function to mediate embryo selection. Embryotoxic cytokines can be elevated in plasma and reproductive tract tissues in inflammatory conditions including infection, diabetes, obesity, PCOS and endometriosis. Studies are therefore warranted to investigate whether excessive embryotoxic cytokines contribute to infertility and recurrent implantation failure in women, and compromised reproductive performance in livestock animals. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Optimization of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing for loss-of-function in the early chick embryo. (United States)

    Gandhi, Shashank; Piacentino, Michael L; Vieceli, Felipe M; Bronner, Marianne E


    The advent of CRISPR/Cas9 has made genome editing possible in virtually any organism, including those not previously amenable to genetic manipulations. Here, we present an optimization of CRISPR/Cas9 for application to early avian embryos with improved efficiency via a three-fold strategy. First, we employed Cas9 protein flanked with two nuclear localization signal sequences for improved nuclear localization. Second, we used a modified guide RNA (gRNA) scaffold that obviates premature termination of transcription and unstable Cas9-gRNA interactions. Third, we used a chick-specific U6 promoter that yields 4-fold higher gRNA expression than the previously utilized human U6. For rapid screening of gRNAs for in vivo applications, we also generated a chicken fibroblast cell line that constitutively expresses Cas9. As proof of principle, we performed electroporation-based loss-of-function studies in the early chick embryo to knock out Pax7 and Sox10, key transcription factors with known functions in neural crest development. The results show that CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion causes loss of their respective proteins and transcripts, as well as predicted downstream targets. Taken together, the results reveal the utility of this optimized CRISPR/Cas9 method for targeted gene knockout in chicken embryos in a manner that is reproducible, robust and specific. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The transcription factor FoxB mediates temporal loss of cellular competence for notochord induction in ascidian embryos. (United States)

    Hashimoto, Hidehiko; Enomoto, Takashi; Enomoto, Atsushi; Kumano, Gaku; Nishida, Hiroki


    In embryos of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi, the competence of isolated presumptive notochord blastomeres to respond to fibroblast growth factor (FGF) for induction of the primary notochord decays by 1 hour after cleavage from the 32- to 64-cell stage. This study analyzes the molecular mechanisms responsible for this loss of competence and provides evidence for a novel mechanism. A forkhead family transcription factor, FoxB, plays a role in competence decay by preventing the induction of notochord-specific Brachyury (Bra) gene expression by the FGF/MAPK signaling pathway. Unlike the mechanisms reported previously in other animals, no component in the FGF signal transduction cascade appeared to be lost or inactivated at the time of competence loss. Knockdown of FoxB functions allowed the isolated cells to retain their competence for a longer period, and to respond to FGF with expression of Bra beyond the stage at which competence was normally lost. FoxB acts as a transcription repressor by directly binding to the cis-regulatory element of the Bra gene. Our results suggest that FoxB prevents ectopic induction of the notochord fate within the cells that assume a default nerve cord fate, after the stage when notochord induction has been completed. The merit of this system is that embryos can use the same FGF signaling cascade again for another purpose in the same cell lineage at later stages by keeping the signaling cascade itself available. Temporally and spatially regulated FoxB expression in nerve cord cells was promoted by the ZicN transcription factor and absence of FGF/MAPK signaling.

  12. Time-lapse culture with morphokinetic embryo selection improves pregnancy and live birth chances and reduces early pregnancy loss: a meta-analysis. (United States)

    Pribenszky, Csaba; Nilselid, Anna-Maria; Montag, Markus


    Embryo evaluation and selection is fundamental in clinical IVF. Time-lapse follow-up of embryo development comprises undisturbed culture and the application of the visual information to support embryo evaluation. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was carried out to study whether time-lapse monitoring with the prospective use of a morphokinetic algorithm for selection of embryos improves overall clinical outcome (pregnancy, early pregnancy loss, stillbirth and live birth rate) compared with embryo selection based on single time-point morphology in IVF cycles. The meta-analysis of five randomized controlled trials (n = 1637) showed that the application of time-lapse monitoring was associated with a significantly higher ongoing clinical pregnancy rate (51.0% versus 39.9%), with a pooled odds ratio of 1.542 (P loss (15.3% versus 21.3%; OR: 0.662; P = 0.019) and a significantly increased live birth rate (44.2% versus 31.3%; OR 1.668; P = 0.009). Difference in stillbirth was not significant between groups (4.7% versus 2.4%). Quality of the evidence was moderate to low owing to inconsistencies across the studies. Selective application and variability were also limitations. Although time-lapse is shown to significantly improve overall clinical outcome, further high-quality evidence is needed before universal conclusions can be drawn. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. DNA damage and apoptosis of endometrial cells cause loss of the early embryo in mice exposed to carbon disulfide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Bingzhen; Shen, Chunzi; Yang, Liu; Li, Chunhui; Yi, Anji; Wang, Zhiping


    Carbon disulfide (CS 2 ) may lead to spontaneous abortion and very early pregnancy loss in women exposed in the workplace, but the mechanism remains unclear. We designed an animal model in which gestating Kunming strain mice were exposed to CS 2 via i.p. on gestational day 4 (GD4). We found that the number of implanted blastocysts on GD8 was significantly reduced by each dose of 0.1 LD 50 (157.85 mg/kg), 0.2 LD 50 (315.7 mg/kg) and 0.4 LD 50 (631.4 mg/kg). In addition, both the level of DNA damage and apoptosis rates of endometrial cells on GD4.5 were increased, showed definite dose–response relationships, and inversely related to the number of implanted blastocysts. The expressions of mRNA and protein for the Bax and caspase-3 genes in the uterine tissues on GD4.5 were up-regulated, while the expressions of mRNA and protein for the Bcl-2 gene were dose-dependently down-regulated. Our results indicated that DNA damage and apoptosis of endometrial cells were important reasons for the loss of implanted blastocysts induced by CS 2 . - Highlights: • We built an animal model of CS2 exposure during blastocyst implantation. • Endometrial cells were used in the comet assay to detect DNA damage. • CS2 exposure caused DNA damage and endometrial cell apoptosis. • DNA damage and endometrial cell apoptosis were responsible for embryo loss

  14. DNA damage and apoptosis of endometrial cells cause loss of the early embryo in mice exposed to carbon disulfide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Bingzhen [Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan (China); Shen, Chunzi [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zibo (China); Yang, Liu; Li, Chunhui; Yi, Anji [Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan (China); Wang, Zhiping, E-mail: [Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan (China)


    Carbon disulfide (CS{sub 2}) may lead to spontaneous abortion and very early pregnancy loss in women exposed in the workplace, but the mechanism remains unclear. We designed an animal model in which gestating Kunming strain mice were exposed to CS{sub 2} via i.p. on gestational day 4 (GD4). We found that the number of implanted blastocysts on GD8 was significantly reduced by each dose of 0.1 LD{sub 50} (157.85 mg/kg), 0.2 LD{sub 50} (315.7 mg/kg) and 0.4 LD{sub 50} (631.4 mg/kg). In addition, both the level of DNA damage and apoptosis rates of endometrial cells on GD4.5 were increased, showed definite dose–response relationships, and inversely related to the number of implanted blastocysts. The expressions of mRNA and protein for the Bax and caspase-3 genes in the uterine tissues on GD4.5 were up-regulated, while the expressions of mRNA and protein for the Bcl-2 gene were dose-dependently down-regulated. Our results indicated that DNA damage and apoptosis of endometrial cells were important reasons for the loss of implanted blastocysts induced by CS{sub 2}. - Highlights: • We built an animal model of CS2 exposure during blastocyst implantation. • Endometrial cells were used in the comet assay to detect DNA damage. • CS2 exposure caused DNA damage and endometrial cell apoptosis. • DNA damage and endometrial cell apoptosis were responsible for embryo loss.

  15. Transfer, loss and physical processing of water in hit-and-run collisions of planetary embryos (United States)

    Burger, C.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C. M.


    Collisions between large, similar-sized bodies are believed to shape the final characteristics and composition of terrestrial planets. Their inventories of volatiles such as water are either delivered or at least significantly modified by such events. Besides the transition from accretion to erosion with increasing impact velocity, similar-sized collisions can also result in hit-and-run outcomes for sufficiently oblique impact angles and large enough projectile-to-target mass ratios. We study volatile transfer and loss focusing on hit-and-run encounters by means of smooth particle hydrodynamics simulations, including all main parameters: impact velocity, impact angle, mass ratio and also the total colliding mass. We find a broad range of overall water losses, up to 75% in the most energetic hit-and-run events, and confirm the much more severe consequences for the smaller body also for stripping of volatile layers. Transfer of water between projectile and target inventories is found to be mostly rather inefficient, and final water contents are dominated by pre-collision inventories reduced by impact losses, for similar pre-collision water mass fractions. Comparison with our numerical results shows that current collision outcome models are not accurate enough to reliably predict these composition changes in hit-and-run events. To also account for non-mechanical losses, we estimate the amount of collisionally vaporized water over a broad range of masses and find that these contributions are particularly important in collisions of ˜ Mars-sized bodies, with sufficiently high impact energies, but still relatively low gravity. Our results clearly indicate that the cumulative effect of several (hit-and-run) collisions can efficiently strip protoplanets of their volatile layers, especially the smaller body, as it might be common, e.g., for Earth-mass planets in systems with Super-Earths. An accurate model for stripping of volatiles that can be included in future planet

  16. Differential Fecundity, Markets and Gender Roles


    Aloysius Siow


    Women are fecund for a shorter period of their lives than men. This paper investigates how differential fecundity interacts with marriage, labor and financial markets to affect gender roles. The main findings of the paper are: (i) Differential fecundity does not have any market invariant gender effect. (ii) Gender roles depend on competition for mates in the marriage market and the way in which ex-post differences in earnings affect that competition. (iii) Gender differences in the labor mark...

  17. Fecundity compensation and tolerance to a sterilizing pathogen in Daphnia. (United States)

    Vale, P F; Little, T J


    Hosts are armed with several lines of defence in the battle against parasites: they may prevent the establishment of infection, reduce parasite growth once infected or persevere through mechanisms that reduce the damage caused by infection, called tolerance. Studies on tolerance in animals have focused on mortality, and sterility tolerance has not been investigated experimentally. Here, we tested for genetic variation in the multiple steps of defence when the invertebrate Daphnia magna is infected with the sterilizing bacterial pathogen Pasteuria ramosa: anti-infection resistance, anti-growth resistance and the ability to tolerate sterilization once infected. When exposed to nine doses of a genetically diverse pathogen inoculum, six host genotypes varied in their average susceptibility to infection and in their parasite loads once infected. How host fecundity changed with increasing parasite loads did not vary between genotypes, indicating that there was no genetic variation for this measure of fecundity tolerance. However, genotypes differed in their level of fecundity compensation under infection, and we discuss how, by increasing host fitness without targeting parasite densities, fecundity compensation is consistent with the functional definition of tolerance. Such infection-induced life-history shifts are not traditionally considered to be part of the immune response, but may crucially reduce harm (in terms of fitness loss) caused by disease, and are a distinct source of selection on pathogens. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Effect of Bacterial Endotoxins on Superovulated Mouse Embryos In Vivo: Is CSF-1 Involved in Endotoxin-Induced Pregnancy Loss?

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    Yogesh Kumar Jaiswal


    Full Text Available Mammalian embryonic development is regulated by several cytokines and growth factors from embryonic or maternal origins. Since CSF-1 plays important role in embryonic development and implantation, we investigated its role in gram-negative bacterial LPS-induced implantation failure. The effect of LPS on normal (nonsuperovulated and superovulated in vivo-produced embryos was assessed by signs of morphological degeneration. A significantly similar number of morphologically degenerated embryos recovered from both nonsuperovulated and superovulated LPS treated animals on day 2.5 of pregnancy onwards were morphologically and developmentally abnormal as compared to their respective controls (P < .001. Normal CSF-1 expression level and pattern were also altered through the preimplantation period in the mouse embryos and uterine horns after LPS treatment. This deviation from the normal pattern and level of CSF-1 expression in the preimplantation embryos and uterine tissues suggest a role for CSF-1 in LPS-induced implantation failure.

  19. Solar cycle predicts folate-sensitive neonatal genotypes at discrete phases of the first trimester of pregnancy: a novel folate-related human embryo loss hypothesis. (United States)

    Lucock, Mark; Glanville, Tracey; Yates, Zoë; Walker, James; Furst, John; Simpson, Nigel


    Folate, a key periconceptional nutrient, is ultraviolet light (UV-R) sensitive. We therefore hypothesise that a relationship exists between sunspot activity, a proxy for total solar irradiance (particularly UV-R) reaching Earth, and the occurrence of folate-sensitive, epigenomic-related neonatal genotypes during the first trimester of pregnancy. Limited data is provided to support the hypothesis that the solar cycle predicts folate-related human embryo loss: 379 neonates born at latitude 54°N between 1998 and 2000 were examined for three folate-sensitive, epigenome-related polymorphisms, with solar activity for trimester one accessed via the Royal Greenwich Observatory-US Air force/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sunspot Database (34,110 total observation days). Logistic regression showed solar activity predicts C677T-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (C677T-MTHFR) and A66G-methionine synthase reductase (A66G-MSR) genotype at discrete phases of trimester one. Total and maximal sunspot activity predicts C677T-MTHFR genotype for days 31-60 of trimester one (p=0.0181 and 0.0366, respectively) and A66G-MSR genotype for days 61-90 of trimester one (p=0.0072 and 0.0105, respectively). Loss of UV-R sensitive folate associated with the sunspot cycle might therefore interact with variant folate genes to perturb DNA methylation and/or elaboration of the primary base sequence (thymidylate synthesis), as well as increase embryo-toxic homocysteine. We hypothesise that this may influence embryo viability leading to 677CC-MTHFR and 66GG-MSR embryo loss at times of increased solar activity. This provides an interesting and plausible link between well recognised 'folate gene originated developmental disorders' and 'solar activity/seasonality modulated developmental disorders'. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Markov Chain Estimation of Avian Seasonal Fecundity (United States)

    To explore the consequences of modeling decisions on inference about avian seasonal fecundity we generalize previous Markov chain (MC) models of avian nest success to formulate two different MC models of avian seasonal fecundity that represent two different ways to model renestin...

  1. Embryo splitting

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    Karl Illmensee


    Full Text Available Mammalian embryo splitting has successfully been established in farm animals. Embryo splitting is safely and efficiently used for assisted reproduction in several livestock species. In the mouse, efficient embryo splitting as well as single blastomere cloning have been developed in this animal system. In nonhuman primates embryo splitting has resulted in several pregnancies. Human embryo splitting has been reported recently. Microsurgical embryo splitting under Institutional Review Board approval has been carried out to determine its efficiency for blastocyst development. Embryo splitting at the 6–8 cell stage provided a much higher developmental efficiency compared to splitting at the 2–5 cell stage. Embryo splitting may be advantageous for providing additional embryos to be cryopreserved and for patients with low response to hormonal stimulation in assisted reproduction programs. Social and ethical issues concerning embryo splitting are included regarding ethics committee guidelines. Prognostic perspectives are presented for human embryo splitting in reproductive medicine.

  2. Reduced ovulation rate, failure to be mated and fertilization failure/embryo loss are the underlying causes of poor reproductive performance in juvenile ewes. (United States)

    Edwards, Sara J; Smaill, Bronwyn; O'Connell, Anne R; Johnstone, Peter D; Stevens, David R; Quirke, Laurel D; Farquhar, Philip A; Juengel, Jennifer L


    A ewe that is mated as a juvenile (producing a lamb at 1 year of age) will produce an average of only 0.6 lambs to weaning, compared to an average of 1.2 lambs in adult ewes. Understanding the underlying causes of this low reproductive efficiency and designing methods to improve or mitigate these effects could potentially increase adoption of mating juvenile ewes. In Experiment 1, 2 Cohorts of ewes, born a year apart, were mated in order to lamb at 1 and 2 years of age and the performance of the ewes at each age was compared. Onset of puberty, mating by the fertile ram, ovulation rate, early pregnancy (day 30-35) litter size, number of lambs born and number of lambs weaned were measured. In juvenile ewes, by day 35 of pregnancy, 43% of ova had failed to become a viable embryo and this early loss was the largest contributor to the poor reproductive performance observed. Compared with young adult ewes, ovulation rate was lower (pewes with a greater ovulation rate (pewes, failure to mate with the ram, lower ovulation rate and increased fertilisation failure/embryo loss underlie their poor reproductive performance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Selective loss of mouse embryos due to the expression of transgenic major histocompatibility class I molecules early in embryogenesis. (United States)

    Aït-Azzouzene, D; Langkopf, A; Cohen, J; Bleux, C; Gendron, M C; Kanellopoulos-Langevin, C


    Among the numerous hypotheses proposed to explain the absence of fetal rejection by the mother in mammals, it has been suggested that regulation of expression of the polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) at the fetal-maternal interface plays a major role. In addition to a lack of MHC gene expression in the placenta throughout gestation, the absence of polymorphic MHC molecules on the early embryo, as well as their low level of expression after midgestation, could contribute to this important biologic phenomenon. In order to test this hypothesis, we have produced transgenic mice able to express polymorphic MHC class I molecules early in embryogenesis. We have placed the MHC class la gene H-2Kb under the control of a housekeeping gene promoter, the hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMG) gene minimal promoter. This construct has been tested for functionality after transfection into mouse fibroblast L cells. The analysis of three founder transgenic mice and their progeny suggested that fetoplacental units that could express the H-2Kb heavy chains are unable to survive in utero beyond midgestation. We have shown further that a much higher resorption rate, on days 11 to 13 of embryonic development, is observed among transgenic embryos developing from eggs microinjected at the one-cell stage with the pHMG-Kb construct than in control embryos. This lethality is not due to immune phenomena, since it is observed in histocompatible combinations between mother and fetus. These results are discussed in the context of what is currently known about the regulation of MHC expression at the fetal-maternal interface and in various transgenic mouse models.

  4. Loss of Smyhc1 or Hsp90alpha1 function results in different effects on myofibril organization in skeletal muscles of zebrafish embryos.

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    Marta Codina

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Myofibrillogenesis requires the correct folding and assembly of sarcomeric proteins into highly organized sarcomeres. Heat shock protein 90alpha1 (Hsp90alpha1 has been implicated as a myosin chaperone that plays a key role in myofibrillogenesis. Knockdown or mutation of hsp90alpha1 resulted in complete disorganization of thick and thin filaments and M- and Z-line structures. It is not clear whether the disorganization of these sarcomeric structures is due to a direct effect from loss of Hsp90alpha1 function or indirectly through the disorganization of myosin thick filaments. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we carried out a loss-of-function analysis of myosin thick filaments via gene-specific knockdown or using a myosin ATPase inhibitor BTS (N-benzyl-p-toluene sulphonamide in zebrafish embryos. We demonstrated that knockdown of myosin heavy chain 1 (myhc1 resulted in sarcomeric defects in the thick and thin filaments and defective alignment of Z-lines. Similarly, treating zebrafish embryos with BTS disrupted thick and thin filament organization, with little effect on the M- and Z-lines. In contrast, loss of Hsp90alpha1 function completely disrupted all sarcomeric structures including both thick and thin filaments as well as the M- and Z-lines. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Together, these studies indicate that the hsp90alpha1 mutant phenotype is not simply due to disruption of myosin folding and assembly, suggesting that Hsp90alpha1 may play a role in the assembly and organization of other sarcomeric structures.

  5. Loss of maternal ATRX results in centromere instability and aneuploidy in the mammalian oocyte and pre-implantation embryo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Baumann


    Full Text Available The α-thalassemia/mental retardation X-linked protein (ATRX is a chromatin-remodeling factor known to regulate DNA methylation at repetitive sequences of the human genome. We have previously demonstrated that ATRX binds to pericentric heterochromatin domains in mouse oocytes at the metaphase II stage where it is involved in mediating chromosome alignment at the meiotic spindle. However, the role of ATRX in the functional differentiation of chromatin structure during meiosis is not known. To test ATRX function in the germ line, we developed an oocyte-specific transgenic RNAi knockdown mouse model. Our results demonstrate that ATRX is required for heterochromatin formation and maintenance of chromosome stability during meiosis. During prophase I arrest, ATRX is necessary to recruit the transcriptional regulator DAXX (death domain associated protein to pericentric heterochromatin. At the metaphase II stage, transgenic ATRX-RNAi oocytes exhibit abnormal chromosome morphology associated with reduced phosphorylation of histone 3 at serine 10 as well as chromosome segregation defects leading to aneuploidy and severely reduced fertility. Notably, a large proportion of ATRX-depleted oocytes and 1-cell stage embryos exhibit chromosome fragments and centromeric DNA-containing micronuclei. Our results provide novel evidence indicating that ATRX is required for centromere stability and the epigenetic control of heterochromatin function during meiosis and the transition to the first mitosis.

  6. Markov Chain Estimation of Avian Seasonal Fecundity, Presentation (United States)

    Avian seasonal fecundity is of interest from evolutionary, ecological, and conservation perspectives. However, direct estimation of seasonal fecundity is difficult, especially with multibrooded birds, and models representing the renesting and quitting processes are usually requi...

  7. The Genealogical Consequences of Fecundity Variance Polymorphism (United States)

    Taylor, Jesse E.


    The genealogical consequences of within-generation fecundity variance polymorphism are studied using coalescent processes structured by genetic backgrounds. I show that these processes have three distinctive features. The first is that the coalescent rates within backgrounds are not jointly proportional to the infinitesimal variance, but instead depend only on the frequencies and traits of genotypes containing each allele. Second, the coalescent processes at unlinked loci are correlated with the genealogy at the selected locus; i.e., fecundity variance polymorphism has a genomewide impact on genealogies. Third, in diploid models, there are infinitely many combinations of fecundity distributions that have the same diffusion approximation but distinct coalescent processes; i.e., in this class of models, ancestral processes and allele frequency dynamics are not in one-to-one correspondence. Similar properties are expected to hold in models that allow for heritable variation in other traits that affect the coalescent effective population size, such as sex ratio or fecundity and survival schedules. PMID:19433628

  8. Superfetation increases total fecundity in a viviparous fish regardless of the ecological context (United States)

    Zúñiga-Vega, J. Jaime; Olivera-Tlahuel, Claudia; Molina-Moctezuma, Alejandro


    Superfetation is the ability of females to simultaneously carry multiple broods of embryos at different developmental stages. This is an uncommon reproductive strategy that has evolved independently several times in viviparous fishes. The ecological conditions that favor higher degrees of superfetation (the presence of more simultaneous broods) still remain unclear. In this study we tested hypotheses about the potential effects of three particular ecological factors (water flow velocity, population density, and adult mortality) on superfetation. We used data on six populations of one fish species from the family Poeciliidae (Poeciliopsis baenschi) and a multimodel inference framework to test these hypotheses. We found no clear associations between the degree of superfetation and these ecological factors. Instead, we found a positive relationship between the total number of embryos carried by females and superfetation. Females increased their total fecundity as they overlapped more broods and this pattern was independent of the particular ecological conditions. Thus, in P. baenschi superfetation may facilitate a greater reproductive output. In addition, this positive relationship between total number of embryos and superfetation was stronger in small- and medium-sized females, whereas large females produced few or no simultaneous broods regardless of their total fecundity. The observed lack of association between superfetation and ecological variables is noteworthy because previous studies on other congeneric species have found that superfetation may vary as a function of water flow velocity or food availability. Our results indicate that the effect of particular selective factors on the degree of superfetation may differ among closely related species.

  9. What prolongs a butterfly's life?: Trade-offs between dormancy, fecundity and body size.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Haeler

    Full Text Available In butterflies, life span often increases only at the expense of fecundity. Prolonged life span, on the other hand, provides more opportunities for oviposition. Here, we studied the association between life span and summer dormancy in two closely related species of Palearctic Meadow Brown butterflies, the endemic Maniola nurag and the widespread M. jurtina, from two climatic provenances, a Mediterranean and a Central European site, and tested the relationships between longevity, body size and fecundity. We experimentally induced summer dormancy and hence prolonged the butterflies' life in order to study the effects of such a prolonged life. We were able to modulate longevity only in Mediterranean females by rearing them under summer photoperiodic conditions (light 16 h : dark 8 h, thereby more than doubling their natural life span, to up to 246 days. Central European individuals kept their natural average live span under all treatments, as did Mediterranean individuals under autumn treatment (light 11: dark 13. Body size only had a significant effect in the smaller species, M. nurag, where it affected the duration of dormancy and lifetime fecundity. In the larger species, M. jurtina, a prolonged adult life span did, surprisingly, not convey any fecundity loss. In M. nurag, which generally deposited fewer eggs, extended life had a fecundity cost. We conclude that Mediterranen M. jurtina butterflies have an extraordinary plasticity in aging which allows them to extend life span in response to adverse environmental conditions and relieve the time limitation on egg-laying while maintaining egg production at equal levels.

  10. Epidemiologic methods for investigating male fecundity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jørn Olsen


    Full Text Available Fertility is a couple concept that has been measured since the beginning of demography, and male fecundity (his biological capacity to reproduce is a component of the fertility rate. Unfortunately, we have no way of measuring the male component directly, although several indirect markers can be used. Population registers can be used to monitor the proportion of childless couples, couples who receive donor semen, trends in dizygotic twinning, and infertility diagnoses. Studies using time-to-pregnancy (TTP may identify couple subfecundity, and TTP data will correlate with sperm quality and quantity as well as sexual activity and a number of other conditions. Having exposure data available for couples with a fecund female partner would make TTP studies of interest in identifying exposures that may affect male fecundity. Biological indicators such as sperm quality and quantity isolate the male component of fertility, and semen data therefore remain an important source of information for research. Unfortunately, often over half of those invited to provide a sperm sample will refuse, and the study is then subject to a selection that may introduce bias. Because the most important time windows for exposures that impair semen production could be early fetal life, puberty, and the time of ejaculation; longitudinal data over decades of time are required. The ongoing monitoring of semen quality and quantity should continue, and surveys monitoring fertility and waiting TTP should also be designed.

  11. Estimating limits for natural human embryo mortality [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin E. Jarvis


    Full Text Available Natural human embryonic mortality is generally considered to be high. Values of 70% and higher are widely cited. However, it is difficult to determine accurately owing to an absence of direct data quantifying embryo loss between fertilisation and implantation. The best available data for quantifying pregnancy loss come from three published prospective studies (Wilcox, Zinaman and Wang with daily cycle by cycle monitoring of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG in women attempting to conceive. Declining conception rates cycle by cycle in these studies indicate that a proportion of the study participants were sub-fertile. Hence, estimates of fecundability and pre-implantation embryo mortality obtained from the whole study cohort will inevitably be biased. This new re-analysis of aggregate data from these studies confirms the impression that discrete fertile and sub-fertile sub-cohorts were present. The proportion of sub-fertile women in the three studies was estimated as 28.1% (Wilcox, 22.8% (Zinaman and 6.0% (Wang. The probability of conceiving an hCG pregnancy (indicating embryo implantation was, respectively, 43.2%, 38.1% and 46.2% among normally fertile women, and 7.6%, 2.5% and 4.7% among sub-fertile women. Pre-implantation loss is impossible to calculate directly from available data although plausible limits can be estimated. Based on this new analysis and a model for evaluating reproductive success and failure it is proposed that a plausible range for normal human embryo and fetal mortality from fertilisation to birth is 40-60%.

  12. Spatial and interannual variability in Baltic sprat batch fecundity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haslob, H.; Tomkiewicz, Jonna; Hinrichsen, H.H.


    in the central Baltic Sea, namely the Bornholm Basin, Gdansk Deep and Southern Gotland Basin. Environmental parameters such as hydrography, fish condition and stock density were tested in order to investigate the observed variability in sprat fecundity. Absolute batch fecundity was found to be positively related...... to fish length and weight. Significant differences in absolute and relative batch fecundity of Baltic sprat among areas and years were detected, and could partly be explained by hydrographic features of the investigated areas. A non-linear multiple regression model taking into account fish length...... and ambient temperature explained 70% of variability in absolute batch fecundity. Oxygen content and fish condition were not related to sprat batch fecundity. Additionally, a negative effect of stock size on sprat batch fecundity in the Bornholm Basin was revealed. The obtained data and results are important...

  13. Genotypic-specific variance in Caenorhabditis elegans lifetime fecundity. (United States)

    Diaz, S Anaid; Viney, Mark


    Organisms live in heterogeneous environments, so strategies that maximze fitness in such environments will evolve. Variation in traits is important because it is the raw material on which natural selection acts during evolution. Phenotypic variation is usually thought to be due to genetic variation and/or environmentally induced effects. Therefore, genetically identical individuals in a constant environment should have invariant traits. Clearly, genetically identical individuals do differ phenotypically, usually thought to be due to stochastic processes. It is now becoming clear, especially from studies of unicellular species, that phenotypic variance among genetically identical individuals in a constant environment can be genetically controlled and that therefore, in principle, this can be subject to selection. However, there has been little investigation of these phenomena in multicellular species. Here, we have studied the mean lifetime fecundity (thus a trait likely to be relevant to reproductive success), and variance in lifetime fecundity, in recently-wild isolates of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that these genotypes differed in their variance in lifetime fecundity: some had high variance in fecundity, others very low variance. We find that this variance in lifetime fecundity was negatively related to the mean lifetime fecundity of the lines, and that the variance of the lines was positively correlated between environments. We suggest that the variance in lifetime fecundity may be a bet-hedging strategy used by this species.

  14. Fecundity of the Chinese mystery snail in a Nebraska reservoir (United States)

    Stephen, Bruce J.; Allen, Craig R.; Chaine, Noelle M.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.; Wong, Alec


    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a non-indigenous, invasive species in freshwater ecosystems of North America. We provide fecundity estimates for a population of these snails in a Nebraska reservoir. We dissected 70 snails, of which 29 were females. Nearly all female snails contained developing young, with an average of 25 young per female. Annual fecundity was estimated at between 27.2 and 33.3 young per female per year. Based on an estimated adult population and the calculated fecundity, the annual production for this reservoir was between 2.2 and 3.7 million young.

  15. Maturation, fecundity, and intertidal spawning of Pacific sand lance in the northern Gulf of Alaska (United States)

    Robards, Martin D.; Piatt, John F.; Rose, G.A.


    Pacific sand lance Ammodytes hexapterus in Kachemak Bay, Alaska, showed no sexual dimorphism in length-to-weight (gonad-free) ratio or length-at-age relationship. Most matured in their second year, males earlier in the season than females, but females (31%) attained a higher gonadosomatic index than males (21%). Sand lance spawned intertidally once each year in late September and October on fine gravel or sandy beaches soon after the seasonal peak in water temperatures. Sand lance in Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound displayed similar maturation schedules. Schools were dominated 2: 1 by males as they approached the intertidal zone at a site where spawning has taken place for decades. Sand lance spawned vigorously in dense formations, leaving scoured pits in beach sediments. Fecundity of females (93–199 mm) was proportional to length, ranging from 1468 to 16 081 ova per female. About half of the overall spawning school fecundity was derived from age group 1 females (55% of the school by number). Spawned eggs were 1·02 mm in diameter, demersal, slightly adhesive, and deposited in the intertidal just below the waterline. Sand lance embryos developed over 67 days through periods of intertidal exposure and sub-freezing air temperatures.

  16. [Analysis of Camellia rosthorniana populations fecundity]. (United States)

    Cao, Guoxing; Zhong, Zhangcheng; Xie, Deti; Liu, Yun


    With the method of space substituting time, the structure of Camellia rosthorniana populations in three forest communities, i.e., Jiant bamboo forest, coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, and evergreen broad-leaved forest in Mt. Jinyun was investigated, and based on static life-tables, the fecundity tables and reproductive value tables of C. rosthorniana populations were constructed. Each reproductive parameter and its relation to bionomic strategies of C. rosthorniana populations were also analyzed. The results indicated that in evergreen broad-leaved forest, C. rosthorniana population had the longest life span and the greatest fitness. The stage of maximum reproductive value increased with increasing stability of the community. The sum of each population's reproductive value, residual reproductive value and total reproductive value for the whole life-history of C. rosthorniana also increased with increasing maturity of the community, showing their inherent relationships with reproductive fitness. As regards to bionomic strategy, C. rosthorniana showed mainly the characteristics of a k-strategies, but in less stable community, the reproductive parameters were greatly changed, showing some characteristics of a r-strategies.

  17. Dietary Fat Intake and Fecundability in 2 Preconception Cohort Studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wise, Lauren A; Wesselink, Amelia K; Tucker, Katherine L


    American preconception cohort studies. Women who were attempting to become pregnant completed a validated food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Pregnancy status was updated bimonthly for 12 months or until pregnancy. Fecundability ratios (FR) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Worldwide, the scientific researches performed during the last years are focused on the determination of the negative effects caused by natural and antropogeneous chemical compounds on aquatic species; these species are more exposed to most pollutants than the land species, for the simple reason that the aquatic environment is the last destination for most residues. Our research team proposed to test the toxic effect caused by ethinylestradiol on embryo development in common carp (Cyprinus carpio. Common carp embryos were purchased from the fish farm S.C. Acva Prod S.R.L. Cefa, Bihor County these were obtained by artificial reproduction. After taking and selection, the fecundated spawns were introduced in 10 Nunk culture plates of 45 ml, where we introduced 40 ml water, too. We created 3 batches, with two replications, namely: batch 1 – control, batch 2 – in water, we added ethinylestradiol (EE2 in concentration of 1.5 ng L-1 and batch 3 – we added in water a concentration of 7 ng L-1 EE2. During the incubation, the Nunk plates were kept in breeding aquariums, at a temperature of 24°C. Successive to the supervision of embryos in batch 3, 48 hours post-fecundation, we could observe evolution stagnations, 70% of them being in the stage of 40 somites of the segmentation period. At the same age, 100% of the control batch- embryos entered the stage of advanced faringula, and in batch 2 all embryos were in the stage of incipient faringula. 60-72 hours post-fecundation, all embryos in the batch 3 died, 90% in the 40 somite stage of the segmentation period and 10% in the stage of incipient faringula. 85 hours post-fecundation, all embryos belonging to the control batch were in the larva stage, while in batch 2, 90% were in the larva stage and 10% died in the stage of advanced faringula.

  19. Loss of PTB or negative regulation of Notch mRNA reveals distinct zones of Notch and actin protein accumulation in Drosophila embryo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cedric S Wesley

    Full Text Available Polypyrimidine Tract Binding (PTB protein is a regulator of mRNA processing and translation. Genetic screens and studies of wing and bristle development during the post-embryonic stages of Drosophila suggest that it is a negative regulator of the Notch pathway. How PTB regulates the Notch pathway is unknown. Our studies of Drosophila embryogenesis indicate that (1 the Notch mRNA is a potential target of PTB, (2 PTB and Notch functions in the dorso-lateral regions of the Drosophila embryo are linked to actin regulation but not their functions in the ventral region, and (3 the actin-related Notch activity in the dorso-lateral regions might require a Notch activity at or near the cell surface that is different from the nuclear Notch activity involved in cell fate specification in the ventral region. These data raise the possibility that the Drosophila embryo is divided into zones of different PTB and Notch activities based on whether or not they are linked to actin regulation. They also provide clues to the almost forgotten role of Notch in cell adhesion and reveal a role for the Notch pathway in cell fusions.

  20. Loss of PTB or Negative Regulation of Notch mRNA Reveals Distinct Zones of Notch and Actin Protein Accumulation in Drosophila Embryo (United States)

    Wesley, Cedric S.; Guo, Heng; Chaudhry, Kanita A.; Thali, Markus J.; Yin, Jerry C.; Clason, Todd; Wesley, Umadevi V.


    Polypyrimidine Tract Binding (PTB) protein is a regulator of mRNA processing and translation. Genetic screens and studies of wing and bristle development during the post-embryonic stages of Drosophila suggest that it is a negative regulator of the Notch pathway. How PTB regulates the Notch pathway is unknown. Our studies of Drosophila embryogenesis indicate that (1) the Notch mRNA is a potential target of PTB, (2) PTB and Notch functions in the dorso-lateral regions of the Drosophila embryo are linked to actin regulation but not their functions in the ventral region, and (3) the actin-related Notch activity in the dorso-lateral regions might require a Notch activity at or near the cell surface that is different from the nuclear Notch activity involved in cell fate specification in the ventral region. These data raise the possibility that the Drosophila embryo is divided into zones of different PTB and Notch activities based on whether or not they are linked to actin regulation. They also provide clues to the almost forgotten role of Notch in cell adhesion and reveal a role for the Notch pathway in cell fusions. PMID:21750738

  1. [Teenage fecundity rates in Chile: a serious public health problem]. (United States)

    Molina C, Ramiro; Molina G, Temístocles; González A, Electra


    Teenage fecundity rates are an indicator of epidemiological discrimination in developing countries. To study fertility rates of girls under 14 years of age in Chile from 1993 to 2003. Information of children born alive from mothers aged 10 to 15 years, was obtained from the Chilean National Institute of Statistics. Age segmented population data was obtained from the Ministry of Health. Trends were analyzed by regions and single ages. The rates in communities of the Metropolitan Region were compared. Between 1993 and 2003, there was an increasing trend in fecundity rates, ratios and crude numbers. These rates duplicate from 14 to 15 years of age. In the Metropolitan Region, the fecundity ratios of communities with lower economical incomes is seven times greater than those with higher incomes. During 2003, the fecundity rates in Chile were 100 and 10 higher than those of Holland and Sweden in 1981. In developing countries with very low infant mortality rates such as Chile, the high fecundity rates of young girls is an indicator of a deficient human and social development. Sexual Education and Health Services for adolescents are essential to prevent this public health problem.

  2. Low-level arsenic exposure via drinking water consumption and female fecundity - A preliminary investigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Susko, Michele L.; Bloom, Michael S.; Neamtiu, Iulia A.; Appleton, Allison A.; Surdu, Simona; Pop, Cristian; Fitzgerald, Edward F.; Anastasiu, Doru


    High level arsenic exposure is associated with reproductive toxicity in experimental and observational studies; however, few data exist to assess risks at low levels. Even less data are available to evaluate the impact of low level arsenic exposure on human fecundity. Our aim in this pilot study was a preliminary evaluation of associations between low level drinking water arsenic contamination and female fecundity. This retrospective study was conducted among women previously recruited to a hospital-based case-control study of spontaneous pregnancy loss in Timiá¹£ County, Romania. Women (n=94) with planned pregnancies of 5–20 weeks gestation completed a comprehensive physician-administered study questionnaire and reported the number of menstrual cycles attempting to conceive as the time to pregnancy (TTP). Drinking water samples were collected from residential drinking water sources and we determined arsenic levels using hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS). Multivariable Cox-proportional hazards regression with Efron approximation was employed to evaluate TTP as a function of drinking water arsenic concentrations among planned pregnancies, adjusted for covariates. There was no main effect for drinking water arsenic exposure, yet the conditional probability for pregnancy was modestly lower among arsenic exposed women with longer TTPs, relative to women with shorter TTPs, and relative to unexposed women. For example, 1 µg/L average drinking water arsenic conferred 5%, 8%, and 10% lower likelihoods for pregnancy in the 6th, 9th, and 12th cycles, respectively (P=0.01). While preliminary, our results suggest that low level arsenic contamination in residential drinking water sources may further impair fecundity among women with longer waiting times; however, this hypothesis requires confirmation by a future, more definitive study. - Highlights: • We assessed low level drinking water arsenic as a predictor of fecundability. • Arsenic did

  3. Low-level arsenic exposure via drinking water consumption and female fecundity - A preliminary investigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Susko, Michele L. [Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, New York (United States); Bloom, Michael S., E-mail: [Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, New York (United States); Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, New York (United States); Neamtiu, Iulia A. [Health Department, Environmental Health Center, Cluj-Napoca (Romania); IMOGEN Research Institute, Cluj-Napoca (Romania); Appleton, Allison A. [Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, New York (United States); Surdu, Simona [Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, New York (United States); Pop, Cristian [Physico-chemical and Biotoxicological Analysis Laboratory, Environmental Health Center, Cluj-Napoca (Romania); Cluj School of Public Health - College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (Romania); Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (Romania); Fitzgerald, Edward F. [Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, New York (United States); Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, New York (United States); Anastasiu, Doru [University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Victor Babeș”, Timișoara (Romania); Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the Emergency County Hospital, Timișoara (Romania); and others


    High level arsenic exposure is associated with reproductive toxicity in experimental and observational studies; however, few data exist to assess risks at low levels. Even less data are available to evaluate the impact of low level arsenic exposure on human fecundity. Our aim in this pilot study was a preliminary evaluation of associations between low level drinking water arsenic contamination and female fecundity. This retrospective study was conducted among women previously recruited to a hospital-based case-control study of spontaneous pregnancy loss in Timiá¹£ County, Romania. Women (n=94) with planned pregnancies of 5–20 weeks gestation completed a comprehensive physician-administered study questionnaire and reported the number of menstrual cycles attempting to conceive as the time to pregnancy (TTP). Drinking water samples were collected from residential drinking water sources and we determined arsenic levels using hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS). Multivariable Cox-proportional hazards regression with Efron approximation was employed to evaluate TTP as a function of drinking water arsenic concentrations among planned pregnancies, adjusted for covariates. There was no main effect for drinking water arsenic exposure, yet the conditional probability for pregnancy was modestly lower among arsenic exposed women with longer TTPs, relative to women with shorter TTPs, and relative to unexposed women. For example, 1 µg/L average drinking water arsenic conferred 5%, 8%, and 10% lower likelihoods for pregnancy in the 6th, 9th, and 12th cycles, respectively (P=0.01). While preliminary, our results suggest that low level arsenic contamination in residential drinking water sources may further impair fecundity among women with longer waiting times; however, this hypothesis requires confirmation by a future, more definitive study. - Highlights: • We assessed low level drinking water arsenic as a predictor of fecundability. • Arsenic did

  4. Factors influencing fecundity in experimental crosses of water lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teng Nian-Jun


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Breeding programs for the water lotus (Nelumbo nucifera are hampered by an inability to account for variation in seed set associated with crosses between different cultivars. We studied seed set in two reciprocal crosses between lotus cultivars (‘Guili’ × ‘Aijiangnan’ and ‘Molingqiuse’ × ‘Qinhuaiyanzhi' to obtain insights into factors that govern fecundity in these experimental hybrids. Pollen viability, stigma receptivity and embryo development were compared for each hybrid and reciprocal cross. Results Pollen viability of the individual cultivars ranged from 4.1% to 20.2%, with the highest level (>11.9% for all cultivars observed from the earliest collected grains (05:00–06:00 a.m.. Stigmatic pollen germination peaked at 4 h after pollination and varied from 4.8 to 60.6 grains per stigma among the crosses. Production of normal embryos ranged from 7.6% to 58.8% at 1 d after pollination and from 0 to 25% by 11 d after pollination. Seed set in crosses (0.2–23.3% was generally lower than in open-pollinated plants (8.4–26.5%. Similar to the germination results, seed set was substantially reduced in both reciprocal crosses. Conclusions These results suggested that poor pollen fertility, low stigma receptivity, and embryo abortion were responsible for the failure of the crosses ‘Molingqiuse’ × ‘Qinhuaiyanzhi’, ‘Qinhuaiyanzhi’ × ‘Molingqiuse’, and ‘Aijiangnan’ × ‘Guili’.

  5. AFSC/RACE/SAP/Swiney: Red king crab fecundity and embryo and larval quality (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Stock assessment of Alaskan red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus (Tilesius, 1815), can be improved by incorporating reproductive output, which requires an...

  6. Scaling of fecundity, growth and development in marine planktonic copepods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; Sabatini, M.


    We compiled information from the literature on female and egg sizes and maximum egg production, growth and developmental rates in marine planktonic copepods. While specific growth and developmental rates are invariant with body mass, weight- specific fecundity scales with female body mass(-0...... to 50% and have weight-specific fecundities that are 2.5 times and egg production rates that are 7.5 times those of the former, Nauplii develop faster (by a factor of 2) but grow slower (by 20 to 40%) than copepodites in both spawning types. The main demographic implications of these findings are (1...

  7. Fecundity of the Indian Horse-shoe crab, Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda (Latreille)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chatterji, A.; Parulekar, A.H.

    and per g ovary weight were 48, 18 and 164 respectively. Maximum fecundity was observed in crabs ranging in size from 174-179 mm. Relationships between fecundity, carapace length, body weight and ovary weight were linear...

  8. Female exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and fecundity: a review. (United States)

    Mínguez-Alarcón, Lidia; Gaskins, Audrey J


    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been known for their ability to interfere with aspects of hormone action resulting in adverse health consequences among animals and humans; however, the effects of EDCs on human fecundity have shown inconsistent findings. This review summarizes the most recent epidemiologic literature from humans on the potential effects of female exposure to nonpersistent EDCs, specifically bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, parabens, and triclosan, on fecundity, measured by markers of reproductive hormones, markers of ovulation or ovarian reserve, IVF outcomes, and time-to-pregnancy. Although the epidemiologic literature on this topic is growing, the evidence supporting an association between female urinary concentrations of BPA, phthalates, parabens and triclosan, and fecundity remains unclear. The heterogeneous results could be due to methodological differences in recruitment populations (fertile vs. subfertile), study designs (prospective vs. retrospective), assessment of exposure (including differences in the number and timing of urine samples and differences in the analytical methods used to assess the urinary concentrations), residual confounding due to diet or other lifestyle factors, and coexposures to other chemicals. At present, there is limited evidence to conclude that female exposure to nonpersistent EDCs affect fecundity in humans. Further studies focusing on exposure to mixtures of EDCs are needed.

  9. Weight at birth and subsequent fecundability: a prospective cohort study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Cathrine Wildenschild; Hammerich Riis, Anders; Ehrenstein, Vera


    OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between a woman's birth weight and her subsequent fecundability. METHOD: In this prospective cohort study, we included 2,773 Danish pregnancy planners enrolled in the internet-based cohort study "Snart-Gravid", conducted during 2007-2012. Participants were 18...

  10. Sex ratio distribution and fecundity of the claroteid catfish Clarotes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sex ratio distribution and fecundity of Clarotes laticeps were investigated between January 2010 and December 2012 in the lower River Niger. Samples were collected every two weeks for 36 months from six sampling sites, using a combination of baited longlines, gill nets and cast nets. Sexes of captured specimens were ...

  11. Sex ratio, gonadal development and fecundity of the grunt ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The sex ratio, gonadosomatic index, stages of gonadal development and fecundity of the grunt, Pomadasys jubelini in the New Calabar-Bonny River were investigated. P. jubelini had a sex ratio of 1: 2.1 (male to female). Gonadosomatic index ranged from 0.33 to 7.29% with a mean of 2.89+0.08%. High gonadosomatic ...

  12. Fecundity of dolphin fish, @iCoryphaena hippurus@@ L.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chatterji, A.; Ansari, Z.A.

    Fecundity of @iCoryphaena hippurus@@ L. ranged from 139636 to 549540 with an average of 300878.The number of ova per mm total length, per g body weight and per g ovary weight were 407, 175 and 5851 respectively. A linear relationship was noticed...

  13. Age and fecundability in a North American preconception cohort study. (United States)

    Wesselink, Amelia K; Rothman, Kenneth J; Hatch, Elizabeth E; Mikkelsen, Ellen M; Sørensen, Henrik T; Wise, Lauren A


    There is a well-documented decline in fertility treatment success with increasing female age; however, there are few preconception cohort studies that have examined female age and natural fertility. In addition, data on male age and fertility are inconsistent. Given the increasing number of couples who are attempting conception at older ages, a more detailed characterization of age-related fecundability in the general population is of great clinical utility. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between female and male age with fecundability. We conducted a web-based preconception cohort study of pregnancy planners from the United States and Canada. Participants were enrolled between June 2013 and July 2017. Eligible participants were 21-45 years old (female) or ≥21 years old (male) and had not been using fertility treatments. Couples were followed until pregnancy or for up to 12 menstrual cycles. We analyzed data from 2962 couples who had been trying to conceive for ≤3 cycles at study entry and reported no history of infertility. We used life-table methods to estimate the unadjusted cumulative pregnancy proportion at 6 and 12 cycles by female and male age. We used proportional probabilities regression models to estimate fecundability ratios, the per-cycle probability of conception for each age category relative to the referent (21-24 years old), and 95% confidence intervals. Among female patients, the unadjusted cumulative pregnancy proportion at 6 cycles of attempt time ranged from 62.0% (age 28-30 years) to 27.6% (age 40-45 years); the cumulative pregnancy proportion at 12 cycles of attempt time ranged from 79.3% (age 25-27 years old) to 55.5% (age 40-45 years old). Similar patterns were observed among male patients, although differences between age groups were smaller. After adjusting for potential confounders, we observed a nearly monotonic decline in fecundability with increasing female age, with the exception of 28-33 years, at which

  14. Low-level arsenic exposure via drinking water consumption and female fecundity - A preliminary investigation. (United States)

    Susko, Michele L; Bloom, Michael S; Neamtiu, Iulia A; Appleton, Allison A; Surdu, Simona; Pop, Cristian; Fitzgerald, Edward F; Anastasiu, Doru; Gurzau, Eugen S


    High level arsenic exposure is associated with reproductive toxicity in experimental and observational studies; however, few data exist to assess risks at low levels. Even less data are available to evaluate the impact of low level arsenic exposure on human fecundity. Our aim in this pilot study was a preliminary evaluation of associations between low level drinking water arsenic contamination and female fecundity. This retrospective study was conducted among women previously recruited to a hospital-based case-control study of spontaneous pregnancy loss in Timiṣ County, Romania. Women (n=94) with planned pregnancies of 5-20 weeks gestation completed a comprehensive physician-administered study questionnaire and reported the number of menstrual cycles attempting to conceive as the time to pregnancy (TTP). Drinking water samples were collected from residential drinking water sources and we determined arsenic levels using hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS). Multivariable Cox-proportional hazards regression with Efron approximation was employed to evaluate TTP as a function of drinking water arsenic concentrations among planned pregnancies, adjusted for covariates. There was no main effect for drinking water arsenic exposure, yet the conditional probability for pregnancy was modestly lower among arsenic exposed women with longer TTPs, relative to women with shorter TTPs, and relative to unexposed women. For example, 1µg/L average drinking water arsenic conferred 5%, 8%, and 10% lower likelihoods for pregnancy in the 6th, 9th, and 12th cycles, respectively (P=0.01). While preliminary, our results suggest that low level arsenic contamination in residential drinking water sources may further impair fecundity among women with longer waiting times; however, this hypothesis requires confirmation by a future, more definitive study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Epidemiologic Tools to Study the Influence of Environmental Factors on Fecundity and Pregnancy-related Outcomes (United States)

    Slama, Rémy; Ballester, Ferran; Casas, Maribel; Cordier, Sylvaine; Eggesbø, Merete; Iniguez, Carmen; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark; Philippat, Claire; Rey, Sylvie; Vandentorren, Stéphanie; Vrijheid, Martine


    Adverse pregnancy outcomes entail a large health burden for the mother and offspring; a part of it might be avoided by better understanding the role of environmental factors in their etiology. Our aims were to review the assessment tools to characterize fecundity troubles and pregnancy-related outcomes in human populations and their sensitivity to environmental factors. For each outcome, we reviewed the possible study designs, main sources of bias, and their suggested cures. In terms of study design, for most pregnancy outcomes, cohorts with recruitment early during or even before pregnancy allow efficient characterization of pregnancy-related events, time-varying confounders, and in utero exposures that may impact birth outcomes and child health. Studies on congenital anomalies require specific designs, assessment of anomalies in medical pregnancy terminations, and, for congenital anomalies diagnosed postnatally, follow-up during several months after birth. Statistical analyses should take into account environmental exposures during the relevant time windows; survival models are an appropriate approach for fecundity, fetal loss, and gestational duration/preterm delivery. Analysis of gestational duration could distinguish pregnancies according to delivery induction (and possibly pregnancy-related conditions). In conclusion, careful design and analysis are required to better characterize environmental effects on human reproduction. PMID:24363355

  16. Reproduction, gonad histology and fecundity of Aidablennius sphynx (Pisces: Blenniidae of the Catalan Sea (North-Western Mediterranean

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    Maite Carrassón


    Full Text Available The reproductive biology of the Mediterranean blenny fish Aidablennius sphinx was studied on the basis of microscopic and macroscopic analysis. A. sphynx is a resident species of the shallow waters of this region, lays demersal eggs and provides parental care to the developing embryos. Mature male gonads occur between March and July, whereas mature females appear between April and August. Male gonads are composed of the testis and the testicular gland. Spermatids are released into the testicular gland. The testicular gland is relatively more prominent than the testis after the reproductive season. Six stages of oocyte development (included atretic ones are considered. Seasonal variations of gonads of both males and females are illustrated. Low fecundity was recorded, as the ovaries may contain 432 to 1682 oocytes according to female size. Equations describing the relationship between gonad weight and length and weight of males and females are presented. Equations describing the relationship between absolute individual fecundity and length and weight of females are also presented.

  17. Weight at birth and subsequent fecundability: a prospective cohort study.

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    Cathrine Wildenschild

    Full Text Available To examine the association between a woman's birth weight and her subsequent fecundability.In this prospective cohort study, we included 2,773 Danish pregnancy planners enrolled in the internet-based cohort study "Snart-Gravid", conducted during 2007-2012. Participants were 18-40 years old at study entry, attempting to conceive, and were not receiving fertility treatment. Data on weight at birth were obtained from the Danish Medical Birth Registry and categorized as <2,500 grams, 2,500-2,999 grams, 3,000-3,999 grams, and ≥ 4,000 grams. In additional analyses, birth weight was categorized according to z-scores for each gestational week at birth. Time-to-pregnancy measured in cycles was used to compute fecundability ratios (FR and 95% confidence intervals (CI, using a proportional probabilities regression model.Relative to women with a birth weight of 3,000-3,999 grams, FRs adjusted for gestational age, year of birth, and maternal socio-demographic and medical factors were 0.99 (95% CI: 0.73;1.34, 0.99 (95% CI: 0.87;1.12, and 1.08 (95% CI: 0.94;1.24 for birth weight <2,500 grams, 2,500-2,999 grams, and ≥ 4,000 grams, respectively. Estimates remained unchanged after further adjustment for markers of the participant's mother's fecundability. We obtained similar results when we restricted to women who were born at term, and to women who had attempted to conceive for a maximum of 6 cycles before study entry. Results remained similar when we estimated FRs according to z-scores of birth weight.Our results indicate that birth weight appears not to be an important determinant of fecundability.

  18. Resumption Of Postpartum Fecundability In Rural Guatemala: A Multistate Approach

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    Pinto Aguirre, Guido


    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to investigate and re-estimate the effects of breastfeeding patterns, women's nutritional and health status, and energy expenditure on the timing of resumption of postpartum fecundability (i.e. resumption of postpartum menses using all the relevant information in the Instituto de Nutrición de Centroamérica y Panamá longitudinal study and a more adequate estimation procedure (hazard models. The data used in this study come from a Longitudinal Study carried out in Guatemala between 1967 and 1979. In this article we use a multi-state hazard model that recognizes different pathways and states in the process of returning to the postpartum fecundability. The model relies on the existence of five states (fully breastfeeding, partial breastfeeding, weaning, infant mortality and menses. It also includes explicitly maternal nutrition and women's energy expenditure as strategic elements of the model. The study shows that the estimated effects of breastfeeding patterns, maternal nutrition and women's work patterns (energy expenditure on resumption of fecundability in rural Guatemala are strong and significant. The contribution of this paper is to show that application of hazard models with multiple states provides estimates that are consistent with hypotheses relating lactation patterns, maternal nutritional status and maternal external stressors to processes that accelerate (decelerate resumption of normal menstrual cycles.

  19. Fecundity and longevity of Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock (Diptera: Tephritidae

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    Cristiane Ramos Jesus-Barros


    Full Text Available Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock is an exotic species considered a quarantine pest in Brazil, with distribution limited to the states of Amapá and Roraima. Knowledge of its biology under Brazilian conditions is still limited. The objective of this work was to determine the fecundity and longevity of B. carambolae females, reared on artificial diet, under laboratory conditions. The experiment was carried out at Embrapa Amapá, where 20 newly emerged B. carambolae couples were selected (F3 generation. Each couple was placed in a plastic cage containing feed, distilled water and an artificial oviposition device and stored in an air-conditioned room (26 ± 1°C, 60 ± 10% R. H. and 12-hour photoperiod. The eggs deposited on each device were counted daily. Mean survival was 90.70 ± 9.97 days and the maximum longevity was 150 days. The mean duration of the pre-oviposition period was 25.15 ± 3.54 days and the oviposition period was 62.73 ± 7.84 days. Fecundity was variable over time, with an oviposition peak on the 28th day. The mean number of eggs per female was 1,088.26 ± 167.82. These results suggest that B. carambolae uses high fecundity and longevity as a reproductive strategy.

  20. Grasshopper fecundity responses to grazing and fire in a tallgrass prairie. (United States)

    Laws, Angela N; Joern, Anthony


    Grasshopper abundance and diversity vary with management practices such as fire and grazing. Understanding how grasshopper life history traits such as fecundity respond to management practices is key to predicting grasshopper population dynamics in heterogeneous environments. Landscape-level experimental fire and bison grazing treatments at the Konza Prairie Biological Station (Manhattan, KS) provide an opportunity to examine how management affects grasshopper fecundity. Here we report on grasshopper fecundity for nine common species at Konza Prairie. From 2007 to 2009, adult female grasshoppers were collected every 3 wk from eight watersheds that varied in fire and grazing treatments. Fecundity was measured by examining female reproductive tracts, which contain a record of past and current reproductive activity. Body size was a poor predictor of fecundity for all species. Despite large differences in vegetation structure and composition with management regime (grazing and fire interval), we observed little effect of management on grasshopper fecundity. Habitat characteristics (grasshopper density, vegetation biomass, and vegetation quality; measured in 2008 and 2009) were better predictors of past fecundity than current fecundity, with species-specific responses. Fecundity increased throughout the summer, indicating that grasshoppers were able to acquire sufficient nutritional resources for egg production in the early fall when vegetation quality is generally low. Because fecundity did not vary across management treatments, population stage structure may be more important for determining population level reproduction than management regime at Konza Prairie.

  1. Lower fecundity in parthenogenetic geckos than sexual relatives in the Australian arid zone. (United States)

    Kearney, M; Shine, R


    Theoretical models of the advantage of sexual reproduction typically assume that reproductive output is equal in sexual and parthenogenetic females. We tested this assumption by comparing fecundity between parthenogenetic and sexual races of gekkonid lizards in the Heteronotia binoei complex, collected across a 1200 km latitudinal gradient through the Australian arid zone. Under laboratory conditions, parthenogenetic geckos had approximately 30% lower fecundity when compared with their sexual progenitors, irrespective of body size. Reflecting clutch-size constraints in gekkonids, this fecundity difference was mainly because of fewer clutches over a shorter period. When parthenogens were compared more broadly with all coexisting sexual races across the latitudinal gradient, parthenogens had lower fecundity than sexuals only when corrected for body size. Differences in fecundity between parthenogens and coexisting sexual races depended on which sexual race was considered. There was no significant relationship between fecundity and parasite (mite) load, despite significantly higher mite loads in parthenogens than in sexual races.

  2. Temporal variations of potential fecundity of southern blue whiting (Micromesistius australis australis) in the Southeast Pacific (United States)

    Flores, Andrés; Wiff, Rodrigo; Díaz, Eduardo; Carvajal, Bernardita


    Fecundity is a key aspect of fish species reproductive biology because it relates directly to total egg production. Yet, despite such importance, fecundity estimates are lacking or scarce for several fish species. The gravimetric method is the most-used one to estimate fecundity by essentially scaling up the oocyte density to the ovary weight. It is a relatively simple and precise technique, but also time consuming because it requires counting all oocytes in an ovary subsample. The auto-diametric method, on the other hand, is relatively new for estimating fecundity, representing a rapid alternative, because it requires only an estimation of mean oocyte density from mean oocyte diameter. Using the extensive database available from commercial fishery and design surveys for southern blue whiting Micromesistius australis australis in the Southeast Pacific, we compared estimates of fecundity using both gravimetric and auto-diametric methods. Temporal variations in potential fecundity from the auto-diametric method were evaluated using generalised linear models considering predictors from maternal characteristics such as female size, condition factor, oocyte size, and gonadosomatic index. A global and time-invariant auto-diametric equation was evaluated using a simulation procedure based on non-parametric bootstrap. Results indicated there were not significant differences regarding fecundity estimates between the gravimetric and auto-diametric method (p > 0.05). Simulation showed the application of a global equation is unbiased and sufficiently precise to estimate time-invariant fecundity of this species. Temporal variations on fecundity were explained by maternal characteristic, revealing signals of fecundity down-regulation. We discuss how oocyte size and nutritional condition (measured as condition factor) are one of the important factors determining fecundity. We highlighted also the relevance of choosing the appropriate sampling period to conduct maturity studies

  3. Behaviour and Ecological Impacts of Termites: Fecundity Investigations in Mounds

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    Wako Sutuma Edessa


    Full Text Available A radical study was conducted on the behaviour and ecological impacts of termites in Haru District of Western Oromia, Ethiopia. It was aimed at investigating the natural behaviour, fecundity in mounds, ecological impacts and recommending possible solutions to termite problems. Four mounds in different sites were vertically dug down to display the profile of the queen, soldiers, workers, number of laid eggs, nymphs and colonies of termites. On an average, termite queens of the study site may lay about 25 eggs per minute, 36, 000 eggs per day and 13, 140, 000 eggs annually. The fourth queen was unearthed to study the structure, size, number of ovaries and fecundity. It was examined that the death of a queen does not affect the colony, because four small queens are formed and one of them becomes the queen of queens and replaced the dead queen promptly. Accordingly, termites are found to be one of the most destructive agents of our ecosystems and their management requests careful and biological control methods. As a result, the negative effect of termites outweighs the positive effect of termites so that minimising the population size is important for human beings.


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    Tibary A


    Full Text Available Pregnancy loss is an important aspect of equine practice due to the economic and emotional loss that it engenders. Pregnancy loss is often divided in two categories: early pregnancy loss (EPL or embryonic death (ED (first 42 days and fetal losses (after 42 days. Diagnosis of the causes of pregnancy loss is often very challenging. Many of the causes of EPL remain poorly documented but studies on embryo development and embryo-uterine interaction have been able to shed some light on predisposing factors. Fetal losses or abortions are dominated by infectious causes and particularly bacterial placentitis. Detailed reviews of pregnancy loss were recently published by the authors (Tibary et al., 2012; Tibary and Pearson, 2012; Tibary et al., 2014. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the epidemiology, etiology, diagnosis and prevention of pregnancy loss in the mare.

  5. Embryo-maternal communication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Østrup, Esben; Hyttel, Poul; Østrup, Olga


    Communication during early pregnancy is essential for successful reproduction. In this review we address the beginning of the communication between mother and developing embryo; including morphological and transcriptional changes in the endometrium as well as epigenetic regulation mechanisms dire...... directing the placentation. An increasing knowledge of the embryo-maternal communication might not only help to improve the fertility of our farm animals but also our understanding of human health and reproduction.......Communication during early pregnancy is essential for successful reproduction. In this review we address the beginning of the communication between mother and developing embryo; including morphological and transcriptional changes in the endometrium as well as epigenetic regulation mechanisms...

  6. The correlation of fecundability among twins: Evidence of a genetic effect on fertility?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Kaare; Kohler, Hans-Peter; Basso, Olga


    BACKGROUND: Numerous rare genetic conditions are known to influence fecundability in both males and females. It is less clear to what extent more subtle genetic differences influence fecundability on a population level. METHODS: In 1994 a population-based survey was conducted among Danish twins b...

  7. Reproductive Fecundity of Iraqi Awassi Ewes Immunized against Synthetic Inhibin-α Subunit or Steroid-Free Bovine Follicular Fluid. (United States)

    Al-Saaidi, Jabbar Abbas Ahmed; Khudair, Khalisa Khadim; Al-Kafaji, Sura Safe Aubaes


    The present study was conducted to investigate the impacts of active and passive immunization against synthetic inhibin and steroid-free bovine follicular fluid, respectively, on reproductive fecundity out of breeding season in Iraqi Awassi ewes. Follicular fluid was aspired from mature bovine follicles, treated with activated charcoal, and used for immunization of male rabbits for obtaining steroid free bovine follicular fluid (SFBFF) antiserum. Forty non-pregnant Awassi ewes were allocated into 4 groups (n = 10 each). At day 38 of experiment, ewes were treated with intra-vaginal MPA sponge (60 mg for 12 days). Ewes were treated at 0, 28, and 50 days with 4, 2 and 2 ml of normal saline (control; C-ve), 400, 200 and 200 µl of ovalbumine (C+ve), 400, 200 and 200 µl of inhibin (SI group), and 4 ml of normal saline at 0 day, and 4ml and 2ml of SFBFF antiserum, at 28, and 50 days (AI group). After mating with Awassi rams, pregnancy and embryo number were diagnosed using ultrasonography. Blood samples were collected at 30, 60, 90, and 120 days of pregnancy, for assessment of estradiol-17β (E2) and progesterone (P4) levels. After parturition, numbers of delivered lambs were recorded. The results revealed significant increase of P4 and significant decrease of E2 levels in SI and AI pregnant ewes than controls at 30, 60 and 90 day. Newborn number increased significantly in SI and AI treated than control ewes. Active or passive immunization against endogenous inhibin could augment reproductive fecundity out of breeding season in Iraqi Awassi ewes.

  8. Genealogical Properties of Subsamples in Highly Fecund Populations (United States)

    Eldon, Bjarki; Freund, Fabian


    We consider some genealogical properties of nested samples. The complete sample is assumed to have been drawn from a natural population characterised by high fecundity and sweepstakes reproduction (abbreviated HFSR). The random gene genealogies of the samples are—due to our assumption of HFSR—modelled by coalescent processes which admit multiple mergers of ancestral lineages looking back in time. Among the genealogical properties we consider are the probability that the most recent common ancestor is shared between the complete sample and the subsample nested within the complete sample; we also compare the lengths of `internal' branches of nested genealogies between different coalescent processes. The results indicate how `informative' a subsample is about the properties of the larger complete sample, how much information is gained by increasing the sample size, and how the `informativeness' of the subsample varies between different coalescent processes.

  9. The fertility and fecundity of patients with psychoses. (United States)

    McGrath, J J; Hearle, J; Jenner, L; Plant, K; Drummond, A; Barkla, J M


    Previous research has suggested that patients with schizophrenia have fewer offspring compared to the general population. Reduced fertility in a disorder with a strong genetic component and an apparently stable incidence has implications for models of genetic transmission. There is also a need to obtain contemporary estimates of the prevalence of parenthood among subjects with psychotic disorders in order to inform service planning. The aim of this study was to determine the fertility and fecundity of a representative sample of individuals with psychoses who were in contact with mental health services, and to explore the interactions between age at first diagnosis and fertility. All clients of two community mental health clinics and an extended-care psychiatric hospital were surveyed. Data on diagnosis, age at first diagnosis, and the number and age of offspring were collected. Based on interviews with the proband and chart review, a genogram of the probands' family was drawn that identified sex, age, affected status and the number of offspring for each patient and their siblings. In total, 36% of all patients were parents. Most women with psychoses (59%) were mothers. Patients with psychoses had fewer offspring compared to their unaffected same-sex siblings. This was especially the case for men with non-affective psychoses. Higher levels of fertility were associated with a later age at first diagnosis. The consistent finding of reduced 'reproductive fitness' in those with non-affective psychoses needs to be incorporated in the genetic epidemiology of these disorders. Despite this reduction in fertility and fecundity, many patients with psychoses are parents. Services need to remain mindful of the special needs of these patients.

  10. Mature Turkey Breeder Hens Exposed to Pandemic Influenza H1N1: Resultant Effects on Morbidity, Mortality, and Fecundity. (United States)

    Evans, Robert; Bommineni, Yugendar; Falk, Jonathan; Blackway, Adam; Young, Brent; Isenhart, Connie


    During the artificial insemination process, turkey breeder hens may become infected with influenza virus acquired from humans. The virus has been shown, through experimental infection, to localize in the reproductive tract, with limited dissemination in other tissues. A limited number of hens were used during these studies, and the overall flock morbidity, mortality, and fecundity were not able to be determined. The current case follows the progression of clinical signs in a flock of commercial breeder hens from onset of egg production losses in one house through the subsequent drops in four remaining houses. Each house contained approximately 3000 hens and followed a sequential loss of shell quality, reduced numbers of eggs, and fertility, while mild clinical signs were observed and mortality was slightly increased in a house with concurrent fowl cholera (Pasturella multocida) infection.

  11. Manipulating early pig embryos. (United States)

    Niemann, H; Reichelt, B


    On the basis of established surgical procedures for embryo recovery and transfer, the early pig embryo can be subjected to various manipulations aimed at a long-term preservation of genetic material, the generation of identical multiplets, the early determination of sex or the alteration of the genetic make-up. Most of these procedures are still at an experimental stage and despite recent considerable progress are far from practical application. Normal piglets have been obtained after cryopreservation of pig blastocysts hatched in vitro, whereas all attempts to freeze embryos with intact zona pellucida have been unsuccessful. Pig embryos at the morula and blastocyst stage can be bisected microsurgically and the resulting demi-embryos possess a high developmental potential in vitro, whereas their development in vivo is impaired. Pregnancy rates are similar (80%) but litter size is reduced compared with intact embryos and twinning rate is approximately 2%. Pig blastomeres isolated from embryos up to the 16-cell stage can be grown in culture and result in normal blastocysts. Normal piglets have been born upon transfer of blastocysts derived from isolated eight-cell blastomeres, clearly underlining the totipotency of this developmental stage. Upon nuclear transfer the developmental capacity of reconstituted pig embryos is low and culture. Sex determination can be achieved either by separation of X and Y chromosome bearing spermatozoa by flow cytometry or by analysing the expression of the HY antigen in pig embryos from the eight-cell to morula stage. Microinjection of foreign DNA has been successfully used to alter growth and development of transgenic pigs, and to produce foreign proteins in the mammary gland or in the bloodstream, indicating that pigs can be used as donors for valuable human pharmaceutical proteins. Another promising area of gene transfer is the increase of disease resistance in transgenic lines of pigs. Approximately 30% of pig spermatozoa bind

  12. Mouse Embryo Compaction. (United States)

    White, M D; Bissiere, S; Alvarez, Y D; Plachta, N


    Compaction is a critical first morphological event in the preimplantation development of the mammalian embryo. Characterized by the transformation of the embryo from a loose cluster of spherical cells into a tightly packed mass, compaction is a key step in the establishment of the first tissue-like structures of the embryo. Although early investigation of the mechanisms driving compaction implicated changes in cell-cell adhesion, recent work has identified essential roles for cortical tension and a compaction-specific class of filopodia. During the transition from 8 to 16 cells, as the embryo is compacting, it must also make fundamental decisions regarding cell position, polarity, and fate. Understanding how these and other processes are integrated with compaction requires further investigation. Emerging imaging-based techniques that enable quantitative analysis from the level of cell-cell interactions down to the level of individual regulatory molecules will provide a greater understanding of how compaction shapes the early mammalian embryo. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Adult lifetime reproductive value in fish depends on size and fecundity type

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tsoukali, Stavroula; Olsson, Karin H.; Visser, André W.


    In a stable population, the adult lifetime reproductive value must be balanced against early life survival. Although delaying maturity may increase fecundity, it also reduces survival. Larger size at maturity therefore not only allows for higher fecundity, but requires it. Using simple arguments......, the expected proportionality falls off if mortality increases to include fishing. Furthermore, we find that the fecundity type (determinate or indeterminate) affects the predicted adult reproductive value, which is significantly (10-fold) higher for an indeterminate spawner than for a determinate spawner...

  14. Maturity and Fecundity of Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias L., 1758) in the Eastern Black Sea


    DEMİRHAN, Sefa Ayhan; SEYHAN, Kadir


    The maturity and fecundity of Squalus acanthias spiny dogfish sampled from the south-eastern Black Sea were studied. Age and length at 50% maturity were 10.49 years and 87.57 cm for males, and 11.99 years and 102.97 cm for females, respectively. Mean biennial fecundity was 19.4 eggs and 12.9 pups. A linear relationship between fecundities and length was found: Fe = 0.09 x TLp + 2.12 (r = 0.5) for pups and Fo = 0.27 x TLp - 21.59 (r = 0.7) for eggs.

  15. Breakeven costs for embryo transfer in a commercial dairy herd. (United States)

    Ferris, T A; Troyer, B W


    Differences in Estimated Breeding Values expressed in dollars were compared by simulation of two, 100-cow, closed herds. One herd practiced normal intensity of female selection. The other herd generated various herd replacements by embryo transfer by varying 1) selection rate of embryo transfer dams and 2) numbers of daughters per dam from which embryos were transferred, while varying the merit of mates of embryo transfer dams. Estimated Breeding Value dollars were compounded each generation and regressed to remove age adjustments and added feed and health costs. Beginning values in both herds included a standard deviation of 55 Cow Index dollars, herd average of -23 Cow Index dollars, and a 120 Predicted Difference dollars for mates of dams not embryo transferred. Average merit of all sires used increased $12 per year. Herd calving rate (.70), proportion females (.5), calf loss (.15), and heifer survival rate (.83) were used. Breakeven cost per embryo transfer cow entering the milking herd was computed by Net Present Value analysis using a 10% discount rate over 10 and 20 yr. Breakeven cost or the maximum expense that would allow a 10% return on the expenditure ranged from $135 to $510 per surviving cow, $24 to $125 per transfer, $47 to $178 per pregnancy, and $81 to $357 per female calf born. As the number of replacements resulting from embryo transfer increased, breakeven cost per embryo transfer cow decreased due to diminishing return.

  16. Progress on major genes for high fecundity in ewes

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    Qiuyue LIU,Zhangyuan PAN,Xiangyu WANG,Wenping HU,Ran DI,Yaxing YAO,Mingxing CHU


    Full Text Available The existence of major genes affecting fecundity in sheep flocks throughout the world has been demonstrated. Three major genes whose mutations can increase ovulation rate have been discovered, and all related to the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β superfamily. The mutant FecB of bone morphogenetic protein receptor 1B (BMPR1B has an additive effect on ovulation rate. Six mutations (FecXI, FecXH, FecXG, FecXB, FecXL, FecXR of bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15 related with fertility have been identified that share the same mechanism. All the mutants can increase ovulation rate in heterozygotes and cause complete sterility in homozygotes. Homozygous ewes with two new mutations (FecXGr, FecXO of BMP15 had increased ovulation rate without causing sterility. There are five mutations in growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9 associated with sheep prolificacy where FecGE and FecGF have additive an effect on ovulation rate and litter size. The newly identified β-1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2 (B4GALNT2 gene of FecL is proposed as a new mechanism of ovulation rate regulation in sheep. Woodlands is an X-linked maternally imprinted gene which increases ovulation rate. In addition, several putative major genes need to be verified. This review is focused on the identification of the mutations and mechanisms whereby the major genes affecting ovulation rate.

  17. The First Human Cloned Embryo. (United States)

    Cibelli, Jose B.; Lanza, Robert P.; West, Michael D.; Ezzell, Carol


    Describes a process known as parthenogenesis which produces cloned, early-stage embryos and human embryos generated only from eggs. Speculates that this technology puts therapeutic cloning within reach. (DDR)

  18. Wintering the common viper (Vipera berus with embryos

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    Korosov Andrey Victorovich


    Full Text Available For the Vipers from Karelia phenomenon wintering females with embryos and the annual breeding were found. They were very large and heavy females (L.t. > 62 cm, W > 160 g, for which the mass loss due to pregnancy are not significant. Analysis of the size of 1450 individuals in a Kizhi population of viper showed that the proportion of females that can hibernate from embryos amounts to less than 3%.

  19. Generation of mice lacking DUF1220 protein domains: effects on fecundity and hyperactivity (United States)

    Keeney, JG; O’Bleness, MS; Anderson, N; Davis, JM; Arevalo, N; Busquet, N; Chick, W; Rozman, J; Hölter, SM; Garrett, L; Horsch, M; Beckers, J; Wurst, W; Klingenspor, M; Restrepo, D


    Sequences encoding DUF1220 protein domains show the most extreme human lineage-specific copy number increase of any coding region in the genome and have been linked to human brain evolution. In addition, DUF1220 copy number (dosage) has been implicated in influencing brain size within the human species, both in normal populations and in individuals associated with brain size pathologies (1q21-associated microcephaly and macrocephaly). More recently, increasing dosage of a subtype of DUF1220 has been linked with increasing severity of the primary symptoms of autism. Despite these intriguing associations, a function for these domains has not been described. As a first step in addressing this question we have developed the first transgenic model of DUF1220 function by removing the single DUF1220 domain (the ancestral form) encoded in the mouse genome. In a hypothesis generating exercise, these mice were evaluated by 197 different phenotype measurements. While resulting DUF1220-minus (KO) mice show no obvious anatomical peculiarities, they exhibit a significantly reduced fecundity (χ2= 19.1, df = 2, p = 7.0 × 10−5). Further extensive phenotypic analyses suggest hyperactivity (p < 0.05) of DUF1220 mice and changes in gene expression levels of brain associated with distinct neurological functions and disease. Other changes that met statistical significance include an increase in plasma glucose concentration (as measured by Area Under the Curve, AUC 0-30 and AUC 30-120) in male mutants, fasting glucose levels, reduce sodium levels in male mutants, increased levels of the liver functional indicator ALAT/GPT in males, levels of alkaline phosphatase (also an indicator of liver function), mean R and SR amplitude by electrocardiography, elevated IgG3 levels, a reduced ratio of CD4:CD8 cells, and a reduced frequency of T cells; though it should be noted that many of these differences are quite small and require further examination. The linking of DUF1220 loss to a

  20. Generation of mice lacking DUF1220 protein domains: effects on fecundity and hyperactivity. (United States)

    Keeney, J G; O'Bleness, M S; Anderson, N; Davis, J M; Arevalo, N; Busquet, N; Chick, W; Rozman, J; Hölter, S M; Garrett, L; Horsch, M; Beckers, J; Wurst, W; Klingenspor, M; Restrepo, D; de Angelis, M Hrabě; Sikela, J M


    Sequences encoding DUF1220 protein domains show the most extreme human lineage-specific copy number increase of any coding region in the genome and have been linked to human brain evolution. In addition, DUF1220 copy number (dosage) has been implicated in influencing brain size within the human species, both in normal populations and in individuals associated with brain size pathologies (1q21-associated microcephaly and macrocephaly). More recently, increasing dosage of a subtype of DUF1220 has been linked with increasing severity of the primary symptoms of autism. Despite these intriguing associations, a function for these domains has not been described. As a first step in addressing this question, we have developed the first transgenic model of DUF1220 function by removing the single DUF1220 domain (the ancestral form) encoded in the mouse genome. In a hypothesis generating exercise, these mice were evaluated by 197 different phenotype measurements. While resulting DUF1220-minus (KO) mice show no obvious anatomical peculiarities, they exhibit a significantly reduced fecundity (χ(2) = 19.1, df = 2, p = 7.0 × 10(-5)). Further extensive phenotypic analyses suggest hyperactivity (p < 0.05) of DUF1220 mice and changes in gene expression levels of brain associated with distinct neurological functions and disease. Other changes that met statistical significance include an increase in plasma glucose concentration (as measured by area under the curve, AUC 0-30 and AUC 30-120) in male mutants, fasting glucose levels, reduce sodium levels in male mutants, increased levels of the liver functional indicator ALAT/GPT in males, levels of alkaline phosphatase (also an indicator of liver function), mean R and SR amplitude by electrocardiography, elevated IgG3 levels, a reduced ratio of CD4:CD8 cells, and a reduced frequency of T cells; though it should be noted that many of these differences are quite small and require further examination. The linking of DUF1220 loss to a


    Wildlife studies suggest that consumption of contaminated fish from the Great Lakes may expose humans to polychlorinated biphenyls and persistent chlorinated pesticides. To assess whether time to pregnancy or fecundability is affected, we conducted a telephone survey in 1993 with...

  2. Ovarian stimulation and embryo quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baart, Esther; Macklon, Nick S.; Fauser, Bart J. C. M.

    To Study the effects of different ovarian stimulation approaches on oocyte and embryo quality, it is imperative to assess embryo quality with a reliable and objective method. Embryos rated as high quality by standardized morphological assessment are associated with higher implantation and pregnancy

  3. Fecundity of paternal and maternal non-parental female relatives of homosexual and heterosexual men.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Camperio Ciani

    Full Text Available A variety of social, developmental, biological and genetic factors influence sexual orientation in males. Thus, several hypotheses have attempted to explain the sustenance of genetic factors that influence male homosexuality, despite decreased fecundity within the homosexuals. Kin selection, the existence of maternal effects and two forms of balancing selection, sexually antagonistic selection and overdominance, have been proposed as compensatory mechanisms for reduced homosexual fecundity. Here, we suggest that the empirical support for kin selection and maternal effects cannot account for the low universal frequency and stability of the distribution of homosexuals. To identify the responsible compensatory mechanism, we analyzed fecundity in 2,100 European female relatives, i.e., aunts and grandmothers, of either homosexual or heterosexual probands who were matched in terms of age, culture and sampling strategy. Female relatives were chosen to avoid the sampling bias of the fraternal birth order effect, which occurs when indirectly sampling mothers though their homosexual sons. We observed that the maternal aunts and grandmothers of homosexual probands were significantly more fecund compared with the maternal aunts and maternal grandmothers of the heterosexual probands. No difference in fecundity was observed in the paternal female lines (grandmothers or aunts from either of the two proband groups. Moreover, due to the selective increase in maternal female fecundity, the total female fecundity was significantly higher in homosexual than heterosexual probands, thus compensating for the reduced fecundity of homosexuals. Altogether, these data support an X-linked multi-locus sexually antagonistic hypothesis rather than an autosomal multi-locus overdominance hypothesis.

  4. Nonylphenol stimulates fecundity but not population growth rate (λ) of Folsomia candida

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Widarto, T. H.; Krogh, P. H.; Forbes, V. E.


    of NP on these traits did not result in a statistically significant increase in population growth rate (λ). Decomposition analysis indicated that fecundity was the main contributor to the (non-significant) changes observed in λ However, since the elasticity of fecundity was very low, large changes...... at the population level and that λ is an appropriate endpoint for ecotoxicological studies. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved...

  5. impact on embryo quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marijan Tandara


    Conclusions: In men with poorer semen quality, evaluated by standard semen parameters, a higher proportion of sperm with damaged DNA can also be expected. Higher sperm DNA damage, established by Halosperm test, also had an impact on embryo quality in this group of patients.

  6. Embryo Aggregation in Pig Improves Cloning Efficiency and Embryo Quality. (United States)

    Buemo, Carla Paola; Gambini, Andrés; Moro, Lucia Natalia; Hiriart, María Inés; Fernández-Martín, Rafael; Collas, Philippe; Salamone, Daniel Felipe


    In this study, we analyzed the effects of the cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro embryo development and embryo quality by measuring blastocyst diameter and cell number, DNA fragmentation levels and the expression of genes associated with pluripotency, apoptosis, trophoblast and DNA methylation in the porcine. Zona-free reconstructed cloned embryos were cultured in the well of the well system, placing one (1x non aggregated group) or three (3x group) embryos per microwell. Our results showed that aggregation of three embryos increased blastocyst formation rate and blastocyst diameter of cloned pig embryos. DNA fragmentation levels in 3x aggregated cloned blastocysts were significantly decreased compared to 1x blastocysts. Levels of Oct4, Klf4, Igf2, Bax and Dnmt 1 transcripts were significantly higher in aggregated embryos, whereas Nanog levels were not affected. Transcripts of Cdx2 and Bcl-xl were essentially non-detectable. Our study suggests that embryo aggregation in the porcine may be beneficial for cloned embryo development and embryo quality, through a reduction in apoptotic levels and an improvement in cell reprogramming.

  7. Oogenesis, fecundity and condition of Baltic herring (Clupea harengus L.): A stereological study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bucholtz, R. Hagstrøm; Tomkiewicz, J.; Nyengaard, Jens Randel


    Herring (Clupea harengus) is a capital breeder that stores energy reserves in muscle tissue. Individual potential fecundity relies on the size and weight of female fish. Poor condition during the maturation process can lead to a heavy down-regulation of fecundity through atresia and, in the extre...... was a good predictor of potential fecundity within maturing stages of females. Combined with estimates of skipped spawning, this ovary weight could be used to estimate egg production thereby improving Central Baltic herring stock-recruitment models.......-regulation of fecundity. Although determined as spring spawners by otolith hatch type, 15% of the randomly sampled females were characterized by oocytes in CA stage in the prespawning period, indicating skipped spawning. The condition of these females was poor, which might have resulted in skipped spawning. Ovary weight......Herring (Clupea harengus) is a capital breeder that stores energy reserves in muscle tissue. Individual potential fecundity relies on the size and weight of female fish. Poor condition during the maturation process can lead to a heavy down-regulation of fecundity through atresia and, in the extreme...

  8. Embryo production in the sponge-dwelling snapping shrimp Synalpheus apioceros (Decapoda, Alpheidae from Bocas del Toro, Panama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Rebolledo


    Full Text Available Caridean shrimps of the genus Synalpheus are abundant and widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions, but knowledge of their reproductive biology remains scarce. We report reproductive traits of Synalpheus apioceros from Bocas del Toro, Panama, based on collections in August 2011. The 46 ovigerous females that were analyzed ranged in size from 3.8 to 7.4 mm in carapace length. Fecundity varied between 8 and 310 embryos and increased with female size. Females invested 18.6 ± 10.3% of their body weight in Embryo production. Embryo volume increased considerably (77.2% during embryogenesis, likely representing water uptake near the end of incubation period. Compared to Synalpheus species with abbreviated or direct development, S. apioceros produced substantially smaller embryos; however, S. apioceros seems to have a prolonged larval phase with at least five zoeal stages, which may explain the combination of relatively small and numerous embryos. We did not find nonviable, minute, chalky embryos, previously reported for S. apioceros specimens obtained from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, which supports the hypothesis that the production of this type of embryos may be a physiological response of this warm-water species to the temperature decrease near to its latitudinal range limit.

  9. Global gene expression profiling of individual human oocytes and embryos demonstrates heterogeneity in early development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Shaw

    Full Text Available Early development in humans is characterised by low and variable embryonic viability, reflected in low fecundity and high rates of miscarriage, relative to other mammals. Data from assisted reproduction programmes provides additional evidence that this is largely mediated at the level of embryonic competence and is highly heterogeneous among embryos. Understanding the basis of this heterogeneity has important implications in a number of areas including: the regulation of early human development, disorders of pregnancy, assisted reproduction programmes, the long term health of children which may be programmed in early development, and the molecular basis of pluripotency in human stem cell populations. We have therefore investigated global gene expression profiles using polyAPCR amplification and microarray technology applied to individual human oocytes and 4-cell and blastocyst stage embryos. In order to explore the basis of any variability in detail, each developmental stage is replicated in triplicate. Our data show that although transcript profiles are highly stage-specific, within each stage they are relatively variable. We describe expression of a number of gene families and pathways including apoptosis, cell cycle and amino acid metabolism, which are variably expressed and may be reflective of embryonic developmental competence. Overall, our data suggest that heterogeneity in human embryo developmental competence is reflected in global transcript profiles, and that the vast majority of existing human embryo gene expression data based on pooled oocytes and embryos need to be reinterpreted.

  10. Time-varying cycle average and daily variation in ambient air pollution and fecundability. (United States)

    Nobles, Carrie J; Schisterman, Enrique F; Ha, Sandie; Buck Louis, Germaine M; Sherman, Seth; Mendola, Pauline


    Does ambient air pollution affect fecundability? While cycle-average air pollution exposure was not associated with fecundability, we observed some associations for acute exposure around ovulation and implantation with fecundability. Ambient air pollution exposure has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and decrements in semen quality. The LIFE study (2005-2009), a prospective time-to-pregnancy study, enrolled 501 couples who were followed for up to one year of attempting pregnancy. Average air pollutant exposure was assessed for the menstrual cycle before and during the proliferative phase of each observed cycle (n = 500 couples; n = 2360 cycles) and daily acute exposure was assessed for sensitive windows of each observed cycle (n = 440 couples; n = 1897 cycles). Discrete-time survival analysis modeled the association between fecundability and an interquartile range increase in each pollutant, adjusting for co-pollutants, site, age, race/ethnicity, parity, body mass index, smoking, income and education. Cycle-average air pollutant exposure was not associated with fecundability. In acute models, fecundability was diminished with exposure to ozone the day before ovulation and nitrogen oxides 8 days post ovulation (fecundability odds ratio [FOR] 0.83, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.72, 0.96 and FOR 0.84, 95% CI: 0.71, 0.99, respectively). However, particulate matter ≤10 microns 6 days post ovulation was associated with greater fecundability (FOR 1.25, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.54). Although our study was unlikely to be biased due to confounding, misclassification of air pollution exposure and the moderate study size may have limited our ability to detect an association between ambient air pollution and fecundability. While no associations were observed for cycle-average ambient air pollution exposure, consistent with past research in the United States, exposure during critical windows of hormonal variability was associated with prospectively measured couple

  11. Derivation of Two New Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines from Nonviable Human Embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Gavrilov


    Full Text Available We report the derivation and characterization of two new human embryonic stem cells (hESC lines (CU1 and CU2 from embryos with an irreversible loss of integrated organismic function. In addition, we analyzed retrospective data of morphological progression from embryonic day (ED 5 to ED6 for 2480 embryos not suitable for clinical use to assess grading criteria indicative of loss of viability on ED5. Our analysis indicated that a large proportion of in vitro fertilization (IVF embryos not suitable for clinical use could be used for hESC derivation. Based on these combined findings, we propose that criteria commonly used in IVF clinics to determine optimal embryos for uterine transfer can be employed to predict the potential for hESC derivation from poor quality embryos without the destruction of vital human embryos.

  12. Immunoelectron microscopy in embryos. (United States)

    Sierralta, W D


    Immunogold labeling of proteins in sections of embryos embedded in acrylate media provides an important analytical tool when the resolving power of the electron microscope is required to define sites of protein function. The protocol presented here was established to analyze the role and dynamics of the activated protein kinase C/Rack1 regulatory system in the patterning and outgrowth of limb bud mesenchyme. With minor changes, especially in the composition of the fixative solution, the protocol should be easily adaptable for the postembedding immunogold labeling of any other antigen in tissues of embryos of diverse species. Quantification of the labeling can be achieved by using electron microscope systems capable of supporting digital image analysis. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  13. Proteomic and transcriptomic analyses of fecundity in the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens (Stål). (United States)

    Zhai, Yifan; Zhang, Jianqing; Sun, Zhongxiang; Dong, Xiaolin; He, Yuan; Kang, Kui; Liu, Zhichao; Zhang, Wenqing


    As an r-strategy insect species, the brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens (Stål) is a serious pest of rice crops in the temperate and tropical regions of Asia and Australia, which may be due to its robust fecundity. Here we combined 2-DE comparative proteomic and RNA-seq transcriptomic analyses to identify fecundity-related proteins and genes. Using high- and low-fecundity populations as sample groups, a total of 54 and 75 proteins were significantly altered in the third and sixth day brachypterous female stages, respectively, and 39 and 54 of these proteins were identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF MS. In addition, 71,966 unigenes were quantified by Illumina sequencing. On the basis of the transcriptomic analysis, 7408 and 1639 unigenes demonstrated higher expression levels in the high-fecundity population in the second day brachypterous female adults and the second day fifth instar nymphs, respectively, and 411 unigenes were up-regulated in both groups. Of these dozens of proteins and thousands of unigenes, five were differentially expressed at both the protein and mRNA levels at all four time points, suggesting that these genes may regulate fecundity. Glutamine synthetase (GS) was chosen for further functional studies. RNAi knockdown of the GS gene reduced the fecundity of N. lugens by 64.6%, disrupted ovary development, and inhibited vitellogenin (Vg) expression. Our results show that a combination of proteomic and transcriptomic analyses provided five candidate proteins and genes for further study. The knowledge gained from this study may lead to a more fundamental understanding of the fecundity of this important agricultural insect pest.

  14. Variable effects of dipteran parasitoids and management treatment on grasshopper fecundity in a tallgrass prairie. (United States)

    Laws, A N; Joern, A


    Grasshoppers host a number of parasitoids, but little is known about their impact on grasshopper life history attributes or how those impacts may vary with land use. Here, we report on a three-year survey of nine grasshopper species in a tallgrass prairie managed with fire and bison grazing treatments. We measured parasitoid prevalence and the impact of parasitoid infection on grasshopper fecundity to determine if grasshopper-parasitoid interactions varied with management treatment. Adult female grasshoppers were collected every three weeks from eight watersheds managed with different prescribed burning and grazing treatments. Grasshopper fecundity with and without parasitoids was estimated through dissections of reproductive tracts. Dipteran parasitoids from two families (Nemestrinidae and Tachinidae) were observed infecting grasshoppers. We found significant effects of grazing treatment, but not burn interval, on grasshopper-parasitoid interactions. Parasitoids were three times more abundant in watersheds with bison grazing than in ungrazed watersheds, and the relative abundance of nemestrinid and tachinid flies varied with grazing treatment. Parasitoid prevalence varied among grasshopper species from grasshopper fecundity, with stronger effects on current reproduction than on past reproduction. Furthermore, current fecundity in parasitized grasshoppers was lower in grazed watersheds compared to ungrazed watersheds. Nemestrinid parasitoids generally had stronger impacts on grasshopper fecundity than tachinid parasitoids, the effects of which were more variable.

  15. On the fecundity of the Black Sea bream, Spondyliosoma cantharus (L. , from the Adriatic Sea (Croatian coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakov Dulcic


    Full Text Available The fecundity of the Black Sea bream from the eastern middle Adriatic (Croatian coast was assessed by the volumetric method using 59 ovaries in pre-spawning stage from fish between 18.5 and 33.5 cm total length. Estimates of total potential annual fecundity varied between 31,670 and 554,070 eggs per female. Relationships between total potential fecundity and total length (TL, total weight (TW and age (A were established using the multiplicative regression model. Relative fecundity is constant, reaching a maximum of 850 eggs per g in the 30.5 cm to 31.0 cm length class.

  16. Maternal age and in vitro culture affect mitochondrial number and function in equine oocytes and embryos

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, W Karin; Colleoni, Silvia; Galli, Cesare; Paris, Damien B B P; Colenbrander, Ben; Roelen, Bernard A J; Stout, Tom A E


    Advanced maternal age and in vitro embryo production (IVP) predispose to pregnancy loss in horses. We investigated whether mare age and IVP were associated with alterations in mitochondrial (mt) DNA copy number or function that could compromise oocyte and embryo development. Effects of mare age

  17. Invited commentary: Monitoring fecundity over time, if we do it, then let us do it right

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Jørn; Rachootin, Pamela


    A number of investigators have pointed to the possibility of a secular decline in human fecundity due to changes in sperm concentration. It is unlikely that any historical trends will be definitively quantified, but a good case can be made for more precise monitoring of this phenomenon in the fut......A number of investigators have pointed to the possibility of a secular decline in human fecundity due to changes in sperm concentration. It is unlikely that any historical trends will be definitively quantified, but a good case can be made for more precise monitoring of this phenomenon...... in the future. Such monitoring would be justified on the grounds of the importance of early detection of environmental effects on the capacity of humans to reproduce. Establishing a surveillance system that will be sensitive enough to detect changes in fecundity over time is, however, a challenging enterprise...

  18. Fecundity of walleyes in western Lake Erie, 1966 and 1990-91 (United States)

    Muth, Kenneth M.; Ickes, Brian S.


    Ovaries were collected from walleyes (Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) in western Lake Erie just prior to spawning in 1990 and 1991 to determine current fecundity. Results were compared with fecundity determined in 1966 prior to stock rehabilitation when walleye abundance was lower and fish size at age was greater. Fecundity estimates determined from 121 fish aged 3-10 ranged from 53,000 to 426,000 eggs per female. Increases in egg production correlated with increases in length and weight, and weight accounting for most of the variability. In 1990-91 the mean egg production of the dominant age groups of spawners (ages 4 to 8) was approximately 25% lower than fishes of similar age in 1966. The mean egg diameter in 1990-91 (1.63 mm) was not related to the size or age of the fish and was not significantly smaller than the egg diameter in 1966 (1.72 mm).

  19. The fecundity of fork-tailed threadfin bream (Nemipterus furcosus) in Bangka, Bangka Belitung (United States)

    Utami, E.; Safitriyani, E.; Gatra Persada, Leo


    Fork-tailed threadfin bream (Nemipterus furcosus) is one of important economic fishes in Bangka. The sustainability of fork-tailed threadfin bream is threatened by degradation of natural habitat. Information of reproductive is needed for further management. The objective of this study was to examine fecundity of fork-tailed threadfin bream. The mean values of temperature was 28.83 ± 0,37°C, respectively. Sex ratio during sampling showed that female fork-tailed threadfin bream greater than male population. Berried female fork-tailed threadfin bream found from March until November. The greatest number of berried female fork-tailed threadfin bream showed in July with berried female value of 25. Fork-tailed threadfin bream fecundity was 19951 and 66628, respectively. The fecundity data can be used to access the reproductive potential of fish stock and also as an assessment on stock size of their natural population.

  20. HSPC117 deficiency in cloned embryos causes placental abnormality and fetal death

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Yingying; Hai, Tang; Liu, Zichuan; Zhou, Shuya; Lv, Zhuo; Ding, Chenhui; Liu, Lei; Niu, Yuyu; Zhao, Xiaoyang; Tong, Man; Wang, Liu; Jouneau, Alice; Zhang, Xun; Ji, Weizhi; Zhou, Qi


    Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has been successfully used in many species to produce live cloned offspring, albeit with low efficiency. The low frequency of successful development has usually been ascribed to incomplete or inappropriate reprogramming of the transferred nuclear genome. Elucidating the genetic differences between normal fertilized and cloned embryos is key to understand the low efficiency of SCNT. Here, we show that expression of HSPC117, which encodes a hypothetical protein of unknown function, was absent or very low in cloned mouse blastocysts. To investigate the role of HSPC117 in embryo development, we knocked-down this gene in normal fertilized embryos using RNA interference. We assessed the post-implantation survival of HSPC117 knock-down embryos at 3 stages: E9 (prior to placenta formation); E12 (after the placenta was fully functional) and E19 (post-natal). Our results show that, although siRNA-treated in vivo fertilized/produced (IVP) embryos could develop to the blastocyst stage and implanted without any difference from control embryos, the knock-down embryos showed substantial fetal death, accompanied by placental blood clotting, at E12. Furthermore, comparison of HSPC117 expression in placentas of nuclear transfer (NT), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and IVP embryos confirmed that HSPC117 deficiency correlates well with failures in embryo development: all NT embryos with a fetus, as well as IVP and ICSI embryos, had normal placental HSPC117 expression while those NT embryos showing reduced or no expression of HSPC117 failed to form a fetus. In conclusion, we show that HSPC117 is an important gene for post-implantation development of embryos, and that HSPC117 deficiency leads to fetal abnormalities after implantation, especially following placental formation. We suggest that defects in HSPC117 expression may be an important contributing factor to loss of cloned NT embryos in vivo.

  1. Yeast derivatives and wheat germ in the adult diet modulates fecundity in a tephritid pest. (United States)

    Goane, L; Pereyra, P M; Castro, F; Ruiz, M J; Juárez, M L; Segura, D F; Vera, M T


    Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann), a pest of great economic importance in South America, needs urgently to be controlled by environmentally friendly methods such as the sterile insect technique for which mass rearing of insects is required. Because oogenesis takes place during the adult stage, mass-rearing facilities should provide the females a diet that maximizes egg production at the lowest cost. Accordingly, we investigated the effect of artificial protein sources in the adult diet (yeast derivatives of different cost but with similar amino acids profiles, and the addition of wheat germ) on fecundity. Additionally, we evaluated different ratios of yeast derivatives or wheat germ on ovary maturation, fecundity, and fertility as well as their association with the nutrient content of females. Females fed hydrolyzed yeast and yeast extract attained the highest fecundity level, and those fed brewer's yeast the lowest. Reducing the amount of hydrolyzed yeast, an expensive protein source, in the diet negatively affected fecundity and ovary maturation. Increasing the amount of brewer's yeast, a low-cost protein source, did not favor fecundity. The addition of wheat germ in the adult diet improved fecundity regardless of the yeast derivate considered. Percentage of egg hatch was not affected by the diet. Nutrient content of A. fraterculus females varied according to the adult diet provided and mating status. Our findings provide novel baseline information to understand the role of nutrition on reproductive performance of A. fraterculus females and are discussed in the context of resource allocation. They also provide valuable advances in the search for cost-effective adult diets at fruit fly mass rearing facilities.

  2. Who abandons embryos after IVF?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Walsh, A P H


    This investigation describes features of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) patients who never returned to claim their embryos following cryopreservation. Frozen embryo data were reviewed to establish communication patterns between patient and clinic; embryos were considered abandoned when 1) an IVF patient with frozen embryo\\/s stored at our facility failed to make contact with our clinic for > 2 yrs and 2) the patient could not be located after a multi-modal outreach effort was undertaken. For these patients, telephone numbers had been disconnected and no forwarding address was available. Patient, spouse and emergency family contact\\/s all escaped detection efforts despite an exhaustive public database search including death records and Internet directory portals. From 3244 IVF cycles completed from 2000 to 2008, > or = 1 embryo was frozen in 1159 cases (35.7%). Those without correspondence for > 2 yrs accounted for 292 (25.2%) patients with frozen embryos; 281 were contacted by methods including registered (signature involving abandoned embryos did not differ substantially from other patients. The goal of having a baby was achieved by 10\\/11 patients either by spontaneous conception, adoption or IVF. One patient moved away with conception status unconfirmed. The overall rate of embryo abandonment was 11\\/1159 (< 1%) in this IVF population. Pre-IVF counselling minimises, but does not totally eliminate, the problem of abandoned embryos. As the number of abandoned embryos from IVF accumulates, their fate urgently requires clarification. We propose that clinicians develop a policy consistent with relevant Irish Constitutional provisions to address this medical dilemma.

  3. Fecundity and spawning of Abralia verany (Rüppell, 1844 (Cephalopoda: Enoploteuthidae in the Aegean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alp Salman


    Full Text Available A total of 24 female Abralia verany specimens, with a mantle length between 26-47 mm, were investigated. The mean potential fecundity (PF and mean relative fecundity (RF of ovaries were calculated as 26584 eggs and 4379 eggs g-1, respectively. The mean egg number determined in the oviduct was 251. Diameters of ripe eggs in the oviduct were approximately 1.01 mm. According to the findings given above the PF values of A. verany in the eastern Mediterranean are higher than the ones off northwest Africa.

  4. Fecundity and life table of different morphotypes of Phlebotomus argentipes (Diptera: Psychodidae). (United States)

    Dinesh, D S; Kumar, A J; Kumar, V; Ranjan, A; Das, P


    Phlebotomus argentipes Annandale and Brunetti (Diptera: Psychodidae), the established vector for Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) have shown some morphological variations in India and its subcontinents. The variable egg laying capacity was found in different morphotypes of P. argentipes with maximum in type III followed by type I and II. The fecundity was enhanced by providing 25% glucose soaked filter paper surface in all types. However, significant increase was found in type-I (P < 0.05). The differences in fecundity indicate the biological variations among P. argentipes population. The findings will be helpful in searching out the sibling species among P. argentipes population.

  5. Proteomics of desiccation tolerance during development and germination of maize embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huang, Hui; Møller, Ian Max; Song, Song-Quan


    Maize seeds were used to identify the key embryo proteins involved in desiccation tolerance during development and germination. Immature maize embryos (28N) during development and mature embryos imbibed for 72 h (72HN) are desiccation sensitive. Mature maize embryos (52N) during development...... pattern. We infer that these eleven proteins are involved in seed desiccation tolerance. We conclude that desiccation-tolerant embryos make more economical use of their resources to accumulate protective molecules and antioxidant systems to deal with maturation drying and desiccation treatment........ are desiccation tolerant. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substance and hydrogen peroxide contents decreased and increased with acquisition and loss of desiccation tolerance, respectively. A total of 111 protein spots changed significantly (1.5 fold increase/decrease) in desiccation-tolerant and -sensitive embryos...

  6. Embryos, genes, and birth defects

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ferretti, Patrizia


    ... Structural anomalies The genesis of chromosome abnormalities Embryo survival The cause of high levels of chromosome abnormality in human embryos Relative parental risks - age, translocations, inversions, gonadal and germinal mosaics 33 33 34 35 36 44 44 45 4 Identification and Analysis of Genes Involved in Congenital Malformation Syndromes Peter J. Scambler Ge...

  7. Effects of region, demography, and protection from fishing on batch fecundity of common coral trout ( Plectropomus leopardus) (United States)

    Carter, Alex B.; Davies, Campbell R.; Mapstone, Bruce D.; Russ, Garry R.; Tobin, Andrew J.; Williams, Ashley J.


    Batch fecundity of female Plectropomus leopardus, a coral reef fish targeted by commercial and recreational fishing, was compared between reefs open to fishing and reefs within no-take marine reserves within three regions of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. Length, weight, and age had positive effects on batch fecundity of spawners from northern and central reefs but negligible effects on spawners from southern reefs. Females were least fecund for a given length, weight, and age in the southern GBR. Batch fecundity of a 500-mm fork length female was 430 % greater on central reefs and 207 % greater on northern reefs than on southern reefs. The effects of length and age on batch fecundity did not differ significantly between reserve and fished reefs in any region, but weight-specific fecundity was 100 % greater for large 2.0 kg females on reserve reefs compared with fished reefs in the central GBR. We hypothesize that regional variation in batch fecundity is likely driven by water temperature and prey availability. Significant regional variation in batch fecundity highlights the need for understanding spatial variation in reproductive output where single conservation or fishery management strategies cover large, potentially diverse, spatial scales.

  8. Age at sexual maturity, sex ratio, fecundity, and longevity of isolated headwater populations of westslope cutthroat trout (United States)

    Christopher C. Downs; Robert G. White; Bradley B. Shepard


    We sampled 19 isolated headwater populations of westslope cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi in Montana to provide estimates of fecundity, longevity, sex ratio, and age at sexual maturity. Fecundity was estimated for 31 fish collected from two streams in the upper Missouri River drainage. Females smaller than 149 mm fork length (FL) were generally immature and...

  9. Propylthiouracil is teratogenic in murine embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria C Benavides

    Full Text Available Hyperthyroidism during pregnancy is treated with the antithyroid drugs (ATD propylthiouracil (PTU and methimazole (MMI. PTU currently is recommended as the drug of choice during early pregnancy. Yet, despite widespread ATD use in pregnancy, formal studies of ATD teratogenic effects have not been performed.We examined the teratogenic effects of PTU and MMI during embryogenesis in mice. To span different periods of embryogenesis, dams were treated with compounds or vehicle daily from embryonic day (E 7.5 to 9.5 or from E3.5 to E7.5. Embryos were examined for gross malformations at E10.5 or E18.5 followed by histological and micro-CT analysis. Influences of PTU on gene expression levels were examined by RNA microarray analysis.When dams were treated from E7.5 to E9.5 with PTU, neural tube and cardiac abnormalities were observed at E10.5. Cranial neural tube defects were significantly more common among the PTU-exposed embryos than those exposed to MMI or vehicle. Blood in the pericardial sac, which is a feature indicative of abnormal cardiac function and/or abnormal vasculature, was observed more frequently in PTU-treated than MMI-treated or vehicle-treated embryos. Following PTU treatment, a total of 134 differentially expressed genes were identified. Disrupted genetic pathways were those associated with cytoskeleton remodeling and keratin filaments. At E 18.5, no gross malformations were evident in either ATD group, but the number of viable PTU embryos per dam at E18.5 was significantly lower from those at E10.5, indicating loss of malformed embryos. These data show that PTU exposure during embryogenesis is associated with delayed neural tube closure and cardiac abnormalities. In contrast, we did not observe structural or cardiac defects associated with MMI exposure except at the higher dose. We find that PTU exposure during embryogenesis is associated with fetal loss. These observations suggest that PTU has teratogenic potential.

  10. Laboratory techniques for human embryos. (United States)

    Geber, Selmo; Sales, Liana; Sampaio, Marcos A C


    This review is concerned with laboratory techniques needed for assisted conception, particularly the handling of gametes and embryos. Such methods are being increasingly refined. Successive stages of fertilization and embryogenesis require especial care, and often involve the use of micromanipulative methods for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Embryologists must take responsibility for gamete collection and preparation, and for deciding on the means of insemination or ICSI. Embryos must be assessed in culture, during the 1-cell, cleaving and morula/blastocyst stages, and classified according to quality. Co-culture methods may be necessary. The best embryos for transfer must be selected and loaded into the transfer catheter. Embryos not transferred must be cryopreserved, which demands the correct application of current methods of media preparation, seeding and the correct speed for cooling and warming. Before too long, methods of detecting abnormal embryos and avoiding their transfer may become widespread.

  11. Viability of bovine demi embryo after splitting of fresh and frozen thawed embryo derived from in vitro embryo production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Imron


    Full Text Available In vivo embryo production was limited by number of donor, wide variability respond due to superovulation program and also immunoactifity of superovulation hormone (FSH. Splitting technology could be an alternative to increase the number of transferrable embryos into recipien cows. Splitting is done with cutting embryo becoming two equal pieces (called demi embrio base on ICM orientation. The objective of this research was to determine the viability of demi embryo obtained from embryo splitting of fresh and frozen thawed embryo. The results showed that demi embryos which performed blastocoel reexpansion 3 hours after embryo splitting using fresh and frozen thawed embryos were 76.9 and 76.2% respectively. Base on existention of inner cell mass (ICM, the number of demi embryos developed with ICM from fresh and frozen thawed embryos were not significantly different (90.6 and 85.7% respectively. The cell number of demi embryo from fresh embryos splitting was not different compared with those from frozen thawed embryos (36.1 and 35.9 respectively. These finding indicated that embryo splitting can be applied to frozen thawed embryos with certain condition as well as fresh embryos.

  12. Effects of electromagnetic fields on fecundity in the chicken. (United States)

    Krueger, W F; Giarola, A J; Bradley, J W; Shrekenhamer, A


    , except for the controls and the hens exposed to the elf electric field. The hatchs of fertile and of total eggs were not significantly influenced by exposure to any of the five fields. A considerably lower incidence of male chicks was noted in the elf magnetic field treatment (32.3%). The sex ratio in the other groups appeared to be relatively normal. No macroscopic abnormalities attributable to treatments were noted in the chicks hatched or in the dead embryos.

  13. Body Size, Fecundity, and Sexual Size Dimorphism in the Neotropical Cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta (Saussure) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). (United States)

    Cueva Del Castillo, R


    Body size is directly or indirectly correlated with fitness. Body size, which conveys maximal fitness, often differs between sexes. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) evolves because body size tends to be related to reproductive success through different pathways in males and females. In general, female insects are larger than males, suggesting that natural selection for high female fecundity could be stronger than sexual selection in males. I assessed the role of body size and fecundity in SSD in the Neotropical cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta (Saussure). This species shows a SSD bias toward males. Females did not present a correlation between number of eggs and body size. Nonetheless, there were fluctuations in the number of eggs carried by females during the sampling period, and the size of females that were collected carrying eggs was larger than that of females collected with no eggs. Since mating induces vitellogenesis in some cricket species, differences in female body size might suggest male mate choice. Sexual selection in the body size of males of M. macilenta may possibly be stronger than the selection of female fecundity. Even so, no mating behavior was observed during the field observations, including audible male calling or courtship songs, yet males may produce ultrasonic calls due to their size. If female body size in M. macilenta is not directly related to fecundity, the lack of a correlated response to selection on female body size could represent an alternate evolutionary pathway in the evolution of body size and SSD in insects.

  14. Male sleep duration and fecundability in a North American preconception cohort study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wise, Lauren Anne; Rothman, Kenneth Jay; Wesselink, Amelia Kent


    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate prospectively the association between male sleep duration and fecundability. DESIGN: Pregnancy Online Study (PRESTO), a Web-based prospective cohort study of North American couples enrolled during the preconception period (2013-2017). SETTING: Not applicable. PATIENT(S): Male...

  15. Fecundity and gonadosomatic index of Glossogobius giuris (Hamilton, 1822 from the Payra River, Patuakhali, Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Animesh Roy


    Full Text Available Glossogobius giuris were collected during March to September 2013 from the Payra river to estimate the length-weight relationship with relative condition factor (Kn, fecundity, gonadosomatic index (GSI and relation between fecundity and other parameters. The length-weight relationship was found to be Log W= 2.667 Log TL – 1.805 in male and Log W = 2.931 Log TL – 2.040 in female. The mean Kn were found to be 1.02±0.155 for male and 0.97±0.276 for female which indicates satisfactory condition of the fish population. The mean relative fecundity was ranged from 88495 to 264104 with a mean value of 171581±17855, having a average total length of 21.21±0.44 cm, body weight 70.22±4.62 g and gonad weight 2.74±0.31 g. The relationships among the fecundity, the total length, body weight, gonad weight were found to be linear and positively correlated. The mean GSI value was 3.42±0.33 and the highest GSI value was recorded 9.34±0.71 in the month of September. This study will help to introduce this species in sustainable aquaculture through proper management and for the development of induced breeding technique.

  16. Normal reference ranges for semen quality and their relations to fecundity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skakkebaek, Niels E


    Several recent studies have shown that the fecundity of a man decreases progressively with sperm concentrations below 40 million spermatozoa per mL. Therefore, it is unfortunate that the new World Health Organization guidelines for semen analysis recommend lowering the lower cutoff value for norm...

  17. Spatial and temporal variation in Baltic sprat (Sprattus sprattus balticus S.) batch fecundity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haslob, Holger; Tomkiewicz, Jonna; Hinrichsen, Hans-Harald

    ,salinity, oxygen content as well as fish and stock size were tested as explanatory variables. The data obtained in this investigation were used to develop a predictive model of Balticsprat batch fecundity. Coupling these results with existing ichthyoplankton survey and stockstructure data will allow applying...

  18. Delaying childbearing : Effect of age on fecundity and outcome of pregnancy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noord-Zaadstra, B.M. van; Looman, C.W.N.; Alsbach, H.; Habbema, J.D.F.; Velde, E.R. te; Karbaat, J.


    Objectives - To study the age of the start of the fall (critical age) in fecundity; the probability of a pregnancy leading to a healthy baby taking into account the age of the woman; and, combining these results, to determine the age dependent probability of getting a healthy baby. Design - Cohort

  19. Normal reference ranges for semen quality and their relations to fecundity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skakkebaek, Niels E


    Several recent studies have shown that the fecundity of a man decreases progressively with sperm concentrations below 40 million spermatozoa per mL. Therefore, it is unfortunate that the new World Health Organization guidelines for semen analysis recommend lowering the lower cutoff value for normal...

  20. Local anthropogenic contamination affects the fecundity and reproductive success of an Arctic amphipod

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bach, L.; Fischer, A.; Strand, J.


    This study investigates whether adaptation to life in contaminated Arctic areas carries a cost for the populations in terms of reduced fecundity and reproductive success. The benthic amphipod, Orchomenella pinguis occurs in huge densities in both clean and contaminated sites. O. pinguis was

  1. Predictions of realised fecundity and spawning time in Norwegian spring-spawning herring ( Clupea harengus) (United States)

    Óskarsson, G. J.; Kjesbu, O. S.; Slotte, A.


    Maturing Norwegian spring-spawning (NSS) herring, Clupea harengus, were collected for reproductive analyses along the Norwegian coast prior to the spawning seasons of 1997-2000. Over this time period there was a marked change in weight (W) at length (TL) with 1998 showing extremely low values and 2000 high values in a historical perspective. Potential fecundity, amounting to about 20 000-100 000 developing (vitellogenic) oocytes per fish and positively related to fish size, increased significantly with fish condition. Relative somatic potential fecundity (RF P, number of oocytes per g ovary-free body weight) in NSS herring was found to vary by 35-55% between years. Unexpectedly, females in 2000 showed low RF P-values, possibly due to negative feedback from previous reproductive investments at low condition. A clear threshold value for Fulton's condition factor, K (K=100×W/TL 3), of 0.65-0.70 existed below which there was considerable atresia (resorption of vitellogenic oocytes). Thus, these components of the spawning stock, amounting to 1-46% in the period 1980-1999, obviously contributed relatively little to the total egg production. This was confirmed by low ovary weights and examples of delayed oocyte development in these individuals. An up-to-date atresia model is presented. The established oocyte growth curve, and to a lesser degree the assumed atretic oocytic turnover rate, was critical for the estimation of realised fecundity (number of eggs spawned). Modelled realised fecundity was significantly below observed potential fecundity. Females that had migrated the shortest distance from the over-wintering area, Vestfjorden, northern Norway, were in the poorest condition, had the least developed oocytes and the lowest potential and realised fecundities. In agreement with previously published studies on temporal and spatial changes in gonad weights, those females reaching the main spawning grounds in the south-western part of the coast (Møre) were the most

  2. Surgical manipulation of mammalian embryos in vitro. (United States)

    Naruse, I; Keino, H; Taniguchi, M


    Whole-embryo culture systems are useful in the fields of not only embryology but also teratology, toxicology, pharmacology, and physiology. Of the many advantages of whole-embryo culture, we focus here on the surgical manipulation of mammalian embryos. Whole-embryo culture allows us to manipulate mammalian embryos, similarly to fish, amphibian and avian embryos. Many surgical experiments have been performed in mammalian embryos in vitro. Such surgical manipulation alters the destiny of morphogenesis of the embryos and can answer many questions concerning developmental issues. As an example of surgical manipulation using whole-embryo culture systems, one of our experiments is described. Microsurgical electrocauterization of the deep preaxial mesodermal programmed cell death zone (fpp) in the footplate prevented the manifestation of polydactyly in genetic polydactyly mouse embryos (Pdn/Pdn), in which fpp was abolished.

  3. Oxygen diffusion in fish embryos

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kranenbarg, S.


    All vertebrate embryos pass through a developmental period of remarkably low morphological variability. This period has been called phylotypic period. During the phylotypic period, organogenesis takes place, including blood vessel development. Before the phylotypic

  4. An investigation into the possibility of bluetongue virus transmission by transfer of infected ovine embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estelle H. Venter


    Full Text Available Bluetongue (BT, a disease that affects mainly sheep, causes economic losses owing to not only its deleterious effects on animals but also its associated impact on the restriction of movement of livestock and livestock germplasm. The causative agent, bluetongue virus (BTV, can occur in the semen of rams and bulls at the time of peak viraemia and be transferred to a developing foetus. The risk of the transmission of BTV by bovine embryos is negligible if the embryos are washed according to the International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS protocol. Two experiments were undertaken to determine whether this holds for ovine embryos that had been exposed to BTV. Firstly, the oestrus cycles of 12 ewes were synchronised and the 59 embryos that were obtained were exposed in vitro to BTV-2 and BTV-4 at a dilution of 1 x 102.88 and 1 x 103.5 respectively. In the second experiment, embryos were recovered from sheep at the peak of viraemia. A total of 96 embryos were collected from BTV-infected sheep 21 days after infection. In both experiments half the embryos were washed and treated with trypsin according to the IETS protocol while the remaining embryos were neither washed nor treated. All were tested for the presence of BTV using cell culture techniques. The virus was detected after three passages in BHK-21 cells only in one wash bath in the first experiment and two unwashed embryos exposed to BTV-4 at a titre of 1 x 103.5. No embryos or uterine flush fluids obtained from viraemic donors used in the second experiment were positive for BTV after the standard washing procedure had been followed. The washing procedure of the IETS protocol can thus clear sheep embryos infected with BTV either in vitro or in vivo.

  5. [The destiny of cryopreserved embryos]. (United States)

    Karpel, L; Achour-Frydman, N; Frydman, R; Flis-Trèves, M


    To know the psychological motivations of couples who keep their embryos so long (five years and more) and do not make a decision about them. We studied 84 couples refrained from making a decision on their cryopreserved embryos for at least five years. They were invited to fill out a questionnaire focusing on three points: the reasons of the indecision, their own representation of the cryopreserved embryos and their choice for the future: donation to another couple, to research, pregnancy or no solution for the moment. Mean (S.D.) women's and men's age were respectively, 38.8 (2.5)- and 41.3 (2.5)-years old. On average, three (1-9) embryos are preserved since 7.5 (5-12) years. Most of couples are parents. Four major reasons explain their attitudes: feeling of being too aged (25%), fear of a multiple pregnancy (45%), disagreement between members of couple (20%) and fear of failure (42.5%). Multiple choices were given to the future of the embryos: 25% wanted a pregnancy, 8% wanted to give them to infertile couples, 20% to research and 27.5% did not find any solution. Twenty percent were hesitating. The representation of those embryos is more symbolic than material. Most of the time, they see them like a potential child, a hope for the future or a brother or sister of their alive children. Those embryos are symbolized. They are a proof of fertility, a hope for another child. So, whatever the legal statement, couples will be in a dilemma because it is never easy for an infertile person to renounce to embryos, and the hope for children.

  6. Action of uranium on pre implanted mouse embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kundt, Miriam S.


    percentage of atresic embryos and decrease in blastocyst formation. 2) Number of cell per embryo was evaluated in B treatment at 72, 96 and 120 hs. of culture. Only embryos with normal development were analyzed. The number of cells per embryo decrease dose dependent with respect to control and the same way the mitotic index. 3) The DNA content was evaluated in 429 individual fixed nucleus stained with Feulgen from normal morula stage at 72 hs. of culture in B treatment. The nucleus corresponding to 21 control morula and 16 treated morula was evaluated cytophotometrically. The 99.55% of control embryos showed a polar body (PB), for this reason only embryos with one haploid nuclei were considered as normal and analyzed. It was developed in an original model to identify embryo toxicity using the PB as ploidy pattern. The PB study showed that it has properties as an excellent indicator of internal ploidia: it is present from the moment of the conception, easily recognizable in the perivitelin space in the embryo of one-two cells, remaining in interface during the preimplantation development, it is haploid (1n ± 0.1) and digitalized pixel by pixel PB study showed the homogeneity of this type of cell, giving a reliable value of ploidy. The result showed that the blastomeres have suffered a loss dose dependent from the content of DNA attributable to uranium effects. The hipoploidy was increased in 3.45; 44.45 and 50.34% of embryos at 26, 52 and 104 μgU/ml respectively. The contribution of this work is to show the cytotoxic, genotoxic and embryotoxic effects of uranium from cellular and embryo development aspects. It is shown that the model used is extremely sensitive and it contributes to new and original data to interpret the mechanisms of action of uranium as environmental and occupational pollutant, being considered that it could be used for understanding the effects and mechanisms of action of other compounds. (author) [es

  7. The Early Stages of Heart Development: Insights from Chicken Embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes G. Wittig


    Full Text Available The heart is the first functioning organ in the developing embryo and a detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in its formation provides insights into congenital malformations affecting its function and therefore the survival of the organism. Because many developmental mechanisms are highly conserved, it is possible to extrapolate from observations made in invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms to humans. This review will highlight the contributions made through studying heart development in avian embryos, particularly the chicken. The major advantage of chick embryos is their accessibility for surgical manipulation and functional interference approaches, both gain- and loss-of-function. In addition to experiments performed in ovo, the dissection of tissues for ex vivo culture, genomic, or biochemical approaches is straightforward. Furthermore, embryos can be cultured for time-lapse imaging, which enables tracking of fluorescently labeled cells and detailed analysis of tissue morphogenesis. Owing to these features, investigations in chick embryos have led to important discoveries, often complementing genetic studies in mice and zebrafish. As well as including some historical aspects, we cover here some of the crucial advances made in understanding early heart development using the chicken model.

  8. Lessons from Embryos: Haeckel's Embryo Drawings, Evolution, and Secondary Biology Textbooks (United States)

    Wellner, Karen L.


    In 1997, developmental biologist Michael Richardson compared his research team's embryo photographs to Ernst Haeckel's 1874 embryo drawings and called Haeckel's work "noncredible". "Science" soon published "Haeckel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered," and Richardson's comments further reinvigorated criticism of Haeckel by…

  9. Feasibility of the current-duration approach to studying human fecundity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Slama, Rémy; Ducot, Béatrice; Carstensen, Lisbeth


    of unprotected intercourse was defined for 69 women (5.7%). An additional 15 women (1.2%) were planning to start trying to become pregnant within the next 6 months. Parametric methods allowed, based on current duration of unprotected intercourse, estimation of fecundity as if the couples had been followed...... up (current-duration design). To illustrate the feasibility of the current-duration design, we contacted a random sample of 1204 French women age 18 to 44 years in 2004 and recruited those who were currently having unprotected sexual intercourse. The current duration since the beginning...... prospectively. The estimated proportion of couples not pregnant after 12 months of unprotected intercourse was 34% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 15-54%). The accelerated-failure time model allows study of the influence of environmental factors on fecundity. As an illustration, tobacco smoking by the woman...

  10. Embryo density may affect embryo quality during in vitro culture in a microwell group culture dish. (United States)

    Lehner, Adam; Kaszas, Zita; Murber, Akos; Rigo, Janos; Urbancsek, Janos; Fancsovits, Peter


    Culturing embryos in groups is a common practice in mammalian embryology. Since the introduction of different microwell dishes, it is possible to identify oocytes or embryos individually. As embryo density (embryo-to-volume ratio) may affect the development and viability of the embryos, the purpose of this study was to assess the effect of different embryo densities on embryo quality. Data of 1337 embryos from 228 in vitro fertilization treatment cycles were retrospectively analyzed. Embryos were cultured in a 25 μl microdrop in a microwell group culture dish containing 9 microwells. Three density groups were defined: Group 1 with 2-4 (6.3-12.5 μl/embryo), Group 2 with 5-6 (4.2-5.0 μl/embryo), and Group 3 with 7-9 (2.8-3.6 μl/embryo) embryos. Proportion of good quality embryos was higher in Group 2 on both days (D2: 18.9 vs. 31.5 vs. 24.7%; p Culturing 5-6 embryos together in a culture volume of 25 μl may benefit embryo quality. As low egg number, position, and distance of the embryos may influence embryo quality, results should be interpreted with caution.

  11. Longevity and fecundity of Dichroplus maculipennis (Orthoptera, Acrididae at non-outbreaking and outbreaking situations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanina Mariottini


    Full Text Available Dichroplus maculipennis is one of the most characteristic and damaging grasshopper species of Argentina, mainly in areas of the Pampas and Patagonia regions. We estimated and compared the longevity and fecundity of adult female D. maculipennis under controlled conditions (30ºC, 14L:10D, 40% RH from individuals collected as last instar nymphs (VI in the field and with a known recent history of low and high density conditions. Densities of D. maculipennis at the collecting sites were 0.95 individuals per m² in 2006 and 46 ind/m² in 2009, representing non-outbreaking and outbreaking situations, respectively. Adult female longevity in 2006 (67.96 ± 3.2 days was significantly higher (p 0.05. The fecundity curves showed that the highest values were at weeks 11 and 13 for the 2006 females, and at week 6 for those of 2009. Since the daily oviposition rate at low and high densities was not significantly different, the diminished fecundity rate at high density is attributable to their reduced longevity.

  12. Feminists on the inalienability of human embryos. (United States)

    McLeod, Carolyn; Baylis, Francoise


    The feminist literature against the commodification of embryos in human embryo research includes an argument to the effect that embryos are "intimately connected" to persons, or morally inalienable from them. We explore why embryos might be inalienable to persons and why feminists might find this view appealing. But, ultimately, as feminists, we reject this view because it is inconsistent with full respect for women's reproductive autonomy and with a feminist conception of persons as relational, embodied beings. Overall, feminists should avoid claims about embryos' being inalienable to persons in arguments for or against the commodification of human embryos.

  13. A Simple Method for Transportation of Mouse Embryos Using Microtubes and a Warm Box.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikiko Tokoro

    Full Text Available Generally, transportation of preimplantation embryos without freezing requires incubators that can maintain an optimal culture environment with a suitable gas phase, temperature, and humidity. Such incubators are expensive to transport. We reported previously that normal offspring were obtained when the gas phase and temperature could be maintained during transportation. However, that system used plastic dishes for embryo culture and is unsuitable for long-distance transport of live embryos. Here, we developed a simple low-cost embryo transportation system. Instead of plastic dishes, several types of microtubes-usually used for molecular analysis-were tested for embryo culture. When they were washed and attached to a gas-permeable film, the rate of embryo development from the 1-cell to blastocyst stage was more than 90%. The quality of these blastocysts and the rate of full-term development after embryo transfer to recipient female mice were similar to those of a dish-cultured control group. Next, we developed a small warm box powered by a battery instead of mains power, which could maintain an optimal temperature for embryo development during transport. When 1-cell embryos derived from BDF1, C57BL/6, C3H/He and ICR mouse strains were transported by a parcel-delivery service over 3 days using microtubes and the box, they developed to blastocysts with rates similar to controls. After the embryos had been transferred into recipient female mice, healthy offspring were obtained without any losses except for the C3H/He strain. Thus, transport of mouse embryos is possible using this very simple method, which might prove useful in the field of reproductive medicine.

  14. Fine-scale mapping of natural variation in fly fecundity identifies neuronal domain of expression and function of an aquaporin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan O Bergland

    Full Text Available To gain insight into the molecular genetic basis of standing variation in fitness related traits, we identify a novel factor that regulates the molecular and physiological basis of natural variation in female Drosophila melanogaster fecundity. Genetic variation in female fecundity in flies derived from a wild orchard population is heritable and largely independent of other measured life history traits. We map a portion of this variation to a single QTL and then use deficiency mapping to further refine this QTL to 5 candidate genes. Ubiquitous expression of RNAi against only one of these genes, an aquaporin encoded by Drip, reduces fecundity. Within our mapping population Drip mRNA level in the head, but not other tissues, is positively correlated with fecundity. We localize Drip expression to a small population of corazonin producing neurons located in the dorsolateral posterior compartments of the protocerebrum. Expression of Drip-RNAi using both the pan-neuronal ELAV-Gal4 and the Crz-Gal4 drivers reduces fecundity. Low-fecundity RILs have decreased Crz expression and increased expression of pale, the enzyme encoding the rate-limiting step in the production of dopamine, a modulator of insect life histories. Taken together these data suggest that natural variation in Drip expression in the corazonin producing neurons contributes to standing variation in fitness by altering the concentration of two neurohormones.

  15. Long-distance transportation of primate embryos developing in culture: a preliminary study. (United States)

    Nichols, Stephanie; Harvey, Alexandra; Gierbolini, Lynette; Gonzalez-Martinez, Janis; Brenner, Carol; Bavister, Barry


    Non-human primate embryos are invaluable for conducting research relevant to human infertility and stem cells, but their availability is restricted. In this preliminary study, rhesus monkey embryos were produced by IVF at the Caribbean Primate Research Centre and shipped in tubes of gassed culture medium within a battery-powered transport incubator by overnight courier to Wayne State University in Michigan. Upon arrival, the embryos were incubated in fresh culture medium to evaluate further development. In 11 shipments comprising 98 cleavage-stage embryos developing from oocytes that were mature (MII) upon collection, 51 (52%) reached advanced preimplantation stages (morula to hatched blastocyst) during prolonged culture following transportation. However, most embryos produced from oocytes that were immature (MI) at collection arrested and only 5/51 (10%) reached advanced stages of development. This study demonstrates that non-cryopreserved primate embryos can be routinely transported between distant sites without loss of developmental ability. In this way, the processes of production and study of non-cryopreserved primate embryos need not be restricted to the same or nearby laboratories. This will expand the use of these embryos for research and facilitate generation of translationally relevant information. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. The fate of paternal mitochondria in marmoset pre-implantation embryos. (United States)

    Luetjens, C M; Wesselmann, R


    Sperm-derived mitochondria are integrated into the oocyte at fertilization but seem to vanish during the early cleavage phase. The developmental potential of pre-implantation embryos seems to be closely related to their ability to induce degeneration of these mitochondria, but the mechanisms underlying their loss of function are not yet understood. This study focuses on the fate of paternal mitochondria in pre-implantation embryos. Stimulation, collection and in vitro culture of oocytes from Callithrix jacchus, allows the study of the destiny of paternal mitochondria by utilizing immunostaining of pre-implantation embryos, fluorescence and laserscanning microscopy. Live pre-implantation embryos were stained with a fluorescence indicator reflecting mitochondrial membrane potential. Evidence indicating the loss of mitochondrial function was not found nor that apoptosis pathways were involved in the disappearance of paternally derived mitochondria. These findings may have implications for mitochondrially inherited diseases and could lead to new strategies for improving assisted reproduction.

  17. Single-embryo transfer versus multiple-embryo transfer. (United States)

    Gerris, Jan


    Despite the progress made in assisted reproductive technology, live birth rates remain disappointingly low. Multiple-embryo transfer has been an accepted practice with which to increase the success rate. This has led to a higher incidence of multiple-order births compared with natural conception, which not only increase the risk of mortality and morbidity to both mother and children but are also associated with social and economic consequences. Elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) was developed in an effort to increase singleton pregnancies in assisted reproduction. Studies comparing eSET with multiple-embryo transfer highlight the benefit of this approach and suggest that, with careful patient selection and the transfer of good-quality embryos, the risk of a multiple-order pregnancy can be reduced without significantly decreasing live birth rates. Although the use of eSET has gradually increased in clinical practice, its acceptance has been limited by factors such as availability of funding and awareness of the procedure. An open discussion of eSET is warranted in an effort to enable a broader understanding by physicians and patients of the merits of this approach. Ultimately, eSET may provide a more cost-effective, potentially safer approach to patients undergoing assisted reproduction technology.

  18. Resumption of mitosis in frozen-thawed embryos is not related to the chromosomal constitution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agerholm, Inge E; Kølvrå, Steen; Crüger, Dorthe G


    OBJECTIVE: To study the relation between the resumption of mitosis after thaw and chromosomal constitution in frozen-thawed embryos. In addition, to evaluate the correlation among the three parameters of resumption of mitosis after thaw, postthaw blastomere loss, and multinucleation. DESIGN: Frozen......(S): Forty IVF and/or intracytoplasmic sperm injection patients. INTERVENTION(S): Embryo thawing, morphological evaluation, and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis for aneuploidy screening. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Resumption of mitosis, blastomere loss, multinucleation, and chromosome enumeration....... RESULT(S): No difference was observed in the chromosomal constitution of embryos with and without resumption of mitosis. Neither was the postthaw blastomere loss connected to the chromosomal constitution. The resumption of mitosis was not associated with postthaw loss of blastomeres...

  19. Improving embryo quality in assisted reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mantikou, E.


    The goal of this thesis was to improve embryo quality in assisted reproductive technologies by gaining more insight into human preimplantation embryo development and by improving in vitro culture conditions. To do so, we investigated an intriguing feature of the human preimplantation embryo, i.e.

  20. Mechanistic dissection of plant embryo initiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Radoeva, T.M.


    Land plants can reproduce sexually by developing an embryo from a fertilized egg cell, the zygote. After fertilization, the zygote undergoes several rounds of controlled cell divisions to generate a mature embryo. However, embryo formation can also be induced in a variety of other cell types in

  1. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo (United States)

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Bao, Zhirong; Shroff, Hari


    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a simple embryonic nervous system with few enough neurons that the growth of each cell could be followed to provide a systems-level view of development. However, studies of single cell development have largely been conducted in fixed or pre-twitching live embryos, because of technical difficulties associated with embryo movement in late embryogenesis. We present open-source untwisting and annotation software ( that allows the investigation of neurodevelopmental events in late embryogenesis and apply it to track the 3D positions of seam cell nuclei, neurons, and neurites in multiple elongating embryos. We also provide a tutorial describing how to use the software (Supplementary file 1) and a detailed description of the untwisting algorithm (Appendix). The detailed positional information we obtained enabled us to develop a composite model showing movement of these cells and neurites in an 'average' worm embryo. The untwisting and cell tracking capabilities of our method provide a foundation on which to catalog C. elegans neurodevelopment, allowing interrogation of developmental events in previously inaccessible periods of embryogenesis. DOI: PMID:26633880

  2. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. (United States)

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Bao, Zhirong; Shroff, Hari


    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a simple embryonic nervous system with few enough neurons that the growth of each cell could be followed to provide a systems-level view of development. However, studies of single cell development have largely been conducted in fixed or pre-twitching live embryos, because of technical difficulties associated with embryo movement in late embryogenesis. We present open-source untwisting and annotation software ( that allows the investigation of neurodevelopmental events in late embryogenesis and apply it to track the 3D positions of seam cell nuclei, neurons, and neurites in multiple elongating embryos. We also provide a tutorial describing how to use the software (Supplementary file 1) and a detailed description of the untwisting algorithm (Appendix). The detailed positional information we obtained enabled us to develop a composite model showing movement of these cells and neurites in an 'average' worm embryo. The untwisting and cell tracking capabilities of our method provide a foundation on which to catalog C. elegans neurodevelopment, allowing interrogation of developmental events in previously inaccessible periods of embryogenesis.

  3. Strain preservation of experimental animals: vitrification of two-cell stage embryos for multiple mouse strains. (United States)

    Eto, Tomoo; Takahashi, Riichi; Kamisako, Tsutomu


    Strain preservation of experimental animals is crucial for experimental reproducibility. Maintaining complete animal strains, however, is costly and there is a risk for genetic mutations as well as complete loss due to disasters or illness. Therefore, the development of effective vitrification techniques for cryopreservation of multiple experimental animal strains is important. We examined whether a vitrification method using cryoprotectant solutions, P10 and PEPeS, is suitable for preservation of multiple inbred and outbred mouse strains. First, we investigated whether our vitrification method using cryoprotectant solutions was suitable for two-cell stage mouse embryos. In vitro development of embryos exposed to the cryoprotectant solutions was similar to that of fresh controls. Further, the survival rate of the vitrified embryos was extremely high (98.1%). Next, we collected and vitrified two-cell stage embryos of 14 mouse strains. The average number of embryos obtained from one female was 7.3-33.3. The survival rate of vitrified embryos ranged from 92.8% to 99.1%, with no significant differences among mouse strains. In vivo development did not differ significantly between fresh controls and vitrified embryos of each strain. For strain preservation using cryopreserved embryos, two offspring for inbred lines and one offspring for outbred lines must be produced from two-cell stage embryos collected from one female. The expected number of surviving fetuses obtained from embryos collected from one female of either the inbred or outbred strains ranged from 2.9 to 19.5. The findings of the present study indicated that this vitrification method is suitable for strain preservation of multiple mouse strains. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Embryo density and medium volume effects on early murine embryo development. (United States)

    Canseco, R S; Sparks, A E; Pearson, R E; Gwazdauskas, F C


    One-cell mouse embryos were used to determine the effects of drop size and number of embryos per drop for optimum development in vitro. Embryos were collected from immature C57BL6 female mice superovulated with pregnant mare serum gonadotropin and human chorionic gonadotropin and mated by CD1 males. Groups of 1, 5, 10, or 20 embryos were cultured in 5-, 10-, 20-, or 40-microliters drops of CZB under silicon oil at 37.5 degrees C in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO2 and 95% air. Development score for embryos cultured in 10 microliters was higher than that of embryos cultured in 20 or 40 microliters. Embryos cultured in groups of 5, 10, or 20 had higher development scores than embryos cultured singly. The highest development score was obtained by the combination of 5 embryos per 10-microliters drop. The percentage of live embryos in 20 or 40 microliters was lower than that of embryos cultured in 10 microliters. Additionally, the percentage of live embryos cultured singly was lower than that of embryos cultured in groups. Our results suggest that a stimulatory interaction occurs among embryos possibly exerted through the secretion of growth factors. This effect can be diluted if the embryos are cultured in large drops or singly.

  5. The role of mating context and fecundability in women's preferences for men's facial masculinity and beardedness. (United States)

    Dixson, Barnaby J W; Blake, Khandis R; Denson, Thomas F; Gooda-Vossos, Amany; O'Dean, Siobhan M; Sulikowski, Danielle; Rantala, Markus J; Brooks, Robert C


    The ovulatory shift hypothesis proposes that women's preferences for masculine physical and behavioral traits are greater at the peri-ovulatory period than at other points of the menstrual cycle. However, many previous studies used self-reported menstrual cycle data to estimate fecundability rather than confirming the peri-ovulatory phase hormonally. Here we report two studies and three analyses revisiting the ovulatory shift hypothesis with respect to both facial masculinity and beardedness. In Study 1, a large sample of female participants (N = 2,161) self-reported their cycle phase and provided ratings for faces varying in beardedness (clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, full beards) and masculinity (-50%, -25%, natural, +25% and +50%) in a between-subjects design. In Study 2, 68 women provided the same ratings data, in a within-subjects design in which fertility was confirmed via luteinising hormone (LH) tests and analysed categorically. In Study 2, we also measured salivary estradiol (E) and progesterone (P) at the low and high fertility phases of the menstrual cycle among 36 of these women and tested whether shifts in E, P or E:P ratios predicted face preferences. Preferences for facial masculinity and beardedness did not vary as predicted with fecundability in Study 1, or with respect to fertility as confirmed via LH in Study 2. However, consistent with the ovulatory shift hypothesis, increasing E (associated with cyclical increases in fecundability) predicted increases in preferences for relatively more masculine faces; while high P (associated with cyclical decreases in fecundability) predicted increases in preferences for relatively more feminine faces. We also found an interaction between E and preferences for facial masculinity and beardedness, such that stubble was more attractive on un-manipulated than more masculine faces among women with high E. We consider discrepancies between our findings and those of other recent studies and suggest

  6. Stable, precise, and reproducible patterning of bicoid and hunchback molecules in the early Drosophila embryo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yurie Okabe-Oho


    Full Text Available Precise patterning of morphogen molecules and their accurate reading out are of key importance in embryonic development. Recent experiments have visualized distributions of proteins in developing embryos and shown that the gradient of concentration of Bicoid morphogen in Drosophila embryos is established rapidly after fertilization and remains stable through syncytial mitoses. This stable Bicoid gradient is read out in a precise way to distribute Hunchback with small fluctuations in each embryo and in a reproducible way, with small embryo-to-embryo fluctuation. The mechanisms of such stable, precise, and reproducible patterning through noisy cellular processes, however, still remain mysterious. To address these issues, here we develop the one- and three-dimensional stochastic models of the early Drosophila embryo. The simulated results show that the fluctuation in expression of the hunchback gene is dominated by the random arrival of Bicoid at the hunchback enhancer. Slow diffusion of Hunchback protein, however, averages out this intense fluctuation, leading to the precise patterning of distribution of Hunchback without loss of sharpness of the boundary of its distribution. The coordinated rates of diffusion and transport of input Bicoid and output Hunchback play decisive roles in suppressing fluctuations arising from the dynamical structure change in embryos and those arising from the random diffusion of molecules, and give rise to the stable, precise, and reproducible patterning of Bicoid and Hunchback distributions.

  7. Human cloning and embryo research: the 2003 John J. Conley Lecture on medical ethics. (United States)

    George, Robert P


    The author, a member of the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics, discusses ethical issues raised by human cloning, whether for purposes of bringing babies to birth or for research purposes. He first argues that every cloned human embryo is a new, distinct, and enduring organism, belonging to the species Homo sapiens, and directing its own development toward maturity. He then distinguishes between two types of capacities belonging to individual organisms belonging to this species, an immediately exerciseable capacity and a basic natural capacity that develops over time. He argues that it is the second type of capacity that is the ground for full moral respect, and that this capacity (and its concomitant degree of respect) belongs to cloned human embryos no less than to adult human beings. He then considers and rejects counter-arguments to his position, including the suggestion that the capacity of embryos is equivalent to the capacity of somatic cells, that full human rights are afforded only to human organisms with functioning brains, that the possibility of twinning diminishes the moral status of embryos, that the fact that people do not typically mourn the loss of early embryos implies that they have a diminished moral status, that the fact that early spontaneous abortions occur frequently diminishes the moral status of embryos, and that his arguments depend upon a concept of ensoulment. He concludes that if the moral status of cloned human embryos is equivalent to that of adults, then public policy should be based upon this assumption.

  8. Chromosomal mosaicism in mouse two-cell embryos after paternal exposure to acrylamide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchetti, Francesco; Bishop, Jack; Lowe, Xiu; Wyrobek, Andrew J


    Chromosomal mosaicism in human preimplantation embryos is a common cause ofspontaneous abortions, however, our knowledge of its etiology is limited. We used multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) painting to investigate whether paternally-transmitted chromosomal aberrations result in mosaicism in mouse 2-cell embryos. Paternal exposure to acrylamide, an important industrial chemical also found in tobacco smoke and generated during the cooking process of starchy foods, produced significant increases in chromosomally defective 2-cell embryos, however, the effects were transient primarily affecting the postmeiotic stages of spermatogenesis. Comparisons with our previous study of zygotes demonstrated similar frequencies of chromosomally abnormal zygotes and 2-cell embryos suggesting that there was no apparent selection against numerical or structural chromosomal aberrations. However, the majority of affected 2-cell embryos were mosaics showing different chromosomal abnormalities in the two blastomeric metaphases. Analyses of chromosomal aberrations in zygotes and 2-cell embryos showed a tendency for loss of acentric fragments during the first mitotic division ofembryogenesis, while both dicentrics and translocations apparently underwent propersegregation. These results suggest that embryonic development can proceed up to the end of the second cell cycle of development in the presence of abnormal paternal chromosomes and that even dicentrics can persist through cell division. The high incidence of chromosomally mosaic 2-cell embryos suggests that the first mitotic division of embryogenesis is prone to missegregation errors and that paternally-transmitted chromosomal abnromalities increase the risk of missegregation leading to embryonic mosaicism.

  9. Chromosome fragility at FRAXA in human cleavage stage embryos at risk for fragile X syndrome. (United States)

    Verdyck, Pieter; Berckmoes, Veerle; De Vos, Anick; Verpoest, Willem; Liebaers, Inge; Bonduelle, Maryse; De Rycke, Martine


    Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common inherited intellectual disability syndrome, is caused by expansion and hypermethylation of the CGG repeat in the 5' UTR of the FMR1 gene. This expanded repeat, also known as the rare fragile site FRAXA, causes X chromosome fragility in cultured cells from patients but only when induced by perturbing pyrimidine synthesis. We performed preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) on 595 blastomeres biopsied from 442 cleavage stage embryos at risk for FXS using short tandem repeat (STR) markers. In six blastomeres, from five embryos an incomplete haplotype was observed with loss of all alleles telomeric to the CGG repeat. In all five embryos, the incomplete haplotype corresponded to the haplotype carrying the CGG repeat expansion. Subsequent analysis of additional blastomeres from three embryos by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) confirmed the presence of a terminal deletion with a breakpoint close to the CGG repeat in two blastomeres from one embryo. A blastomere from another embryo showed the complementary duplication. We conclude that a CGG repeat expansion at FRAXA causes X chromosome fragility in early human IVF embryos at risk for FXS. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Noninvasive embryo assessment technique based on buoyancy and its association with embryo survival after cryopreservation. (United States)

    Wessels, Cara; Penrose, Lindsay; Ahmad, Khaliq; Prien, Samuel


    Embryo cryopreservation offers many benefits by allowing genetic preservation, genetic screening, cost reduction, global embryo transport and single embryo transfer. However, freezing of embryos decreases embryo viability, as intracellular ice crystal formation often damages embryos. Success rates of frozen embryo transfer are expected to be 15-20% less than fresh embryo transfer. We have developed a noninvasive embryo assessment technique (NEAT) which enables us to predict embryo viability based on buoyancy. The purpose of this research was twofold. First was to determine if a NEAT, through a specific gravity device can detect embryo survival of cryopreservation. Second, it was to relate embryo buoyancy to embryo viability for establishing pregnancies in sheep. Blastocysts descent times were measured on one-hundred sixty-nine mice blastocysts before cryopreservation, according to standard protocol and post-thawing blastocysts descent times were measured again. There was a significant difference in blastocyst post-thaw descent times with NEAT in those blastocysts which demonstrated viability from those that did not (P embryos. Further studies on a larger scale commercial setting will evaluate the efficacy of NEAT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Male sexual orientation in independent samoa: evidence for fraternal birth order and maternal fecundity effects. (United States)

    VanderLaan, Doug P; Vasey, Paul L


    In Western cultures, male androphiles tend to have greater numbers of older brothers than male gynephiles (i.e., the fraternal birth order effect). In the non-Western nation of Independent Samoa, androphilic males (known locally as fa'afafine) have been shown to have greater numbers of older brothers, older sisters, and younger brothers (Vasey & VanderLaan, 2007). It is unclear, however, whether the observed older brother effect, in the context of the additional sibling category effects, represented a genuine fraternal birth order effect or was simply associated with elevated maternal fecundity. To differentiate between these two possibilities, this study employed a larger, independent replication sample of fa'afafine and gynephilic males from Independent Samoa. Fa'afafine had greater numbers of older brothers and sisters. The replication sample and the sample from Vasey and VanderLaan were then combined, facilitating a comparison that showed the older brother effect was significantly greater in magnitude than the older sister effect. These results suggest that fraternal birth order and maternal fecundity effects both exist in Samoa. The existence of these effects cross-culturally is discussed in the context of biological theories for the development of male androphilia.

  12. Diet-dependent fecundity of the spiders Atypena formosana and Pardosa pseudoannulata, predators in irrigated rice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sigsgaard, L.; Toft, S.; Villareal, S.


    The fecundity of the spiders Atypena formosana and Pardosa pseudoannulata was assessed on diets of brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens (BPH), green leafhopper Nephotettix virescens (GLH), Collembola (Entomobryidae), Drosophila melanogaster and three prey mixtures; BPH-GLH, BPH-GLH-Collembola and......The fecundity of the spiders Atypena formosana and Pardosa pseudoannulata was assessed on diets of brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens (BPH), green leafhopper Nephotettix virescens (GLH), Collembola (Entomobryidae), Drosophila melanogaster and three prey mixtures; BPH-GLH, BPH......-GLH-Collembola and a full mixed diet of BPH-GLH-Collembola-D. melanogaster. Egg production and hatching success was high in A. formosana except on the BPH, the GLH and the BPH-GLH diets. In P. pseudoannulata egg production and hatching success was lowest on diets of GLH and BPH-GLH, whereas this spider used BPH better....... Differences between offspring sizes were small. Survival of A. formosana females was lowest on the GLH and BPH-GLH diets. In P. pseudoannulata survival did not differ significantly. Food conversion efficiency was highest on the Collembola and the D. melanogaster diets for both spiders. Overall, diets...

  13. Activation of the TOR Signalling Pathway by Glutamine Regulates Insect Fecundity. (United States)

    Zhai, Yifan; Sun, Zhongxiang; Zhang, Jianqing; Kang, Kui; Chen, Jie; Zhang, Wenqing


    The target of rapamycin (TOR) positively controls cell growth in response to nutrients such as amino acids. However, research on the specific nutrients sensed by TOR is limited. Glutamine (Gln), a particularly important amino acid involved in metabolism in organisms, is synthesised and catalysed exclusively by glutamine synthetase (GS), and our previous studies have shown that Gln may regulate fecundity in vivo levels of the brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens. Until now, it has remained unclear whether Gln activates or inhibits the TOR signalling pathway. Here, we performed the combined analyses of iTRAQ (isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification) and DGE (tag-based digital gene expression) data in N. lugens at the protein and transcript levels after GS RNAi, and we found that 52 pathways overlap, including the TOR pathway. We further experimentally demonstrate that Gln activates the TOR pathway by promoting the serine/threonine protein kinase AKT and inhibiting the 5'AMP-activated protein kinase AMPK phosphorylation activity in the pest. Furthermore, TOR regulates the fecundity of N. lugens probably by mediating vitellogenin (Vg) expression. This work is the first report that Gln activates the TOR pathway in vivo.

  14. No effect of low-level chronic neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebee learning and fecundity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saija Piiroinen


    Full Text Available In recent years, many pollinators have declined in abundance and diversity worldwide, presenting a potential threat to agricultural productivity, biodiversity and the functioning of natural ecosystems. One of the most debated factors proposed to be contributing to pollinator declines is exposure to pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, a widely used class of systemic insecticide. Also, newly emerging parasites and diseases, thought to be spread via contact with managed honeybees, may pose threats to other pollinators such as bumblebees. Compared to honeybees, bumblebees could be particularly vulnerable to the effects of stressors due to their smaller and more short-lived colonies. Here, we studied the effect of field-realistic, chronic clothianidin exposure and inoculation with the parasite Nosema ceranae on survival, fecundity, sugar water collection and learning using queenless Bombus terrestris audax microcolonies in the laboratory. Chronic exposure to 1 ppb clothianidin had no significant effects on the traits studied. Interestingly, pesticide exposure in combination with additional stress caused by harnessing bees for Proboscis Extension Response (PER learning assays, led to an increase in mortality. In contrast to previous findings, the bees did not become infected by N. ceranae after experimental inoculation with the parasite spores, suggesting variability in host resistance or parasite virulence. However, this treatment induced a slight, short-term reduction in sugar water collection, potentially through stimulation of the immune system of the bees. Our results suggest that chronic exposure to 1 ppb clothianidin does not have adverse effects on bumblebee fecundity or learning ability.

  15. The role of fecundity and reproductive effort in defining life-history strategies of North American freshwater mussels. (United States)

    Haag, Wendell R


    Selection is expected to optimize reproductive investment resulting in characteristic trade-offs among traits such as brood size, offspring size, somatic maintenance, and lifespan; relative patterns of energy allocation to these functions are important in defining life-history strategies. Freshwater mussels are a diverse and imperiled component of aquatic ecosystems, but little is known about their life-history strategies, particularly patterns of fecundity and reproductive effort. Because mussels have an unusual life cycle in which larvae (glochidia) are obligate parasites on fishes, differences in host relationships are expected to influence patterns of reproductive output among species. I investigated fecundity and reproductive effort (RE) and their relationships to other life-history traits for a taxonomically broad cross section of North American mussel diversity. Annual fecundity of North American mussel species spans nearly four orders of magnitude, ranging from 200000). Estimates of RE also were highly variable, ranging among species from 0.06 to 25.4%. Median fecundity and RE differed among phylogenetic groups, but patterns for these two traits differed in several ways. For example, the tribe Anodontini had relatively low median fecundity but had the highest RE of any group. Within and among species, body size was a strong predictor of fecundity and explained a high percentage of variation in fecundity among species. Fecundity showed little relationship to other life-history traits including glochidial size, lifespan, brooding strategies, or host strategies. The only apparent trade-off evident among these traits was the extraordinarily high fecundity of Leptodea, Margaritifera, and Truncilla, which may come at a cost of greatly reduced glochidial size; there was no relationship between fecundity and glochidial size for the remaining 61 species in the dataset. In contrast to fecundity, RE showed evidence of a strong trade-off with lifespan, which was

  16. Cultures of preimplantation mouse embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Streffer, C.; Molls, M.


    In the preimplantation mouse embryos the chromosomal damage develops through several postradiation cell cycles and mitoses. New chromosome aberrations are seen during the second and third postradiation mitoses. Also, more micronuclei appear during later postradiation interphases. This is in agreement with the assumption that unrepaired chromosomal radiation damage develops during the cell generation cycle to such a form (i.e. double-strand breaks in DNA) that chromosomal breaks occur. This proposition is strengthened by the observation that radiation-induced damage is more rapidly expressed after neutron exposure (first or second postradiation mitosis) than after exposure to X rays at the one- or two-cell stage. The preimplantation mouse embryo culture is an inviting system for additional studies at the molecular level, especially now that within the last few years more sensitive methods have been developed for study of DNA and protein structure, regulation, and synthesis. The results from these studies of cultures of preimplantation mouse embryos present a favorable case for the study of complex biological systems under very defined conditions in vitro for extrapolation to effects in vivo

  17. Human embryo culture media comparisons. (United States)

    Pool, Thomas B; Schoolfield, John; Han, David


    Every program of assisted reproduction strives to maximize pregnancy outcomes from in vitro fertilization and selecting an embryo culture medium, or medium pair, consistent with high success rates is key to this process. The common approach is to replace an existing medium with a new one of interest in the overall culture system and then perform enough cycles of IVF to see if a difference is noted both in laboratory measures of embryo quality and in pregnancy. This approach may allow a laboratory to select one medium over another but the outcomes are only relevant to that program, given that there are well over 200 other variables that may influence the results in an IVF cycle. A study design that will allow for a more global application of IVF results, ones due to culture medium composition as the single variable, is suggested. To perform a study of this design, the center must have a patient caseload appropriate to meet study entrance criteria, success rates high enough to reveal a difference if one exists and a strong program of quality assurance and control in both the laboratory and clinic. Sibling oocytes are randomized to two study arms and embryos are evaluated on day 3 for quality grades. Inter and intra-observer variability are evaluated by kappa statistics and statistical power and study size estimates are performed to bring discriminatory capability to the study. Finally, the complications associated with extending such a study to include blastocyst production on day 5 or 6 are enumerated.

  18. A temporal dimension to the influence of pollen rewards on bee behaviour and fecundity in Aloe tenuior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl J Duffy

    Full Text Available The net effect of pollen production on fecundity in plants can range from negative--when self-pollen interferes with fecundity due to incompatibility mechanisms, to positive--when pollen availability is associated with increased pollinator visitation and fecundity due to its utilization as a reward. We investigated the responses of bees to pollen and nectar rewards, and the effects of these rewards on pollen deposition and fecundity in the hermaphroditic succulent shrub Aloe tenuior. Self-pollinated plants failed to set fruit, but their ovules were regularly penetrated by self-pollen tubes, which uniformly failed to develop into seeds as expected from ovarian self-incompatibility (or strong early inbreeding depression. Bees consistently foraged for pollen during the morning and early afternoon, but switched to nectar in the late afternoon. As a consequence of this differential foraging, we were able to test the relative contribution to fecundity of pollen- versus nectar-collecting flower visitors. We exposed emasculated and intact flowers in either the morning or late afternoon to foraging bees and showed that emasculation reduced pollen deposition by insects in the morning, but had little effect in the afternoon. Despite the potential for self-pollination to result in ovule discounting due to late-acting self-sterility, fecundity was severely reduced in artificially emasculated plants. Although there were temporal fluctuations in reward preference, most bee visits were for pollen rewards. Therefore the benefit of providing pollen that is accessible to bee foragers outweighs any potential costs to fitness in terms of gender interference in this species.

  19. Early embryo mortality in natural human reproduction: What the data say [version 2; referees: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin E. Jarvis


    Full Text Available How many human embryos die between fertilisation and birth under natural conditions? It is widely accepted that natural human embryo mortality is high, particularly during the first weeks after fertilisation, with total prenatal losses of 70% and higher frequently claimed. However, the first external sign of pregnancy occurs two weeks after fertilisation with a missed menstrual period, and establishing the fate of embryos before this is challenging. Calculations are additionally hampered by a lack of data on the efficiency of fertilisation under natural conditions. Four distinct sources are used to justify quantitative claims regarding embryo loss: (i a hypothesis published by Roberts & Lowe in The Lancet  is widely cited but has no practical quantitative value; (ii life table analyses give consistent assessments of clinical pregnancy loss, but cannot illuminate losses at earlier stages of development; (iii studies that measure human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG reveal losses in the second week of development and beyond, but not before; and (iv the classic studies of Hertig and Rock offer the only direct insight into the fate of human embryos from fertilisation under natural conditions. Re-examination of Hertig’s data demonstrates that his estimates for fertilisation rate and early embryo loss are highly imprecise and casts doubt on the validity of his numerical analysis. A recent re-analysis of hCG study data concluded that approximately 40-60% of embryos may be lost between fertilisation and birth, although this will vary substantially between individual women. In conclusion, natural human embryo mortality is lower than often claimed and widely accepted. Estimates for total prenatal mortality of 70% or higher are exaggerated and not supported by the available data.

  20. Preventing Mitochondrial Diseases: Embryo-Sparing Donor-Independent Options. (United States)

    Adashi, Eli Y; Cohen, I Glenn


    Mutant mitochondrial DNA gives rise to a broad range of incurable inborn maladies. Prevention may now be possible by replacing the mutation-carrying mitochondria of zygotes or oocytes at risk with donated unaffected counterparts. However, mitochondrial replacement therapy is being held back by theological, ethical, and safety concerns over the loss of human zygotes and the involvement of a donor. These concerns make it plain that the identification, validation, and regulatory adjudication of novel embryo-sparing donor-independent technologies remains a pressing imperative. This Opinion highlights three emerging embryo-sparing donor-independent options that stand to markedly allay theological, ethical, and safety concerns raised by mitochondrial replacement therapy. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Water Partitioning in Planetary Embryos and Protoplanets with Magma Oceans (United States)

    Ikoma, M.; Elkins-Tanton, L.; Hamano, K.; Suckale, J.


    The water content of magma oceans is widely accepted as a key factor that determines whether a terrestrial planet is habitable. Water ocean mass is determined as a result not only of water delivery and loss, but also of water partitioning among several reservoirs. Here we review our current understanding of water partitioning among the atmosphere, magma ocean, and solid mantle of accreting planetary embryos and protoplanets just after giant collisions. Magma oceans are readily formed in planetary embryos and protoplanets in their accretion phase. Significant amounts of water are partitioned into magma oceans, provided the planetary building blocks are water-rich enough. Particularly important but still quite uncertain issues are how much water the planetary building blocks contain initially and how water goes out of the solidifying mantle and is finally degassed to the atmosphere. Constraints from both solar-system explorations and exoplanet observations and also from laboratory experiments are needed to resolve these issues.

  2. Post-implantation mortality of in vitro produced embryos is associated with DNA methyltransferase 1 dysfunction in sheep placenta. (United States)

    Ptak, Grazyna Ewa; D'Agostino, Antonella; Toschi, Paola; Fidanza, Antonella; Zacchini, Federica; Czernik, Marta; Monaco, Federica; Loi, Pasqualino


    Is DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) dysfunction involved in epigenetic deregulation of placentae from embryos obtained by assisted reproduction technologies (ARTs)? DNMT1 expression in growing placentae of in vitro produced (IVP) embryos is compromised and associated with pregnancy loss. DNMT1 maintains the methylation profile of genes during cell division. The methylation status of genes involved in placenta development is altered in embryos obtained in vitro. Disturbances in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression during placentogenesis could be involved in the frequent developmental arrest and loss of IVP embryos. Forty sheep were naturally mated (Group 1, CTR). IVP blastocysts (2-4 per ewe) were surgically transferred to the remaining 46 recipient sheep 6 days after oestrus (Group 2). Twenty-one recipients from Group 1 and 27 recipients from Group 2 were allowed to deliver in order to compare embryo survival in both groups at term (150 days). From the remaining recipients (n = 38), fetuses and placentae of both groups were recovered by paramedian laparotomy at Days 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28 of gestation. Immediately after collection, early placental tissues (chorion-allantois) were snap frozen in liquid nitrogen and DNMT1 expression and activity was evaluated. mRNA levels (for DNMT1, HDAC2, PCNA, DMAP1, MEST, IGF2, CDKN1C, H19) and the methylation status of H19 were also analyzed. Furthermore, embryo size and survival rate were measured. Our study shows that DNMT1 expression was reduced in early placentae from sheep IVP embryos. This reduction was associated with growth arrest and subsequent death of the sheep embryos. Conversely, normal levels of DNMT1 and its cofactors were observed in placentae from IVP embryos that survived this developmental bottleneck. Although DNA methylation machinery was severely compromised in IVP placentae only up to Day 24, the low DNMT1 enzymatic activity that persisted after this stage in IVP placentae was not lethal for the

  3. Radionuclide transfer from mother to embryo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toader, M.; Vasilache, R.A.; Scridon, R.; Toader, M.L.


    The transfer of radionuclides from mother to embryo is still a matter of high interest. Therefore, the relation was investigated between the amount of radionuclides in the embryo and the dietary intake of the mother, this for two scenarios: a recurrent intake of variable amounts of radionuclides, and a long-term intake of a relatively constant amount of radionuclides, the radionuclide being 137 Cs. In the first case, the amount of radionuclides present in the embryo increases with the age of the embryo and with the intake of the mother. In the second case, no correlation could be found between the age of the embryo and its radioactive content; only the correlation between the intake of the mother and the radionuclide content of the embryo remained. (A.K.)

  4. Methanol as a cryoprotectant for equine embryos. (United States)

    Bass, L D; Denniston, D J; Maclellan, L J; McCue, P M; Seidel, G E; Squires, E L


    Equine embryos (n=43) were recovered nonsurgically 7-8 days after ovulation and randomly assigned to be cryopreserved in one of two cryoprotectants: 48% (15M) methanol (n=22) or 10% (136 M) glycerol (n=21). Embryos (300-1000 microm) were measured at five intervals after exposure to glycerol (0, 2, 5, 10 and 15 min) or methanol (0, 15, 35, 75 and 10 min) to determine changes (%) in diameter over time (+/-S.D.). Embryos were loaded into 0.25-ml plastic straws, sealed, placed in a programmable cell freezer and cooled from room temperature (22 degrees C) to -6 degrees C. Straws were then seeded, held at -6 degrees C for 10 min and then cooled to -33 degrees C before being plunged into liquid nitrogen. Two or three embryos within a treatment group were thawed and assigned to be either cultured for 12 h prior to transfer or immediately nonsurgically transferred to a single mare. Embryo diameter decreased in all embryos upon initial exposure to cryoprotectant. Embryos in methanol shrank and recovered slightly to 76+/-8 % of their original diameter; however, embryos in glycerol continued to shrink, reaching 57+/-6 % of their original diameter prior to cryopreservation. Survival rates of embryos through Day 16 of pregnancy were 38 and 23%, respectively (P>0.05) for embryos cryopreserved in the presence of glycerol or methanol. There was no difference in pregnancy rates of mares receiving embryos that were cultured prior to transfer or not cultured (P>0.05). Preliminary experiments indicated that 48% methanol was not toxic to fresh equine embryos but methanol provided no advantage over glycerol as a cryoprotectant for equine blastocysts.

  5. Lethality of radioisotopes in early mouse embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macqueen, H.A.


    The development of pre-implantation mouse embryos was found to be prevented by exposure of the embryos to [ 35 S]methionine, but not to [ 3 H]methionine. Such embryos have also been shown to be highly sensitive to [ 3 H]thymidine. These observations are discussed with reference to the path lengths and energies of electrons emitted from the different radioisotopes. (author)

  6. Insulin-related peptide 5 is involved in regulating embryo development and biochemical composition in pea aphid with wing polyphenism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan-Shan eGuo


    Full Text Available In aphids there is a fecundity-dispersal trade-off between wingless and winged morphs. Recent research on the molecular mechanism of wing morphs associated with dispersal reveals that insulin receptors in the insulin signaling (IS pathway regulate alteration of wing morphs in planthoppers. However, little is known about whether genes in the IS pathway are involved in developmental regulation in aphid nymphs with different wing morphs. In this study, we show that expression of the insulin-related peptide 5 gene (Apirp5 affects biochemical composition and embryo development of wingless pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum. After comparing expression levels of major genes in the IS pathway between third instar winged and wingless nymphs, we found that Apirp5 showed higher expression in head and thorax of the wingless nymphs than in the winged nymphs. Although microinjection treatment affects physical performance in aphids, nymphs with RNA interference of Apirp5 had less weight, smaller embryo size and higher carbohydrate and protein contents compared to control group. Comparison between winged and wingless nymphs showed a similar trend. These results indicate that Apirp5 is involved in embryo development and metabolic regulation in wing dimorphic pea aphid.

  7. Theory about the Embryo Cryo-Treatment. (United States)

    Vladimirov, Iavor K; Tacheva, Desislava; Diez, Antonio


    To create hypothesis, which can give a logical explanation related to the benefits of freezing/thawing embryos. Cryopreservation is not only a technology used for storing embryos, but also a method of embryo treatment that can potentially improve the success rate in infertile couples. From the analysis of multiple results in assisted reproductive technology, which have no satisfactory explanation to date, we found evidence to support a 'therapeutic' effect of the freezing/thawing of embryos on the process of recovery of the embryo and its subsequent implantation. Freezing/thawing is a way to activate the endogenous survival and repair responses in preimplantation embryos. Several molecular mechanisms can explain the higher success rate of ET using thawed embryos compared to fresh ET in women of advanced reproductive age, the higher miscarriage rate in cases of thawed blastocyst ET compared to thawed ET at early cleavage embryo, and the higher perinatal parameters of born children after thawed ET. Embryo thawing induces a stress. Controlled stress is not necessarily detrimental, because it generates a phenomenon that is counteracted by several known biological responses aimed to repair mitochondrial damage of membrane and protein misfolding. The term for favorable biological responses to low exposures to stress is called hormesis. This thesis will summarize the role of cryopreservation in the activation of a hormetic response, preserving the mitochondrial function, improving survival, and having an impact on the process of implantation, miscarriage, and the development of pregnancy.

  8. Nano-nutrition of chicken embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sawosz, Filip; Pineda, Lane Manalili; Hotowy, Anna


    It has been suggested that the quantity and quality of nutrients stored in the egg might not be optimal for the fast rate of chicken embryo development in modern broilers, and embryos could be supplemented with nutrients by in ovo injection. Recent experiments showed that in ovo feeding reduces...... broiler eggs was randomly divided into a Control group without injection and injected groups with hydrocolloids of Nano-Ag, ATP or a complex of Nano-Ag and ATP (Nano-Ag/ATP). The embryos were evaluated on day 20 of incubation. The results indicate that the application of ATP to chicken embryos increases...

  9. Die Behandlung menschliches Embryos und Menschenwurde


    Matsui, Fumio


    We are confronted with an old and new problem, which has come up with the progress of modern biotechnologies: what is a life or when does a life begin? The expectation of order-made medicine has build up since the discovery of Embryo Stem cell called "a dream master cell", while there is any condemnation against the destruction of human embryo in order to gain it. It is a question whether a human embryo is a human being in the world. Human dignity(=HD) is a principle that keeps human embryos ...

  10. Stereology as a tool to assess reproduction strategy and fecundity of teleost fishes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bucholtz, Rikke Hagstrøm

    methods to assess fecundity and reproductive strategies. The strength of the stereological method being that, in combination with conventional histological analysis, quantification of all oocyte categories is possible, as well as registration of qualitative characteristics relating to spawning history...... of oocyte dynamics in fish and were successfully implemented in herring ovaries for quantification of both oocyte numbers and sizes as well as total volume fraction of atretic oocytes, introducing a negligible error to the total variance of estimates. The histological nature of the stereological methods...... facilitated a ready validation of maturity data, distinguishing first time spawners from repeat spawners, as well as a ready recognition of ongoing oocyte recruitment in early maturity stages, early stage atresia, POFs and residual eggs. Analyzing a sample of females all collected during a short time frame...

  11. Marine gametes in a changing ocean: Impacts of climate change stressors on fecundity and the egg. (United States)

    Foo, Shawna A; Byrne, Maria


    In marine invertebrates, the environmental history of the mother can influence fecundity and egg size. Acclimation of females in climate change stressors, increased temperature and low pH, results in a decrease in egg number and size in many taxa, with the exception of cephalopods, where eggs increase in size. With respect to spawned eggs, near future levels of ocean acidification can interfere with the egg's block to polyspermy and intracellular pH. Reduction of the extracellular egg jelly coat seen in low pH conditions has implications for impaired egg function and fertilization. Some fast generation species (e.g. copepods, polychaetes) have shown restoration of female reproductive output after several generations in treatments. It will be important to determine if the changes to egg number and size induced by exposure to climate change stressors are heritable. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Anti-Müllerian hormone levels and fecundability in women with a natural conception

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvidman, Helene W.; Bang, Anne Kirstine; Priskorn, Lærke


    .9±3.6years. The median TTP was 2 (range: 1-32) months. After adjustment for possible confounders including total sperm count, TTP was unrelated to female age (aOR:1.0, 95% CI:0.9;1.0) and continuous z-AMH (aOR:0.8, 95% CI:0.7;1.0), but women in the low z-AMH group had a shorter TTP than the reference group...... the association between AMH and fecundability in fertile women, the study has some limitation including a relatively low participation rate and a risk of selection bias in addition to AMH assessment in pregnancy and a retrospective collection of TTP and OC-use associated with a risk of recall bias...

  13. Dexrazoxane Diminishes Doxorubicin-Induced Acute Ovarian Damage and Preserves Ovarian Function and Fecundity in Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenna Kropp

    Full Text Available Advances in cancer treatment utilizing multiple chemotherapies have dramatically increased cancer survivorship. Female cancer survivors treated with doxorubicin (DXR chemotherapy often suffer from an acute impairment of ovarian function, which can persist as long-term, permanent ovarian insufficiency. Dexrazoxane (Dexra pretreatment reduces DXR-induced insult in the heart, and protects in vitro cultured murine and non-human primate ovaries, demonstrating a drug-based shield to prevent DXR insult. The present study tested the ability of Dexra pretreatment to mitigate acute DXR chemotherapy ovarian toxicity in mice through the first 24 hours post-treatment, and improve subsequent long-term fertility throughout the reproductive lifespan. Adolescent CD-1 mice were treated with Dexra 1 hour prior to DXR treatment in a 1:1 mg or 10:1 mg Dexra:DXR ratio. During the acute injury period (2-24 hours post-injection, Dexra pretreatment at a 1:1 mg ratio decreased the extent of double strand DNA breaks, diminished γH2FAX activation, and reduced subsequent follicular cellular demise caused by DXR. In fertility and fecundity studies, dams pretreated with either Dexra:DXR dose ratio exhibited litter sizes larger than DXR-treated dams, and mice treated with a 1:1 mg Dexra:DXR ratio delivered pups with birth weights greater than DXR-treated females. While DXR significantly increased the "infertility index" (quantifying the percentage of dams failing to achieve pregnancy through 6 gestations following treatment, Dexra pretreatment significantly reduced the infertility index following DXR treatment, improving fecundity. Low dose Dexra not only protected the ovaries, but also bestowed a considerable survival advantage following exposure to DXR chemotherapy. Mouse survivorship increased from 25% post-DXR treatment to over 80% with Dexra pretreatment. These data demonstrate that Dexra provides acute ovarian protection from DXR toxicity, improving reproductive health

  14. Effect of ivermectin on the survival and fecundity of Euoniticellus intermedius (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Cruz Rosales


    Full Text Available The State of Veracruz in Mexico is one of the main cattle producers, and uses several veterinary products for disease and parasite control. For parasite control, ivermectin is one of the most frequently used substances. Nevertheless, even though previous research conducted in other countries has found that this product has negative effects on beneficial coprophagous fauna, no studies have descry ibed its effects on coprophagous insects at a local scale in Veracruz, Mexico. This study evaluated Euoniticellus intermedius survival, fecundity, fertility and preimaginal development under laboratory conditions when ivermectin was added to cattle dung at three different concentrations. The design included two controls (spiked dung, and the following product concentrations: 0.01, 1.0 and 100ppm, which were homogenized with wet cattle dung. 20 female-male E. intermedius couples between five and 15 days old were used and kept at 27°C, 70% RH, and 12h light for 10 days. The survival of all specimens, the fertility of 20 females and the gonadal maturity of 17 males were verified. The larval development in 162 pieces of brood-mass was examined, and a total of 974 larvae developed and reached adulthood. The highest ivermectin concentration was toxic at 1.0ppm dose, the survival of adults was reduced to almost the half, and at 100ppm, total mortality was observed. The effects on specimen reproductive systems showed that the ovary was not affected, that the testicle size increased, and that the fecundity and weight of brood-masses were reduced. Pre-imaginal development increased 0.5 times at 0.01ppm concentration, and the width of the cephalic capsule in third instar larvae diminished. The prolonging of development time may cause a phase lag in the field activity cycle, this lag may reduce the number of E. intermedius individuals and the efficiency of the environmental services that they provide.

  15. Effects of Environmental Enrichment on the Fertility and Fecundity of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). (United States)

    Wafer, Lemnique N; Jensen, V Behrana; Whitney, Jesse C; Gomez, Thomas H; Flores, Rene; Goodwin, Bradford S


    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a popular vertebrate model in biomedical research, but information describing the effects of environmental enrichment on fertility and fecundity of zebrafish is sparse. In the current study, 18 breeding pairs were placed in divided 1.5-L breeding tanks containing 1 of 3 enrichment conditions: plastic grass (n = 6), plastic leaves (n = 6), or no enrichment (n = 6, control). The pairs were allowed to spawn for 3 h the next day, after which eggs were counted and breeding pairs were returned to holding tanks for use in subsequent sessions. Spawning sessions were repeated at 7-d intervals until the completion of 9 trials, with pairs rotating to a different condition at each interval. Total egg count (mean ± SEM) after 3 h was greater for zebrafish spawning in the grass environment (48.0 ± 7.7 eggs) than in the leaf or control environments (29.4 ± 5.3 and 20.4 ± 3.7 eggs, respectively). An interaction emerged between enrichment type and the age of the spawning pair on the number of fry at 6 d postfertilization (dpf). Initially, more fry were obtained from 110- and 160-dpf pairs with the grass enrichment, but from 173- and 180-dpf pairs there were more obtained with leaf enrichment than grass. A separate experiment showed that enrichment type did not have an effect on fry survivability. Overall, our data indicates that, under certain conditions, zebrafish fertility and fecundity are greater in a breeding tank containing environmental enrichment than in a bare tank.

  16. Effects of bisphenol a on fecundity, egg hatchability, and juvenile growth of Marisa cornuarietis. (United States)

    Forbes, Valery E; Warbritton, Ryan; Aufderheide, John; Van Der Hoeven, Nelly; Caspers, Norbert


    Recent work on the snail Marisa cornuarietis has claimed to show endocrine disruption in response to bisphenol A (BPA). The present experimental design was optimized to detect effects of BPA on fecundity, egg hatchability, and juvenile growth, with an emphasis on reproduction, since previous studies suggested this to be a sensitive endpoint. No differences in eggs/female/ month between unexposed snails and snails exposed to nominal concentrations of 0.1, 1, 25, and 640 microg BPA/L during six months of exposure were found. No effect of BPA on the percentage of eggs hatching successfully was found, as was no difference in time to hatching between the control and any BPA treatment. We observed a significant decrease in female growth and a marginal effect on female wet weight in the 640-microg/L treatment compared to the control and a significant increase in male growth rate and a marginal increase in male wet weight in the 1-microg/L treatment compared to the control. However, a much greater proportion of the variability in juvenile growth was explained by variation between pairs and between siblings from the same pair than by BPA treatment. We conclude that effects of BPA in the nominal exposure range 0.1 to 640 microg/L (measured range 0.062-696 microg/L) are unlikely to be of significance for field populations of this species. An additional adult fecundity trial at 22 degrees C (in contrast to all other experiments that were conducted at 25 degrees C) found no evidence to suggest that snails are more sensitive to BPA at the lower temperature, as has been previously claimed. The present results indicate that the sensitivity of M. cornuarietis to BPA is similar to that of other aquatic invertebrates for which data are available.

  17. Selective insecticide-induced stimulation on fecundity and biochemical changes in Tryporyza incertulas (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). (United States)

    Wang, Ai-Hua; Wu, Jin-Cai; Yu, Yue-Shu; Liu, Jing-Lan; Yue, Jiang-Fei; Wang, Mei-Yue


    The use of selective insecticides in rice, Oryza sativa L., fields often causes resurgence of nontarget pest insects. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of two selective insecticides, buprofezin and imidacloprid, on Tryporyza incertulas (Walker), a nontarget pest. After larval feeding on rice plants treated with each insecticide, fecundity, ovary protein content, and titer of juvenile hormone III (JHIII) in the resulting female moths were determined with 'Xiushui 63' rice susceptible to T. incertulas and 'Zhendao 2' moderately resistant to T. incertulas. The fecundity of females developed from larvae that fed on the insecticide-treated Xiushui 63 plants was stimulated compared with that of moths from larvae that fed on rice plants that were not treated with either insecticide. There was no stimulating effect in females from larvae that fed on insecticide-treated Zhendao 2 plants. The weight of fourth instars (final instars) that fed on the insecticide-treated Xiushui 63 rice plants was significantly greater than that of control, increasing by 50.3 and 46.7% for 60 and 112.5 g (AI) ha(-1) buprofezin, and by 23.7 and 19.5% for 15 and 37.5 g (AI) ha(-1) imidacloprid treatments, respectively. Ovary protein content in adult females developed from larvae that fed on the rice treated with the high dose of buprofezin was significantly higher than that in control. For the high and low doses of imidacloprid during the second instar, and the low dose of imidacloprid during the fourth instar, JHIII titers in female adults were also significantly higher than that in control, increasing by 152.81, 90.52, and 114.19%, respectively.

  18. Co-expression analysis and identification of fecundity-related long non-coding RNAs in sheep ovaries. (United States)

    Miao, Xiangyang; Luo, Qingmiao; Zhao, Huijing; Qin, Xiaoyu


    Small Tail Han sheep, including the FecB B FecB B (Han BB) and FecB + FecB + (Han++) genotypes, and Dorset sheep exhibit different fecundities. To identify novel long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) associated with sheep fecundity to better understand their molecular mechanisms, a genome-wide analysis of mRNAs and lncRNAs from Han BB, Han++ and Dorset sheep was performed. After the identification of differentially expressed mRNAs and lncRNAs, 16 significant modules were explored by using weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) followed by functional enrichment analysis of the genes and lncRNAs in significant modules. Among these selected modules, the yellow and brown modules were significantly related to sheep fecundity. lncRNAs (e.g., NR0B1, XLOC_041882, and MYH15) in the yellow module were mainly involved in the TGF-β signalling pathway, and NYAP1 and BCORL1 were significantly associated with the oxytocin signalling pathway, which regulates several genes in the coexpression network of the brown module. Overall, we identified several gene modules associated with sheep fecundity, as well as networks consisting of hub genes and lncRNAs that may contribute to sheep prolificacy by regulating the target mRNAs related to the TGF-β and oxytocin signalling pathways. This study provides an alternative strategy for the identification of potential candidate regulatory lncRNAs.

  19. Betaproteobacteria Limnohabitans strains increase fecundity in the crustacean Daphnia magna: symbiotic relationship between major bacterioplankton and zooplankton in freshwater ecosystem.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Peerakietkhajorn, S.; Kato, Y.; Kasalický, Vojtěch; Matsuura, T.; Watanabe, H.


    Roč. 18, č. 8 (2016), s. 2366-2374 ISSN 1462-2912 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA13-00243S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Daphnia * symbiotic bacteria * Limnohabitans * fecundity Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 5.395, year: 2016

  20. Infection of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae reduces blood feeding and fecundity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scholte, E.J.; Knols, B.G.J.; Takken, W.


    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is being considered as a biocontrol agent against adult African malaria vectors. In addition to causing significant mortality, this pathogen is known to cause reductions in feeding and fecundity in a range of insects. In the present study we


    A considerable number of avian species can produce multiple broods within a season. Seasonal fecundity in these species can vary by changes in the number of young fledged per nest, the probability of a successful nest, and the probability of initiating additional nests (e.g., re...

  2. Water Loss from Young Planets (United States)

    Tian, Feng; Güdel, Manuel; Johnstone, Colin P.; Lammer, Helmut; Luger, Rodrigo; Odert, Petra


    Good progress has been made in the past few years to better understand the XUV evolution trend of Sun-like stars, the capture and dissipation of hydrogen dominant envelopes of planetary embryos and protoplanets, and water loss from young planets around M dwarfs. This chapter reviews these recent developments. Observations of exoplanets and theoretical works in the near future will significantly advance our understanding of one of the fundamental physical processes shaping the evolution of solar system terrestrial planets.

  3. [Relationship between mitochondrial DNA copy number, membrane potential of human embryo and embryo morphology]. (United States)

    Zhao, H; Teng, X M; Li, Y F


    Objective: To explore the relationship between the embryo with the different morphological types in the third day and its mitochondrial copy number, the membrane potential. Methods: Totally 117 embryos with poor development after normal fertilization and were not suitable transferred in the fresh cycle and 106 frozen embryos that were discarded voluntarily by infertility patients with in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer after successful pregnancy were selected. According to evaluation of international standard in embryos, all cleavage stage embryos were divided into class Ⅰ frozen embryo group ( n= 64), class Ⅱ frozen embryo group ( n= 42) and class Ⅲ fresh embryonic group (not transplanted embryos; n= 117). Real-time PCR and confocal microscopy methods were used to detect mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and the mitochondrial membrane potential of a single embryo. The differences between embryo quality and mtDNA copy number and membrane potential of each group were compared. Results: The copy number of mtDNA and the mitochondrial membrane potential in class Ⅲ fresh embryonic group [(1.7±1.0)×10(5) copy/μl, 1.56±0.32] were significantly lower than those in class Ⅰ frozen embryo group [(3.4±1.7)×10(5) copy/μl, 2.66±0.21] and class Ⅱ frozen embryo group [(2.6±1.2)×10(5) copy/μl, 1.80±0.32; all Pembryo group were significantly higher than those in classⅡ frozen embryo group (both Pembryos of the better quality embryo are higher.

  4. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals and radionuclides from seawater by encased embryos of the spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeffree, Ross A. . E-mail; Warnau, Michel; Oberhansli, Francois; Teyssie, Jean-Louis


    Encased embryos of spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula absorbed six radio-isotopes ( 241 Am, 109 Cd, 57 Co, 134 Cs, 54 Mn and 65 Zn) directly from seawater during short-term experimental exposure, demonstrating the permeability of the egg-case to these contaminants. Embryo to water concentration factors (CFs) ranged from 0.14 for 134 Cs to 7.4 for 65 Zn. The 65 Zn and 57 Co CFs increased exponentially with embryo length, whereas the CF for 109 Cd declined with length. Among different components of the encased embryo the egg case was the major repository (69-99%) of all six radio-isotopes that were distributed throughout its wall. Egg-case CFs were as high as 10 3 for 57 Co and 65 Zn, making it the major source of gamma radiation exposure to the embryo and potentially of radio-isotopes for continued absorption by the embryo, following the uptake phase of the experiment. The patterns of uptake by the egg-case approximated linearity for most isotopes and loss rates were isotope-specific; egg-case biokinetics were not greatly affected by the viability of the contained embryo. Within the embryo initial data on radio isotopic distribution show that the skin is their major site of uptake, as previously demonstrated for juveniles

  5. Fecundity regulation in relation to habitat utilisation of two sympatric flounder (Platichtys flesus) populations in the brackish water Baltic Sea (United States)

    Nissling, Anders; Thorsen, Anders; da Silva, Filipa F. G.


    Two populations of flounder (Platichtys flesus) with different life history traits inhabit the brackish water Baltic Sea. Both types share feeding areas in coastal waters during summer-autumn but utilise different habitats for spawning in spring, namely offshore spawning with pelagic eggs and coastal spawning with demersal eggs respectively. Fecundity regulation by atresia was assessed as prevalence (portion of fish with atresia) and intensity (calculated as the average intensity of atresia in these fish) during the reproductive cycle following start of gonad development in the autumn up to spawning in spring, and evaluated in relation to fish condition (Fulton's condition factor reflecting energy reserves of the fish) and feeding incidence of the respective population. Peaking in winter (December-February), fecundity regulation was significantly higher for coastal spawning flounder than for flounder spawning offshore. For coastal spawners, the prevalence was 45-90% with an intensity of 6.4-9.3% vs. 0-25% and an intensity of 2.1-3.4% for offshore spawners during winter. Further, fecundity regulation ceased prior to spawning for offshore spawners but continued for coastal spawners. For coastal spawners, the prevalence was 12-29% and an intensity of 2.5-6.1% during spawning. The change in fish condition was strongly related to feeding incidence and differed between populations. As feeding ceased, condition of offshore spawners decreased during winter up to spawning, whereas condition of coastal spawners decreased during autumn but was maintained as feeding started again prior to spawning. Thus, habitat utilisation according to spawning strategy affects the timing of fecundity down-regulation reflecting availability of resources, namely limited food resources in deep areas and higher availability in coastal areas. Offshore spawning flounder display characteristics typical for a capital spawner with ceasing of feeding and oocyte down-regulation well before spawning

  6. Cryopreservation of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) somatic embryos by vitrification. (United States)

    Adu-Gyamfi, Raphael; Wetten, Andy


    Losses of cultivated cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) due to diseases and continued depletion of forests that harbour the wild progenitors of the crop make ex situ conservation of cocoa germplasm of paramount importance. In order to enhance security of in situ germplasm collections, 2-3 mm floral-derived secondary somatic embryos were cryopreserved by vitrification. This work demonstrates the most uncomplicated clonal cocoa cryopreservation. Optimal post-cryostorage survival (74.5 percent) was achieved by 5 d preculture of SSEs on 0.5 M sucrose medium followed by 60 min dehydration in cold PVS2. To minimise free radical related cryo-injury, cation sources were removed from the embryo development solution and/or the recovery medium, the former treatment resulting in a significant benefit. After optimisation with cocoa genotype AMAZ 15, the same protocol was effective across all five additional cocoa genotypes tested. For the multiplication of clones, embryos regenerated following cryopreservation were used as explant sources, and vitrification was found to maintain their embryogenic potential.

  7. Hearing loss (United States)

    Decreased hearing; Deafness; Loss of hearing; Conductive hearing loss; Sensorineural hearing loss; Presbycusis ... Symptoms of hearing loss may include: Certain sounds seeming too loud Difficulty following conversations when two or more people are talking ...

  8. Separating genetic and hemodynamic defects in neuropilin 1 knockout embryos. (United States)

    Jones, Elizabeth A V; Yuan, Li; Breant, Christine; Watts, Ryan J; Eichmann, Anne


    Targeted inactivation of genes involved in murine cardiovascular development frequently leads to abnormalities in blood flow. As blood fluid dynamics play a crucial role in shaping vessel morphology, the presence of flow defects generally prohibits the precise assignment of the role of the mutated gene product in the vasculature. In this study, we show how to distinguish between genetic defects caused by targeted inactivation of the neuropilin 1 (Nrp1) receptor and hemodynamic defects occurring in homozygous knockout embryos. Our analysis of a Nrp1 null allele bred onto a C57BL/6 background shows that vessel remodeling defects occur concomitantly with the onset of blood flow and cause death of homozygous mutants at E10.5. Using mouse embryo culture, we establish that hemodynamic defects are already present at E8.5 and continuous circulation is never established in homozygous mutants. The geometry of yolk sac blood vessels is altered and remodeling into yolk sac arteries and veins does not occur. To separate flow-induced deficiencies from those caused by the Nrp1 mutation, we arrested blood flow in cultured wild-type and mutant embryos and followed their vascular development. We find that loss of Nrp1 function rather than flow induces the altered geometry of the capillary plexus. Endothelial cell migration, but not replication, is altered in Nrp1 mutants. Gene expression analysis of endothelial cells isolated from freshly dissected wild-type and mutants and after culture in no-flow conditions showed down-regulation of the arterial marker genes connexin 40 and ephrin B2 related to the loss of Nrp1 function. This method allows genetic defects caused by loss-of-function of a gene important for cardiovascular development to be isolated even in the presence of hemodynamic defects.

  9. Effects of some cryopreservation procedures on recalcitrant zygotic embryos of Ammocharis coranica. (United States)

    Nomali, Z; Ngobese; Sershen; Berjak, P; Pammenter, N W


    Cryopreservation, the most promising method for the long-term conservation of recalcitrant (desiccation-sensitive) seed germplasm, is often associated with high viability losses. Cryo-procedures involve a sequence of steps which must be optimised to reduce the impact of the stresses. This study reports on the effects of some of the steps of cryopreservation on the recalcitrant zygotic embryos of the amaryllid, Ammocharis coranica. Embryos were subjected to cryoprotection with glycerol and/or DMSO, rapid (flash) drying, and rapid (>100 degree C s(-1)) or slow (1 degree C s(-1)) cooling. Rapid dehydration (from c. 2.7 to 0.9 g g(-1) over 60 min) and cooling had a detrimental effect on the viability of the embryos, which was exacerbated when these steps were applied sequentially. After cooling, seedling production (30%) was obtained only from embryos that had been cryoprotected with glycerol prior to drying and rapid cooling, while 30% of non-treated embryos and 70% of those that had undergone cathodic protection during flash drying produced callus. Noting that no post-cryo survival of A. coranica embryos had previously been obtained, this study identified cryoprotection with glycerol and the incorporation of cathodic protection during flash drying as promising intervention points for future studies.

  10. Transcriptomic profiling of bovine IVF embryos revealed candidate genes and pathways involved in early embryonic development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yandell Brian S


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Early embryonic loss is a large contributor to infertility in cattle. Although genetic factors are known to affect early embryonic development, the discovery of such factors has been a serious challenge. The objective of this study was to identify genes differentially expressed between blastocysts and degenerative embryos at early stages of development. Results Using microarrays, genome-wide RNA expression was profiled and compared for in vitro fertilization (IVF - derived blastocysts and embryos undergoing degenerative development up to the same time point. Surprisingly similar transcriptomic profiles were found in degenerative embryos and blastocysts. Nonetheless, we identified 67 transcripts that significantly differed between these two groups of embryos at a 15% false discovery rate, including 33 transcripts showing at least a two-fold difference. Several signaling and metabolic pathways were found to be associated with the developmental status of embryos, among which were previously known important steroid biosynthesis and cell communication pathways in early embryonic development. Conclusions This study presents the first direct and comprehensive comparison of transcriptomes between IVF blastocysts and degenerative embryos, providing important information for potential genes and pathways associated with early embryonic development.

  11. Neural network classification of sweet potato embryos (United States)

    Molto, Enrique; Harrell, Roy C.


    Somatic embryogenesis is a process that allows for the in vitro propagation of thousands of plants in sub-liter size vessels and has been successfully applied to many significant species. The heterogeneity of maturity and quality of embryos produced with this technique requires sorting to obtain a uniform product. An automated harvester is being developed at the University of Florida to sort embryos in vitro at different stages of maturation in a suspension culture. The system utilizes machine vision to characterize embryo morphology and a fluidic based separation device to isolate embryos associated with a pre-defined, targeted morphology. Two different backpropagation neural networks (BNN) were used to classify embryos based on information extracted from the vision system. One network utilized geometric features such as embryo area, length, and symmetry as inputs. The alternative network utilized polar coordinates of an embryo's perimeter with respect to its centroid as inputs. The performances of both techniques were compared with each other and with an embryo classification method based on linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Similar results were obtained with all three techniques. Classification efficiency was improved by reducing the dimension of the feature vector trough a forward stepwise analysis by LDA. In order to enhance the purity of the sample selected as harvestable, a reject to classify option was introduced in the model and analyzed. The best classifier performances (76% overall correct classifications, 75% harvestable objects properly classified, homogeneity improvement ratio 1.5) were obtained using 8 features in a BNN.

  12. Embryo transfer using cryopreserved Boer goat blastocysts ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effect of embryo cryopreservation techniques on the survivability of embryos and fertility following transfer to Boer goat does. The oestrous cycles of 27 mature recipients Boer goat does were synchronised using controlled internal drug release dispensers (CIDR's) for 16 days. At CIDR ...

  13. Novel embryo selection techniques to increase embryo implantation in IVF attempts. (United States)

    Sigalos, George Α; Triantafyllidou, Olga; Vlahos, Nikos F


    The final success of an IVF attempt depends on several steps and decisions taken during the ovarian stimulation, the oocyte retrieval, the embryo culture and the embryo transfer. The final selection of the embryos most likely to implant is the final step in this process and the responsibility of the lab. Apart from strict morphologic criteria that historically have been used in embryo selection, additional information on genetic, metabolomic and morphokinetic characteristics of the embryo is recently combined to morphology to select the embryo most likely to produce a pregnancy. In this manuscript, we review the most recent information on the current methods used for embryo selection presenting the predictive capability of each one. A literature search was performed on Pubmed, Medline and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for published studies using appropriate key words and phrases with no limits placed on time. It seems that the combination of morphologic criteria in conjunction to embryo kinetics as documented by time-lapse technology provides the most reliable information on embryo quality. Blastocyst biopsy with subsequent comprehensive chromosome analysis allows the selection of the euploid embryos with the higher implantation potential. Embryo time-lapse imaging and blastocyst biopsy combined to comprehensive chromosome analysis are the most promising technologies to increase pregnancy rates and reduce the possibility of multiple pregnancies. However, further studies will demonstrate the capability of routinely using these technologies to significantly improve IVF outcomes.

  14. Noninvasive metabolomic profiling as an adjunct to morphology for noninvasive embryo assessment in women undergoing single embryo transfer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seli, E.; Vergouw, C.G.; Morita, H.; Botros, L.; Roos, P.; Lambalk, C.B.; Yamashita, N.; Kato, O.; Sakkas, D.


    Objective: To determine whether metabolomic profiling of spent embryo culture media correlates with reproductive potential of human embryos. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Academic and a private assisted reproductive technology (ART) programs. Patient(s): Women undergoing single embryo

  15. Rape embryogenesis. III. Embryo development in time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Tykarska


    Full Text Available It was found that the growth curve of the rape embryo axis is of triple sigmoid type. Embryo growth occurs in 3 phases corresponding to 3 different periods of development. Phase I includes growth of the apical cell up to it's division into two layers of octants. Phase II comprises the increase of the spherical proembryo to the change of its symmetry from radial to bilateral. Phase III includes, growth of the embryo from the heart stage up to the end of embryogenesis. In each phase the relative growth rate increases drastically and then diminishes. The differences in growth intensity during the same phase are several-fold. The growth intensity maximum of the embryo axis occurs in phase II. The phasic growth intensity maxima occur: in phase I during apical cell elongation, :before its division, and in phases II and III in the periods of cell division ;growth in globular and torpedo-shaped -shaped embryos.

  16. Proteomic analysis of zebrafish embryos exposed to simulated-microgravity (United States)

    Hang, Xiaoming; Ma, Wenwen; Wang, Wei; Liu, Cong; Sun, Yeqing

    Microgravity can induce a serial of physiological and pathological changes in human body, such as cardiovascular functional disorder, bone loss, muscular atrophy and impaired immune system function, etc. In this research, we focus on the influence of microgravity to vertebrate embryo development. As a powerful model for studying vertebrate development, zebrafish embryos at 8 hpf (hour past fertilization) and 24 hpf were placed into a NASA developed bioreac-tor (RCCS) to simulate microgravity for 64 and 48 hours, respectively. The same number of control embryos from the same parents were placed in a tissue culture dish at the same temper-ature of 28° C. Each experiment was repeated 3 times and analyzed by two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoresis. Image analysis of silver stained 2-D gels revealed that 64 from total 292 protein spots showed quantitative and qualitative variations that were significantly (P<0.05) and reproducibly different between simulate-microgravity treatment and the stationary control samples. 4 protein spots with significant expression alteration (P<0.01) were excised from 2-D gels and analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectra primarily. Of these proteins, 3 down-regulated proteins were identified as bectin 2, centrosomal protein of 135kDa and tropomyosin 4, while the up-regulated protein was identified as creatine kinase muscle B. Other protein spots showed significant expression alteration will be identified successively and the corresponding genes expression will also be measured by Q-PCR method at different development stages. The data presented in this study illustrate that zebrafish embryo can be significantly induced by microgravity on the expression of proteins involved in bone and muscle formation. Key Words: Danio rerio; Simulated-microgravity; Proteomics

  17. Potential of human twin embryos generated by embryo splitting in assisted reproduction and research. (United States)

    Noli, Laila; Ogilvie, Caroline; Khalaf, Yacoub; Ilic, Dusko


    Embryo splitting or twinning has been widely used in veterinary medicine over 20 years to generate monozygotic twins with desirable genetic characteristics. The first human embryo splitting, reported in 1993, triggered fierce ethical debate on human embryo cloning. Since Dolly the sheep was born in 1997, the international community has acknowledged the complexity of the moral arguments related to this research and has expressed concerns about the potential for reproductive cloning in humans. A number of countries have formulated bans either through laws, decrees or official statements. However, in general, these laws specifically define cloning as an embryo that is generated via nuclear transfer (NT) and do not mention embryo splitting. Only the UK includes under cloning both embryo splitting and NT in the same legislation. On the contrary, the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine does not have a major ethical objection to transferring two or more artificially created embryos with the same genome with the aim of producing a single pregnancy, stating that 'since embryo splitting has the potential to improve the efficacy of IVF treatments for infertility, research to investigate the technique is ethically acceptable'. Embryo splitting has been introduced successfully to the veterinary medicine several decades ago and today is a part of standard practice. We present here an overview of embryo splitting experiments in humans and non-human primates and discuss the potential of this technology in assisted reproduction and research. A comprehensive literature search was carried out using PUBMED and Google Scholar databases to identify studies on embryo splitting in humans and non-human primates. 'Embryo splitting' and 'embryo twinning' were used as the keywords, alone or in combination with other search phrases relevant to the topics of biology of preimplantation embryos. A very limited number of studies have been conducted in humans and non

  18. Fecundity, growth, and survival of the angelfish Pterophyllum scalare (Perciformes: Cichlidae under laboratory conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando A Ortega-Salas


    Full Text Available The freshwater angelfishes (Pterophyllum are South American cichlids that have become very popular among aquarists, yet scarce information on their culture and aquarium husbandry exists. We studied Pterophyllum scalare to analyze dietary effects on fecundity, growth, and survival of eggs and larvae during 135 days. Three diets were used: A decapsulated cysts of Artemia, B commercial dry fish food, and C a mix diet of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis and the cladoceran Daphnia magna. The initial larval density was 100 organisms in each 40L aquarium. With diet A, larvae reached a maximum weight of 3.80g, a total length of 6.3 cm, and a height of 5.8cm; with diet B: 2.80g, 4.81cm, and 4.79cm, and with diet C: 3.00g, 5.15cm, and 5.10cm, respectively. Significant differences were observed between diet A, and diet B and C, but no significantly differences were observed between diets B and C. Fecundity varied from 234 to 1 082 eggs in 20 and 50g females, respectively. Egg survival ranged from 87.4% up to 100%, and larvae survival (80 larvae/40L aquarium from 50% to 66.3% using diet B and A, respectively. Live food was better for growing fish than the commercial balanced food diet. Fecundity and survival are important factors in planning a good production of angelfish. Rev. Biol. Trop. 57 (3: 741-747. Epub 2009 September 30.Se realizaron estudios de cultivo en laboratorio del pez ángel, Pterophyllum scalare, para analizar los efectos de su dieta en la fecundidad, crecimiento y sobrevivencia en huevos y larvas por un período 135 días. Tres dietas diferentes se utilizaron A quistes decapsulados de Artemia, B comida comercial seca para pez, C una mezcla de rotíferos, Brachionus plicatilis y el cladocero, Daphnia magna. La densidad inicial de larvas en acuarios de 40L fue de 100 organismos. Utilizando la dieta A, las larvas alcanzaron un peso máximo de 3.80g, una longitud total de 6.3cm y una altura de 5.8cm; utilizando la dieta B, fue de 2.80g, 4

  19. Caffeine intake and fecundability: a follow-up study among 430 Danish couples planning their first pregnancy. (United States)

    Jensen, T K; Henriksen, T B; Hjollund, N H; Scheike, T; Kolstad, H; Giwercman, A; Ernst, E; Bonde, J P; Skakkebaek, N E; Olsen, J


    Fecundability has been defined as the ability to achieve a recognized pregnancy. Several studies on caffeine and fecundability have been conducted but have been inconclusive. This may be explained partly by lack of stratification by smoking. Furthermore, few researchers have tried to separate the effect of caffeine from different sources (coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate). Clearly, the relationship between caffeine and fecundability needs further research, given the high prevalence of caffeine intake among women of childbearing age. We examined the independent and combined effects of smoking and caffeine intake from different sources on the probability of conception. From 1992 to 1995, a total of 430 couples were recruited after a nationwide mailing of a personal letter to 52,255 trade union members who were 20 to 35 years old, lived with a partner, and had no previous reproductive experience. At enrollment and in six cycles of follow-up, both partners filled out a questionnaire on different factors including smoking habits and their intake of coffee, tea, chocolate, cola beverages, and chocolate bars. In all, 1596 cycles and 423 couples were included in the analyses. The cycle-specific association between caffeine intake and fecundability was analyzed in a logistic regression model with the outcome at each cycle (pregnant or not pregnant) in a Cox discrete model calculating the fecundability odds-ratio (FR). Compared to nonsmoking women with caffeine intake less than 300 mg/d, nonsmoking women who consumed 300 to 700 mg/d caffeine had a FR of 0.88 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.60-1.31], whereas women with a higher caffeine intake had a FR = 0.63 (95% CI 0.25-1.60) after adjusting for female body mass index and alcohol intake, diseases of the female reproductive organs, semen quality, and duration of menstrual cycle. No dose-response relationship was found among smokers. Among males, the same decline in point estimates of the FR was present. Smoking women whose

  20. Embryo cryopreservation and preeclampsia risk. (United States)

    Sites, Cynthia K; Wilson, Donna; Barsky, Maya; Bernson, Dana; Bernstein, Ira M; Boulet, Sheree; Zhang, Yujia


    To determine whether assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles involving cryopreserved-warmed embryos are associated with the development of preeclampsia. Retrospective cohort study. IVF clinics and hospitals. A total of 15,937 births from ART: 9,417 singleton and 6,520 twin. We used linked ART surveillance, birth certificate, and maternal hospitalization discharge data, considering resident singleton and twin births from autologous or donor eggs from 2005-2010. We compared the frequency of preeclampsia diagnosis for cryopreserved-warmed versus fresh ET and used multivariable logistic regression to adjust for confounders. Among pregnancies conceived with autologous eggs resulting in singletons, preeclampsia was greater after cryopreserved-warmed versus fresh ET (7.51% vs. 4.29%, adjusted odds ratio = 2.17 [95% CI 1.67-2.82]). Preeclampsia without and with severe features, preeclampsia with preterm delivery, and chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia were more frequent after cryopreserved-warmed versus fresh ET (3.99% vs. 2.55%; 2.95% vs. 1.41%; 2.76 vs. 1.48%; and 0.95% vs. 0.43%, respectively). Among pregnancies from autologous eggs resulting in twins, the frequency of preeclampsia with severe features (9.26% vs. 5.70%) and preeclampsia with preterm delivery (14.81% vs. 11.74%) was higher after cryopreserved versus fresh transfers. Among donor egg pregnancies, rates of preeclampsia did not differ significantly between cryopreserved-warmed and fresh ET (10.78% vs. 12.13% for singletons and 28.0% vs. 25.15% for twins). Among ART pregnancies conceived using autologous eggs resulting in live births, those involving transfer of cryopreserved-warmed embryos, as compared with fresh ETs, had increased risk for preeclampsia with severe features and preeclampsia with preterm delivery. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. All rights reserved.

  1. Differences in fecundity of Eimeria maxima strains exhibiting different levels of pathogenicity in its avian host. (United States)

    Jenkins, Mark C; Dubey, J P; Miska, Katarzyna; Fetterer, Raymond


    Eimeria maxima is one of the most pathogenic species of avian coccidia, yet it is unknown why different E. maxima strains differ in the pathogenic effects they cause in chickens. The purpose of this study was to determine if a more pathogenic E. maxima strain (APU1) was also more fecund than a less pathogenic E. maxima strain (APU2). At identical doses, E. maxima APU1 always produces greater intestinal lesions and lower weight gain compared to E. maxima APU2. Using a dose response study, median and mean intestinal lesion scores in E. maxima APU1-infected chickens were greater by a score of 1-1.5 compared to chickens infected with E. maxima APU2. Likewise, weight gain depression in E. maxima APU1-infected chickens was 20-25% greater (equivalent to 110-130g body weight) than in E. maxima APU2-infected chickens. In order to understand the underlying cause of these observed clinical effects, 120 broiler chicks (5 oocyst levels, 6 replicates/level) were inoculated with various doses of E. maxima APU1 or APU2 oocysts. The dynamics of oocyst shedding was investigated by collecting fecal material every 12h from 114 to 210h post-inoculation (p.i.) and every 24h thereafter from 210 to 306h, and then processed for measuring E. maxima oocyst output. Oocysts were first observed at 138h p.i., and time of peak oocyst production was nearly identical for both E. maxima APU1 and APU2 around 150-162h. Total oocyst production was 1.1-2.6 fold higher at all dose levels for E. maxima APU1 compared to E. maxima APU2, being significantly higher (P<0.05) at the log 1.5 dose level. Other groups of chickens were infected with higher doses of E. maxima APU1 or APU2 oocysts, and intestinal lesions were assessed by histology at 72, 96, 120, and 144h p.i. Although schizonts, gamonts, and oocysts were observed at expected time-points, no obvious differences were noted in lesions induced by the two E. maxima strains. This study showed that the greater fecundity of E. maxima APU1 compared to E

  2. Investigation of molecular markers related to fecundity in local egyptian sheep

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassanin, W.F.E.


    The present experimental work aimed to investigate a number of molecular makers that influence fecundity in local Egyptian sheep. In the present study, twenty two (11 twin producing crossbred ewes, 7 single lamb producing crossbred ewes, 2 crossbred rams from twin producing ewes and 2 pure bred rams from twin producing ewes) were tested. They were carefully selected from the records of the Egyptian Nuclear Research Centre. The ewes were selected for their twin production in three repetitive production cycles while the rams were selected for being produced from prolific ewes as above. The presence of the booroola fecundity gene (FecB) (FecB mutation in bone morphogenic protein receptor gene 1B (BMPR1B)) and the Inverdale gene (FecX I ) (FecX I mutation in bone morphogenic receptor gene (BMP15)) using Forced restriction PCR of the FecB and FecX I mutations, 190 base pair (bp) was amplified using specific primer which was forward (5 ' -CCAGAGGACAATAGCAAAGCAAA -3 ' ) and reverse (5 ' -CAAGATGTTTTCATGCCTCATCAACAGGTC -3 ' ) and designed to introduce a point mutation in the resulting PCR products with FecB carrier sheep containing an AvaII restriction site (G|GACC). The FecB DNA test showed that there were no carriers for the FecB mutation in the selected prolific sheep sample. When a specific primer which was forward (5 ' -GAAGTAACCAGTGTTCCCTCCACCCTTTTCT-3 ' ) and reverse (5 ' -CATGATTGGGAGAATTGAGACC-3 ' ) used to test the presence of FecX I mutation no amplification resulted from DNA samples of the twin producing ewes while two amplified DNA fragments of molecular size 154 bp and 120 bp resulted from the single lamb producing females and male sheep under study. Serum samples were collected from sheep under study and tested using totallab 120 computer software analyses for Native protein gel images. Gel images revealed a protein pattern in twin producing ewe samples characterized by the presence of three bands with molecular weights 679.7, 524.3, and 431.1 kd and the

  3. [Association of human chorionic gonadotropin level in embryo culture media with early embryo development]. (United States)

    Wang, Haiying; Zhang, Renli; Han, Dong; Liu, Caixia; Cai, Jiajie; Bi, Yanling; Wen, Anmin; Quan, Song


    To investigate the association of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) level on day 3 of embryo culture with embryo development. Spent culture media were collected from individually cultured embryos on day 3 of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) cycles. HCG concentration in the culture media was measured using an ELISA kit and its association with embryo development was assessed. In the 163 samples of embryo culture media from 60 patients, HCG was positive in 153 sample (93.8%) with a mean level of 0.85 ± 0.43 mIU/ml. The concentration of hCG in the culture media increased gradually as the number of blastomeres increased (F=2.273, P=0.03), and decreased as the morphological grade of the embryo was lowered (F=3.900, P=0.02). ELISA is capable of detecting HCG levels in spent culture media of embryos on day 3 of in vitro culture. The concentration of HCG in spent culture media is positively correlated with the status of early embryo development and implantation rate and thus serves as a useful marker for embryo selection in IVF-ET procedure.

  4. Caspase dependent programmed cell death in developing embryos: a potential target for therapeutic intervention against pathogenic nematodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alok Das Mohapatra


    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Successful embryogenesis is a critical rate limiting step for the survival and transmission of parasitic worms as well as pathology mediated by them. Hence, blockage of this important process through therapeutic induction of apoptosis in their embryonic stages offers promise for developing effective anti-parasitic measures against these extra cellular parasites. However, unlike in the case of protozoan parasites, induction of apoptosis as a therapeutic approach is yet to be explored against metazoan helminth parasites. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: For the first time, here we developed and evaluated flow cytometry based assays to assess several conserved features of apoptosis in developing embryos of a pathogenic filarial nematode Setaria digitata, in-vitro as well as ex-vivo. We validated programmed cell death in developing embryos by using immuno-fluorescence microscopy and scoring expression profile of nematode specific proteins related to apoptosis [e.g. CED-3, CED-4 and CED-9]. Mechanistically, apoptotic death of embryonic stages was found to be a caspase dependent phenomenon mediated primarily through induction of intracellular ROS. The apoptogenicity of some pharmacological compounds viz. DEC, Chloroquine, Primaquine and Curcumin were also evaluated. Curcumin was found to be the most effective pharmacological agent followed by Primaquine while Chloroquine displayed minimal effect and DEC had no demonstrable effect. Further, demonstration of induction of apoptosis in embryonic stages by lipid peroxidation products [molecules commonly associated with inflammatory responses in filarial disease] and demonstration of in-situ apoptosis of developing embryos in adult parasites in a natural bovine model of filariasis have offered a framework to understand anti-fecundity host immunity operational against parasitic helminths. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our observations have revealed for the first time, that induction of apoptosis in

  5. Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion. (United States)

    Delia, Jesse R J; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Summers, Kyle


    Both parental care and hatching plasticity can improve embryo survival. Research has found that parents can alter hatching time owing to a direct effect of care on embryogenesis or via forms of care that cue the hatching process. Because parental care alters conditions critical for offspring development, hatching plasticity could allow embryos to exploit variation in parental behaviour. However, this interaction of parental care and hatching plasticity remains largely unexplored. We tested the hypothesis that embryos hatch early to cope with paternal abandonment in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni (Centrolenidae). We conducted male-removal experiments in a wild population, and examined embryos' response to conditions with and without fathers. Embryos hatched early when abandoned, but extended development in the egg stage when fathers continued care. Paternal care had no effect on developmental rate. Rather, hatching plasticity was due to embryos actively hatching at different developmental stages, probably in response to deteriorating conditions without fathers. Our experimental results are supported by a significant correlation between the natural timing of abandonment and hatching in an unmanipulated population. This study demonstrates that embryos can respond to conditions resulting from parental abandonment, and provides insights into how variation in care can affect selection on egg-stage adaptations.

  6. Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion (United States)

    Delia, Jesse R. J.; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Summers, Kyle


    Both parental care and hatching plasticity can improve embryo survival. Research has found that parents can alter hatching time owing to a direct effect of care on embryogenesis or via forms of care that cue the hatching process. Because parental care alters conditions critical for offspring development, hatching plasticity could allow embryos to exploit variation in parental behaviour. However, this interaction of parental care and hatching plasticity remains largely unexplored. We tested the hypothesis that embryos hatch early to cope with paternal abandonment in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni (Centrolenidae). We conducted male-removal experiments in a wild population, and examined embryos' response to conditions with and without fathers. Embryos hatched early when abandoned, but extended development in the egg stage when fathers continued care. Paternal care had no effect on developmental rate. Rather, hatching plasticity was due to embryos actively hatching at different developmental stages, probably in response to deteriorating conditions without fathers. Our experimental results are supported by a significant correlation between the natural timing of abandonment and hatching in an unmanipulated population. This study demonstrates that embryos can respond to conditions resulting from parental abandonment, and provides insights into how variation in care can affect selection on egg-stage adaptations. PMID:24789892

  7. Protein phosphorylation during coconut zygotic embryo development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Islas-Flores, I.; Oropeza, C.; Hernandez-Sotomayor, S.M.T.


    Evidence was obtained on the occurrence of protein threonine, serine, and tyrosine (Tyr) kinases in developing coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) zygotic embryos, based on in vitro phosphorylation of proteins in the presence of [gamma-32P]ATP, alkaline treatment, and thin-layer chromatography analysis, which showed the presence of [32P]phosphoserine, [32P]phosphothreonine, and [32P]phosphotyrosine in [32P]-labeled protein hydrolyzates. Tyr kinase activity was further confirmed in extracts of embryos at different stages of development using antiphosphotyrosine monoclonal antibodies and the synthetic peptide derived from the amino acid sequence surrounding the phosphorylation site in pp60src (RR-SRC), which is specific for Tyr kinases. Anti-phosphotyrosine western blotting revealed a changing profile of Tyr-phosphorylated proteins during embryo development. Tyr kinase activity, as assayed using RR-SRC, also changed during embryo development, showing two peaks of activity, one during early and another during late embryo development. In addition, the use of genistein, a Tyr kinase inhibitor, diminished the ability of extracts to phosphorylate RR-SRC. Results presented here show the occurrence of threonine, serine, and Tyr kinases in developing coconut zygotic embryos, and suggest that protein phosphorylation, and the possible inference of Tyr phosphorylation in particular, may play a role in the coordination of the development of embryos in this species

  8. To transfer fresh or thawed embryos?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinborg, Anja


    Worldwide freezing and thawing of embryos has been increasingly used since the first infant was born as a result of this technique in 1984. The use of frozen embryo replacement (FER) currently even exceeds the number of fresh cycles performed in some countries. This article discusses the pros...... and multiple pregnancies, thereby increasing the safety for mother and child. Finally the article describes the accumulating literature on perinatal and long-term child outcome after transfer of frozen/thawed embryos, including a discussion on the concerns regarding cryo techniques and their possible roles...

  9. Effects of sublethal concentrations of bifenthrin and deltamethrin on fecundity, growth, and development of the honeybee Apis mellifera ligustica. (United States)

    Dai, Ping-Li; Wang, Qiang; Sun, Ji-Hu; Liu, Feng; Wang, Xing; Wu, Yan-Yan; Zhou, Ting


    Bifenthrin and deltamethrin have been widely used as pesticides in agriculture and forestry and are becoming an increasing risk to honeybees. The honeybee, Apis mellifera ligustica, is widely recognized as a beneficial insect of agronomic, ecological, and scientific importance. It is important to understand what effects these chemicals have on bees. Effects of two pesticides at sublethal concentrations on fecundity, growth, and development of honeybees were examined with the feeding method for a three-year period (2006-2008). It was shown that both bifenthrin and deltamethrin significantly reduced bee fecundity, decreased the rate at which bees develop to adulthood, and increased their immature periods. The toxicity of bifenthrin and deltamethrin on workers of Apis mellifera ligustica was also assessed, and the results from the present study showed that the median lethal effects of bifenthrin and deltamethrin were 16.7 and 62.8 mg/L, respectively.

  10. Effects of in vivo exposure to DEET on blood feeding behavior and fecundity in Anopheles quadrimaculatus (Diptera: Culicidae). (United States)

    Xue, Rui-De; Ali, Arshad; Barnard, Donald R


    This study determined the effects of contact with DEET on guinea pig skin on mortality, probing time, blood feeding rate, engorgement time, and fecundity responses in female Anopheles quadrimaculatus Say. Exposure, in this manner, to 10% DEET (in ethanol) for 5 min, resulted in 98% mortality in mosquitoes after 24h. The median probing time (PT(50)) required by females, when exposed to 0.1%, 1.0%, and 10% DEET, was significantly (Pblood feeding rates in populations of females exposed to 1.0% DEET for feeding on the control guinea pigs (105.9s). The mean number of mature oöcytes per female (fecundity) in treatment (1.0% DEET) and control mosquitoes was not significantly different. The responses to DEET observed in this study suggest that repeated exposure of female A. quadrimaculatus populations to this repellent, in laboratory bioassays, could result in confounding of toxicant and repellent effects and inaccurate estimates of DEET repellency.

  11. Low concentration of circulating antimüllerian hormone is not predictive of reduced fecundability in young healthy women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hagen, Casper; Vestergaard, Sonja; Juul, Anders


    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether circulating levels of antimüllerian hormone (AMH) predict fecundability in young healthy women. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: General community. PATIENT(S): A total of 186 couples who intended to discontinue contraception to become pregnant were followed...... compared with women with low or medium AMH levels, and they had higher levels of LH (geometric mean: 8.4 vs. 5.3 IU/L) and LH:FSH ratio (2.4 vs. 1.8). After exclusion of women with irregular cycles, women with high AMH still had reduced fecundability (FR 0.48; 95% CI 0.27-0.85) and elevated LH:FSH ratio (2...

  12. Effect of fish length and nutritional condition on the fecundity of distressed Atlantic cod Gadus morhua from the Baltic Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mion, M.; Thorsen, A.; Vitale, F.


    for future fecundity studies on this stock. The results showed that FP was mainly positively related to fish length, but K and IH also contributed significantly to the variation in FP . The model predicted that fish with K = 1·2 have a FP 51% higher than fish of the same LT with K = 0·8. The prevalence...... of fecundity regulation by atresia was 5·8%, but it was found only in fish in the pre-spawning maturity stage and with low K. Temporal changes in biological features such as the length composition and individual body condition of eastern Baltic G. morhua, should be accounted for when estimating stock...

  13. Duckling survival, fecundity, and habitat selection of mottled duck broods on the upper Texas Gulf Coast (United States)

    Rigby, Elizabeth A.; Haukos, David A.


    Mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) on the western Gulf Coast have exhibited a steep population decline since the mid 1990s. Low rates of breeding incidence and nest success have been implicated in this decline, but duckling survival and the habitat needs of broods have not been previously investigated in this region. We fitted mottled duck ducklings and adult females with radio transmitters and tracked broods to estimate duckling survival and brood habitat selection on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Duckling survival to 30 days was high (range among models 0.354–0.567) compared to other dabbling duck species. Estimated fecundity was low, (range among models 0.398–0.634) however, indicating that overall reproductive output is low. Within coastal marsh, broods selected home ranges with more water cover and less upland and fresh marsh landcover than was available in the study area. Within coastal marsh home ranges, broods selected for water cover relative to other landcover types, and there was some evidence that broods avoided unvegetated landcover. Although high quality brood habitat is undeniably important, management efforts to increase mottled duck population growth on the western Gulf Coast may best be spent on increasing nesting habitat quality to increase nest success and breeding incidence.

  14. Widespread failure to complete meiosis does not impair fecundity in parthenogenetic whiptail lizards. (United States)

    Newton, Aracely A; Schnittker, Robert R; Yu, Zulin; Munday, Sarah S; Baumann, Diana P; Neaves, William B; Baumann, Peter


    Parthenogenetic species of whiptail lizards in the genus Aspidoscelis constitute a striking example of speciation by hybridization, in which first-generation hybrids instantly attain reproductive isolation and procreate as clonal all-female lineages. Production of eggs containing a full complement of chromosomes in the absence of fertilization involves genome duplication prior to the meiotic divisions. In these pseudo-tetraploid oocytes, pairing and recombination occur exclusively between identical chromosomes instead of homologs; a deviation from the normal meiotic program that maintains heterozygosity. Whether pseudo-tetraploid cells arise early in germ cell development or just prior to meiosis has remained unclear. We now show that in the obligate parthenogenetic species A. neomexicana the vast majority of oocytes enter meiosis as diploid cells. Telomere bouquet formation is normal, but synapsis fails and oocytes accumulate in large numbers at the pairing stage. Pseudo-tetraploid cells are exceedingly rare in early meiotic prophase, but they are the only cells that progress into diplotene. Despite the widespread failure to increase ploidy prior to entering meiosis, the fecundity of parthenogenetic A. neomexicana is similar to that of A. inornata, one of its bisexual ancestors. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Twelve fundamental life histories evolving through allocation-dependent fecundity and survival. (United States)

    Johansson, Jacob; Brännström, Åke; Metz, Johan A J; Dieckmann, Ulf


    An organism's life history is closely interlinked with its allocation of energy between growth and reproduction at different life stages. Theoretical models have established that diminishing returns from reproductive investment promote strategies with simultaneous investment into growth and reproduction (indeterminate growth) over strategies with distinct phases of growth and reproduction (determinate growth). We extend this traditional, binary classification by showing that allocation-dependent fecundity and mortality rates allow for a large diversity of optimal allocation schedules. By analyzing a model of organisms that allocate energy between growth and reproduction, we find twelve types of optimal allocation schedules, differing qualitatively in how reproductive allocation increases with body mass. These twelve optimal allocation schedules include types with different combinations of continuous and discontinuous increase in reproduction allocation, in which phases of continuous increase can be decelerating or accelerating. We furthermore investigate how this variation influences growth curves and the expected maximum life span and body size. Our study thus reveals new links between eco-physiological constraints and life-history evolution and underscores how allocation-dependent fitness components may underlie biological diversity.

  16. Effect of selection and gamma-irradiation on fecundity in Tribolium castaneum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhat, P.P.; Raheja, K.L.; Verma, S.B.


    In order to investigate the joint effect of selection and gamma irradiation on a polygenic trait like egg production in Tribolium castaneum, a 3 x 3 x 2 fractorial experiment with 3 levels of selection, viz. O, high (S 1 ), and low (S 2 ); 3 levels of irradiation, viz. 0,1 1500R (R 1 ) 2300R(R 2 ); and 2 replicates with 24 females in each cell, was set up. The data were collected on 721 females of parental generation subjected to selection and radiation and the subsequent progeny generation. A significant divergence of 11.6 eggs were observed due to high and low selection methods. There was no difference between control and R 1 radiation dose. The R 2 radiation dose depressed the egg production of the progeny significantly. There was a linear decrease in egg number in the progeny with an increase in dose level of radiation in parents; this is indicative of significant number of gene mutations effecting a quantitative trait like egg production. It is suggested that reduction in fecundity in the progeny of parents subjected to gamma-irradiation can possibly arise due to either (i) molecular rearrangement at a point on the chromosome leading to gene mutation or (ii) chromosome breakage with subsequent rearrangement of gene position or both. (author)

  17. Host Selection Behavior and the Fecundity of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) on Multiple Host Plants (United States)

    Huang, Bin; Shi, Zhanghong; Hou, Youming


    Abstract Insect herbivores often have higher densities on host plants grown in monocultures than those in diverse environments. The underlying mechanisms are thought to be that polyphagous insects have difficulty in selecting food or oviposition sites when multiple host plants exist. However, this hypothesis needs to be extensively investigated. Our field experiments revealed that the population of the diamondback moths, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), significantly decreased in a mixed cropping field compared with a monoculture. To determine the reasons for the reduction in population in the mixed cropping field, the takeoff behavior and fecundity of females in no-choice and free-choice laboratory environments were compared by video recordings of host selection by P. xylostella . Adults displayed a significantly higher takeoff frequency in free-choice environments than those in no-choice treatments and preferred landing on Brassica campestris (L.) or Brassica juncea (Coss) plants in contrast with Brassica oleracea (L.). Female adults in the free-choice environment also laid fewer eggs compared with the monoculture. Olfaction experiments demonstrated orientation by P. xylostella to host volatiles when presented with a choice between plant odors and clean air, but females showed no preference when odors from three Brassicaceae species were presented simultaneously. We conclude that mixed cropping alters the host-finding behavior of P. xylostella resulting in reduced oviposition. PMID:25527573

  18. Pregnancy Loss (United States)

    ... To receive Pregnancy email updates Enter email Submit Pregnancy loss Pregnancy loss is a harsh reality faced ... have successful pregnancies. Expand all | Collapse all Why pregnancy loss happens As many as 10 to 15 ...

  19. An adenylyl cyclase like-9 gene (NlAC9) influences growth and fecundity in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (Stål) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). (United States)

    Ge, LinQuan; Gu, HaoTian; Huang, Bo; Song, Qisheng; Stanley, David; Liu, Fang; Yang, Guo-Qing; Wu, Jin-Cai


    The cAMP/PKA intracellular signaling pathway is launched by adenylyl cyclase (AC) conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to 3', 5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cAMP-dependent activation of PKA. Although this pathway is very well known in insect physiology, there is little to no information on it in some very small pest insects, such as the brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens Stål. BPH is a destructive pest responsible for tremendous crop losses in rice cropping systems. We are investigating the potentials of novel pest management technologies from RNA interference perspective. Based on analysis of transcriptomic data, the BPH AC like-9 gene (NlAC9) was up-regulated in post-mating females, which led us to pose the hypothesis that NlAC9 is a target gene that would lead to reduced BPH fitness and populations. Targeting NlAC9 led to substantially decreased soluble ovarian protein content, yeast-like symbiont abundance, and vitellogenin gene expression, accompanied with stunted ovarian development and body size. Eggs laid were decreased and oviposition period shortened. Taken together, our findings indicated that NlAC9 exerted pronounced effects on female fecundity, growth and longevity, which strongly supports our hypothesis.

  20. An adenylyl cyclase like-9 gene (NlAC9 influences growth and fecundity in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LinQuan Ge

    Full Text Available The cAMP/PKA intracellular signaling pathway is launched by adenylyl cyclase (AC conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP to 3', 5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP and cAMP-dependent activation of PKA. Although this pathway is very well known in insect physiology, there is little to no information on it in some very small pest insects, such as the brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens Stål. BPH is a destructive pest responsible for tremendous crop losses in rice cropping systems. We are investigating the potentials of novel pest management technologies from RNA interference perspective. Based on analysis of transcriptomic data, the BPH AC like-9 gene (NlAC9 was up-regulated in post-mating females, which led us to pose the hypothesis that NlAC9 is a target gene that would lead to reduced BPH fitness and populations. Targeting NlAC9 led to substantially decreased soluble ovarian protein content, yeast-like symbiont abundance, and vitellogenin gene expression, accompanied with stunted ovarian development and body size. Eggs laid were decreased and oviposition period shortened. Taken together, our findings indicated that NlAC9 exerted pronounced effects on female fecundity, growth and longevity, which strongly supports our hypothesis.

  1. Vitamin D receptor signaling is required for heart development in zebrafish embryo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwon, Hye-Joo, E-mail: [Biology Department, Texas A& M University, College Station, TX77843-3258 (United States); Biology Department, Princess Nourah University, Riyadh 11671 (Saudi Arabia)


    Vitamin D has been found to be associated with cardiovascular diseases. However, the role of vitamin D in heart development during embryonic period is largely unknown. Vitamin D induces its genomic effects through its nuclear receptor, the vitamin D receptor (VDR). The present study investigated the role of VDR on heart development by antisense-mediated knockdown approaches in zebrafish model system. In zebrafish embryos, two distinct VDR genes (vdra and vdrb) have been identified. Knockdown of vdra has little effect on heart development, whereas disrupting vdrb gene causes various cardiac phenotypes, characterized by pericardial edema, slower heart rate and laterality defects. Depletion of both vdra and vdrb (vdra/b) produce additive, but not synergistic effects. To determine whether atrioventricular (AV) cardiomyocytes are properly organized in these embryos, the expression of bmp4, which marks the developing AV boundary at 48 h post-fertilization, was examined. Notably, vdra/b-deficient embryos display ectopic expression of bmp4 towards the ventricle or throughout atrial and ventricular chambers. Taken together, these results suggest that VDR signaling plays an essential role in heart development. - Highlights: • VDR signaling is involved in embryonic heart development. • Knockdown of vdrb, but not vdra, causes decreased heart rate in zebrafish embryo. • Loss of vdr results in cardiac laterality defects. • Loss of vdra/b alters atrioventricular boundary formation. • Loss of vdra/b causes abnormal cardiac looping.

  2. Vitamin D receptor signaling is required for heart development in zebrafish embryo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, Hye-Joo


    Vitamin D has been found to be associated with cardiovascular diseases. However, the role of vitamin D in heart development during embryonic period is largely unknown. Vitamin D induces its genomic effects through its nuclear receptor, the vitamin D receptor (VDR). The present study investigated the role of VDR on heart development by antisense-mediated knockdown approaches in zebrafish model system. In zebrafish embryos, two distinct VDR genes (vdra and vdrb) have been identified. Knockdown of vdra has little effect on heart development, whereas disrupting vdrb gene causes various cardiac phenotypes, characterized by pericardial edema, slower heart rate and laterality defects. Depletion of both vdra and vdrb (vdra/b) produce additive, but not synergistic effects. To determine whether atrioventricular (AV) cardiomyocytes are properly organized in these embryos, the expression of bmp4, which marks the developing AV boundary at 48 h post-fertilization, was examined. Notably, vdra/b-deficient embryos display ectopic expression of bmp4 towards the ventricle or throughout atrial and ventricular chambers. Taken together, these results suggest that VDR signaling plays an essential role in heart development. - Highlights: • VDR signaling is involved in embryonic heart development. • Knockdown of vdrb, but not vdra, causes decreased heart rate in zebrafish embryo. • Loss of vdr results in cardiac laterality defects. • Loss of vdra/b alters atrioventricular boundary formation. • Loss of vdra/b causes abnormal cardiac looping.

  3. Sublethal Exposure to Diatomaceous Earth Increases Net Fecundity of Flour Beetles (Tribolium confusum) by Inhibiting Egg Cannibalism (United States)

    Shostak, Allen W.


    Population regulation results from an interplay of numerous intrinsic and external factors, and for many insects cannibalism is such a factor. This study confirms a previously-reported observation that sublethal exposure to the fossilized remains of diatoms (i.e. diatomaceous earth) increases net fecundity (eggs produced minus eggs destroyed/day) of flour beetles, Tribolium confusum. The aim was to experimentally test two non-mutually-exclusive ecological mechanisms potentially responsible for the increased net fecundity: higher egg production and lower egg cannibalism. Adult T. confusum were maintained at low or high density in medium containing sublethal (0–4%) diatomaceous earth. Net fecundity increased up to 2.1× control values during diatomaceous earth exposure, and returned to control levels following removal from diatomaceous earth. Cannibalism assays on adults showed that diatomaceous earth reduced the number of eggs produced to 0.7× control values at low density and to 0.8× controls at high density, and also reduced egg cannibalism rates of adults to as little as 0.4× control values, but at high density only. Diatomaceous earth also reduced cannibalism by larvae on eggs to 0.3× control values. So, while the presence of diatomaceous earth reduced egg production, net fecundity increased as a result of strong suppression of the normal egg cannibalism by adults and larvae that occurs at high beetle density. Undisturbed cultures containing sublethal diatomaceous earth concentrations reached higher population densities than diatomaceous earth-free controls. Cohort studies on survival from egg to adult indicated that this population increase was due largely to decreased egg cannibalism by adult females. This is the first report of inhibition of egg cannibalism by diatomaceous earth on larval or adult insects. The ability of diatomaceous earth to alter cannibalism behavior without causing mortality makes it an ideal investigative tool for cannibalism

  4. O-polysaccharide is important for Salmonella Pullorum survival in egg albumen, and virulence and colonization in chicken embryos. (United States)

    Guo, Rongxian; Li, Zhuoyang; Jiao, Yang; Geng, Shizhong; Pan, Zhiming; Chen, Xiang; Li, Qiuchun; Jiao, Xinan


    The pathogen Salmonella Pullorum is the causative agent of persistent systemic infection of poultry, leading to economic losses in developing countries due to morbidity, mortality and reduction in egg production. These infections may result in vertical transmission to eggs or progeny. Limited information is available regarding the mechanisms involved in the survival of Salmonella Pullorum in egg albumen and developing chicken embryos. Hence, we investigated the role of O-polysaccharide in the contamination of eggs and the colonization of chicken embryos. Compared with the wild-type strain, the isogenic waaL mutant exhibited an O-antigen-deficient rough phenotype, and increased sensitivity to egg albumen and chicken serum, as well as reduced adherence to DF-1 cells. Infection with Salmonella Pullorum lacking O-polysaccharide resulted in significantly reduced embryo lethality and bacterial colonization. These results suggest that O-polysaccharide is essential for Salmonella Pullorum colonization in eggs, both post-lay and developing embryos. The chicken embryo infection model could be used to characterize the interaction between Salmonella Pullorum and developing embryos, and it will also contribute to the development of more rational vaccines to protect laying hens and embryos.

  5. Studies of radiation gamma effects of 60 Co on fecundity, fertility and survival of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Albuquerque Melo, Ana M.M. de; Motta, Mauricy A. da


    The effects of gamma 60 Co radiation on fecundity, fertility and survival of Biomphalaria straminea was carried out with these mollusks kept in totality reproductive isolation and grouped, for their possible utilization in the study of radiation effect in biological system. Biomphalaria straminea species are disseminated in Brazil, specially in Northeast region. The snails were exposed to the following doses of gamma radiation: 2.5; 5.0; 7.5; 10; 15; 20; 25; 30; 35; 40; 45; 55; 60; 80; 160; 320; and 640 gy source was a Gamma Cell Co model RL (rate dose = 0,31 Gy/min). The fecundity was observed through the count of the spawing abd eggs number/snail/day; the fecundity and fertility when the radiation dose increased; it was evidenced that the grouped mollusks presented a better performance in respectivity when compared with the isolated ones. After the statistical analysis was observed that fercundity and fertility were closely related. The survival, presented higher levels of resistence in isolated mollusks than in grouped ones. The DL50/30 obtained for the isolated mollusks submitted the radiation was about 90 Gy and for the grouped ones 70 Gy. (author). 29 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs

  6. Nucleolar remodeling in nuclear transfer embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laurincik, Jozef; Maddox-Hyttel, Poul


    Transcription of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes occurs in the nucleolus and results in ribosome biogenesis. The rRNA gene activation and the associated nucleolus formation may be used as a marker for the activation of the embryonic genome in mammalian embryos and, thus serve to evaluate the devel......Transcription of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes occurs in the nucleolus and results in ribosome biogenesis. The rRNA gene activation and the associated nucleolus formation may be used as a marker for the activation of the embryonic genome in mammalian embryos and, thus serve to evaluate...... nucleoli are not apparent until the 5th cell cycle, whereas in somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos the functional nucleoli emerge already during the 3rd cell cycle. Intergeneric reconstructed embryos produced by the fusion of bovine differentiated somatic cell to a nonactivated ovine cytoplast fail...

  7. Testing the embryo, testing the fetus. (United States)

    Ehrich, K; Farsides, B; Williams, C; Scott, Rosamund


    This paper stems from an ethnographic, multidisciplinary study that explored the views and experiences of practitioners and scientists on social, ethical and clinical dilemmas encountered when working in the area of PGD for serious genetic disorders. We focus here on staff perceptions and experiences of working with embryos and helping women/couples to make choices that will result in selecting embryos for transfer and disposal of 'affected' embryos, compared to the termination of affected pregnancies following PND. Analysis and discussion of our data led us to consider the possible advantages of PGD and whether a gradualist account of the embryo's and fetus's moral status can account for all of these, particularly since a gradualist account concentrates on the significance of time (developmental stage) and makes no comment as to the significance of place (in-vitro, in-utero).

  8. Bovine in vitro embryo production : An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. S. Suthar

    Full Text Available Dairy industry perfected the application of the first reproductive biotechnology, i.e. artificial insemination (AI - a great success story and also remains the user of embryo transfer technology (ETT. In addition, recently the researchers taking interest to embraced the field of Transvaginal OocyteRecovery (TVOR and in vitro production (IVEP of embryos. IVF provides the starting point for the generation of reproductive material for a number of advanced reproduction techniques including sperm microinjection and nuclear transfer (cloning. In several countries commercial IVF facilities are already being employed by cattle ET operators. Various research groups have reported on modification of TVOR technique to give greater efficiency. Much research is still needed in domestic animal (Especially Indian species on mechanisms controlling embryo development and on development of totally in vitro system for embryo culture. [Vet World 2009; 2(12.000: 478-479`

  9. Nucleolar ultrastructure in bovine nuclear transfer embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kanka, J; Smith, S D; Soloy, E


    in nuclear morphology as a transformation of the nucleolus precursor body into a functional rRNA synthesising nucleolus with a characteristic ultrastructure. We examined nucleolar ultrastructure in bovine in vitro produced (control) embryos and in nuclear transfer embryos reconstructed from a MII phase...... at 1 hr after fusion and, by 3 hr after fusion, it was restored again. At this time, the reticulated fibrillo-granular nucleolus had an almost round shape. The nucleolar precursor body seen in the two-cell stage nuclear transfer embryos consisted of intermingled filamentous components and secondary...... time intervals after fusion. In the two-cell stage nuclear transfer embryo, the originally reticulated nucleolus of the donor blastomere had changed into a typical nucleolar precursor body consisting of a homogeneous fibrillar structure. A primary vacuole appeared in the four-cell stage nuclear...

  10. Predator recognition in rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi, embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lois Jane Oulton

    Full Text Available Exposure to olfactory cues during embryonic development can have long term impacts on birds and amphibians behaviour. Despite the vast literature on predator recognition and responses in fishes, few researchers have determined how fish embryos respond to predator cues. Here we exposed four-day-old rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi embryos to cues emanating from a novel predator, a native predator and injured conspecifics. Their response was assessed by monitoring heart rate and hatch time. Results showed that embryos have an innate capacity to differentiate between cues as illustrated by faster heart rates relative to controls. The greatest increase in heart rate occurred in response to native predator odour. While we found no significant change in the time taken for eggs to hatch, all treatments experienced slight delays as expected if embryos are attempting to reduce exposure to larval predators.

  11. Increasing vaginal progesterone gel supplementation after frozen-thawed embryo transfer significantly increases the delivery rate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alsbjerg, Birgit; Polyzos, Nikolaos P; Elbaek, Helle Olesen


    The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproductive outcome in patients receiving frozen-thawed embryo transfer before and after doubling of the vaginal progesterone gel supplementation. The study was a retrospective study performed in The Fertility Clinic, Skive Regional Hospital, Denmark....... A total of 346 infertility patients with oligoamenorrhoea undergoing frozen-thawed embryo transfer after priming with oestradiol and vaginal progesterone gel were included. The vaginal progesterone dose was changed from 90mg (Crinone) once a day to twice a day and the reproductive outcome during the two...... rate (8.7% versus 20.5%, respectively; P=0.002). Doubling of the vaginal progesterone gel supplementation during frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles decreased the early pregnancy loss rate, resulting in a significantly higher delivery rate. This study evaluated the reproductive outcome of 346 women...

  12. Hypoxia induces dilated cardiomyopathy in the chick embryo: mechanism, intervention, and long-term consequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei Tintu

    Full Text Available Intrauterine growth restriction is associated with an increased future risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. Hypoxia in utero is a common clinical cause of fetal growth restriction. We have previously shown that chronic hypoxia alters cardiovascular development in chick embryos. The aim of this study was to further characterize cardiac disease in hypoxic chick embryos.Chick embryos were exposed to hypoxia and cardiac structure was examined by histological methods one day prior to hatching (E20 and at adulthood. Cardiac function was assessed in vivo by echocardiography and ex vivo by contractility measurements in isolated heart muscle bundles and isolated cardiomyocytes. Chick embryos were exposed to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF and its scavenger soluble VEGF receptor-1 (sFlt-1 to investigate the potential role of this hypoxia-regulated cytokine.Growth restricted hypoxic chick embryos showed cardiomyopathy as evidenced by left ventricular (LV dilatation, reduced ventricular wall mass and increased apoptosis. Hypoxic hearts displayed pump dysfunction with decreased LV ejection fractions, accompanied by signs of diastolic dysfunction. Cardiomyopathy caused by hypoxia persisted into adulthood. Hypoxic embryonic hearts showed increases in VEGF expression. Systemic administration of rhVEGF(165 to normoxic chick embryos resulted in LV dilatation and a dose-dependent loss of LV wall mass. Lowering VEGF levels in hypoxic embryonic chick hearts by systemic administration of sFlt-1 yielded an almost complete normalization of the phenotype.Our data show that hypoxia causes a decreased cardiac performance and cardiomyopathy in chick embryos, involving a significant VEGF-mediated component. This cardiomyopathy persists into adulthood.

  13. Neutron irradiation of rat embryos in utero

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vogel, H.H. Jr.


    In the rat radiation is most effective in producing congenital anomalies during the organ-forming period (days 9 to 13), which is approximately equivalent to the 14th to 50th days of human pregnancy. We have exposed female Sprague--Dawley rats on the 18th day of pregnancy to single whole-body doses of fission neutrons (20 to 150 rads). After 20 rads there was a small decrease in body weight which lasted from birth to weaning. During this period 9% of the irradiated rats died compared with 4% of the controls. After 50 rads, 65/275 (23.6%) of the rats died between birth and weaning, and the body-weight loss of the survivors was increased. After 100 rads, 62/133 (47%) died at birth or day 1 and 103/133 (77.4%) died before weaning. A large and significant decrease in body weight persisted in the survivors. After 150 rads of fission neutrons, all 95 rats died within 48 hr of birth. From cross-fostering experiments, we believe this is a direct effect of radiation on the embryos and not an indirect action through the mother or her milk. The LD 50 for the period from birth to weaning is approximately 75 rads of fission neutrons. Studies of organ weight were conducted daily for the first week after birth in an attempt to find the cause of radiation mortality. Body weight of the irradiated animals averaged only about one-half that of the controls. The liver, kidney, brain, and testes of the neutron-irradiated rats weighed significantly less than those of the controls. The weights of the spleen, lungs, duodenum, and stomach were decreased but not significantly. The bone marrow appeared depleted in the irradiated long bones, but the spleen maintained active hematopoiesis 1 to 2 months after neutron exposure

  14. Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion


    Delia, Jesse R. J.; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Summers, Kyle


    Both parental care and hatching plasticity can improve embryo survival. Research has found that parents can alter hatching time owing to a direct effect of care on embryogenesis or via forms of care that cue the hatching process. Because parental care alters conditions critical for offspring development, hatching plasticity could allow embryos to exploit variation in parental behaviour. However, this interaction of parental care and hatching plasticity remains largely unexplored. We tested th...

  15. Embryo disposition and the new death scene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellison, David


    Full Text Available In the IVF clinic - a place designed principally for the production and implantation of embryos - scientists and IVF recipients are faced with decisions regarding the disposition of frozen embryos. At this time there are hundred of thousands of cryopreserved embryos awaiting such determinations. They may be thawed for transfer to the woman herself, they may be donated for research or for use by other infertile couples, they may remain in frozen storage, or they may variously be discarded by being allowed to 'succumb', or 'perish'. Where the choice is discard, some IVF clients have chosen to formalise the process through ceremony. A new language is emerging in response to the desires of the would-be-parents who might wish to characterise the discard experience as a ‘good death’. This article examines the procedure known as ‘compassionate transfer’ where the embryo to be discarded is placed in the woman’s vagina where it is clear that it will not develop further. An alternate method has the embryo transferred in the usual manner but without the benefit of fertility-enhancing hormones at a point in the cycle unreceptive to implantation. The embryo destined for disposal is thus removed from the realm of technological possibility and ‘returned’ to the female body for a homely death. While debates continue about whether or not embryos constitute life, new practices are developing in response to the emotional experience of embryo discard. We argue that compassionate transfer is a death scene taking shape. In this article, we take the measure of this new death scene’s fabrication, and consider the form, significance, and legal complexity of its ceremonies.

  16. Role of melatonin in embryo fetal development


    Voiculescu, SE; Zygouropoulos, N; Zahiu, CD; Zagrean, AM


    Melatonin is an indoleamine produced by the pineal gland and secreted in a circadian manner. In the past few decades, research over this topic has been enhanced. Melatonin has many important roles in the human physiology: regulator of the circadian rhythms, sleep inducer, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic. This paper reviews the involvement of melatonin in embryo fetal development. The pineal gland develops completely postpartum, so both the embryo and the fetus are dependent on the maternal mela...

  17. [Assisted reproductive technologies and the embryo status]. (United States)

    Englert, Y

    The status of the human embryo has always be a subject of philosophical and theological thoughts with major social consequences, but, until the 19th century, it has been mainly an abstraction. The arrival of the human embryo in vitro, materialized by Louise Brown's birth in 1978 and above all by the supernumerary embryos produced by the Australian team of Trounson and Wood following the introduction of ovarian stimulation, will turn theoretical thoughts into a reality. Nobody may ignore the hidden intentions behind the debate, as to recognise a status to a few days old embryo will immediately have a major impact on the status of a few weeks old foetus and therefore on the abortion rights. We will see that the embryo status, essentially based as well on a vision on the good and evil as on social order, cannot be based on a scientific analysis of the reproduction process but comes from a society's choice, by essence " arbitrary " and always disputable. This does not preclude the collectivity right and legitimacy to give a precise status and it is remarkable to observe the law is careful not to specify which status to give to the human embryo. It is more thru handling procedures and functioning rules that the law designed the embryo position, neither with a status of a person, nor of a thing. It nevertheless remains true that there is a constant risk that the legislation gives the embryo a status that would call into question it's unique characteristic of early reproductive stage, jeopardizing at once the hard-won reproductive freedom (reproductive choice) as well as freedom of research on embryonic stem cells, one of the most promising field of medical research.

  18. Effects of alpha particles on zebrafish embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yum, E.H.W.; Choi, V.W.Y.; Yu, K.N.; Li, V.W.T.; Cheng, S.H.


    Full text: Ionizing radiation such as X-ray and alpha particles can damage cellular macromolecules, which can lead to DNA single- and double-strand breaks. In the present work, we studied the effects of alpha particles on dechorionated zebrafish embryos. Thin polyallyldiglycol carbonate (PADC) films with a thickness of 16 μm were prepared from commercially available PADC films (with thickness of 100 μm) by chemical etching and used as support substrates for holding zebrafish embryos for alpha-particle irradiation. These films recorded alpha-particle hit positions, quantified the number and energy of alpha particles actually incident on the embryo cells, and thus enabled the calculation of the dose absorbed by the embryo cells. Irradiation was made at 1.25 hours post fertilization (hpf) with various absorbed dose. TdT-mediated dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) assay was performed on the embryos at different time stages after irradiation. Marked apoptosis was detected only in embryos at earlier time stages. The results showed that DNA double-strand break during zebrafish embryogenesis can be induced by alpha-particle irradiation, which suggests that zebrafish is a potential model for assessing the effects of alpha-particle radiation

  19. Cryopreservation of Arachis pintoi (leguminosae) somatic embryos. (United States)

    Rey, H Y; Faloci, M; Medina, R; Dolce, N; Engelmann, F; Mroginski, L


    In this study, we successfully cryopreserved cotyledonary somatic embryos of diploid and triploid Arachis pintoi cytotypes using the encapsulation-dehydration technique. The highest survival rates were obtained when somatic embryos were encapsulated in calcium alginate beads and precultured in agitated (80 rpm) liquid establishment medium (EM) with daily increasing sucrose concentration (0.50, 0.75, and 1.0 M). The encapsulated somatic embryos were then dehydrated with silica gel for 5 h to 20% moisture content (fresh weight basis) and cooled either rapidly (direct immersion in liquid nitrogen, LN) or slowly (1 degree C per min from 25 degree C to -30 degree C followed by immersion in LN). Beads were kept in LN for a minimum of 1 h and then were rapidly rewarmed in a 30 degree C water-bath for 2 min. Finally, encapsulated somatic embryos were post-cultured in agitated (80 rpm) liquid EM with daily decreasing sucrose concentration (0.75 and 0.5 M) and transferred to solidified EM. Using this protocol, we obtained 26% and 30% plant regeneration from cryopreserved somatic embryos of diploid and triploid cytotypes. No morphological abnormalities were observed in any of the plants regenerated from cryopreserved embryos and their genetic stability was confirmed with 10 isozyme systems and nine RAPD profiles.

  20. Modification of fecundity and fertility during oogenesis by γ radiation and/or ozone with a cytological analysis in the ectoparasitic wasp, Habrobracon juglandis (Ashmead)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ofuoku, E.E.


    In Experiment I, adult female wasps were exposed to ozone for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 24, and 27 h. The results indicated that the 27 h of ozone exposure produced 100% lethality on the first day. Exposures below 27 h progressively decreased life span with increasing length of exposure. In Experiment II A, adult virgin Habrobracon females were exposed to ozone for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 24 h to determine the effects of ozone on fecundity (egg laying ability) and fertility (egg hatching ability). The results showed that ozone significantly decreased fecundity and fertility in all meiotic stages except metaphase I. In Experiment II B, adult virgin Habrobracon females were exposed to Co-60 γ radiation. All treated wasps showed significant progressive decreases in fecundity and fertility with increases in radiation dose. In Experiment II C, adult virgin Habrobracon females were exposed to Co-60 γ radiation, to ozone, or to combinations thereof to determine the effects of these insults on fecundity and fertility. Together or singly ozone and radiation reduced fecundity and fertility. In Experiment III, adult virgin Habrobracon females were exposed to the conditions of Experiment II C to correlate by cytological examination of the ovarioles the effects of ionizing radiation and/or ozone on the germ cells at specific meiotic stages. Results obtained from the cytological study explain the fecundity and fertility observations

  1. Randomized single versus double embryo transfer: obstetric and paediatric outcome and a cost-effectiveness analysis. (United States)

    Kjellberg, Ann Thurin; Carlsson, Per; Bergh, Christina


    Transfer of several embryos after IVF results in a high multiple birth rate associated with increased morbidity and high costs for the neonatal care. In a previous randomized trial we demonstrated that a single embryo transfer (SET) strategy, including one fresh single embryo transfer and, if no live birth, one additional frozen-thawed SET, resulted in a live-birth rate that was not substantially lower than after double embryo transfer (DET) but markedly reduced the multiple birth rate. We compared costs for maternal health care and productivity losses and paediatric costs for the SET and DET strategies. In addition, maternal and paediatric outcomes between the two groups were compared. The SET strategy resulted in lower average total costs from treatment until 6 months after delivery. There were a few more deliveries with at least one live-born child in the DET group. The incremental cost per extra delivery in the DET alternative was high, 71 940. The rates of prematurely born and low birthweight children were significantly lower with the SET strategy. There were also markedly fewer maternal and paediatric complications in the SET group. The SET strategy is superior to the DET strategy, when number of deliveries with at least one live-born child, incremental cost-effectiveness ratio and maternal and paediatric complications are taken into consideration. The findings do not support continuing transfers of two embryos in this group of patients.

  2. Is preimplantation genetic diagnosis the ideal embryo selection method in aneuploidy screening?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levent Sahin


    Full Text Available To select cytogenetically normal embryos, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD aneuploidy screening (AS is used in numerous centers around the world. Chromosomal abnormalities lead to developmental problems, implantation failure, and early abortion of embryos. The usefulness of PGD in identifying single-gene diseases, human leukocyte antigen typing, X-linked diseases, and specific genetic diseases is well-known. In this review, preimplantation embryo genetics, PGD research studies, and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology PGD Consortium studies and reports are examined. In addition, criteria for embryo selection, technical aspects of PGD-AS, and potential noninvasive embryo selection methods are described. Indications for PGD and possible causes of discordant PGD results between the centers are discussed. The limitations of fluorescence in situ hybridization, and the advantages of the array comparative genomic hybridization are included in this review. Although PGD-AS for patients of advanced maternal age has been shown to improve in vitro fertilization outcomes in some studies, to our knowledge, there is not sufficient evidence to use advanced maternal age as the sole indication for PGD-AS. PGD-AS might be harmful and may not increase the success rates of in vitro fertilization. At the same time PGD, is not recommended for recurrent implantation failure and unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss.

  3. Identification of cis-regulatory sequences that activate transcription in the suspensor of plant embryos. (United States)

    Kawashima, Tomokazu; Wang, Xingjun; Henry, Kelli F; Bi, Yuping; Weterings, Koen; Goldberg, Robert B


    Little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which the embryo proper and suspensor of plant embryos activate specific gene sets shortly after fertilization. We analyzed the upstream region of the scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) G564 gene to understand how genes are activated specifically within the suspensor during early embryo development. Previously, we showed that the G564 upstream region has a block of tandem repeats, which contain a conserved 10-bp motif (GAAAAG(C)/(T)GAA), and that deletion of these repeats results in a loss of suspensor transcription. Here, we use gain-of-function (GOF) experiments with transgenic globular-stage tobacco embryos to show that only 1 of the 5 tandem repeats is required to drive suspensor-specific transcription. Fine-scale deletion and scanning mutagenesis experiments with 1 tandem repeat uncovered a 54-bp region that contains all of the sequences required to activate transcription in the suspensor, including the 10-bp motif (GAAAAGCGAA) and a similar 10-bp-like motif (GAAAAACGAA). Site-directed mutagenesis and GOF experiments indicated that both the 10-bp and 10-bp-like motifs are necessary, but not sufficient to activate transcription in the suspensor, and that a sequence (TTGGT) between the 10-bp and the 10-bp-like motifs is also necessary for suspensor transcription. Together, these data identify sequences that are required to activate transcription in the suspensor of a plant embryo after fertilization.

  4. Mitochondrial DNA content in embryo culture medium is significantly associated with human embryo fragmentation. (United States)

    Stigliani, S; Anserini, P; Venturini, P L; Scaruffi, P


    Is the amount of cell-free DNA released by human embryos into culture medium correlated with embryo morphological features? The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content of culture medium is significantly associated with the fragmentation rate on Days 2 and 3 of embryo development, whether the oocyte came from women ≤ 35 or >35 years old. Cellular fragmentation is often utilized as one of the morphological parameters for embryo quality assessment. The amount of cellular fragments is considered to be an important morphological parameter for embryo implantation potential. It has been hypothesized that fragments are apoptotic bodies or anuclear cytoplasmatic pieces of blastomeres, although no definitive conclusion has been drawn about their pathogenesis. Human fertilized oocytes were individually cultured from Day 1 to Days 2 and 3. A total of 800 samples (166 spent media from Day 2 and 634 from Day 3) were enrolled into the present study. Double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) was quantified in 800 spent embryo culture media by Pico Green dye fluorescence assay. After DNA purification, genomic DNA (gDNA) and mtDNA were profiled by specific quantitative PCR. Statistical analyses defined correlations among DNA contents, embryo morphology and maternal age. Different independent tests confirmed the presence of DNA into embryo culture medium and, for the first time, we demonstrate that both gDNA and mtDNA are detectable in the secretome. The amount of DNA is larger in embryos with bad quality cleavage compared with high-grade embryos, suggesting that the DNA profile of culture medium is an objective marker for embryo quality assessment. In particular, DNA profiles are significantly associated with fragmentation feature (total dsDNA: P = 0.0010; mtDNA; P = 0.0247) and advanced maternal age. It is necessary to establish whether DNA profiling of spent embryo culture medium is a robust onsite test that can improve the prediction of blastulation, implantation and/or pregnancy rate. The

  5. Miniaturized embryo array for automated trapping, immobilization and microperfusion of zebrafish embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Akagi

    Full Text Available Zebrafish (Danio rerio has recently emerged as a powerful experimental model in drug discovery and environmental toxicology. Drug discovery screens performed on zebrafish embryos mirror with a high level of accuracy the tests usually performed on mammalian animal models, and fish embryo toxicity assay (FET is one of the most promising alternative approaches to acute ecotoxicity testing with adult fish. Notwithstanding this, automated in-situ analysis of zebrafish embryos is still deeply in its infancy. This is mostly due to the inherent limitations of conventional techniques and the fact that metazoan organisms are not easily susceptible to laboratory automation. In this work, we describe the development of an innovative miniaturized chip-based device for the in-situ analysis of zebrafish embryos. We present evidence that automatic, hydrodynamic positioning, trapping and long-term immobilization of single embryos inside the microfluidic chips can be combined with time-lapse imaging to provide real-time developmental analysis. Our platform, fabricated using biocompatible polymer molding technology, enables rapid trapping of embryos in low shear stress zones, uniform drug microperfusion and high-resolution imaging without the need of manual embryo handling at various developmental stages. The device provides a highly controllable fluidic microenvironment and post-analysis eleuthero-embryo stage recovery. Throughout the incubation, the position of individual embryos is registered. Importantly, we also for first time show that microfluidic embryo array technology can be effectively used for the analysis of anti-angiogenic compounds using transgenic zebrafish line (fli1a:EGFP. The work provides a new rationale for rapid and automated manipulation and analysis of developing zebrafish embryos at a large scale.

  6. Phenology, growth, and fecundity as determinants of distribution in closely related nonnative taxa (United States)

    Marushia, Robin G.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Holt, Jodie S.


    Invasive species researchers often ask: Why do some species invade certain habitats while others do not? Ecological theories predict that taxonomically related species may invade similar habitats, but some related species exhibit contrasting invasion patterns. Brassica nigra, Brassica tournefortii, and Hirschfeldia incana are dominant, closely related nonnative species that have overlapping, but dissimilar, distributions. Brassica tournefortii is rapidly spreading in warm deserts of the southwestern United States, whereas B. nigra and H. incana are primarily limited to semiarid and mesic regions. We compared traits of B. tournefortii that might confer invasiveness in deserts with those of related species that have not invaded desert ecosystems. Brassica tournefortii, B. nigra and H. incana were compared in controlled experiments conducted outdoors in a mesic site (Riverside, CA) and a desert site (Blue Diamond, NV), and in greenhouses, over 3 yr. Desert and mesic B. tournefortii populations were also compared to determine whether locally adapted ecotypes contribute to desert invasion. Experimental variables included common garden sites and soil water availability. Response variables included emergence, growth, phenology, and reproduction. There was no evidence for B. tournefortii ecotypes, but B. tournefortii had a more rapid phenology than B. nigra or H. incana. Brassica tournefortii was less affected by site and water availability than B. nigra and H. incana, but was smaller and less fecund regardless of experimental conditions. Rapid phenology allows B. tournefortii to reproduce consistently under variable, stressful conditions such as those found in Southwestern deserts. Although more successful in milder, mesic ecosystems, B. nigra and H. incana may be limited by their ability to reproduce under desert conditions. Rapid phenology and drought response partition invasion patterns of nonnative mustards along a gradient of aridity in the southwestern United States

  7. Sickness-induced changes in physiology do not affect fecundity or same-sex behavior. (United States)

    Sylvia, Kristyn E; Báez Ramos, Patricia; Demas, Gregory E


    Previous work in our lab has shown that early-life infection affects female reproductive physiology and function (i.e., smaller ovaries, abnormal estrous cycles) and alters investigation and aggression towards male conspecifics in a reproductive context. Although many studies have investigated the effects of postnatal immune challenge on physiological and behavioral development, fewer studies have examined whether these changes have ultimate effects on reproduction. In the current study, we paired Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) and simulated a bacterial infection in early life by administering lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to male and female pups on pnd3 and pnd5. In adulthood, hamsters were paired with novel individuals of the same sex, and we scored an array of social behaviors (e.g., investigation, aggression). We then paired animals with individuals of the opposite sex for 5 consecutive nights, providing them with the opportunity to mate. We found that females exhibited impaired reproductive physiology and function in adulthood (i.e., smaller ovaries and abnormal estrous cycles), similar to our previous work. However, both LPS-treated males and females exhibited similar same-sex social behavior when compared with saline-treated controls, they successfully mated, and there were no significant changes in fecundity. These data suggest that the physiological changes in response to neonatal immune challenge may not have long-term effects on reproductive success in a controlled environment. Collectively, the results of this study are particularly important when investigating the relationships between physiology and behavior within an ultimate context. Animals exposed to early-life stress may in fact be capable of compensating for changes in physiology in order to survive and reproduce in some contexts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Time to take human embryo culture seriously. (United States)

    Sunde, Arne; Brison, Daniel; Dumoulin, John; Harper, Joyce; Lundin, Kersti; Magli, M Cristina; Van den Abbeel, Etienne; Veiga, Anna


    Is it important that end-users know the composition of human embryo culture media? We argue that there is as strong case for full transparency concerning the composition of embryo culture media intended for human use. Published data suggest that the composition of embryo culture media may influence the phenotype of the offspring. A review of the literature was carried out. Data concerning the potential effects on embryo development of culture media were assessed and recommendations for users made. The safety of ART procedures, especially with respect to the health of the offspring, is of major importance. There are reports from the literature indicating a possible effect of culture conditions, including culture media, on embryo and fetal development. Since the introduction of commercially available culture media, there has been a rapid development of different formulations, often not fully documented, disclosed or justified. There is now evidence that the environment the early embryo is exposed to can cause reprogramming of embryonic growth leading to alterations in fetal growth trajectory, birthweight, childhood growth and long-term disease including Type II diabetes and cardiovascular problems. The mechanism for this is likely to be epigenetic changes during the preimplantation period of development. In the present paper the ESHRE working group on culture media summarizes the present knowledge of potential effects on embryo development related to culture media, and makes recommendations. There is still a need for large prospective randomized trials to further elucidate the link between the composition of embryo culture media used and the phenotype of the offspring. We do not presently know if the phenotypic changes induced by in vitro embryo culture represent a problem for long-term health of the offspring. Published data indicate that there is a strong case for demanding full transparency concerning the compositions of and the scientific rationale behind the

  9. Meanings of the embryo in Japan: narratives of IVF experience and embryo ownership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kato, M.; Sleeboom-Faulkner, M.


    This article explores the sociocultural meanings of the embryo implied in the narratives of 58 women who have undergone in vitro fertilisation in Japan over a period from 2006 to 2008. We argue that a lack of sufficient analysis of the sociocultural meanings of the embryo result in a situation where

  10. Macroenvironment effects on oocytes and embryos in swine. (United States)

    Foxcroft, G R; Vinsky, M D; Paradis, F; Tse, W-Y; Town, S C; Putman, C T; Dyck, M K; Dixon, W T


    As in other domestic mammals, the interaction between genotype and environment in swine has profound effects on the ultimate phenotype of the individual born. Interactions within the litter in utero add an additional level of complexity in a litter-bearing species like the pig. Nutritional manipulations during the preovulatory period affect the maturity of the follicle and enclosed oocyte, and the metabolic and endocrine mechanisms potentially mediating these effects have been described. Extensive research on lactational catabolism in the first parity sow has established an association between the development of immature follicles and oocytes, and the reduced fertility of these sows when bred at the first postweaning estrus. This negative impact of lactational catabolism appears to be exaggerated in contemporary dam-lines by a minimal delay between weaning and first estrus, further limiting the maturity of the follicle and oocyte at the time of ovulation. Metabolic programming may induce gender-specific loss of embryos by Day 30 and affects embryonic development directly, without significant effects on placental size. In contrast, inadvertent crowding of embryos in utero, particularly evident in a sub-population of mature sows with high ovulation rates and moderate to high embryonic survival to Day 30, significantly limits placental development of crowded litters. However, even at Day 30, moderate crowding in utero also appears to affect myogenesis in the embryo in a gender-specific manner. In the absence of compensatory placental growth after Day 30, classic measures of IUGR are evident in surviving fetuses at Day 90 and at term.

  11. Cryopreservation of peach palm zygotic embryos. (United States)

    Steinmacher, Douglas A; Saldanha, Cleber W; Clement, Charles R; Guerra, Miguel P


    Cryopreservation is a safe and cost-effective option for long-term germplasm conservation of non-orthodox seed species, such as peach palm (Bactris gasipaes). The objective of the present study was to establish a cryopreservation protocol for peach palm zygotic embryos based on the encapsulation-dehydration technique. After excision, zygotic embryos were encapsulated with 3 percent sodium alginate plus 2 M glycerol and 0.4 M sucrose, and pre-treated or not with 1 M sucrose during 24 h, followed by air-drying. Fresh weight water contents of beads decreased from 83 percent and 87 percent to 18 percent and 20 percent for pre-treated or non-pretreated beads, respectively, after 4 h of dehydration. Sucrose pre-treatment at 1 M caused lower zygotic embryo germination and plantlet height in contrast to non-treated beads. All the variables were statistically influenced by dehydration time. Optimal conditions for recovery of cryopreserved zygotic embryos include encapsulation and dehydration for 4 h in a forced air cabinet to 20 percent water content, followed by rapid freezing in liquid nitrogen (-196 degree C) and rapid thawing at 45 degree C. In these conditions 29 percent of the zygotic embryos germinated in vitro. However, plantlets obtained from dehydrated zygotic embryos had stunted haustoria and lower heights. Histological analysis showed that haustorium cells were large, vacuolated, with few protein bodies. In contrast, small cells with high nucleus:cytoplasm ratio formed the shoot apical meristem of the embryos, which were the cell types with favorable characteristics for survival after exposure to liquid nitrogen. Plantlets were successfully acclimatized and showed 41+/-9 percent and 88+/-4 percent survival levels after 12 weeks of acclimatization from cryopreserved and non-cryopreserved treatments, respectively.

  12. Developmental competence of porcine chimeric embryos produced by aggregation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Juan; Jakobsen, Jannik E.; Xiong, Qiang


    The purpose of our study was to compare the developmental competence and blastomere allocation of porcine chimeric embryos formed by micro-well aggregation. Chimeras were created by aggregating either two blastomeres originating from 2-cell embryos or two whole embryos, where embryos were produced...... either by parthenogenetic activation (PA) or handmade cloning (HMC). Results showed that the developmental competence of chimeric embryos, evaluated based on their blastocyst rate and total cell number per blastocyst, was increased when two whole 2-cell stage embryos (PA or HMC) were aggregated....... In comparison, when two blastomeres were aggregated, the developmental competence of the chimeric embryos decreased if the blastomeres were either from PA or from HMC embryos, but not if they were from different sources, i.e. one PA and one HMC blastomere. To evaluate the cell contribution in embryo formation...

  13. Patients' Attitudes towards the Surplus Frozen Embryos in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuan Jin


    Full Text Available Background. Assisted reproductive techniques have been used in China for more than 20 years. This study investigates the attitudes of surplus embryo holders towards embryos storage and donation for medical research. Methods. A total of 363 couples who had completed in vitro fertilization (IVF treatment and had already had biological children but who still had frozen embryos in storage were invited to participate. Interviews were conducted by clinics in a narrative style. Results. Family size was the major reason for participants’ (discontinuation of embryo storage; moreover, the moral status of embryos was an important factor for couples choosing embryo storage, while the storage fee was an important factor for couples choosing embryo disposal. Most couples discontinued the storage of their embryos once their children were older than 3 years. In our study, 58.8% of the couples preferred to dispose of surplus embryos rather than donate them to research, citing a lack of information and distrust in science as significant reasons for their decision. Conclusions. Interviews regarding frozen embryos, including patients’ expectations for embryo storage and information to assist them with decisions regarding embryo disposal, are beneficial for policies addressing embryo disposition and embryo donation in China.

  14. Embryos, individuals, and persons: an argument against embryo creation and research. (United States)

    Tollefsen, C


    One strategy for arguing that it should be legally permissible to create human embryos, or to use spare human embryos, for scientific research purposes involves the claim that such embryos cannot be persons because they are not human individuals while twinning may yet take place. Being a human individual is considered to be by most people a necessary condition for being a human person. I argue first that such an argument against the personhood of embryos must be rationally conclusive if their destruction in public places such as laboratories is to be countenanced. I base this argument on a popular understanding of the role that the notion of privacy plays in abortion laws. I then argue that such arguments against personhood are not rationally conclusive. The claim that the early embryos is not a human individual is not nearly as obvious as some assert.

  15. Generation of single-copy transgenic mouse embryos directly from ES cells by tetraploid embryo complementation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Roong


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transgenic mice have been used extensively to analyze gene function. Unfortunately, traditional transgenic procedures have only limited use in analyzing alleles that cause lethality because lines of founder mice cannot be established. This is frustrating given that such alleles often reveal crucial aspects of gene function. For this reason techniques that facilitate the generation of embryos expressing such alleles would be of enormous benefit. Although the transient generation of transgenic embryos has allowed limited analysis of lethal alleles, it is expensive, time consuming and technically challenging. Moreover a fundamental limitation with this approach is that each embryo generated is unique and transgene expression is highly variable due to the integration of different transgene copy numbers at random genomic sites. Results Here we describe an alternative method that allows the generation of clonal mouse embryos harboring a single-copy transgene at a defined genomic location. This was facilitated through the production of Hprt negative embryonic stem cells that allow the derivation of embryos by tetraploid embryo complementation. We show that targeting transgenes to the hprt locus in these ES cells by homologous recombination can be efficiently selected by growth in HAT medium. Moreover, embryos derived solely from targeted ES cells containing a single copy LacZ transgene under the control of the α-myosin heavy chain promoter exhibited the expected cardiac specific expression pattern. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that tetraploid embryo complementation by F3 hprt negative ES cells facilitates the generation of transgenic mouse embryos containing a single copy gene at a defined genomic locus. This approach is simple, extremely efficient and bypasses any requirement to generate chimeric mice. Moreover embryos generated by this procedure are clonal in that they are all derived from a single ES cell lines. This

  16. Metabolite profiling of somatic embryos of Cyclamen persicum in comparison to zygotic embryos, endosperm and testa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Traud eWinkelmann


    Full Text Available Somatic embryogenesis has been shown to be an efficient in vitro plant regeneration system for many crops such as the important ornamental plant Cyclamen persicum, for which this regeneration pathway of somatic embryogenesis is of interest for the vegetative propagation of parental lines as well as elite plants. However, somatic embryogenesis is not commercially used in many crops due to several unsolved problems, such as malformations, asynchronous development, deficiencies in maturation and germination of somatic embryos. In contrast, zygotic embryos in seeds develop and germinate without abnormalities in most cases. Instead of time-consuming and labor-intensive experiments involving tests of different in vitro culture conditions and plant growth regulator supplements, we follow a more directed approach. Zygotic embryos served as a reference and were compared to somatic embryos in metabolomic analyses allowing the future optimization of the in vitro system. The aims of this study were to detect differences in the metabolite profiles of torpedo stage somatic and zygotic embryos of C. persicum. Moreover, major metabolites in endosperm and testa were identified and quantified.Two sets of extracts of two to four biological replicates each were analyzed. In total 52 metabolites were identified and quantified in the different tissues. One of the most significant differences between somatic and zygotic embryos was that the proline concentration in the zygotic embryos was about 40 times higher than that found in somatic embryos. Epicatechin, a scavenger for reactive oxygen species, was found in highest abundance in the testa. Sucrose, the most abundant metabolite was detected in significantly higher concentrations in zygotic embryos. Also, a yet unknown trisaccharide, was significantly enriched in zygotic embryos.

  17. Irreversible barrier to the reprogramming of donor cells in cloning with mouse embryos and embryonic stem cells. (United States)

    Ono, Yukiko; Kono, Tomohiro


    Somatic cloning does not always result in ontogeny in mammals, and development is often associated with various abnormalities and embryo loss with a high frequency. This is considered to be due to aberrant gene expression resulting from epigenetic reprogramming errors. However, a fundamental question in this context is whether the developmental abnormalities reported to date are specific to somatic cloning. The aim of this study was to determine the stage of nuclear differentiation during development that leads to developmental abnormalities associated with embryo cloning. In order to address this issue, we reconstructed cloned embryos using four- and eight-cell embryos, morula embryos, inner cell mass (ICM) cells, and embryonic stem cells as donor nuclei and determined the occurrence of abnormalities such as developmental arrest and placentomegaly, which are common characteristics of all mouse somatic cell clones. The present analysis revealed that an acute decline in the full-term developmental competence of cloned embryos occurred with the use of four- and eight-cell donor nuclei (22.7% vs. 1.8%) in cases of standard embryo cloning and with morula and ICM donor nuclei (11.4% vs. 6.6%) in serial nuclear transfer. Histological observation showed abnormal differentiation and proliferation of trophoblastic giant cells in the placentae of cloned concepti derived from four-cell to ICM cell donor nuclei. Enlargement of placenta along with excessive proliferation of the spongiotrophoblast layer and glycogen cells was observed in the clones derived from morula embryos and ICM cells. These results revealed that irreversible epigenetic events had already started to occur at the four-cell stage. In addition, the expression of genes involved in placentomegaly is regulated at the blastocyst stage by irreversible epigenetic events, and it could not be reprogrammed by the fusion of nuclei with unfertilized oocytes. Hence, developmental abnormalities such as placentomegaly as

  18. Assay using embryo aggregation chimeras for the detection of nonlethal changes in X-irradiated mouse preimplantation embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Obasaju, M.F.; Wiley, L.M.; Oudiz, D.J.; Miller, L.; Samuels, S.J.; Chang, R.J.; Overstreet, J.W.


    We have developed a short-term in vitro assay for the detection of sublethal effects produced by very low levels of ionizing radiation. The assay utilizes mouse embryo aggregation chimeras consisting of one irradiated embryo paired with an unirradiated embryo whose blastomeres have been labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC). X irradiation (from 0.05 to 2 Gy) and chimera construction were performed with four-cell stage embryos, and the chimeras were cultured for 40 h to the morula stage. The morulae were partially dissociated with calcium-free culture medium and viewed under phase contrast and epifluorescence microscopy to obtain total embryo cell number and the cellular contribution of irradiated (unlabeled) and control (FITC labeled) embryos per chimera. In chimeras where neither embryo was irradiated, the ratio of the unlabeled blastomeres to the total number of blastomeres per chimera embryo was 0.50 (17.8 +/- 5.6 cells per unlabeled embryo and 17.4 +/- 5.5 cells per FITC-labeled partner embryo). However, in chimeras formed after the unlabeled embryos were irradiated with as little as 0.05 Gy, the ratio of unlabeled blastomeres to the total number of blastomeres per chimera embryo was 0.43 (P less than 0.01). The apparent decreases in cell proliferation were not observed in irradiated embryos that were merely cocultured with control embryos, regardless of whether the embryos were zona enclosed or zona free. We conclude that very low levels of radiation induce sublethal changes in cleaving embryos that are expressed as a proliferative disadvantage within two cell cycles when irradiated embryos are in direct cell-to-cell contact with unirradiated embryos

  19. Fecundity, survival, and growth of the seahorse Hippocampus ingens (Pisces: Syngnathidae under semi-controlled conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A Ortega-Salas


    Full Text Available Estudiamos la fecundidad, supervivencia, y crecimiento del caballito de mar, Hippocampus ingens en condiciones semi-controladas. Tres machos reproductores silvestres de 14.8, 24.5 y 32.0 g produjeron 1 598, 1 703 y 1 658 jóvenes. La densidad utilizada fue de 12 jóvenes por acuario de 60 l. Se agruparon en 1, 12 y 20 días de nacidos por acuario. La supervivencia fue de 78.5, 38.1 y 41.0 % en 35 días. Se les alimentó con una mezcla de rotíferos B. plicatilis y nauplios de Artemia para después transferirlos a estanques de 100 000 l a una densidad de 50/1 000 l, donde se les alimentó con Artemia adulta durante 60 días más. Crecieron de un promedio de 0.7, 1.5, y 2.7 a 4.5, 5.4 6.7 cm, respectivamente, en 95 días. La temperatura del agua marina utilizada varió de 17 a 23 ºC.We studied fecundity, survival, and growth of the seahorse Hippocampus ingens under semi-controlled conditions. Three wild brood stock mature males of 14.8, 24.5, and 32.0 g released 1 598, 1 703, and 1 658 juveniles. Juvenile stocking densities of 12 were settled in 60-l aquariums in groups of 1, 12, and 20 days old organisms. The rate of survival was 21.5, 61.9, and 59.0 %, respectively, in 35 days. Juveniles were fed a mix diet of rotifers B. plicatilis and Artemia nauplii, then they were transferred to a cement tank of 100 000 l at a density of 50/1 000 l and fed with live adult Artemia for 60 days more. They grew from an average of 0.7, 1.5, and 2.7 to 4.5, 5.4, and 6.7 cm, respectively, in 95 days. The seawater temperature varied from 17 to 23 ºC. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54 (4: 1099-1102. Epub 2006 Dec. 15.

  20. Overexpressing Exogenous 5-Enolpyruvylshikimate-3-Phosphate Synthase (EPSPS Genes Increases Fecundity and Auxin Content of Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jia Fang


    Full Text Available Transgenic glyphosate-tolerant plants overproducing EPSPS (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase may exhibit enhanced fitness in glyphosate-free environments. If so, introgression of transgenes overexpressing EPSPS into wild relative species may lead to increased competitiveness of crop-wild hybrids, resulting in unpredicted environmental impact. Assessing fitness effects of transgenes overexpressing EPSPS in a model plant species can help address this question, while elucidating how overproducing EPSPS affects the fitness-related traits of plants. We produced segregating T2 and T3Arabidopsis thaliana lineages with or without a transgene overexpressing EPSPS isolated from rice or Agrobacterium (CP4. For each of the three transgenes, we compared glyphosate tolerance, some fitness-related traits, and auxin (indole-3-acetic acid content in transgene-present, transgene-absent, empty vector (EV, and parental lineages in a common-garden experiment. We detected substantially increased glyphosate tolerance in T2 plants of transgene-present lineages that overproduced EPSPS. We also documented significant increases in fecundity, which was associated with increased auxin content in T3 transgene-present lineages containing rice EPSPS genes, compared with their segregating transgene-absent lineages, EV, and parental controls. Our results from Arabidopsis with nine transgenic events provide a strong support to the hypothesis that transgenic plants overproducing EPSPS can benefit from a fecundity advantage in glyphosate-free environments. Stimulated biosynthesis of auxin, an important plant growth hormone, by overproducing EPSPS may play a role in enhanced fecundity of the transgenic Arabidopsis plants. The obtained knowledge is useful for assessing environmental impact caused by introgression of transgenes overproducing EPSPS from any GE crop into populations of its wild relatives.

  1. Overexpressing Exogenous 5-Enolpyruvylshikimate-3-Phosphate Synthase (EPSPS) Genes Increases Fecundity and Auxin Content of Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants. (United States)

    Fang, Jia; Nan, Peng; Gu, Zongying; Ge, Xiaochun; Feng, Yu-Qi; Lu, Bao-Rong


    Transgenic glyphosate-tolerant plants overproducing EPSPS (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) may exhibit enhanced fitness in glyphosate-free environments. If so, introgression of transgenes overexpressing EPSPS into wild relative species may lead to increased competitiveness of crop-wild hybrids, resulting in unpredicted environmental impact. Assessing fitness effects of transgenes overexpressing EPSPS in a model plant species can help address this question, while elucidating how overproducing EPSPS affects the fitness-related traits of plants. We produced segregating T 2 and T 3 Arabidopsis thaliana lineages with or without a transgene overexpressing EPSPS isolated from rice or Agrobacterium ( CP4 ). For each of the three transgenes, we compared glyphosate tolerance, some fitness-related traits, and auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) content in transgene-present, transgene-absent, empty vector (EV), and parental lineages in a common-garden experiment. We detected substantially increased glyphosate tolerance in T 2 plants of transgene-present lineages that overproduced EPSPS. We also documented significant increases in fecundity, which was associated with increased auxin content in T 3 transgene-present lineages containing rice EPSPS genes, compared with their segregating transgene-absent lineages, EV, and parental controls. Our results from Arabidopsis with nine transgenic events provide a strong support to the hypothesis that transgenic plants overproducing EPSPS can benefit from a fecundity advantage in glyphosate-free environments. Stimulated biosynthesis of auxin, an important plant growth hormone, by overproducing EPSPS may play a role in enhanced fecundity of the transgenic Arabidopsis plants. The obtained knowledge is useful for assessing environmental impact caused by introgression of transgenes overproducing EPSPS from any GE crop into populations of its wild relatives.

  2. In vitro manipulation techniques of porcine embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Ying; Li, Juan; Løvendahl, Peter


    During the last 17 years, considerable advancements have been achieved in the production of pigs, transgenic and non-transgenic, by methods of somatic cell nuclear transfer, in vitro fertilisation, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, microinjection and sperm-mediated gene transfer by artificial...... insemination. Therefore, a review of the overall efficiency for the developmental competence of embryos produced by these in vitro methods would be useful in order to obtain a more thorough overview of this growing area with respect to its development and present status. In this review a meta-analysis was used...... to analyse data collected from all published articles with a focus on zygotes and embryos for transfer, pregnancy, full-term development and piglets born. It was generally concluded that an increasing level of in vitro manipulation of porcine embryos decreased the overall efficiency for production of piglets...

  3. [Chapter 9. The embryo in comparative law]. (United States)

    Mastor, Wanda


    On the boundaries of life and, as a result, almost a question of metaphysics, still dividing science and continually fuelling debates, one question does seem to be legally insoluble, ie the question of the status of the human embryo. A comparatist look allows us to put into perspective the various national postures with regard to the embryo in order to confront them, by putting forward the areas where they converge or diverge. Although a very global approach allows us to note certain similarities, a more precise study of the question of abortion in particular reflects the evidence of the contextualisation of the embryo. It is what it is, subject or object, enjoying absolute or very relative protection, a simply legislative or constitutional status, only with regard to legal systems, but also moral and religious systems in which it takes its place.

  4. Embryo aggregation does not improve the development of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos in the horse. (United States)

    Gambini, Andrés; De Stéfano, Adrián; Jarazo, Javier; Buemo, Carla; Karlanian, Florencia; Salamone, Daniel Felipe


    The low efficiency of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) makes it necessary to investigate new strategies to improve embryonic developmental competence. Embryo aggregation has been successfully applied to improve cloning efficiency in mammals, but it remains unclear whether it could also be beneficial for iSCNT. In this study, we first compared the effect of embryo aggregation over in vitro development and blastocyst quality of porcine, bovine, and feline zona-free (ZF) parthenogenetic (PA) embryos to test the effects of embryo aggregation on species that were later used as enucleated oocytes donors in our iSCNT study. We then assessed whether embryo aggregation could improve the in vitro development of ZF equine iSCNT embryos after reconstruction with porcine, bovine, and feline ooplasm. Bovine- and porcine-aggregated PA blastocysts had significantly larger diameters compared with nonaggregated embryos. On the other hand, feline- and bovine-aggregated PA embryos had higher blastocyst cell number. Embryo aggregation of equine-equine SCNT was found to be beneficial for embryo development as we have previously reported, but the aggregation of three ZF reconstructed embryos did not improve embryo developmental rates on iSCNT. In vitro embryo development of nonaggregated iSCNT was predominantly arrested around the stage when transcriptional activation of the embryonic genome is reported to start on the embryo of the donor species. Nevertheless, independent of embryo aggregation, equine blastocyst-like structures could be obtained in our study using domestic feline-enucleated oocytes. Taken together, these results reported that embryo aggregation enhance in vitro PA embryo development and embryo quality but effects vary depending on the species. Embryo aggregation also improves, as expected, the in vitro embryo development of equine-equine SCNT embryos; however, we did not observe positive effects on equine iSCNT embryo development. Among oocytes

  5. Laser confers less embryo exposure than acid tyrode for embryo biopsy in preimplantation genetic diagnosis cycles: a randomized study. (United States)

    Geber, Selmo; Bossi, Renata; Lisboa, Cintia B; Valle, Marcelo; Sampaio, Marcos


    We compared two methods of zona pellucida drilling. 213 embryos were biopsied with acid Tyrode. Each biopsy took 3 minutes and the entire procedure ~29 minutes. 5% of blastomeres lysed, 49% of embryos became blastocyst and 36% of patients became pregnant. 229 embryos were biopsied with laser. Each biopsy took 30 seconds and the entire procedure ~7 minutes. 2.5% of blastomeres lysed, 50.6% of embryos became blastocyst and 47% of patients became pregnant. We can conclude that laser can be used for embryo biopsy. Reduction of embryo exposure and of removed blastomeres is associated with increased blastocysts available for transfer and a better clinical outcome.

  6. Laser confers less embryo exposure than acid tyrode for embryo biopsy in preimplantation genetic diagnosis cycles: a randomized study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valle Marcelo


    Full Text Available Abstract We compared two methods of zona pellucida drilling. 213 embryos were biopsied with acid Tyrode. Each biopsy took 3 minutes and the entire procedure ~29 minutes. 5% of blastomeres lysed, 49% of embryos became blastocyst and 36% of patients became pregnant. 229 embryos were biopsied with laser. Each biopsy took 30 seconds and the entire procedure ~7 minutes. 2.5% of blastomeres lysed, 50.6% of embryos became blastocyst and 47% of patients became pregnant. We can conclude that laser can be used for embryo biopsy. Reduction of embryo exposure and of removed blastomeres is associated with increased blastocysts available for transfer and a better clinical outcome.

  7. Effect of X-irradiation on fecundity, fertility and longevity of the red cotton bug Dysdercus koenigii Fabr

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Srivastava, K.P.; Deshpande, D.J.


    X-irradiation of the sexes affects reproduction in D. koenigii differently. Irradiation of the male has no effect on the fecundity of the female but that of the female affects it adversely. Fertility shows fluctuations at lower doses and a linear decline at higher ones irrespective of the sex irradiated. But whereas complete sterility (infertility) sets in the female at 2000 rad, the male needs 4000 rad to induce the same in the female, which indicates a greater radiosensitivity of the former, longevity is unaffected by X-irradiation, indicating lack of correlation between sterility and longevity reported to exist in some insects. (author)

  8. Age-related worm load and worm fecundity patterns in human populations, as indicated by schistosome circulating antigens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polman Katja


    Full Text Available Recently, our group determined the relationship between serum CAA levels and fecal egg counts in two foci with very intense Schistosoma mansoni transmission: Maniema (Zaire, an area endemic for S. mansoni since several decades, and Ndombo (Senegal, where transmission has only been established since a few years. The objective was to study and compare age-related worm load and worm fecundity patterns in these two different endemic settings. Here, we will summarize the most important findings and conclusions of this study.

  9. Initial sexual maturity and fecundity of the goldfish Carassius auratus (Perciformes: Cyprynidae under semi-controlled conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A Ortega-Salas


    Full Text Available We studied the time of initial sexual maturity and the fecundity of the goldfish Carassius auratus under semi-controlled conditions. During the study the water temperature fluctuated from 21 to 30 ºC, the pH between 7 and 8, and the dissolved oxygen between 5.5 and 7 ppm. Sixty days old juvenile fish received prophylactic treatments of brackish water (15 ‰ and methylene blue baths (1 %, and they were fed with live Daphnia magna. The initial sexual maturity occurred between 225 and 233 days of captivity. Mean absolute fecundity was 2 347 (± 302.2 SD ova per gonad, and mean relative fecundity was 63.44 eggs/g fish weight. Gonadosomatic index was between 7.5 and 9.0. Our data will allow ornamental fish producers to calculate the time of initial maturity and fecundity for this species. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54 (4: 1113-1116. Epub 2006 Dec. 15.Estudiamos el tiempo inicial de madurez sexual y la fecundidad del pez dorado Carassius auratus en condiciones semi-controladas. Durante el estudio la temperatura del gua varió de 21 a 30 ºC, el pH entre 7 y 8, y el oxígeno disuelto entre 5.5 y 7 ppm. Jóvenes de 60 días de edad recibieron tratamiento profiláctico con agua salobre (15 ‰, y baños de azul de metileno (1 %. Se les alimentó con Daphnia magna. La madurez sexual inicial fue tras 225 a 233 días en cautiverio. La fecundidad absoluta media fue de 2 347 (±302.2 DS óvulos por gónada y la fecundidad relativa fue de 63.44 óvulos/g del peso del pez. El índice gonadosomático se calculó entre 7.5 and 9.0.

  10. Arabidopsis mitochondrial protein slow embryo development1 is essential for embryo development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ju, Yan; Liu, Chunying; Lu, Wenwen; Zhang, Quan; Sodmergen


    The plant seeds formation are crucial parts in reproductive process in seed plants as well as food source for humans. Proper embryo development ensure viable seed formation. Here, we showed an Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutant slow embryo development1 (sed1) which exhibited retarded embryogenesis, led to aborted seeds. Embryo without SED1 developed slower compared to normal one and could be recognized at early globular stage by its white appearance. In later development stage, storage accumulated poorly with less protein and lipid body production. In vitro culture did not rescue albino embryo. SED1 encoded a protein targeted to mitochondria. Transmission electron microscopic analysis revealed that mitochondria developed abnormally, and more strikingly plastid failed to construct grana in time in sed1/sed1 embryo. These data indicated that SED1 is indispensable for embryogenesis in Arabidopsis, and the mitochondria may be involved in the regulation of many aspects of seed development. -- Highlights: •Arabidopsis SED1 is essential for embryo development. •The sed1 embryo accumulates less storage and has abnormal ultrastructure. •SED1 localizes to the mitochondrion.

  11. Migration and growth of protoplanetary embryos. I. Convergence of embryos in protoplanetary disks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xiaojia; Lin, Douglas N. C. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Liu, Beibei [Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Department of Astronomy, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Li, Hui, E-mail: [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)


    According to the core accretion scenario, planets form in protostellar disks through the condensation of dust, coagulation of planetesimals, and emergence of protoplanetary embryos. At a few AU in a minimum mass nebula, embryos' growth is quenched by dynamical isolation due to the depletion of planetesimals in their feeding zone. However, embryos with masses (M{sub p} ) in the range of a few Earth masses (M {sub ⊕}) migrate toward a transition radius between the inner viscously heated and outer irradiated regions of their natal disk. Their limiting isolation mass increases with the planetesimals surface density. When M{sub p} > 10 M {sub ⊕}, embryos efficiently accrete gas and evolve into cores of gas giants. We use a numerical simulation to show that despite stream line interference, convergent embryos essentially retain the strength of non-interacting embryos' Lindblad and corotation torques by their natal disks. In disks with modest surface density (or equivalently accretion rates), embryos capture each other in their mutual mean motion resonances and form a convoy of super-Earths. In more massive disks, they could overcome these resonant barriers to undergo repeated close encounters, including cohesive collisions that enable the formation of massive cores.

  12. Survival of embryo irradiated with gamma rays by embryo culture in Brassica pekinensis Rupr

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moue, T.


    The effect of irradiation on the survival rates and embryonic development of Brassica pekinensis RUPR. (Varieties; Kashin, Kohai 65 nichi and kairyochitose) was investigated. The purpose of this study was to seek ways of increasing the survival rates of embryos such as B.oleracea obtained through embryo culture techniques after irradiation doses affecting seed fertility and germination, for the purpose of increasing mutation rates. Embryos at different developmental stages ranging from the globular to the early heart stages were irradiated with 20 KR of gamma rays at the daily rate 0L 20 KR or 10 KR (Fig.1 and Table 1). The embryos were excised from ovules 4 to 10 days after irradiation and cultured on White's medium. The shooting and rooting rates on the 34th day of culture were higher at the dose of 10 KR/day than 20 KR/day and were lower when the materials were irradiated at the young embryonic stage (Table 3). Varietal differences in the shooting and rooting rates were also observed. The irradiated embryos survived mainly in the state of callus. It was concluded that the embryo culture technique was successful when applied to irradiated embryos excised at the young embryonic stage and that the technique affected B.pekinensis less than B.oleracea

  13. Arabidopsis mitochondrial protein slow embryo development1 is essential for embryo development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ju, Yan; Liu, Chunying; Lu, Wenwen; Zhang, Quan; Sodmergen, E-mail:


    The plant seeds formation are crucial parts in reproductive process in seed plants as well as food source for humans. Proper embryo development ensure viable seed formation. Here, we showed an Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutant slow embryo development1 (sed1) which exhibited retarded embryogenesis, led to aborted seeds. Embryo without SED1 developed slower compared to normal one and could be recognized at early globular stage by its white appearance. In later development stage, storage accumulated poorly with less protein and lipid body production. In vitro culture did not rescue albino embryo. SED1 encoded a protein targeted to mitochondria. Transmission electron microscopic analysis revealed that mitochondria developed abnormally, and more strikingly plastid failed to construct grana in time in sed1/sed1 embryo. These data indicated that SED1 is indispensable for embryogenesis in Arabidopsis, and the mitochondria may be involved in the regulation of many aspects of seed development. -- Highlights: •Arabidopsis SED1 is essential for embryo development. •The sed1 embryo accumulates less storage and has abnormal ultrastructure. •SED1 localizes to the mitochondrion.

  14. Brachyury expression in tailless Molgulid ascidian embryos. (United States)

    Takada, Norio; York, Jonathan; Davis, J Muse; Schumpert, Brenda; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Satoh, Nori; Swalla, Billie J


    The T-box transcription factor gene Brachyury is important for the differentiation of notochord in all chordates, including the ascidians Halocynthia roretzi and Ciona intestinalis. We isolated Brachyury from molgulid ascidians, which have evolved tailless larvae multiple times independently, and found the genes appear functional by cDNA sequence analyses. We then compared the expression of Mocu-Bra in tailed Molgula oculata embryos to two tailless species, Molgula occulta (Mocc-Bra) and Molgula tectiformis (Mt-Bra). Here we show that both tailless species express Brachyury in the notochord lineage during embryogenesis. Initial expression of Mocu-Bra is normal in tailed M. oculata embryos; 10 precursor notochord cells divide twice to result in 40 notochord cells that converge and extend to make a notochord down the center of the tail. In contrast, in tailless Molgula occulta, Mocc-Bra expression disappears prematurely, and there is only one round of division, resulting in 20 cells in the final notochord lineage that never converge or extend. In M. occulta x M. oculata hybrid embryos, expression of Mocu-Bra is prolonged, and the embryos form a tail with 20 notochord cells that converge and extend normally. However, in Molgula tectiformis, a different tailless ascidian, Mt-Bra was expressed only in the 10 notochord precursor cells, which never divide, converge, or extend. In summary, neither Brachyury function nor the early establishment of the notochord lineage appears to be impaired in tailless embryos. In light of these results, we are continuing to investigate how and why notochord development is lost in tailless molgulid ascidian embryos.

  15. Insulin sensitizing drugs for weight loss in women of reproductive age who are overweight or obese : systematic review and meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenhuis-Ruifrok, A. E.; Kuchenbecker, W. K. H.; Hoek, A.; Middleton, P.; Norman, R. J.


    Women of reproductive age, who are overweight or obese, are prone to infertility. Weight loss in these women leads to increased fecundity, higher chances of conception after infertility treatment and improved pregnancy outcome. In spite of the advantages, most patients have difficulty in losing

  16. Effect of ivermectin on the survival and fecundity of Euoniticellus intermedius (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Cruz Rosales


    Full Text Available The State of Veracruz in Mexico is one of the main cattle producers, and uses several veterinary products for disease and parasite control. For parasite control, ivermectin is one of the most frequently used substances. Nevertheless, even though previous research conducted in other countries has found that this product has negative effects on beneficial coprophagous fauna, no studies have descry ibed its effects on coprophagous insects at a local scale in Veracruz, Mexico. This study evaluated Euoniticellus intermedius survival, fecundity, fertility and preimaginal development under laboratory conditions when ivermectin was added to cattle dung at three different concentrations. The design included two controls (spiked dung, and the following product concentrations: 0.01, 1.0 and 100ppm, which were homogenized with wet cattle dung. 20 female-male E. intermedius couples between five and 15 days old were used and kept at 27°C, 70% RH, and 12h light for 10 days. The survival of all specimens, the fertility of 20 females and the gonadal maturity of 17 males were verified. The larval development in 162 pieces of brood-mass was examined, and a total of 974 larvae developed and reached adulthood. The highest ivermectin concentration was toxic at 1.0ppm dose, the survival of adults was reduced to almost the half, and at 100ppm, total mortality was observed. The effects on specimen reproductive systems showed that the ovary was not affected, that the testicle size increased, and that the fecundity and weight of brood-masses were reduced. Pre-imaginal development increased 0.5 times at 0.01ppm concentration, and the width of the cephalic capsule in third instar larvae diminished. The prolonging of development time may cause a phase lag in the field activity cycle, this lag may reduce the number of E. intermedius individuals and the efficiency of the environmental services that they provide.El estado de Veracruz en México, es uno de los principales

  17. Cryopreservation of Embryos and Oocytes in Human Assisted Reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    János Konc


    Full Text Available Both sperm and embryo cryopreservation have become routine procedures in human assisted reproduction and oocyte cryopreservation is being introduced into clinical practice and is getting more and more widely used. Embryo cryopreservation has decreased the number of fresh embryo transfers and maximized the effectiveness of the IVF cycle. The data shows that women who had transfers of fresh and frozen embryos obtained 8% additional births by using their cryopreserved embryos. Oocyte cryopreservation offers more advantages compared to embryo freezing, such as fertility preservation in women at risk of losing fertility due to oncological treatment or chronic disease, egg donation, and postponing childbirth, and eliminates religious and/or other ethical, legal, and moral concerns of embryo freezing. In this review, the basic principles, methodology, and practical experiences as well as safety and other aspects concerning slow cooling and ultrarapid cooling (vitrification of human embryos and oocytes are summarized.

  18. In vitro embryo rescue and plant regeneration following self ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In vitro embryo rescue and plant regeneration following self-pollination with irradiated ... AFRICAN JOURNALS ONLINE (AJOL) · Journals · Advanced Search ... shows that pollen irradiation coupled with self-pollination and embryo rescue ...

  19. Using fertile couples as embryo donors: An ethical dilemma. (United States)

    Alizadeh, Leila; Omani Samani, Reza


    The use of donated embryos has offered hope for infertile couples who have no other means to have children. In Iran, fertility centers use fertile couples as embryo donors. In this paper, the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure will be discussed. We conclude that embryo-donation should be performed with frozen embryos thus preventing healthy donors from being harmed by fertility drugs. There must be guidelines for choosing the appropriate donor families. In countries where commercial egg donation is acceptable, fertile couples can be procured as embryo donors thus fulfilling the possible shortage of good quality embryos. Using frozen embryos seems to have less ethical, religious and legal problems when compared to the use of fertile embryo donors.

  20. Cryopreservation of embryos and oocytes in human assisted reproduction. (United States)

    Konc, János; Kanyó, Katalin; Kriston, Rita; Somoskői, Bence; Cseh, Sándor


    Both sperm and embryo cryopreservation have become routine procedures in human assisted reproduction and oocyte cryopreservation is being introduced into clinical practice and is getting more and more widely used. Embryo cryopreservation has decreased the number of fresh embryo transfers and maximized the effectiveness of the IVF cycle. The data shows that women who had transfers of fresh and frozen embryos obtained 8% additional births by using their cryopreserved embryos. Oocyte cryopreservation offers more advantages compared to embryo freezing, such as fertility preservation in women at risk of losing fertility due to oncological treatment or chronic disease, egg donation, and postponing childbirth, and eliminates religious and/or other ethical, legal, and moral concerns of embryo freezing. In this review, the basic principles, methodology, and practical experiences as well as safety and other aspects concerning slow cooling and ultrarapid cooling (vitrification) of human embryos and oocytes are summarized.

  1. Frozen-Thawed Embryo Transfer Cycles Have a Lower Incidence of Ectopic Pregnancy Compared With Fresh Embryo Transfer Cycles. (United States)

    Zhang, Xinyu; Ma, Caihong; Wu, Zhangxin; Tao, Liyuan; Li, Rong; Liu, Ping; Qiao, Jie


    To evaluate the risk of ectopic pregnancy of embryo transfer. A retrospective cohort study on the incidence of ectopic pregnancy in fresh and frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles from January 1 st , 2010, to January 1 st , 2015. Infertile women undergoing frozen-thawed transfer cycles or fresh transfer cycles. In-vitro fertilization, fresh embryo transfer, frozen-thawed embryo transfer, ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy rate and clinical pregnancy rate. A total of 69 756 in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer cycles from 2010 to 2015 were analyzed, including 45 960 (65.9%) fresh and 23 796 (34.1%) frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles. The clinical pregnancy rate per embryo transfer was slightly lower in fresh embryo transfer cycles compared with frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles (40.8% vs 43.1%, P cycles, blastocyst transfer shows a significantly lower incidence of ectopic pregnancy (0.8% vs 1.8%, P = .002) in comparison with day 3 cleavage embryo transfer. The risk of ectopic pregnancy is lower in frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles than fresh embryo transfer cycles, and blastocyst transfer could further decrease the ectopic pregnancy rate in frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles.

  2. Arabidopsis EMB1990 Encoding a Plastid-Targeted YlmG Protein Is Required for Chloroplast Biogenesis and Embryo Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyu Chen


    Full Text Available In higher plants, embryo development originated from fertilized egg cell is the first step of the life cycle. The chloroplast participates in many essential metabolic pathways, and its function is highly associated with embryo development. However, the mechanisms and relevant genetic components by which the chloroplast functions in embryogenesis are largely uncharacterized. In this paper, we describe the Arabidopsis EMB1990 gene, encoding a plastid-targeted YlmG protein which is required for chloroplast biogenesis and embryo development. Loss of the EMB1990/YLMG1-1 resulted in albino seeds containing abortive embryos, and the morphological development of homozygous emb1990 embryos was disrupted after the globular stage. Our results showed that EMB1990/YLMG1-1 was expressed in the primordia and adaxial region of cotyledon during embryogenesis, and the encoded protein was targeted to the chloroplast. TEM observation of cellular ultrastructure showed that chloroplast biogenesis was impaired in emb1990 embryo cells. Expression of certain plastid genes was also affected in the loss-of-function mutants, including genes encoding core protein complex subunits located in the thylakoid membrane. Moreover, the tissue-specific genes of embryo development were misexpressed in emb1990 mutant, including genes known to delineate cell fate decisions in the SAM (shoot apical meristem, cotyledon and hypophysis. Taken together, we propose that the nuclear-encoded YLMG1-1 is targeted to the chloroplast and required for normal plastid gene expression. Hence, YLMG1-1 plays a critical role in Arabidopsis embryogenesis through participating in chloroplast biogenesis.

  3. Sourcing human embryos for embryonic stem cell lines: Problems & perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajvi H Mehta


    Full Text Available The ability to successfully derive human embryonic stem cells (hESC lines from human embryos following in vitro fertilization (IVF opened up a plethora of potential applications of this technique. These cell lines could have been successfully used to increase our understanding of human developmental biology, transplantation medicine and the emerging science of regenerative medicine. The main source for human embryos has been ′discarded′ or ′spare′ fresh or frozen human embryos following IVF. It is a common practice to stimulate the ovaries of women undergoing any of the assisted reproductive technologies (ART and retrieve multiple oocytes which subsequently lead to multiple embryos. Of these, only two or maximum of three embryos are transferred while the rest are cryopreserved as per the decision of the couple. In case a couple does not desire to ′cryopreserve′ their embryos then all the embryos remaining following embryo transfer can be considered ′spare′ or if a couple is no longer in need of the ′cryopreserved′ embryos then these also can be considered as ′spare′. But, the question raised by the ethicists is, "what about ′slightly′ over-stimulating a woman to get a few extra eggs and embryos? The decision becomes more difficult when it comes to ′discarded′ embryos. As of today, the quality of the embryos is primarily assessed based on morphology and the rate of development mainly judged by single point assessment. Despite many criteria described in the literature, the quality assessment is purely subjective. The question that arises is on the decision of ′discarding′ embryos. What would be the criteria for discarding embryos and the potential ′use′ of ESC derived from the ′abnormal appearing′ embryos? This paper discusses some of the newer methods to procure embryos for the derivation of embryonic stem cell lines which will respect the ethical concerns but still provide the source material.

  4. The impact of food intake and social habits on embryo quality and the likelihood of blastocyst formation. (United States)

    Braga, Daniela Paes Almeida Ferreira; Halpern, Gabriela; Setti, Amanda S; Figueira, Rita Cássia S; Iaconelli, Assumpto; Borges, Edson


    The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of patients' lifestyle factors and eating habits on embryo development. A total of 2659 embryos recovered from 269 patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles were included. The frequency of intake of food items and social habits were registered and its influences on embryo development evaluated. The consumption of cereals, vegetables and fruits positively influenced the embryo quality at the cleavage stage. The quality of the embryo at the cleavage stage was also negatively correlated with the consumption of alcoholic drinks and smoking habits. The consumption of fruits influenced the likelihood of blastocyst formation, which was also positively affected by the consumption of fish. Being on a weight-loss diet and consumption of red meat had a negative influence on the likelihood of blastocyst formation. The likelihood of blastocyst formation was also negatively influenced by the consumption of alcoholic drinks and by smoking habits. The consumption of red meat and body mass index had a negative effect on the implantation rate and the likelihood of pregnancy. In addition, being on a weight-loss diet had a negative influence on implantation rate. Our evidence suggests a possible relationship between environmental factors and ovary biology. Copyright © 2015 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles as models for testing for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The toxicity of bio available Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd on the life stages of Xenopus laevis embryos and tadpoles was investigated. Cu and Cd were found to affect the hatching success of the embryos, with a strong negative relationship existing between the increase in Cu concentrations and the hatching of the embryos.

  6. The development of ovary in quail's embryo | Rong | African Journal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The experiment was conducted to study the development of ovary in quails' embryos which were incubated for 4 to 17 days and incubated out for 1 day. The quails' embryos or gonads were cut out and HE staining was carried out. The results showed that when embryo was hatched for 4 days, lots of primordial germ cells ...

  7. Sexing bovine pre-implantation embryos using the polymerase ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The paper aims to present a bovine model for human embryo sexing. Cows were super-ovulated, artificially inseminated and embryos were recovered 7 days later. Embryo biopsy was performed; DNA was extracted from blastomeres and amplified using bovine-specific and bovine-Y-chromosomespecific primers, followed ...

  8. Endometrial preparation methods in frozen-thawed embryo transfer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groenewoud, E.R.


    One in six couples suffer from infertility, and many undergo treatment with in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Given that IVF often results in more embryos than can be transferred during one embryo transfer cryopreservation of the supernumerary embryos has been an important addition to IVF. In recent

  9. What Drives Embryo Development? Chromosomal Normality or Mitochondria?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bayram


    Full Text Available Objective. To report the arrest of euploid embryos with high mtDNA content. Design. A report of 2 cases. Setting. Private fertility clinic. Patients. 2 patients, 45 and 40 years old undergoing IVF treatment. Interventions. Mature oocytes were collected and vitrified from two ovarian stimulations. Postthaw, survived mature oocytes underwent fertilization by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA copy number were done using next generation sequencing (NGS. The only normal embryo among the all-biopsied embryos had the highest “Mitoscore” value and was the only arrested embryo in both cases. Therefore, the embryo transfer was cancelled. Main Outcome Measures. Postthaw survival and fertilization rate, embryo euploidy, mtDNA copy number, and embryo development. Results. In both patients, after PGS only 1 embryo was euploid. Both embryos had the highest mtDNA copy number from all tested embryos and both embryos were arrested on further development. Conclusions. These cases clearly demonstrate the lack of correlation between mtDNA value (Mitoscore and chromosomal status of embryo.

  10. Population structure and fecundity in Uca virens Salmon & Atsaides, 1968 (Decapoda: Ocypodidae in southern Tamiahua Lagoon, Veracruz, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor del Castillo


    Full Text Available Fiddler crabs are common decapods of intertidal zones; thirteen species have been reported along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, inhabiting different zones. For the southern region of the Tamiahua Lagoon, Veracruz, Mexico, five species have been identified: Uca panacea, U. rapax, U. spinicarpa, U. virens and U. vocator particularly in the southern region of the Tamiahua Lagoon, Veracruz, Mexico. Here we analysed the fecundity of U. virens in 25 ovigerous females out of 387 individuals collected between December 2008 and December 2009 during eight field trips and from five collection sites. Morphological measurements like carapace length (CL and carapace width (CW, and total wet weight (TWW for all individuals collected were taken, and total egg number was counted for ovigerous females . The total population was divided in nine size class intervals. Total egg number varied between 3,617 and 41,099. Egg number increased with CW (ranging from 9.0 to 18.6 mm CW and TWW. Values of fecundity observed for U. virens in Tamiahua Lagoon vs other Uca species were similar to results reported in literature.

  11. Identification of a sugar gustatory receptor and its effect on fecundity of the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens. (United States)

    Chen, Wei-Wen; Kang, Kui; Yang, Pan; Zhang, Wen-Qing


    In insects, the gustatory system plays a crucial role in multiple physiological behaviors, including feeding, toxin avoidance, courtship, mating and oviposition. Gustatory stimuli from the environment are recognized by gustatory receptors. To date, little is known about the function of gustatory receptors in agricultural pest insects. In this study, we cloned a sugar gustatory receptor gene, NlGr11, from the brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Stål), a serious pest of rice in Asia; we then identified its ligands, namely, fructose, galactose and arabinose, by calcium imaging assay. After injection of NlGr11 double-stranded RNA, we found that the number of eggs laid by BPH decreased. Moreover, we found that NlGr11 inhibited the phosphorylation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and promoted the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT). These findings demonstrated that NlGr11 could accelerate the fecundity of BPH through AMPK- and AKT-mediated signaling pathways. This is the first report to indicate that a gustatory receptor modulates the fecundity of insects and that the receptor could be a potential target for pest control. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  12. Fecundity of patients with schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, anorexia nervosa, or substance abuse vs their unaffected siblings. (United States)

    Power, Robert A; Kyaga, Simon; Uher, Rudolf; MacCabe, James H; Långström, Niklas; Landen, Mikael; McGuffin, Peter; Lewis, Cathryn M; Lichtenstein, Paul; Svensson, Anna C


    It is unknown how genetic variants conferring liability to psychiatric disorders survive in the population despite strong negative selection. However, this is key to understanding their etiology and designing studies to identify risk variants. To examine the reproductive fitness of patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders vs their unaffected siblings and to evaluate the level of selection on causal genetic variants. We measured the fecundity of patients with schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, anorexia nervosa, or substance abuse and their unaffected siblings compared with the general population. Population databases in Sweden, including the Multi-Generation Register and the Swedish Hospital Discharge Register. In total, 2.3 million individuals among the 1950 to 1970 birth cohort in Sweden. Fertility ratio (FR), reflecting the mean number of children compared with that of the general population, accounting for age, sex, family size, and affected status. Except for women with depression, affected patients had significantly fewer children (FR range for those with psychiatric disorder, 0.23-0.93; P Siblings of patients with depression and substance abuse had significantly increased fecundity (FR range, 1.01-1.05; P new mutations or an as-yet unknown mechanism. Bipolar disorder did not seem to be under strong negative selection. Vulnerability to depression, and perhaps substance abuse, may be preserved by balancing selection, suggesting the involvement of common genetic variants in ways that depend on other genes and on environment.

  13. Age, growth and fecundity of the silver mullet, Mugil curema (Pisces: Mugilidae, in coastal areas of Northeastern Venezuela

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baumar J Marin E


    Full Text Available We studied the fecundity and growth in populations of the silver mullet, Mugil curema, in coastal areas of northeastern Venezuela between March 1992 and July 1993. The average number of ovocytes in gonads of 23-42 cm adults was 54 x 104, and the relative fecundity was 1311 ovocytes g-1 of fish. The size of mature ovocytes did not vary in different portions of the same gonad (p 0.05 or among the adults in three populations studied. The average egg diameter for adults was 426 µm (CI= 4.34. Age of juveniles, collected from the La Restinga Lagoon at about monthly intervals, from counts of growth lines on the otoliths ranged from 50 to 240 days. The relation of age (number of growth lines to standard length follows an exponential growth curve. The growth of juveniles varied seasonally and was greatest during the rainy season (April to August, when temperatures were highest. The time of spawning has probably been adapted so that peak recruitment into the lagoons occurs just prior to the rainy season when conditions for growth are most favorable.

  14. Impacts of temperature and crowding on sex ratio, fecundity and Wolbachia infection intensity in the copepod, Mesocyclops thermocyclopoides. (United States)

    Wiwatanaratanabutr, Itsanun; Grandjean, Frederic


    Wolbachia are a group of intracellular bacteria that cause reproductive alterations in arthropods. Here, we describe the effects of two environmental factors (crowding and temperature) on phenotypic expression of feminization, the host's fecundity and Wolbachia infection intensity among life cycle stages in the naturally Wolbachia-infected copepod, Mesocyclops thermocyclopoides. The copepod was first found to be co-infected with Wolbachia A- and B-supergroups Wolbachia strains based on wsp primers. The relative Wolbachia infection intensity within individuals was determined using quantitative real-time PCR and was significantly higher in the B-supergroup than in the A-supergroup. Experimental results of temperature effect on bacterial density in each developmental stage revealed a significant decrease in Wolbachia infection intensity following exposure to high temperature (37°C) in both sexes and implied that Wolbachia might survive in room temperature (25°C) better than in high temperature. Experimental results of crowding effects on Wolbachia infection intensity suggested a negative correlation between copepod nauplii and Wolbachia infection intensity. No effect of rearing temperature on the sex ratio was reported although the fecundity was significantly decreased by high temperature. The results showed that Wolbachia infection intensity to be correlated with crowding conditions and was decreased following exposure of elevated temperature. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The direct cost of traumatic secretion transfer in hermaphroditic land snails: individuals stabbed with a love dart decrease lifetime fecundity. (United States)

    Kimura, Kazuki; Chiba, Satoshi


    Several taxa of simultaneously hermaphroditic land snails exhibit a conspicuous mating behaviour, the so-called shooting of love darts. During mating, such land snail species transfer a specific secretion by stabbing a mating partner's body with the love dart. It has been shown that sperm donors benefit from this traumatic secretion transfer, because the secretions manipulate the physiology of a sperm recipient and increase the donors' fertilization success. However, it is unclear whether reception of dart shooting is costly to the recipients. Therefore, the effect of sexual conflict and antagonistic arms races on the evolution of traumatic secretion transfer in land snails is still controversial. To examine this effect, we compared lifetime fecundity and longevity between the individuals that received and did not receive dart shooting from mating partners in Bradybaena pellucida. Our experiments showed that the dart-receiving snails suffered reduction in lifetime fecundity and longevity. These results suggest that the costly mating behaviour, dart shooting, generates conflict between sperm donors and recipients and that sexually antagonistic arms races have contributed to the diversification of the morphological and behavioural traits relevant to dart shooting. Our findings also support theories suggesting a violent escalation of sexual conflict in hermaphroditic animals. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  16. How dietary plant nectar affects the survival, growth, and fecundity of a cursorial spider Cheiracanthium inclusum (Araneae: Miturgidae). (United States)

    Taylor, R M; Pfannenstiel, R S


    We measured the effects of plant nectar consumption on Cheiracanthium inclusum (Hentz) (Miturgidae), an agriculturally important spider. Newly emerged spiderlings were reared on the eggs of Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) at four prey densities, 1, 5, 25, or 125 eggs, three times a week, with or without nectar. Nectar came from the extrafloral nectaries of Indian almond, Terminalia cattapa L. (Combretaceae). The addition of nectar to prey (1) allowed spiderlings on the 1-egg diet to survive longer and molt many more times; (2) allowed virtually all of the spiderlings on the 5-egg diet to become small adults and 50% to mate and reproduce versus those without nectar, none of which matured to adulthood; and (3) increased fecundity of females on 5-egg and 25-egg diets to the level of females fed five times the amount of prey. These results show that spiders that feed on nectar increase their fitness with increased survival, growth, and fecundity, particularly when density of prey is inadequate or marginal.

  17. Experiencing Loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Maria; Younis, Tarek; Hassani, Amani


    In this article, we explore how Islam, minority status and refugee experiencesintersect in shaping meaning-making processes following bereavement. We do this througha phenomenological analysis of a biographical account of personal loss told by Aisha, a Muslim Palestinian refugee living in Denmark......, who narrates her experience of losing herhusband to lung cancer. By drawing on a religious framework, Aisha creates meaning fromher loss, which enables her to incorporate this loss into her life history and sustain agency.Her narrative invites wider audiences to witness her tale of overcoming loss...

  18. Genetic transformation of olive somatic embryos through ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Jun 20, 2011 ... 2Department of Biochemistry, National Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran, Iran. Accepted 9 March, 2011. Transformed olive plants were regenerated from inoculated somatic embryos with Agrobacterium tumefacience strain GV3101, which carries the plasmid pBI-P5CS containing ...

  19. Effects of fluoxetine on human embryo development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaihola, Helena; Yaldir, Fatma G.; Hreinsson, Julius; Hornaeus, Katarina; Bergquist, Jonas; Olivier, Jocelien D. A.; Akerud, Helena; Sundstrom-Poromaa, Inger


    The use of antidepressant treatment during pregnancy is increasing, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed antidepressants in pregnant women. Serotonin plays a role in embryogenesis, and serotonin transporters are expressed in two-cell mouse embryos. Thus,

  20. The endometrial factor in human embryo implantation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boomsma, C.M.


    The studies presented in this thesis aimed to explore the role of the endometrium in the implantation process. At present, embryo implantation is the major rate-limiting step for success in fertility treatment. Clinicians have sought to develop clinical interventions aimed at enhancing implantation

  1. Plant regeneration in wheat mature embryo culture

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kamil Haliloğlu


    Nov 9, 2011 ... Success in genetic engineering of cereals depends on the callus formation and efficient plant regeneration system. Callus formation and plant regeneration of wheat mature embryos ... compiled by modification of methods previously mentioned in ..... of more and readily available nutrition than artificial cul-.

  2. Nano-nutrition of chicken embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grodzik, Marta; Sawosz, Filip; Sawosz, Ewa


    factors of chicken embryo pectoral muscles. ND, Gln, and Gln/ND solutions (50 mg/L) were injected into fertilized broiler chicken eggs at the beginning of embryogenesis. Muscle tissue was dissected at day 20 of incubation and analysed for gene expression of FGF2, VEGF-A, and MyoD1. ND and especially Gln...

  3. Techniques for preparation prior to embryo transfer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derks, Roos S.; Farquhar, Cindy; Mol, Ben Willem J.; Buckingham, Karen; Heineman, Maas Jan


    BACKGROUND: Embryo transfer (ET) is the final and most vulnerable step in in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. Pregnancy rates after ET may be influenced by several factors including cervical preparation, the performance of a dummy or mock transfer, the choice of catheter, the use of ultrasound

  4. Fecundity, 17ß-estradiol concentrations and expression of vitellogenin and estrogen receptor genes throughout the ovarian cycle in female Eastern mosquitofish from three lakes in Florida

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, T.; Edwards, T. M.; Kohno, S.


    Previous studies of Eastern mosquitofish in contaminated Lake Apopka, Florida, have documented reduced sperm count and sexual behaviour in males but increased fecundity and liver weight in females, compared to nearby reference lakes. Liver weight can be an indicator of vitellogenin (Vtg) synthesis...... in fish, such as the mosquitofish. It was therefore hypothesized that estrogenic organochlorine pesticides, present at elevated concentrations in animals from Lake Apopka, could cause the reproductive disorders in males, as well as increase female fecundity. We initiated a test of this hypothesis...... by examining the relationship between 17β-estradiol (E2) tissue concentrations, hepatic estrogen receptor α (ERα) and Vtg A, B and C gene expression and fecundity in sexually mature female Eastern mosquitofish from Lake Apopka and two reference lakes, Lake Woodruff and Lake Orange. We observed that female...

  5. Immunoprotection of gonads and genital tracts in human embryos and fetuses: immunohistochemical study. (United States)

    Gurevich, A; Ben-Hur, H; Moldavsky, M; Szvalb, S; Berman, V; Zusman, I


    The immune protection of genital organs in embryogenesis has not been sufficiently studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the development of the secretory immune system (SIS) in the gonads and genital tracts of human embryos and fetuses. Developing gonads at different stages and genital tracts from 18 embryos and 39 fetuses in the first to third trimester of gestation were analyzed for presence of different component of SIS: secretory component (SC), joining (J) chain. IgA, IgM, IgG, macrophages, and subsets of lymphocytes. The material was divided into two groups: cases not subjected to foreign antigenic effects (group I, n = 31) and those under antigenic attack (chorioamnionitis, group II, n = 26). In embryos and fetuses of group I, SC, J chain, and IgG were seen in the epithelium of mesonephric and paramesonephric ducts, proliferating coelomic epithelium, epithelium of the uterine tubes and uterus, epithelium of the vas deferens, epididymis, and rete testis. IgA and IgM appeared in 6-week-old embryos. J chain, IgA, IgM, and IgG, but not SC, were found in the primary oocytes and oogonia, spermatogonia. and interstitial cells. An abundance of macrophages was seen in 4-week-old embryos. T and B lymphocytes first appeared in 6-7-week-old embryos. In embryos and fetuses of group II, reactivity of immunoglobulins (Igs) decreased until they disappeared altogether. Components of SIS were seen in genital organs in 4-5-week-old embryos and were present during the whole intrauterine period. We suggest the presence of two forms of immune protection of fetal genital organs. One form contains SC, J chain, and Igs and is present in the genital tract epithelium. The second form contains only J chain and Igs and is present in germ cells of gonads. The loss of Igs in cases with chorioamnionitis reflects the functional participation of the SIS of genital organs in response to antigen attack.

  6. Hormonal causes of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). (United States)

    Pluchino, Nicola; Drakopoulos, Panagiotis; Wenger, Jean Marie; Petignat, Patrick; Streuli, Isabelle; Genazzani, Andrea Riccardo


    Endocrine disorders play a major role in approximately 8% to 12% of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). Indeed, the local hormonal milieu is crucial in both embryo attachment and early pregnancy. Endocrine abnormalities, including thyroid disorders, luteal phase defects, polycystic ovary syndrome, hyperprolactinaemia and diabetes have to be evaluated in any case of RPL. Moreover, elevated androgen levels and some endocrinological aspects of endometriosis are also factors contributing to RPL. In the present article, we review the significance of endocrine disease on RPL.

  7. Are there optimal numbers of oocytes, spermatozoa and embryos in assisted reproduction? (United States)

    Milachich, Tanya; Shterev, Atanas


    The aim of this overview is to discuss the current information about the search for the optimum yield of gametes in assisted reproduction, as one of the major pillars of IVF success. The first topic is focused on the number of male gametes and the possible impact of some genetic traits on these parameters. The number of spermatozoa did not seem to be crucial when there is no severe male factor of infertility. Genetic testing prior to using those sperm cells is very important. Different methods were applied in order to elect the "best" spermatozoa according to specific indications. The next problem discussed is the importance of the number of oocytes collected. Several studies have agreed that "15 oocytes is the perfect number," as the number of mature oocytes is more important. However, if elective single embryo transfer is performed, the optimal number of oocytes will enable a proper embryo selection. The third problem discussed concerns fertility preservation. Many educational programs promote and encourage procreation at maternal ages between 20-35 years, since assisted reproduction is unable to fully overcome the effects of female aging and fertility loss after that age. It is also strongly recommended to ensure a reasonable number of cryopreserved mature oocytes, preferably in younger ages (average of two stimulation cycles are likely required. For embryo cryopreservation, the "freeze all" strategy suggests the vitrification of good embryos, therefore quality is prior to number and patient recruitment for this strategy should be performed cautiously.

  8. Effects of tributyltin (TBT) on Xenopus tropicalis embryos at environmentally relevant concentrations. (United States)

    Guo, Suzhen; Qian, Lijuan; Shi, Huahong; Barry, Terence; Cao, Qinzhen; Liu, Junqi


    Tributyltin (TBT) has been widely used as a biocide in antifouling paints and is a known endocrine disrupting chemical. In this paper, we exposed embryos of Xenopus tropicalis to 50-400ngL(-1) tributyltin chloride. TBT significantly decreased the survival rate, reduced the body length and retarded the development of embryos after 24, 36 and 48h of exposure. These effects of TBT were concentration- and time-dependent. Embryos treated with TBT showed multiple malformations. The most obvious alterations were abnormal eyes, enlarged proctodaeum, narrow fins, and skin hypopigmentation. Enlarged proctodaeum and narrow fins were mainly observed after 36 and 48h of exposure. The loss of eye pigmentation or the absence of external eyes occurred after 24 and 36h of exposure, while extended lenses or edemas of eyes were more commonly observed after 48h of exposure. Additional malformations included: small anterior region of heads, pericardial edemas, enlarged trunks, and bent tails. These results suggested that TBT is very toxic to X. tropicalis embryos at environmentally relevant concentrations.

  9. Establishing axenic cultures from mature pecan embryo explants on media with low water availability. (United States)

    Obeidy, A A; Smith, M A


    Endophytic fungi associated with mature pecan (Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch) nuts prevented successful, contaminant-free in vitro culture of embryo expiants, even after rigorous surface disinfestation of the nuts and careful aseptic shelling. Disinfestation with sodium hypochlorite after shell removal was also unsuccessful, because even dilute concentrations which were ineffective against the fungal contaminants prevented subsequent growth from the embryo. Explanting media with low water availability which would not sustain growth of fungal contaminants, but supported growth from mature pecan embryos, were developed as an alternative disinfestation method. The explanting media were supplemented with 0.9-1.5% agar, and other media components were selectively omitted to test their influence on water availability and fungal growth. Disinfestation of up to 65% of the cultures was accomplished, depending on the medium formulation, compared to 100% loss to contamination on control medium (0.5% agar). A complete medium (containing sucrose, salts, vitamins, 18 μM BAP, and 5 μM IBA) with 1.5% agar provided control of contamination, and encouraged subsequent regeneration from the embryo expiants, which remained free of contaminant growth through subsequent subcultures.

  10. Reproductive efficiency of asymptomatic Theileria equi carriers mares submitted to an embryo transfer program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana L. Bezerra


    Full Text Available This study aimed to assess and evaluate the effects of Theileria equi infection on embryonic recovery, gestation and early embryonic loss. Thirteen Mangalarga Marchador Theileria equi positive donors (diagnosed through nested-PCR and 40 embryos receptors were used. Donors were submitted to two embryo collections in two consecutive estrous cycles (GId; after, the same mares were treated with imidocarb dipropionate (1.2mg/kg IM. in order to collect more embryos in two more estrous cycles (GIId. Receptors were divided into two groups (control and with treated with 20 animals each, where one group was the control (GIr and the other one (GIIr treated with 1.2mg/kg IM of imidocarb dipropionate assessing the gestation rate at 15, 30, 45 and 60 days. After 52 embryo collections, the embryonic recovery rates were 53.84% (14/26 and 65.38% (17/26 (p> 0.05 for GId and GIId, respectively. The gestation rate was 70% (14/20 (p>0.05 at 15, 30, 45 and 60 days in group GIr and for GIIr was 85% (17/20 (p>0.05 at 15 days, 80% (16/20 (p>0.05 at 30, 45 and 60 days. The treatment with imidocarb dipropionate did not cause significant improvement in the reproductive efficiency at an ET program.

  11. Memory loss (United States)

    ... barbiturates or ( hypnotics ) ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) (most often short-term memory loss) Epilepsy that is not well controlled Illness that ... appointment. Medical history questions may include: Type of memory loss, such as short-term or long-term Time pattern, such as how ...

  12. Ultrastructural changes in goat interspecies and intraspecies reconstructed early embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tao, Yong; Gheng, Lizi; Zhang, Meiling


    and dispered gradually from the 4-cell period. The nucleolus of GC and GG embryos changed from electron dense to a fibrillo-granular meshwork at the 16-cell stage, showing that nucleus function in the reconstructed embryos was activated. The broken nuclear envelope and multiple nucleoli in one blastomere......- and intraspecies reconstructed embryos have a similar pattern of developmental change to that of in vivo-produced embryos for ZP, rough ER, Gi and nucleolus, but differ for mitochondria, LD, vesicles, nucleus and gap junction development. In particular, the interspecies cloned embryos showed more severe...

  13. Comprehensive embryo testing. Experts' opinions regarding future directions: an expert panel study on comprehensive embryo testing. (United States)

    Hens, Kristien; Dondorp, Wybo J; Geraedts, Joep P M; de Wert, Guido M


    What do scientists in the field of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) consider to be the future direction of comprehensive embryo testing? Although there are many biological and technical limitations, as well as uncertainties regarding the meaning of genetic variation, comprehensive embryo testing will impact the IVF/PGD practice and a timely ethical reflection is needed. Comprehensive testing using microarrays is currently being introduced in the context of PGD and PGS, and it is to be expected that whole-genome sequencing will also follow. Current ethical and empirical sociological research on embryo testing focuses on PGD as it is practiced now. However, empirical research and systematic reflection regarding the impact of comprehensive techniques for embryo testing is missing. In order to understand the potential of this technology and to be able to adequately foresee its implications, we held an expert panel with seven pioneers in PGD. We conducted an expert panel in October 2011 with seven PGD pioneers from Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK. Participants expected the use of comprehensive techniques in the context of PGD. However, the introduction of these techniques in embryo testing requires timely ethical reflection as it involves a shift from choosing an embryo without a particular genetic disease (i.e. PGD) or most likely to result in a successful pregnancy (i.e. PGS) to choosing the best embryo based on a much wider set of criteria. Such ethical reflection should take account of current technical and biological limitations and also of current uncertainties with regard to the meaning of genetic variance. However, ethicists should also not be afraid to look into the future. There was a general agreement that embryo testing will be increasingly preceded by comprehensive preconception screening, thus enabling smart combinations of genetic testing. The group was composed of seven participants from

  14. Somatic Embryos in Catharanthus roseus: A Scanning Electron Microscopic Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junaid ASLAM


    Full Text Available Catharanthus roseus (L. G. Don is an important medicinal plant as it contains several anti-cancerous compounds, like vinblastine and vincristine. Plant tissue culture technology (organogenesis and embryogenesis has currently been used in fast mass propagating raw materials for secondary metabolite synthesis. In this present communication, scanning electron microscopic (SEM study of somatic embryos was conducted and discussed. The embryogenic callus was first induced from hypocotyls of in vitro germinated seeds on which somatic embryos, differentiated in numbers, particularly on 2,4-D (1.0 mg/L Murashige and Skoog (MS was medium. To understand more about the regeneration method and in vitro formed embryos SEM was performed. The SEM study revealed normal somatic embryo origin and development from globular to heart-, torpedo- and then into cotyledonary-stage of embryos. At early stage, the embryos were clustered together in a callus mass and could not easily be detached from the parental tissue. The embryos were often long cylindrical structure with or without typical notch at the tip. Secondary embryos were also formed on primary embryo structure. The advanced cotyledonary embryos showed prominent roots and shoot axis, which germinated into plantlets. The morphology, structure and other details of somatic embryos at various stages were presented.

  15. Effect of embryo density on in vitro developmental characteristics of bovine preimplantative embryos with respect to micro and macroenvironments. (United States)

    Hoelker, M; Rings, F; Lund, Q; Phatsara, C; Schellander, K; Tesfaye, D


    To overcome developmental problems as a consequence of single embryo culture, the Well of the Well (WOW) culture system has been developed. In this study, we aimed to examine the effect of embryo densities with respect to both microenvironment and macroenvironment on developmental rates and embryo quality to get a deeper insight into developmentally important mechanisms. WOW diameter and depth significantly affected developmental rates (p < 0.05). WOWs with diameter of 500 μm reached significantly higher blastocyst rates (32.5 vs 21.1% vs 20.3%) compared to embryos cultured in WOWs of 300 μm diameter or plain cultured controls. Embryos cultured in WOWs with 700 μm depth reached significant higher developmental rates compared with embryos cultured in WOWs of 300 μm depth and control embryos (30.6 vs 22.6% vs 20.3%). Correlation of the embryo per WOW volume with developmental rates was higher (r(2) = 0.92, p = 0.0004) than correlation of WOW diameter or WOW depth with developmental rates. However, the embryo per WOW volume did not affect differential cell counts. An embryo per culture dish volume of 1 : 30 μl was identified to be optimal when the embryo per WOW volume was 1 : 0.27 μl increasing developmental rates up to the level of mass embryo production. Giving the opportunity to track each embryo over the complete culture period while keeping high developmental rates with normal mitotic dynamics, the results of this work will provide benefit for the single culture of embryos in human assisted reproduction, mammalian embryos with high economic interest as well as for scientific purpose. © 2009 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  16. Assessing embryo development using swept source optical coherence tomography (United States)

    Caujolle, S.; Cernat, R.; Silvestri, G.; Marques, M. J.; Bradu, A.; Feuchter, T.; Robinson, G.; Griffin, D.; Podoleanu, A.


    A detailed assessment of embryo development would assist biologists with selecting the most suitable embryos for transfer leading to higher pregnancy rates. Currently, only low resolution microscopy is employed to perform this assessment. Although this method delivers some information on the embryo surface morphology, no specific details are shown related to its inner structure. Using a Master-Slave Swept-Source Optical Coherence Tomography (SS-OCT), images of bovine embryos from day 7 after fertilization were collected from different depths. The dynamic changes inside the embryos were examined, in detail and in real-time from several depths. To prove our ability to characterize the morphology, a single embryo was imaged over 26 hours. The embryo was deprived of its life support environment, leading to its death. Over this period, clear morphological changes were observed.

  17. Classification of embryo sacs in the Eragrostis curvula Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. B. Vorster


    Full Text Available At each of 17 collecting points between Johannesburg and Brits in the Transvaal, three plants which belong to the  Eragrostis curvula Complex were collected and studied. A total o f 3 902 embryo sacs was examined in this sample. Of the embryo sacs examined, 3 306 were apomictic by means of diplospory, whereas 99 were sexual monosporic Polygonum-type embryo sacs. One hundred and nineteen embryo sacs were abnormal or divergent, and 378 were degenerated. There are indications that seasonal climatic fluctuations may be responsible for embryo sacs developing abnormally or degenerating. Simple and multiple correlations confirmed that sexual embryo sacs usually do not develop abnormally or degenerate during the later developmental stages. This finding lends credence to both the system of classification of individual embryo sacs and to the validity of the estimate of the proportion of sexuality of the plants sampled at each sampling point.

  18. How do laboratory embryo transfer techniques affect IVF outcomes? A review of current literature. (United States)

    Sigalos, George; Triantafyllidou, Olga; Vlahos, Nikos


    Over the last few years, many studies have focused on embryo selection methods, whereas little attention has been given to the standardization of the procedure of embryo transfer. In this review, several parameters of the embryo transfer procedure are examined, such as the: (i) culture medium volume and loading technique; (ii) syringe and catheters used for embryo transfer; (iii) viscosity and composition of the embryo transfer medium; (iv) environment of embryo culture; (v) timing of embryo transfer; (vi) and standardization of the embryo transfer techniques. The aim of this manuscript is to review these factors and compare the existing embryo transfer techniques and highlight the need for better embryo transfer standardization.

  19. Energy storage and fecundity explain deviations from ecological stoichiometry predictions under global warming and size-selective predation. (United States)

    Zhang, Chao; Jansen, Mieke; De Meester, Luc; Stoks, Robby


    A key challenge for ecologists is to predict how single and joint effects of global warming and predation risk translate from the individual level up to ecosystem functions. Recently, stoichiometric theory linked these levels through changes in body stoichiometry, predicting that both higher temperatures and predation risk induce shifts in energy storage (increases in C-rich carbohydrates and reductions in N-rich proteins) and body stoichiometry (increases in C : N and C : P). This promising theory, however, is rarely tested and assumes that prey will divert energy away from reproduction under predation risk, while under size-selective predation, prey instead increase fecundity. We exposed the water flea Daphnia magna to 4 °C warming and fish predation risk to test whether C-rich carbohydrates increase and N-rich proteins decrease, and as a result, C : N and C : P increase under warming and predation risk. Unexpectedly, warming decreased body C : N, which was driven by reductions in C-rich fat and sugar contents while the protein content did not change. This reflected a trade-off where the accelerated intrinsic growth rate under warming occurred at the cost of a reduced energy storage. Warming reduced C : N less and only increased C : P and N : P in the fish-period Daphnia. These evolved stoichiometric responses to warming were largely driven by stronger warming-induced reductions in P than in C and N and could be explained by the better ability to deal with warming in the fish-period Daphnia. In contrast to theory predictions, body C : N decreased under predation risk due to a strong increase in the N-rich protein content that offsets the increase in C-rich fat content. The higher investment in fecundity (more N-rich eggs) under predation risk contributed to this stronger increase in protein content. Similarly, the lower body C : N of pre-fish Daphnia also matched their higher fecundity. Warming and predation risk independently shaped body

  20. Commonly used fertility drugs, a diet supplement, and stress force AMPK-dependent block of stemness and development in cultured mammalian embryos. (United States)

    Bolnick, Alan; Abdulhasan, Mohammed; Kilburn, Brian; Xie, Yufen; Howard, Mindie; Andresen, Paul; Shamir, Alexandra M; Dai, Jing; Puscheck, Elizabeth E; Rappolee, Daniel A


    The purpose of the present study is to test whether metformin, aspirin, or diet supplement (DS) BioResponse-3,3'-Diindolylmethane (BR-DIM) can induce AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-dependent potency loss in cultured embryos and whether metformin (Met) + Aspirin (Asa) or BR-DIM causes an AMPK-dependent decrease in embryonic development. The methods used were as follows: culture post-thaw mouse zygotes to the two-cell embryo stage and test effects after 1-h AMPK agonists' (e.g., Met, Asa, BR-DIM, control hyperosmotic stress) exposure on AMPK-dependent loss of Oct4 and/or Rex1 nuclear potency factors, confirm AMPK dependence by reversing potency loss in two-cell-stage embryos with AMPK inhibitor compound C (CC), test whether Met + Asa (i.e., co-added) or DS BR-DIM decreases development of two-cell to blastocyst stage in an AMPK-dependent (CC-sensitive) manner, and evaluate the level of Rex1 and Oct4 nuclear fluorescence in two-cell-stage embryos and rate of two-cell-stage embryo development to blastocysts. Met, Asa, BR-DIM, or hyperosmotic sorbitol stress induces rapid ~50-85 % Rex1 and/or Oct4 protein loss in two-cell embryos. This loss is ~60-90 % reversible by co-culture with AMPK inhibitor CC. Embryo development from two-cell to blastocyst stage is decreased in culture with either Met + Asa or BR-DIM, and this is either >90 or ~60 % reversible with CC, respectively. These experimental designs here showed that Met-, Asa-, BR-DIM-, or sorbitol stress-induced rapid potency loss in two-cell embryos is AMPK dependent as suggested by inhibition of Rex1 and/or Oct4 protein loss with an AMPK inhibitor. The DS BR-DIM or fertility drugs (e.g., Met + Asa) that are used to enhance maternal metabolism to support fertility can also chronically slow embryo growth and block development in an AMPK-dependent manner.

  1. Weight Loss (United States)

    ... Rights Employment Discrimination Health Care Professionals Law Enforcement Driver's License For Lawyers Food & Fitness Home Food MyFoodAdvisor ... Fit Types of Activity Weight Loss Assess Your Lifestyle Getting Started Food Choices In My Community Home ...

  2. Effect of parental age and associated size on fecundity, growth and survival in the yellow seahorse Hippocampus kuda. (United States)

    Dzyuba, Borys; Van Look, Katrien J W; Cliffe, Alex; Koldewey, Heather J; Holt, William V


    Seahorses, together with the pipefishes (Family Syngnathidae), are the only vertebrates in which embryonic development takes place within a specialised body compartment, the brood pouch, of the male instead of the female. Embryos develop in close association with the brood pouch epithelium in a manner that bears some resemblance to embryo-placental relationships in mammals. We have explored the hypothesis that parental body size and age should affect offspring postnatal growth and survival if brood pouch quality impacts upon prenatal embryonic nutrition or respiration. Using an aquarium population of the yellow seahorse, Hippocampus kuda, we show here that large parents produce offspring whose initial postnatal growth rates (weeks one to three) were significantly higher than those of the offspring of younger and smaller parents. Whereas 90% of offspring from the larger parents survived for the duration of the study (7 weeks), less that 50% of offspring from smaller parents survived for the same period. For the offspring of large parents, growth rates from individual males were negatively correlated with the number of offspring in the cohort (r=-0.82; P0.9). Observations of embryos within the pouch suggested that when relatively few embryos are present they may attach to functionally advantageous sites and thus gain physiological support during gestation. These results suggest that male body size, and pouch size and function, may influence the future fitness and survival of their offspring.

  3. Size-related flowering and fecundity in the tropical canopy tree species, Shorea acuminata (Dipterocarpaceae) during two consecutive general flowerings. (United States)

    Naito, Yoko; Kanzaki, Mamoru; Numata, Shinya; Obayashi, Kyoko; Konuma, Akihiro; Nishimura, Sen; Ohta, Seiichi; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Okuda, Toshinori; Lee, Soon Leong; Muhammad, Norwati


    We monitored the reproductive status of all trees with diameters at breast height (dbh) >30 cm in a 40-ha plot at Pasoh, west Malaysia, and investigated the individual fecundity of 15 Shorea acuminata Dyer (Dipterocarpaceae) trees using seed-trapping methods during two consecutive general flowering periods in 2001 (GF2001) and 2002 (GF2002). The proportion of flowering trees was higher, and not dependent on size, in GF2002 (84.2%), than in GF2001 (54.5%), when flowering mainly occurred in trees with a dbh investment during the two consecutive reproductive events clearly differed between medium-sized and large trees; the former concentrated their reproductive investment in one of the reproductive events whereas the latter allocated their investment more evenly to both reproductive events. Our results suggest size-related differences in the resource allocation pattern for reproduction.

  4. Ecotoxicological effects of buprofezin on fecundity, growth, development, and predation of the wolf spider Pirata piratoides (Schenkel). (United States)

    Deng, Lingling; Xu, Muqi; Cao, Hong; Dai, Jiayin


    The toxicological effects of buprofezin, an insect growth regulator, on the fecundity, development, and pest control potential of the wolf spider Pirata piratoides (Schenkel) (Araneae: Lycosidae) were investigated in the laboratory. It was shown that buprofezin had low toxicity to P. piratoides and that the median lethal dosage (LD(50)) 48 h and 10% lethal dosage (LD(10)) after topical application for female spiders were 653 and 316 mg buprofezin/mg fresh weight of spider, respectively. Buprofezin significantly reduced the percent hatching of spiders' eggs but had only a slight effect on egg production. No negative effects on the development and growth were observed. However, spider predation rates were strongly affected: Insecticide-treated females predated on fewer prey than the controls, and their predation rate did not recover even 5 days after insecticide application. This indicated that their pest control potential might be influenced by buprofezin, and the use of buprofezin in biological control of insects is discussed.

  5. The Chromatin Regulator Brpf1 Regulates Embryo Development and Cell Proliferation* (United States)

    You, Linya; Yan, Kezhi; Zou, Jinfeng; Zhao, Hong; Bertos, Nicholas R.; Park, Morag; Wang, Edwin; Yang, Xiang-Jiao


    With hundreds of chromatin regulators identified in mammals, an emerging issue is how they modulate biological and pathological processes. BRPF1 (bromodomain- and PHD finger-containing protein 1) is a unique chromatin regulator possessing two PHD fingers, one bromodomain and a PWWP domain for recognizing multiple histone modifications. In addition, it binds to the acetyltransferases MOZ, MORF, and HBO1 (also known as KAT6A, KAT6B, and KAT7, respectively) to promote complex formation, restrict substrate specificity, and enhance enzymatic activity. We have recently showed that ablation of the mouse Brpf1 gene causes embryonic lethality at E9.5. Here we present systematic analyses of the mutant animals and demonstrate that the ablation leads to vascular defects in the placenta, yolk sac, and embryo proper, as well as abnormal neural tube closure. At the cellular level, Brpf1 loss inhibits proliferation of embryonic fibroblasts and hematopoietic progenitors. Molecularly, the loss reduces transcription of a ribosomal protein L10 (Rpl10)-like gene and the cell cycle inhibitor p27, and increases expression of the cell-cycle inhibitor p16 and a novel protein homologous to Scp3, a synaptonemal complex protein critical for chromosome association and embryo survival. These results uncover a crucial role of Brpf1 in controlling mouse embryo development and regulating cellular and gene expression programs. PMID:25773539

  6. Embryo Cell Membranes Reconstruction by Tensor Voting


    Michelin , Gaël; Guignard , Léo; Fiuza , Ulla-Maj; Malandain , Grégoire


    International audience; Image-based studies of developing organs or embryos produce a huge quantity of data. To handle such high-throughput experimental protocols, automated computer-assisted methods are highly desirable. This article aims at designing an efficient cell segmentation method from microscopic images. The proposed approach is twofold: first, cell membranes are enhanced or extracted by the means of structure-based filters, and then perceptual grouping (i.e. tensor voting) allows t...

  7. DDT-induced feminization of gull embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fry, D.M.; Toone, C.K.


    Injection of DDT [1, 1, 1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane] into gull eggs at concentrations comparable to those found in contaminated seabird eggs in 1970 induces abnormal development of ovarian tissue and oviducts in male embryos. Developmental feminization of males is associated with inability to breed as adults and may explain the highly skewed sex ratio and reduced number of male gulls breeding on Santa Barbara Island in southern California

  8. Developmental toxicity of cartap on zebrafish embryos. (United States)

    Zhou, Shengli; Dong, Qiaoxiang; Li, Shaonan; Guo, Jiangfeng; Wang, Xingxing; Zhu, Guonian


    Cartap is a widely used insecticide which belongs to a member of nereistoxin derivatives and acts on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor site. Its effects on aquatic species are of grave concern. To explore the potential developmental toxicity of cartap, zebrafish embryos were continually exposed, from 0.5 to 144h post-fertilization, to a range of concentrations of 25-1000microg/l. Results of the experiment indicated that cartap concentrations of 100microg/l and above negatively affected embryo survival and hatching success. Morphological analysis uncovered a large suite of abnormalities such as less melanin pigmentation, wavy notochord, crooked trunk, fuzzy somites, neurogenesis defects and vasculature defects. The most sensitive organ was proved to be the notochord which displayed defects at concentrations as low as 25microg/l. Both sensitivity towards exposure and localization of the defect were stage specific. To elucidate mechanisms concerning notochord, pigmentation, and hatching defects, enzyme assay, RT Q-PCR, and different exposure strategies were performed. For embryos with hatching failure, chorion was verified not to be digested, while removing cartap from exposure at early pre-hatching stage could significantly increase the hatching success. However, cartap was proved, via vitro assay, to have no effect on proteolytic activity of hatching enzyme. These findings implied that the secretion of hatching enzyme might be blocked. We also revealed that cartap inhibited the activity of melanogenic enzyme tyrosinase and matrix enzyme lysyl oxidase and induced expression of their genes. These suggested that cartap could impaired melanin pigmentation of zebrafish embryos through inhibiting tyrosinase activity, while inhibition of lysyl oxidase activity was responsible for notochord undulation, which subsequently caused somite defect, and at least partially responsible for defects in vasculature and neurogenesis.

  9. Fecundity, reproductive seasonality and maturation size of Callinectes sapidus females (Decapoda: Portunidae in the Southeast coast of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evandro Severino-Rodrigues


    Full Text Available C. sapidus fisheries has a significant influence on the economy of some countries in North America and has a relative extensive literature in these regions. However, only few papers discuss the ecology of C. sapidus in the South Atlantic, despite its economic importance in that region. We studied the fecundity, reproductive seasonality and maturation size of C. sapidus females captured in the Southeast coast of Brazil from January to December 2002. Females were separated, weighted (Wt, and cephalothorax width (CW was measured. Furthermore, the eggs-masses were classified according to embryonic development, separated, weighted (We and fixed. Eggs were also separated and counted, resulting in the average number of eggs per individual (Ne. A total sample of 307 females was collected: 78 young, 130 adults and 99 ovigerous. Ovigerous females showed CW between 7.49 and 15.89cm with average of 12.21cm and were distributed throughout the sample period, with highest incidence between December and March. The onset of morphological maturity (L50 occurred at CW=10.33cm, and the size in which all were mature (L100 was CW=11.20cm. Individual fecundity ranged from 689 356 to 3 438 122 with an average of 2 006 974. The CW showed a positive growth trend with Ne and We. We concluded that in order to ensure the resource sustainability, it is necessary to prohibit captures of C. sapidus in these regions, especially during summer. Additionally, our studies suggest that the minimum capture size should be 11cm of carapace width.

  10. Automation and Optimization of Multipulse Laser Zona Drilling of Mouse Embryos During Embryo Biopsy. (United States)

    Wong, Christopher Yee; Mills, James K


    Laser zona drilling (LZD) is a required step in many embryonic surgical procedures, for example, assisted hatching and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. LZD involves the ablation of the zona pellucida (ZP) using a laser while minimizing potentially harmful thermal effects on critical internal cell structures. Develop a method for the automation and optimization of multipulse LZD, applied to cleavage-stage embryos. A two-stage optimization is used. The first stage uses computer vision algorithms to identify embryonic structures and determines the optimal ablation zone farthest away from critical structures such as blastomeres. The second stage combines a genetic algorithm with a previously reported thermal analysis of LZD to optimize the combination of laser pulse locations and pulse durations. The goal is to minimize the peak temperature experienced by the blastomeres while creating the desired opening in the ZP. A proof of concept of the proposed LZD automation and optimization method is demonstrated through experiments on mouse embryos with positive results, as adequately sized openings are created. Automation of LZD is feasible and is a viable step toward the automation of embryo biopsy procedures. LZD is a common but delicate procedure performed by human operators using subjective methods to gauge proper LZD procedure. Automation of LZD removes human error to increase the success rate of LZD. Although the proposed methods are developed for cleavage-stage embryos, the same methods may be applied to most types LZD procedures, embryos at different developmental stages, or nonembryonic cells.

  11. In vitro embryo culture of rarely endangered musella lasiocarpa (musaceae) with embryo dormancy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anjun, T.


    Musella lasiocarpa (Musaceae) is an ornamental annually producing many viable seeds, but seldom recruited by seeds in the wild. One mature Musella seed has a small mushroom-shaped embryo without discernible organ differentiation. Therefore, freshly-harvested mature seeds are dormant. When the seeds gradually finished differentiation during warm stratification at 23 degree C, they germinated to 82%. Besides, extracted embryos from fresh seeds did not germinate on the basal medium of Murshige and Skoog medium (MS) supplemented with 3% sucrose and 0.8% agar, but they were induced to form calli and root by media. The optimum medium for inducing calli was MS + 1.0 mg/L 6-BA + 0.05 mg/L NAA + 100 mg/L Vc with the highest proliferation coefficient (7.3) in 35 days. Moreover, the embryos from the 6-month warm stratified seeds could proliferate on the suitable medium. The optimal medium for rooting was MS + 0.5 mg/L 2, 4-D + Vitamin C 100 mg/L. The results confirmed that both the embryo developmental stage and appropriate combination of chemicals significantly affected seed germination and In vitro embryo culture of this species. (author)

  12. Variability in oocyte size and batch fecundity in anchoveta (Engraulis ringens, Jenyns 1842 from two spawning areas off the Chilean coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elson M. Leal


    Full Text Available Utilising histological preparations of ovaries from Engraulis ringens females collected in two contrasting spawning habitats along the Chilean coast, we assess the variability in oocyte size and batch fecundity during the peak spawning seasons in three years. The effects of female size (length and weight, batch fecundity and mean sea surface temperature on oocyte size were also examined. Results showed larger oocytes and lower batch fecundity in females from the southern area. Oocyte volume differences persisted inter-annually and were not explained by differences in female sizes. Since ovary weight was similar between areas, the cost of producing larger oocytes in the south population seems to be a fecundity reduction. The latitudinal variations in oocyte number and size seem to be determined by the predominant environmental conditions in each habitat. Hence, female E. ringens seem to adapt their reproductive tactics by producing eggs sizes and quantities that favour survival of their offspring under the environmental conditions in which they are to develop.

  13. Changes in the Aggressiveness and Fecundity of Hot Pepper Anthracnose Pathogen (Colletotricum acutatum under Elevated CO₂ and Temperature over 100 Infection Cycles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Hoon Koo


    Full Text Available We observed the changes in aggressiveness and fecundity of the anthracnose pathogen Colletotrichum acutatum on hot pepper, under the ambient and the twice-ambient treatments. Artificial infection was repeated over 100 cycles for ambient (25°C/400 ppm CO₂ and twice-ambient (30°C/700 ppm CO₂ growth chamber conditions, over 3 years. During repeated infection cycles (ICs on green-pepper fruits, the aggressiveness (incidence [% of diseased fruits among 20 inoculated fruits] and severity [lesion length in mm] of infection and fecundity (the average number of spores per five lesions of the pathogen were measured in each cycle and compared between the ambient and twice-ambient treatments, and also between the early (ICs 31–50 and late (ICs 81–100 generations. In summary, the pathogen’s aggressiveness and fecundity were significantly lower in the late generation. It is likely that aggressiveness and fecundity of C. acutatum may be reduced as global CO₂ and temperatures increase.

  14. The bionomics of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu lato in Southeast Tanzania : adult size variation and its effect on female fecundity, survival and malaria transmission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lyimo, E.O.K.


    Size of adult mosquitoes is known to affect both population dynamics as well as disease transmission. Studies devoted to this topic have given different results for different species. For example in some mosquito species, large size was found to be associated with high fecundity and longer

  15. In vivo photoacoustic imaging of mouse embryos (United States)

    Laufer, Jan; Norris, Francesca; Cleary, Jon; Zhang, Edward; Treeby, Bradley; Cox, Ben; Johnson, Peter; Scambler, Pete; Lythgoe, Mark; Beard, Paul


    The ability to noninvasively image embryonic vascular anatomy in mouse models is an important requirement for characterizing the development of the normal cardiovascular system and malformations in the heart and vascular supply. Photoacoustic imaging, which can provide high resolution non invasive images of the vasculature based upon optical absorption by endogenous hemoglobin, is well suited to this application. In this study, photoacoustic images of mouse embryos were obtained ex vivo and in vivo. The images show intricate details of the embryonic vascular system to depths of up to 10 mm, which allowed whole embryos to be imaged in situ. To achieve this, an all-optical photoacoustic scanner and a novel time reversal image reconstruction algorithm, which provide deep tissue imaging capability while maintaining high spatial resolution and contrast were employed. This technology may find application as an imaging tool for preclinical embryo studies in developmental biology as well as more generally in preclinical and clinical medicine for studying pathologies characterized by changes in the vasculature.

  16. Human embryo cloning prohibited in Hong Kong. (United States)

    Liu, Athena


    Since the birth of Dolly (the cloned sheep) in 1997, debates have arisen on the ethical and legal questions of cloning-for-biomedical-research (more commonly termed "therapeutic cloning") and of reproductive cloning using human gametes. Hong Kong enacted the Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance (Cap 561) in 2000. Section 15(1)(e) of this Ordinance prohibits the "replacing of the nucleus of a cell of an embryo with a nucleus taken from any other cell," i.e., nucleus substitution. Section 15(1)(f) prohibits the cloning of any embryo. The scope of the latter, therefore, is arguably the widest, prohibiting all cloning techniques such as cell nucleus replacement, embryo splitting, parthenogenesis, and cloning using stem cell lines. Although the Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance is not yet fully operative, this article examines how these prohibitions may adversely impact on basic research and the vision of the Hong Kong scientific community. It concludes that in light of recent scientific developments, it is time to review if the law offers a coherent set of policies in this area.

  17. Role of melatonin in embryo fetal development. (United States)

    Voiculescu, S E; Zygouropoulos, N; Zahiu, C D; Zagrean, A M


    Melatonin is an indoleamine produced by the pineal gland and secreted in a circadian manner. In the past few decades, research over this topic has been enhanced. Melatonin has many important roles in the human physiology: regulator of the circadian rhythms, sleep inducer, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic. This paper reviews the involvement of melatonin in embryo fetal development. The pineal gland develops completely postpartum, so both the embryo and the fetus are dependent on the maternal melatonin provided transplacentally. Melatonin appears to be involved in the normal outcome of pregnancy beginning with the oocyte quality and finishing with the parturition. Its pregnancy night-time concentrations increase after 24 weeks of gestation, with significantly high levels after 32 weeks. Melatonin receptors are widespread in the embryo and fetus since early stages. There is solid evidence that melatonin is neuroprotective and has a positive effect on the outcome of the compromised pregnancies. In addition, chronodisruption leads to a reproductive dysfunction. Thus, the influence of melatonin on the developing human fetus may not be limited to the entertaining of circadian rhythmicity, but further studies are needed.

  18. Cryopreservation of preimplantation embryos of cattle, sheep, and goats. (United States)

    Youngs, Curtis R


    Preimplantation embryos from cattle, sheep, and goats may be cryopreserved for short- or long-term storage. Preimplantation embryos consist predominantly of water, and the avoidance of intracellular ice crystal formation during the cryopreservation process is of paramount importance to maintain embryo viability. Embryos are placed into a hypertonic solution (1.4 - 1.5 M) of a cryoprotective agent (CPA) such as ethylene glycol (EG) or glycerol (GLYC) to create an osmotic gradient that facilitates cellular dehydration. After embryos reach osmotic equilibrium in the CPA solution, they are individually loaded in the hypertonic CPA solution into 0.25 ml plastic straws for freezing. Embryos are placed into a controlled rate freezer at a temperature of -6°C. Ice crystal formation is induced in the CPA solution surrounding the embryo, and crystallization causes an increase in the concentration of CPA outside of the embryo, causing further cellular dehydration. Embryos are cooled at a rate of 0.5°C/min, enabling further dehydration, to a temperature of -34°C before being plunged into liquid nitrogen (-196°C). Cryopreserved embryos must be thawed prior to transfer to a recipient (surrogate) female. Straws containing the embryos are removed from the liquid nitrogen dewar, held in room temperature air for 3 to 5 sec, and placed into a 37°C water bath for 25 to 30 sec. Embryos cryopreserved in GLYC are placed into a 1 M solution of sucrose for 10 min for removal of the CPA before transfer to a recipient (surrogate) female. Embryos cryopreserved in EG, however, may be directly transferred to the uterus of a recipient.

  19. Preimplantation development of embryos in women of advanced maternal age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. V. Chaplia


    Full Text Available In order to reveal the influence of genetic component on the early embryo development, the retrospective study of morphokinetic characteristics of 717 embryos subjected to preimplantation genetic testing was conducted. Blastomere biopsy for FISH-based preimplantation genetic screening of 7 chromosomes was performed on the third day of culture, while embryo developmental potential and morphological features at the cleavage and blastulation stage were studied regarding maternal age particularly in the group of younger women and patients older than 36. Results of genetic testing revealed that euploid embryos rate gradually decreased with maternal age comprising 39.9% in young women group and 25.3% of specimen belonging to elder patients. At the cleavage stage, morphological characteristics of aneuploid and euploid embryos didn’t differ significantly regardless of the age of patients that could be accounted for the transcriptional silence of embryo genome till the third day of its development. However, in case of prolonged culture chromosomally balanced embryos rarely faced developmental arrest (in 7.9% and formed blastocysts half more frequently compared to aberrant embryos (respectively 75.6 versus 49.8%. Nevertheless, no substantial difference was found between blastocyst formation rate among embryos with similar genetic component regardless of the maternal age. Taking into consideration high rate of chromosomally unbalanced embryos specific to patients of advanced maternal age, the relative proportion of aneuplouid blastocysts was significantly higher in this group of embryos. Thus, without genetic screening there is a possibility of inaccurate selection of embryos for women of advanced reproductive age for transfer procedure even in case of prolonged culture. Consequently, increase of aneuploid embryos frequency associated with permanent preimplantation natural selection effectiveness along with the postimplantation natural selection failure

  20. Neurotransmitter signaling pathways required for normal development in Xenopus laevis embryos: a pharmacological survey screen. (United States)

    Sullivan, Kelly G; Levin, Michael


    Neurotransmitters are not only involved in brain function but are also important signaling molecules for many diverse cell types. Neurotransmitters are widely conserved, from evolutionarily ancient organisms lacking nervous systems through man. Here, results are reported from a loss- and gain-of-function survey, using pharmacological modulators of several neurotransmitter pathways to examine possible roles for these pathways in normal embryogenesis. Applying reagents targeting the glutamatergic, adrenergic and dopaminergic pathways to embryos of Xenopus laevis from gastrulation to organogenesis stages, we observed and quantified numerous malformations, including craniofacial defects, hyperpigmentation, muscle mispatterning and miscoiling of the gut. These data implicate several key neurotransmitters in new embryonic patterning roles, reveal novel earlier stages for processes involved in eye development, suggest new targets for subsequent molecular-genetic investigation, and highlight the necessity for in-depth toxicology studies of psychoactive compounds to which human embryos might be exposed during pregnancy. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  1. Hidden loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kieffer-Kristensen, Rikke; Johansen, Karen Lise Gaardsvig


    to participate. RESULTS: All children were affected by their parents' ABI and the altered family situation. The children's expressions led the authors to identify six themes, including fear of losing the parent, distress and estrangement, chores and responsibilities, hidden loss, coping and support. The main......PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to listen to and learn from children showing high levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms after parental acquired brain injury (ABI), in order to achieve an in-depth understanding of the difficulties the children face in their everyday lives...... finding indicates that the children experienced numerous losses, many of which were often suppressed or neglected by the children to protect the ill parents. CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicated that the children seemed to make a special effort to hide their feelings of loss and grief in order to protect...

  2. Embryo quality and impact of specific embryo characteristics on ongoing implantation in unselected embryos derived from modified natural cycle in vitro fertilization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pelinck, Marie-Jose; Hoek, Annemieke; Simons, Arnold H. M.; Heineman, Maas Jan; van Echten-Arends, Janny; Arts, Eus G. J. M.

    Objective: To study the implantation potential of unselected embryos derived from modified natural cycle IVF according to their morphological characteristics. Design: Cohort study. Setting: Academic department of reproductive medicine. Patient(S): A series of 449 single embryo transfers derived from

  3. Why get big in the cold? Size-fecundity relationships explain the temperature-size rule in a pulmonate snail (Physa). (United States)

    Arendt, J


    Most ectotherms follow a pattern of size plasticity known as the temperature-size rule where individuals reared in cold environments are larger at maturation than those reared in warm environments. This pattern seems maladaptive because growth is slower in the cold so it takes longer to reach a large size. However, it may be adaptive if reaching a large size has a greater benefit in a cold than in a warm environment such as when size-dependent mortality or size-dependent fecundity depends on temperature. I present a theoretical model showing how a correlation between temperature and the size-fecundity relationship affects optimal size at maturation. I parameterize the model using data from a freshwater pulmonate snail from the genus Physa. Nine families were reared from hatching in one of three temperature regimes (daytime temperature of 22, 25 or 28 °C, night-time temperature of 22 °C, under a 12L:12D light cycle). Eight of the nine families followed the temperature-size rule indicating genetic variation for this plasticity. As predicted, the size-fecundity relationship depended upon temperature; fecundity increases steeply with size in the coldest treatment, less steeply in the intermediate treatment, and shows no relationship with size in the warmest treatment. Thus, following the temperature-size rule is adaptive for this species. Although rarely measured under multiple conditions, size-fecundity relationships seem to be sensitive to a number of environmental conditions in addition to temperature including local productivity, competition and predation. If this form of plasticity is as widespread as it appears to be, this model shows that such plasticity has the potential to greatly modify current life-history theory. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Reducing the impact of pesticides on biological control in Australian vineyards: pesticide mortality and fecundity effects on an indicator species, the predatory mite Euseius victoriensis (Acari: Phytoseiidae). (United States)

    Bernard, Martina B; Cole, Peter; Kobelt, Amanda; Horne, Paul A; Altmann, James; Wratten, Stephen D; Yen, Alan L


    Laboratory bioassays on detached soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., leaves were used to test 23 fungicides, five insecticides, two acaricides, one herbicide, and two adjuvants on a key Australian predatory mite species Euseius victoriensis (Womersley) in "worst-case scenario" direct overspray assays. Zero- to 48-h-old juveniles, their initial food, and water supply were sprayed to runoff with a Potter tower; spinosad and wettable sulfur residues also were tested. Tests were standardized to deliver a pesticide dose comparable with commercial application of highest label rates at 1,000 liter/ha. Cumulative mortality was assessed 48 h, 4 d, and 7 d after spraying. Fecundity was assessed for 7 d from start of oviposition. No significant mortality or fecundity effects were detected for the following compounds at single-use application at 1,000 liter/ha: azoxystrobin, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) subsp. kurstaki, captan, chlorothalonil, copper hydroxide, fenarimol, glyphosate, hexaconazole, indoxacarb, metalaxyl/copper hydroxide, myclobutanil, nonyl phenol ethylene oxide, phosphorous acid, potassium bicarbonate, pyraclostrobin, quinoxyfen, spiroxamine, synthetic latex, tebufenozide, triadimenol, and trifloxystrobin. Iprodione and penconazole had some detrimental effect on fecundity. Canola oil as acaricide (2 liter/100 liter) and wettable sulfur (200 g/100 liter) had some detrimental effect on survival and fecundity and cyprodinil/fludioxonil on survivor. The following compounds were highly toxic (high 48-h mortality): benomyl, carbendazim, emamectin benzoate, mancozeb, spinosad (direct overspray and residue), wettable sulfur (> or = 400 g/100 liter), and pyrimethanil; pyrimethanil had no significant effect on fecundity of surviving females. Indoxacarb safety to E. victoriensis contrasts with its toxicity to key parasitoids and chrysopid predators. Potential impact of findings is discussed.

  5. Vitellogenin family gene expression does not increase Drosophila lifespan or fecundity [v1; ref status: indexed,

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingxue Ren


    Full Text Available One of the most striking patterns in comparative biology is the negative correlation between lifespan and fecundity observed in comparisons among species. This pattern is consistent with the idea that organisms need to allocate a fixed energy budget among competing demands of growth, development, reproduction and somatic maintenance. However, exceptions to this pattern have been observed in many social insects, including ants, bees, and termites.  In honey bees (Apis mellifera, Vitellogenin (Vg, a yolk protein precursor, has been implicated in mediating the long lifespan and high fecundity of queen bees. To determine if Vg-like proteins can regulate lifespan in insects generally, we examined the effects of expression of Apis Vg and Drosophila CG31150 (a Vg-like gene recently identified as cv-d on Drosophila melanogaster lifespan and fecundity using the RU486-inducible GeneSwitch system. For all genotypes tested, overexpression of Vg and CG31150 decreased Drosophila lifespan and did not affect total or age-specific fecundity. We also detected an apparent effect of the GeneSwitch system itself, wherein RU486 exposure (or the GAL4 expression it induces led to a significant increase in longevity and decrease in fecundity in our fly strains. This result is consistent with the pattern reported in a recent meta-analysis of Drosophila aging studies, where transgenic constructs of the UAS/GAL4 expression system that should have no effect (e.g. an uninduced GeneSwitch significantly extended lifespan in some genetic backgrounds. Our results suggest that Vg-family genes are not major regulators of Drosophila life history traits, and highlight the importance of using appropriate controls in aging studies.

  6. Efficiency of assisted hatching of the cryopreserved–melted embryos

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    V. A. Pitko


    Full Text Available Purpose. To measure outcomes of clinical research of efficiency of assisted hatching of cryopreserved embryos. Materials and methods. Patients who had un successful cycles IVF/ICSI with transfer of fresh embryos have been selected for participation in the research between 2014 and 2016 years. Patients were distributed in a random way for participation in the experiment and control groups. Results of embryos transfer of one or two cryopreserved and melted embryos were considered only. Embryos were cryopreserved at a stage of blastocyst, 5 days after extraction of oocytes by method of vitrification. Melting procedure was conducted in the morning of a day of embryos transfer following the instructions of the vitrification medium producer Cryotech (Japan. Assisted hatching was conducted with use of micropipettes of Holding Pipette Cook Medical (Australia and Assisted Hatching/Zona Drilling Pipette Cook Medical (Australia. The treated embryos were cultivated up to a repeated estimation of morphology of embryos before transfer. Transfer of embryos has been conducted by a standard method with the use of catheter for non-invasive transfer of embryo Sydney IVF Cook Medical (Australia. The quantity of the transferred embryos varied from one to two. Results. 100 cryopreserved embryos were transferred which have been distributed in a random way either to the group with the assisted hatching or to the control group (without assisted hatching. A number of parameters of patients from both groups was analyzed, i.e. age of the patient at the time of melting of embryos, duration of infertility, causes of infertility, quantity of previous unsuccessful cycles IVF/ICSI. Any essential differences between patients within two groups based on the aforementioned parameters were not revealed. Also, there were no essential differences in number of the melted embryos, survival rate of embryos, quantity of the embryos transferred to patients. However, at the same time

  7. Can Chlamydia abortus be transmitted by embryo transfer in goats? (United States)

    Oseikria, M; Pellerin, J L; Rodolakis, A; Vorimore, F; Laroucau, K; Bruyas, J F; Roux, C; Michaud, S; Larrat, M; Fieni, F


    The objectives of this study were to determine (i) whether Chlamydia abortus would adhere to or penetrate the intact zona pellucida (ZP-intact) of early in vivo-derived caprine embryos, after in vitro infection; and (ii) the efficacy of the International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS) washing protocol for bovine embryos. Fifty-two ZP-intact embryos (8-16 cells), obtained from 14 donors were used in this experiment. The embryos were randomly divided into 12 batches. Nine batches (ZP-intact) of five embryos were incubated in a medium containing 4 × 10(7)Chlamydia/mL of AB7 strain. After incubation for 18 hours at 37 °C in an atmosphere of 5% CO2, the embryos were washed in batches in 10 successive baths of a phosphate buffer saline and 5% fetal calf serum solution in accordance with IETS guidelines. In parallel, three batches of ZP-intact embryos were used as controls by being subjected to similar procedures but without exposure to C. abortus. The 10 wash baths were collected separately and centrifuged for 1 hour at 13,000 × g. The washed embryos and the pellets of the 10 centrifuged wash baths were frozen at -20 °C before examination for evidence of C. abortus using polymerase chain reaction. C. abortus DNA was found in all of the infected batches of ZP-intact embryos (9/9) after 10 successive washes. It was also detected in the 10th wash fluid for seven batches of embryos, whereas for the two other batches, the last positive wash bath was the eighth and the ninth, respectively. In contrast, none of the embryos or their washing fluids in the control batches were DNA positive. These results report that C. abortus adheres to and/or penetrates the ZP of in vivo caprine embryos after in vitro infection, and that the standard washing protocol recommended by the IETS for bovine embryos, failed to remove it. The persistence of these bacteria after washing makes the embryo a potential means of transmission of the bacterium during embryo transfer from

  8. In vitro culture of individual mouse preimplantation embryos: the role of embryo density, microwells, oxygen, timing and conditioned media. (United States)

    Kelley, Rebecca L; Gardner, David K


    Single embryo culture is suboptimal compared with group culture, but necessary for embryo monitoring, and culture systems should be improved for single embryos. Pronucleate mouse embryos were used to assess the effect of culture conditions on single embryo development. Single culture either before or after compaction reduced cell numbers (112.2 ± 3.1; 110.2 ± 3.5) compared with group culture throughout (127.0 ± 3.4; P media volume from 20 µl to 2 µl increased blastocyst cell numbers in single embryos cultured in 5% oxygen (84.4 ± 3.2 versus 97.8 ± 2.8; P Culture in microwell plates for the EmbryoScope and Primo Vision time-lapse systems changed cleavage timings and increased inner cell mass cell number (24.1 ± 1.0; 23.4 ± 1.2) compared with a 2 µl microdrop (18.4 ± 1.0; P media to single embryos increased hatching rate and blastocyst cell number (91.5 ± 4.7 versus 113.1 ± 4.4; P culture before or after compaction is therefore detrimental; oxygen, media volume and microwells influence single embryo development; and embryo-conditioned media may substitute for group culture. Copyright © 2017 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Effects of embryo-derived exosomes on the development of bovine cloned embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pengxiang Qu

    Full Text Available The developmental competence of in vitro cultured (IVC embryos is markedly lower than that of their in vivo counterparts, suggesting the need for optimization of IVC protocols. Embryo culture medium is routinely replaced three days after initial culture in bovine, however, whether this protocol is superior to continuous nonrenewal culture method under current conditions remains unclear. Using bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT embryos as the model, our results showed that compared with routine renewal treatment, nonrenewal culture system significantly improved blastocyst formation, blastocyst quality (increased total cell number, decreased stress and apoptosis, enhanced Oct-4 expression and ratio of ICM/TE, as well as following development to term. Existence and function of SCNT embryo-derived exosomes were then investigated to reveal the cause of impaired development induced by culture medium replacement. Exosomes were successfully isolated through differential centrifugation and identified by both electron microscopy and immunostaining against exosomal membrane marker CD9. Supplementation of extracted exosomes into freshly renewed medium significantly rescued not only blastocyst formation and quality (in vitro development, but also following growth to term (in vivo development. Notably, ratio of ICM/TE and calving rate were enhanced to a similar level as that in nonrenewal group. In conclusion, our results for the first time indicate that 1: bovine SCNT embryos can secrete exosomes into chemically defined culture medium during IVC; 2: secreted exosomes are essential for SCNT blastocyst formation, blastocyst quality, and following development to term; 3: removal of exosomes induced by culture medium replacement impairs SCNT embryo development, which can be avoided by nonrenewal culture procedure or markedly recovered by exosome supplementation.

  10. [Single embryo transfer: is Scandinavian model valuable in France?]. (United States)

    Belaisch-Allart, J; Mayenga, J-M; Grefenstette, I; Chouraqui, A; Serkine, A-M; Abirached, F; Kulski, O


    The aim of infertility treatment is clearly to obtain one healthy baby. If the transfer of a top quality single embryo could provide a baby to all the patients, there would be no more discussion. The problem is that, nowadays, French pregnancy rates after fresh embryo or frozen embryo transfer are not the same as in Nordic countries. All studies show that in unselected patients, single embryo transfer decreases twin pregnancy rate but decreases pregnancy rate too. Pregnancy rate is dependent on embryo quality, women's age, rank of IVF attempt (clear data) but also on body mass index, ovarian reserve, smoking habits. All these data cannot be taken into account in a law. That is the reason why a flexible policy of transfer adapted to each couple is preferable. Each couple and each IVF team are unique and must keep the freedom to choose how many embryos must be transferred to obtain healthy babies, and to avoid twin pregnancies but without demonizing them.

  11. Digital microfluidic processing of mammalian embryos for vitrification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek G Pyne

    Full Text Available Cryopreservation is a key technology in biology and clinical practice. This paper presents a digital microfluidic device that automates sample preparation for mammalian embryo vitrification. Individual micro droplets manipulated on the microfluidic device were used as micro-vessels to transport a single mouse embryo through a complete vitrification procedure. Advantages of this approach, compared to manual operation and channel-based microfluidic vitrification, include automated operation, cryoprotectant concentration gradient generation, and feasibility of loading and retrieval of embryos.

  12. Effects of gamma radiation on development, sterility, fecundity, and sex ratio of Dermanyssus gallinae (DeGeer) (Acari: Dermanyssidae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Entrekin, D.L.; Oliver, J.H. Jr.; Pound, J.M.


    Protonymphal Dermanyssus gallinae were irradiated with 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, 3.0, and 6.0 krad of gamma radiation and subsequently monitored regarding their developmental, feeding, and mating success. Also, sex ratios of adults treated as protonymphs were recorded as were sex ratios of embryos and F1 adults produced by these adults. Doses up to 1.0 krad did not prevent development of treated protonymphs to the adult stage or stop mating. Three krad reduced the number of treated protonymphs attaining adulthood and 6.0-krad treatment prevented all mites from developing to the adult stage. Egg (embryo) production was normal for mites treated with 0.50 krad, but significantly curtailed by doses of 0.75 krad and greater. Radiation doses used in this study did not appear to affect the normal variable sex ratios observed in untreated mites

  13. Selection of Norway spruce somatic embryos by computer vision (United States)

    Hamalainen, Jari J.; Jokinen, Kari J.


    A computer vision system was developed for the classification of plant somatic embryos. The embryos are in a Petri dish that is transferred with constant speed and they are recognized as they pass a line scan camera. A classification algorithm needs to be installed for every plant species. This paper describes an algorithm for the recognition of Norway spruce (Picea abies) embryos. A short review of conifer micropropagation by somatic embryogenesis is also given. The recognition algorithm is based on features calculated from the boundary of the object. Only part of the boundary corresponding to the developing cotyledons (2 - 15) and the straight sides of the embryo are used for recognition. An index of the length of the cotyledons describes the developmental stage of the embryo. The testing set for classifier performance consisted of 118 embryos and 478 nonembryos. With the classification tolerances chosen 69% of the objects classified as embryos by a human classifier were selected and 31$% rejected. Less than 1% of the nonembryos were classified as embryos. The basic features developed can probably be easily adapted for the recognition of other conifer somatic embryos.

  14. The impact of preimplantation genetic diagnosis on human embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    García-Ferreyra J.


    Full Text Available Chromosome abnormalities are extremely common in human oocytes and embryos and are associated with a variety of negative outcomes for both natural cycles and those using assisted reproduction techniques. Aneuploidies embryos may fail to implant in the uterus, miscarry, or lead to children with serious medical problems (e.g., Down syndrome. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD is a technique that allows the detection of aneuploidy in embryos and seeks to improve the clinical outcomes od assisted reproduction treatments, by ensuring that the embryos chosen for the transfer are chromosomally normal.

  15. Air bubble migration is a random event post embryo transfer. (United States)

    Confino, E; Zhang, J; Risquez, F


    Air bubble location following embryo transfer (ET) is the presumable placement spot of embryos. The purpose of this study was to document endometrial air bubble position and migration following embryo transfer. Multicenter prospective case study. Eighty-eight embryo transfers were performed under abdominal ultrasound guidance in two countries by two authors. A single or double air bubble was loaded with the embryos using a soft, coaxial, end opened catheters. The embryos were slowly injected 10-20 mm from the fundus. Air bubble position was recorded immediately, 30 minutes later and when the patient stood up. Bubble marker location analysis revealed a random distribution without visible gravity effect when the patients stood up. The bubble markers demonstrated splitting, moving in all directions and dispersion. Air bubbles move and split frequently post ET with the patient in the horizontal position, suggestive of active uterine contractions. Bubble migration analysis supports a rather random movement of the bubbles and possibly the embryos. Standing up changed somewhat bubble configuration and distribution in the uterine cavity. Gravity related bubble motion was uncommon, suggesting that horizontal rest post ET may not be necessary. This report challenges the common belief that a very accurate ultrasound guided embryo placement is mandatory. The very random bubble movement observed in this two-center study suggests that a large "window" of embryo placement maybe present.

  16. Ultrastructural studies of Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818) embryo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kikuchi, O.K.; Okazaki, K.; Kawano, T.; Ribeiro, A.A.G.F.C.


    Ultrastructural studies of Biomphalaria glabrata embryos (MOllusca: Gastropoda), and important snail vector of schistosomiasis has not been explored. In the present work it was evaluated a suitable electron microscopical technique for embryos processing. Promising results was obtained with double fixation in 1% glutaraldehyde plus 1% osmium tetroxide in 0.05 M cacodylate buffer (pH 7.4), preliminary staining overnight in 1% uranyl acetate and embedding in EPON or Polylite under vacuum. It was used embryos at young trochophore stage wich is characterized by active organogenesis. Some ultrastructural aspects of B. glabrata embryos cells are presented. (author) [pt

  17. Elective single-embryo transfer: persuasive communication strategies can affect choice in a young British population. (United States)

    van den Akker, O B A; Purewal, S


    This study tested the effectiveness of the framing effect and fear appeals to inform young people about the risks of multiple births and the option of selecting elective single-embryo transfer (eSET). A non-patient student sample (age (mean±SD) 23±5.5 years; n=321) were randomly allocated to one of seven groups: (1) framing effect: (1a) gain and (1b) loss frame; (2) fear appeal: (2a) high, (2b) medium and (2c) low fear; or (3) a control group: (3a) education and (3b) non-education. The primary outcome measure was the Attitudes towards Single Embryo Transfer questionnaire, before exposure to the messages (time 1) and immediately afterwards (time 2). Results revealed participants in the high fear, medium fear and gain condition demonstrated the most positive and significant differences (Pframe and education and non-education messages. The results demonstrate that the use of complex persuasive communication techniques on a student population to promote immediate and hypothetical eSET preferences is more successful at promoting eSET than merely reporting educational content. Future research should investigate its application in a clinical population. A multiple pregnancy is a health risk to both infant and mother following IVF treatment. The aims of this study were to test the effectiveness of two persuasive communication techniques (the framing effect and fear appeals) to inform young people about the risks of multiple births and the hypothetical option of selecting elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) (i.e., only one embryo is transferred to the uterus using IVF treatment). A total of 321 non-patient student sample (mean age 23) were randomly allocated to read a message from one of seven groups: (1) framing effect: (1a) gain and (1b) loss frame; (2) fear appeal: (2a) high, (2b) medium and (2c) low fear; or (3) a control group: education (3a) and (3b) non-education. Participants completed the Attitudes towards Single Embryo Transfer questionnaire, before exposure

  18. Symposium: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Held in Beaune, France on 28-30 May 1990. (United States)


    animals were allowed to survive varying embryos . lie found that regenerated organs amounts of th,ie ranging from t day to 32 were numerically similar... embryo persist into adulthood or also produces complete loss of hair cells in any emerge from the damaged epithelium. part of the cochlea. Althotgh the...indices visucis destinis A influencer Iaprocessing computers designe’d for hearing- silection de Ia bande di6coute en activant Iaimpaired persona

  19. Embryo sac formation and early embryo development in Agave tequilana (Asparagaceae). (United States)

    González-Gutiérrez, Alejandra G; Gutiérrez-Mora, Antonia; Rodríguez-Garay, Benjamín


    Agave tequilana is an angiosperm species that belongs to the family Asparagaceae (formerly Agavaceae). Even though there is information regarding to some aspects related to the megagametogenesis of A. tequilana, this is the first report describing the complete process of megasporogenesis, megagametogenesis, the early embryo and endosperm development process in detail. The objective of this work was to study and characterize all the above processes and the distinctive morphological changes of the micropylar and chalazal extremes after fertilization in this species. The agave plant material for the present study was collected from commercial plantations in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Ovules and immature seeds, previously fixed in FAA and kept in ethanol 70%, were stained based on a tissue clarification technique by using a Mayer's-Hematoxylin solution. The tissue clarification technique was successfully used for the characterization of the megasporogenesis, megagametogenesis, mature embryo sac formation, the early embryo and endosperm development processes by studying intact cells. The embryo sac of A. tequilana was confirmed to be of the monosporic Polygonum-type and an helobial endosperm formation. Also, the time-lapse of the developmental processes studied was recorded.

  20. Association between coffee or caffeine consumption and fecundity and fertility: a systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis

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    Lyngsø J


    fertility as measured by fecundability odds ratio (based on three studies or waiting TTP (based on two studies. Conclusion: Results from this meta-analysis support the growing evidence of an association between coffee/caffeine intake and the risk of SAB. However, viewing the reproductive capacity in a broader perspective, there seems to be little, if any, association between coffee/caffeine consumption and fecundity. In general, results from this study are supportive of a precautionary principle advised by health organizations such as European Food Safety Authority (EFSA and World Health Organization (WHO, although the advised limit of a maximum of two to three cups of coffee/200–300 mg caffeine per day may be too high. Keywords: coffee, caffeine, fecundity, fertility, spontaneous abortion, assisted reproduction

  1. Diseases of amphibian eggs and embryos (United States)

    Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.; Majumdar, S.K.; Huffman, J.E.; Brenner, F.J.; Panah, A.I.


    Amphibians generally are prolific egg producers. In tropical and semi-tropical regions, deposition of eggs may occur year-round or may coincide with rainy seasons, while in temperate regions, deposition of eggs usually occurs immediately after emergence from hibernation. Numbers of eggs produced by each species may vary from a few dozen to thousands. Accordingly, some eggs may be infertile and wastage of embryos is to be expected. Fertility, viability and decomposition of eggs and embryos must be considered before it is assumed that diseases are present. An important consideration in the evaluation of egg masses is the fact that some will contain infertile and non-viable eggs. These infertile and nonviable eggs will undergo decomposition and they may appear similar to eggs that are infected by a pathogen. Evaluation of egg masses and embryos for the presence of disease may require repeated observations in a given breeding season as well as continued monitoring of egg masses during their growth and development and over successive breeding seasons. Amphibian eggs rarely are subjected to a comprehensive health (diagnostic) examination; hence, there is scant literature on the diseases of this life stage. Indeed, the eggs of some North American amphibians have yet to be described. Much basic physiology and normal biomedical baseline data on amphibian eggs is lacking. For example, it is known that the aquatic eggs of some species of shrimp quickly are coated by a protective and commensal bacterium that effectively impedes invasion of the eggs by other environmental organisms and potential pathogens. In the absence of this bacterium, shrimp eggs are rapidly killed by other bacteria and fungi (Green, 2001). The possibility that amphibian eggs also have important symbiotic or commensal bacteria needs to be investigated. Furthermore, the quantity and types of chemicals in the normal gelatinous capsules of amphibian eggs have scarcely been examined. Abnormalities of the

  2. The legal status of in vitro embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samardžić Sandra


    Full Text Available Our science has advanced greatly and continues to do so. While being witnesses to this phenomenon, we are not yet ready to fully accept all of its results which can lead to the improvements of our biological structure, or our lives, in other words. There is a wide range of objections aimed at preventing any tests on embryos, deeming such actions as immoral, discriminatory or contrary to nature. However, the question is whether we are actually able to prevent such actions, to prevent obtaining further information that can assist in improving human life, i.e. to prevent future parents from providing the best future possible for their children?.

  3. Effect of culture medium volume and embryo density on early mouse embryonic development: tracking the development of the individual embryo. (United States)

    Dai, Shan-Jun; Xu, Chang-Long; Wang, Jeffrey; Sun, Ying-Pu; Chian, Ri-Cheng


    To determine the optimal volume or density of embryos for the well-of-the-well (WOW) system in order to track the development of individual embryos and to determine whether the WOW system can reverse the negative impact of culturing embryos singly. (1) Mouse embryos (groups of nine at the 2-cell stage) were cultured in 6.25 μl, 12.50 μl, 25.00 μl and 50.00 μl of droplets of culture medium under paraffin oil; (2) Groups of three, six, nine and twelve embryos at the 2-cell stage were cultured in 50 μl of droplet of culture medium under paraffin oil; (3) Groups of nine embryos at the 2-cell stage were cultured in 50 μl of droplet under paraffin oil with or without nine micro-wells made on the bottom of the Petri dish into each of which were placed one of the nine embryos (WOW system). Also single 2-cell stage embryos was cultured individually in 5.5 μl of droplet of culture medium under paraffin oil with or without a single micro-well made on the bottom of the Petri dish (WOW system for single culture). At the end of culture, the percentages of blastocyst development, hatching and hatched blastocysts were compared in each group. The blastocysts were fixed for differential staining. The blastocyst development was significantly higher (P WOW system. The blastocyst development was not improved when single embryo cultured individually in a micro-well was compared to single embryo cultured individually without micro-well. The total cell numbers of blastocysts were significantly higher in group embryo culture than single embryo culture regardless of whether the WOW system was used. In addition, the total cell numbers of blastocysts were significantly higher (P WOW system than without. Group embryo culture is superior to single embryo culture for blastocyst development. The WOW system with 50 μl of droplet of culture medium can be used to track the individual development of embryo cultured in groups while preserving good embryonic development. The reduced

  4. Smoking reduces fecundity: a European multicenter study on infertility and subfecundity. The European Study Group on Infertility and Subfecundity. (United States)

    Bolumar, F; Olsen, J; Boldsen, J


    Several studies published within the past 10 years indicate that smoking reduces fecundity, but not all studies have found this effect, and smoking cessation is not used routinely in infertility treatment in Europe. The present study was designed to examine male and female smoking at the start of a couple's waiting time to a planned pregnancy. Two types of samples were used: population-based samples of women aged 25-44 years who were randomly selected in different countries from census registers and electoral rolls, in which the unit of analysis was the couple; and pregnancy-based samples of pregnant women (at least 20 weeks' pregnant) who were consecutively recruited during prenatal care visits, in which the unit of analysis was a pregnancy. More than 4,000 couples were included in each sample, and 10 different regions in Europe took part in data collection. The data were collected between August 1991 and February 1993 by personal interview in all population-based samples and in all but three regions of the pregnancy sample, where self-administered questionnaires were used. The results based on the population sample showed a remarkably coherent association between female smoking and subfecundity in each individual country and in all countries together, both with the first pregnancy (odds ratio (OR) = 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-2.1, at the upper level of exposure) and during the most recent waiting time to pregnancy (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.3-2.1). Results based on the pregnancy sample were similar (OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.3-2.3). No significant association was found with male smoking (in the population sample, OR = 0.9, 95% CI 0.7-1.1 (first pregnancy) and OR = 1.0, 95% CI 0.9-1.3 (most recent waiting time); in the pregnancy sample, OR = 0.9, 95% CI 0.7-1.1). The fecundity distribution among smokers appeared to be shifted toward longer waiting times without a change in the shape of the distribution. Women who have difficulty conceiving should try to stop smoking

  5. The fecundity of porcine semen stored for 2 to 6 days in Androhep and X-CELL extenders. (United States)

    Kuster, C E; Althouse, G C


    Extending the raw ejaculate prior to artificial insemination (AI) is beneficial, in part, due to the increased number of females that are bred from an ejaculate, along with prolonged shelf life of the semen. The objective of this study was to examine the affects of storage time on the fecundity of porcine semen diluted in 2 semen extenders, Androhep and X-CELL. A completely randomized design with a factorial arrangement of treatments was utilized in which 429 high quality, gel-free ejaculates from 48 boars were used in a timed, double insemination of 1,431 first-service gilts. The gilts were divided into groups and inseminated with semen stored in Androhep or X-CELL for 2 to 3 d, 3 to 4 d, 4 to 5 d, or 5 to 6 d prior to use (day of collection = Day 0). Sperm age was identical, and both extenders were used concurrently each day of the trial. Farrowing rate and litter size data were recorded. Farrowing rates did not differ between extenders through Days 4 to 5 of storage. Gilts inseminated with Androhep diluted stored semen showed a decrease (P semen extended in X-CELL stored for 5 to 6 d. Mean litter sizes did not differ between extenders through Days 2 to 3 of storage. Compared with the X-CELL extended semen, gilts inseminated with Androhep extended semen produced smaller litters when semen was stored for 4 to 5 d (P semen was stored for 3 to 4 and 4 to 5 d. No differences were detected in litter size or farrowing rate for gilts bred with semen stored for 2 to 6 d in the X-CELL extender (P > 0.1). The results of this study indicate that extender type influences the fertility potential of fresh porcine semen stored for 2 to 6 d. For optimal fecundity in gilts, semen extended with Androhep extender should be used for AI within 3 d. The X-CELL extended semen can be used for up to 6 d without significant decrease in litter size or farrowing rate. These recommendations are dependent upon using high quality semen that is properly handled from collection through

  6. Radioactive marking of proteins in cultured mouse embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowak, J.


    The purpose of this work was to build an in vitro test system, with which on the one hand postimplantation embryos of the mouse could be cultured without morphological of physiological damage and on the other hand their protein could be as highly marked as possible. With this radioactively marked proteins were to be won, which are optimally suited for a high separation by two-dimensional electrophoresis. In addition incubation and preparation methods were found for the ages of day 10, 11 and 12 of the embryonic development. With the use of 3 H-marked amino acids in the culture medium it was determined that embryos without embryonic membranes, so-called N-embryos, built in more radioactivity into their proteins than the embryos with embryonic membranes, the so-called DAO-embryos or the DO-embryos. On the contrary, the embryos with intact blood circulation (DO-embryos) showed an even distribution of radioactive marker in their bodies. Since an even distribution of the marker in the embryo is a necessary prerequisite for a representative presentation of the proteins by 2DE, the DO-preparation was considered the best suited method. In order to increase the amount of radioactivity incorporated into the proteins of the DO-embryos, the concentration of the used isotope or the incubation length could be increased. A combination of both proved to be the best method. A 14 C-marked amino acid mixture of 20 μCi/corresponds to 20 μl instead of the usual 150 μCi 3 H-marked amino acids in a culture medium proved to be equally suitable. Notable changes which would have indicated a damaging affect of the used radioactivity or the in vitro culturing were not observed. The achieved methodical conditions were used for the presentation of the embryo proteins by two-dimensional electrophoresis and fluorography. (orig./MG) [de

  7. Precocious germination and its regulation in embryos of triticale caryopses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanisław Weidner


    Full Text Available Triticale var. Lasko embryos, isolated from grain gathered at milk ripeness, the beginning of wax ripeness and at full ripeness, were allowed to germinate for 48 h on agar with glucose. The highest incorporation of tritiated adenosine into polyribosomal RNA during germination was found in the ribosome fractions from embryos of grain gathered at full ripeness, lower incorporation was in preparations from embryos of milk ripe grain and the lowest in preparations from embryos of wax ripe grain. Different tendencies were observed in respect to the synthesis of ribosomal proteins. The highest incorporation of 14C-amino acids into ribosomal proteins was found in preparations of ribosome fractions from embryos of milk ripe grain, lower in preparations of embryos from fully ripe grain, the lowest in preparations of embryos from wax ripe grain. ABA (10-4 M completely inhibited the external symptoms of germination of immature embryos, while its inhibition of the synthesis of polyribosomal RNA and ribosomal proteins was greater the more mature the embryos that were germinated. The greatest stimulation of precocious germination by exogenous BA and GA3 was demonstrated in the least mature embryos isolated from milk ripe grain. Under the influence of both stimulators, an increase of the proportion of polyribosomes in the total ribosome fraction occurred in this sample, as did a rise in the intensity of ribosomal protein synthesis. The incorporation of 3H-adenosine into polyribosomal RNA, however, was lower than in the control sample. The results obtained suggest that the regulation of precocious germination of triticale embryos by phyto-hormones is not directly related to transcription.

  8. Culture of bovine embryos on a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microwell plate. (United States)

    Akagi, Satoshi; Hosoe, Misa; Matsukawa, Kazutsugu; Ichikawa, Akihiko; Tanikawa, Tamio; Takahashi, Seiya


    We fabricated a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based microwell plate (PDMS-MP) containing 100 microwells with a rounded bottom and examined whether it can be used for culture of individual in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos or parthenogenetically activated zona-free embryos in cattle. In Experiment 1, we examined the in vitro developmental ability of IVF embryos cultured individually on PDMS-MP. After IVF, 20 embryos were transferred into 100 microl drops on PDMS-MP and cultured individually in each well of PDMS-MP (PDMS group). After 7 days of culture, the embryos in the PDMS group developed to the blastocyst stage at the same rate of those in the control group cultured in a group of 20 embryos without PDMS-MP. There were no differences in total number of cells and the ratio of inner cell mass to total cells between the PDMS and control groups. In Experiment 2, we examined the in vitro developmental ability of parthenogenetically activated zona-free bovine embryos cultured individually on PDMS-MP. The zona-free embryos were cultured individually in each well of a PDMS-MP or in each well produced by pressing a darning needle onto the bottom of a culture dish (WOW group). After 7 days of culture, the blastocyst formation rate and cell number of blastocysts in the PDMS group did not differ from those of the zona-intact embryos in the control group. Also, there were no differences in the blastocyst formation rate and cell number of blastocysts between the WOW and PDMS groups. These results suggest that the culture system using PDMS-MP is useful for individual embryos or zona-free embryos in cattle.

  9. Embryo selection: the role of time-lapse monitoring. (United States)

    Kovacs, Peter


    In vitro fertilization has been available for over 3 decades. Its use is becoming more widespread worldwide, and in the developed world, up to 5% of children have been born following IVF. It is estimated that over 5 million children have been conceived in vitro. In addition to giving hope to infertile couples to have their own family, in vitro fertilization has also introduced risks as well. The risk of multiple gestation and the associated maternal and neonatal morbidity/mortality has increased significantly over the past few decades. While stricter transfer policies have eliminated the majority of the high-order multiples, these changes have not yet had much of an impact on the incidence of twins. A twin pregnancy can be avoided by the transfer of a single embryo only. However, the traditionally used method of morphologic embryo selection is not predictive enough to allow routine single embryo transfer; therefore, new screening tools are needed. Time-lapse embryo monitoring allows continuous, non-invasive embryo observation without the need to remove the embryo from optimal culturing conditions. The extra information on the cleavage pattern, morphologic changes and embryo development dynamics could help us identify embryos with a higher implantation potential. These technologic improvements enable us to objectively select the embryo(s) for transfer based on certain algorithms. In the past 5-6 years, numerous studies have been published that confirmed the safety of time-lapse technology. In addition, various markers have already been identified that are associated with the minimal likelihood of implantation and others that are predictive of blastocyst development, implantation potential, genetic health and pregnancy. Various groups have proposed different algorithms for embryo selection based on mostly retrospective data analysis. However, large prospective trials are needed to study the full benefit of these (and potentially new) algorithms before their

  10. Sex and PRNP genotype determination in preimplantation caprine embryos. (United States)

    Guignot, F; Perreau, C; Cavarroc, C; Touzé, J-L; Pougnard, J-L; Dupont, F; Beckers, J-F; Rémy, B; Babilliot, J-M; Bed'Hom, B; Lamorinière, J M; Mermillod, P; Baril, G


    The objective of this study was to test the accuracy of genotype diagnosis after whole amplification of DNA extracted from biopsies obtained by trimming goat embryos and to evaluate the viability of biopsied embryos after vitrification/warming and transfer. Whole genome amplification (WGA) was performed using Multiple Displacement Amplification (MDA). Sex and prion protein (PRNP) genotypes were determined. Sex diagnosis was carried out by PCR amplification of ZFX/ZFY and Y chromosome-specific sequences. Prion protein genotype determination was performed on codons 142, 154, 211, 222 and 240. Embryos were collected at day 7 after oestrus and biopsied either immediately after collection (blastocysts and expanded blastocysts) or after 24 h of in vitro culture (compacted morulae). Biopsied embryos were frozen by vitrification. Vitrified whole embryos were kept as control. DNA of biopsies was extracted and amplified using MDA. Sex diagnosis was efficient for 97.4% of biopsies and PRNP genotyping was determined in 78.7% of biopsies. After embryo transfer, no significant difference was observed in kidding rate between biopsied and vitrified control embryos, whereas embryo survival rate was different between biopsied and whole vitrified embryos (p = 0.032). At birth, 100% of diagnosed sex and 98.2% of predetermined codons were correct. Offspring PRNP profiles were in agreement with parental genotype. Whole genome amplification with MDA kit coupled with sex diagnosis and PRNP genotype predetermination are very accurate techniques to genotype goat embryos before transfer. These novel results allow us to plan selection of scrapie-resistant genotypes and kid sex before transfer of cryopreserved embryo. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  11. A dysmorphology score system for assessing embryo abnormalities in rat whole embryo culture. (United States)

    Zhang, Cindy X; Danberry, Tracy; Jacobs, Mary Ann; Augustine-Rauch, Karen


    The rodent whole embryo culture (WEC) system is a well-established model for characterizing developmental toxicity of test compounds and conducting mechanistic studies. Laboratories have taken various approaches in describing type and severity of developmental findings of organogenesis-stage rodent embryos, but the Brown and Fabro morphological score system is commonly used as a quantitative approach. The associated score criteria is based upon developmental stage and growth parameters, where a series of embryonic structures are assessed and assigned respective scores relative to their gestational stage, with a Total Morphological Score (TMS) assigned to the embryo. This score system is beneficial because it assesses a series of stage-specific anatomical landmarks, facilitating harmonized evaluation across laboratories. Although the TMS provides a quantitative approach to assess growth and determine developmental delay, it is limited to its ability to identify and/or delineate subtle or structure-specific abnormalities. Because of this, the TMS may not be sufficiently sensitive for identifying compounds that induce structure or organ-selective effects. This study describes a distinct morphological score system called the "Dysmorphology Score System (DMS system)" that has been developed for assessing gestation day 11 (approximately 20-26 somite stage) rat embryos using numerical scores to differentiate normal from abnormal morphology and define the respective severity of dysmorphology of specific embryonic structures and organ systems. This method can also be used in scoring mouse embryos of the equivalent developmental stage. The DMS system enhances capabilities to rank-order compounds based upon teratogenic potency, conduct structure- relationships of chemicals, and develop statistical prediction models to support abbreviated developmental toxicity screens. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Maternal SENP7 programs meiosis architecture and embryo survival in mouse. (United States)

    Huang, Chun-Jie; Wu, Di; Jiao, Xiao-Fei; Khan, Faheem Ahmed; Xiong, Cheng-Liang; Liu, Xiao-Ming; Yang, Jing; Yin, Tai-Lang; Huo, Li-Jun


    Understanding the mechanisms underlying abnormal egg production and pregnancy loss is significant for human fertility. SENP7, a SUMO poly-chain editing enzyme, has been regarded as a mitotic regulator of heterochromatin integrity and DNA repair. Herein, we report the roles of SENP7 in mammalian reproductive scenario. Mouse oocytes deficient in SENP7 experienced meiotic arrest at prophase I and metaphase I stages, causing a substantial decrease of mature eggs. Hyperaceylation and hypomethylation of histone H3 and up-regulation of Cdc14B/C accompanied by down-regulation of CyclinB1 and CyclinB2 were further recognized as contributors to defective M-phase entry and spindle assembly in oocytes. The spindle assembly checkpoint activated by defective spindle morphogenesis, which was also caused by mislocalization and ubiquitylation-mediated proteasomal degradation of γ-tubulin, blocked oocytes at meiosis I stage. SENP7-depleted embryos exhibited severely defective maternal-zygotic transition and progressive degeneration, resulting in nearly no blastocyst production. The disrupted epigenetic landscape on histone H3 restricted Rad51C loading onto DNA lesions due to elevated HP1α euchromatic deposition, and reduced DNA 5hmC challenged the permissive status for zygotic DNA repair, which induce embryo death. Our study pinpoints SENP7 as a novel determinant in epigenetic programming and major pathways that govern oocyte and embryo development programs in mammals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Designing 3-Dimensional In Vitro Oviduct Culture Systems to Study Mammalian Fertilization and Embryo Production. (United States)

    Ferraz, Marcia A M M; Henning, Heiko H W; Stout, Tom A E; Vos, Peter L A M; Gadella, Bart M


    The oviduct was long considered a largely passive conduit for gametes and embryos. However, an increasing number of studies into oviduct physiology have demonstrated that it specifically and significantly influences gamete interaction, fertilization and early embryo development. While oviduct epithelial cell (OEC) function has been examined during maintenance in conventional tissue culture dishes, cells seeded into these two-dimensional (2-D) conditions suffer a rapid loss of differentiated OEC characteristics, such as ciliation and secretory activity. Recently, three-dimensional (3-D) cell culture systems have been developed that make use of cell inserts to create basolateral and apical medium compartments with a confluent epithelial cell layer at the interface. Using such 3-D culture systems, OECs can be triggered to redevelop typical differentiated cell properties and levels of tissue organization can be developed that are not possible in a 2-D culture. 3-D culture systems can be further refined using new micro-engineering techniques (including microfluidics and 3-D printing) which can be used to produce 'organs-on-chips', i.e. live 3-D cultures that bio-mimic the oviduct. In this review, concepts for designing bio-mimic 3-D oviduct cultures are presented. The increased possibilities and concomitant challenges when trying to more closely investigate oviduct physiology, gamete activation, fertilization and embryo production are discussed.

  14. The effects of pollutants on osmotic and ionic regulation of herring (Clupea harengus L. ) embryos and larvae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramsay, N.C. (Aberdeen Univ. (United Kingdom))


    This thesis looks at how osmoregulatory processes function during early ontogeny of herring (Clupea harengus L.) and how these can be affected by pollutants. First, during embryo osmoregulatory ontogeny, two distinct stages occur. Until the completion of epiboly and closure of the yolk plug, the embryo must rely wholly on passive osmoregulation. From epiboly to hatching, the embryo is able to regulate its osmolality and increases its water content through a drinking mechanism similar to that of the adult fish. Increased water content is paralleled by increased levels of solutes. The protein level thereafter decreases with subsequent increased ninhydrin positive substances. Excess salts are excreted through cells thought to be classical chloride cells. During the [open quotes]active[close quotes] osmoregulatory stage, the embryo has developed true osmotic homeostasis, providing continuity until the development of gills, skin, gut, kidney of the adult. Second, exposing embryos and larvae to a number of different pollutants affected parameters important for osmotic and ionic homeostasis. The most consistent response is an increased whole body electrolyte content and decreased water content, resulting in elevated osmolality. Exposure to drilling muds containing high levels of petrogenic components causes water loss from the larvae associated with a decreased drinking rate. Subsequent exposure to individual oil constituents at sublethal levels cause changes resulting in higher whole body electrolyte concentrations. In larvae exposed in vivo to metal levels below the Environmental Quality Standard, changes occurred in epithelial permeability. Effects on electrolyte concentrations also occurred in embryos but the mechanism was unclear. The mixture of heavy metals exposed in vitro resulted in a lower concentration required to cause a 50% reduction in whole body homogenate Na[sup +]K[sup +]-ATPase activity than for any individual metal.

  15. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin induces apoptotic cell death and cytochrome P4501A expression in developing Fundulus heteroclitus embryos (United States)

    Toomey, B.H.; Bello, S.; Hahn, M.E.; Cantrell, S.; Wright, P.; Tillitt, D.E.; Di Giulio, R.T.


    Fundulus heteroclitus embryos were exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) during early development using nanoinjection or water bath exposure. TCDD caused developmental abnormalities that included hemorrhaging, loss of vascular integrity, edema, stunted development and death. The LC50 and LD50 of TCDD for Fundulus embryos were ???19.7??9.5 pg TCDD/??l (water bath) and 0.25??0.09 ng TCDD/g embryo (nanoinjection). To identify a possible cause for these developmental abnormalities we analyzed the effects of TCDD on apoptotic cell death and cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) expression in the embryos. TCDD exposure increased apoptotic cell death in several tissues including brain, eye, gill, kidney, tail, intestine, heart, and vascular tissue. CYP1A expression was also increased in the TCDD-exposed embryos predominantly in liver, kidney, gill, heart, intestine, and in vascular tissues throughout the embryo. There was co-occurrence of TCDD-induced apoptosis and CYP1A expression in some, but not all, cell types. In addition the dose response relationships for apoptosis and mortality were similar, while CYP1A expression appeared more sensitive to TCDD induction. Copyright ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.

  16. Deoxyribonuclease probing of sea urchin embryo chromatin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landsman, D.


    The role that the sea urchin, Parechinus angulosus, embryo and sperm histone variants plays in chromatin structure has been investigated. Chromatin structure has been determined at different levels of resolution in sperm and in developing embryos using micrococcal nuclease, pancreatic deoxyribonuclease (DNase I) and restriction endonucleases. Micrococcal nuclease and restriction endonuclease digestions of sea urchin gastrula chromatin have been analysed and it is shown that it is not possible to isolate large polynucleosomal chromatin complexes which are soluble in low ionic strength buffers. The repeat length for sperm is significantly larger than blastula and gastrula repeat lengths whereas blastula and gastrula repeat lengths are not significantly different. Nucleosomal core particles have been isolated from early blastula, gastrula and sperm of sea urchins. After DNase I digestion of 5'-labelled core particles the rate constants of cutting of the DNA at the susceptible sites on these core particles have been determined. The DNase I digestion kinetics of blastula and gastrula core particles are similar whereas sperm core particles are digested at a slower rate, mainly at the sites which are closest to the ends of the core particle DNA

  17. [Ethical viewpoints on cryopreservation of human embryos]. (United States)

    Weiler, R


    In the introduction the author describes how moral judgements are being formed in the pluralistic structures of today's societies. Moral relativism and subjectivism are the wide spread consequences of empirical anthropological theories. In this situation the necessity of an objective and normative moral theory (Christian natural law theory) is being stressed. Neither biology nor medicine can pronounce final judgements on the value of human life. The arguments in favour of cryoconservation (medical progress, parents wish to have children, cost-reduction) are outweighed by those arguments which maintain that man cannot dispose of human life through the manipulation of the progenitive act outside marriage and of the juman act of procreation. There are also the risks and the endangering of the human value of the embryo, up to prolicide which is considered to be permissible in some cases, on these moral grounds the author objects to the cryoconservation of embryos as does the relevant instruction of the papal magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church (Donum vitae 1987). He does not, however, take a final stance on how the subjective decision of the physician is to be judged in the individual case.

  18. [Embryo-fetal diseases in multiple pregnancies]. (United States)

    Colla, F; Alba, E; Grio, R


    Embryo-fetal diseases are the consequence of prenatal (progenetic and metagenetic or environmental) and intranatal (of a traumatic, infective, toxic nature) pathological factors. In multiple pregnancies this complex etiopathogenesis also includes an altered didymous embriogenesis. This study aimed to evaluate the pathologies affecting the fetus in multiple pregnancy, a special biological situation leading to the potential onset of severe fetal and neonatal damage. The authors studied 205 patients with multiple pregnancies, including 199 bigeminal, 5 trigeminal and 1 quadrigeminal, admitted to the Department B of the Obstetrics and Gynecological Clinic of Turin University between 1989-1999. Possible embyro-fetal damage was examined using a chronological criterion: namely following the development of the multiple fetuses from the zygotic to the neonatal phase. Pregnancies were biamniotic bichorionic in 54% of cases, biamniotic monochorionic in 45% and monochorionic monoamniotic in 1%. There were a total of 154 (79.38%) premature births out of 194 and neonatal birth weight was always SGA (small for gestational age). 66.84% of newborns were LBW (<2500 g) and 7.14% were VLBW (<1500 g). Fetal mortality (2.29%) was higher than early neonatal mortality (1.53%). Perinatal mortality (3.82%) was three times higher than in all neonates from the same period (1.03%). The severe embryo-fetal and neonatal damage found in multiple pregnancies is a clinical reality that calls for adequate diagnostic and therapeutic measures, and above all specific medical and social prevention to limit maternal pathogenic risks.

  19. Cornelia de Lange Syndrome: NIPBL haploinsufficiency downregulates canonical Wnt pathway in zebrafish embryos and patients fibroblasts. (United States)

    Pistocchi, A; Fazio, G; Cereda, A; Ferrari, L; Bettini, L R; Messina, G; Cotelli, F; Biondi, A; Selicorni, A; Massa, V


    Cornelia de Lange Syndrome is a severe genetic disorder characterized by malformations affecting multiple systems, with a common feature of severe mental retardation. Genetic variants within four genes (NIPBL (Nipped-B-like), SMC1A, SMC3, and HDAC8) are believed to be responsible for the majority of cases; all these genes encode proteins that are part of the 'cohesin complex'. Cohesins exhibit two temporally separated major roles in cells: one controlling the cell cycle and the other involved in regulating the gene expression. The present study focuses on the role of the zebrafish nipblb paralog during neural development, examining its expression in the central nervous system, and analyzing the consequences of nipblb loss of function. Neural development was impaired by the knockdown of nipblb in zebrafish. nipblb-loss-of-function embryos presented with increased apoptosis in the developing neural tissues, downregulation of canonical Wnt pathway genes, and subsequent decreased Cyclin D1 (Ccnd1) levels. Importantly, the same pattern of canonical WNT pathway and CCND1 downregulation was observed in NIPBL-mutated patient-specific fibroblasts. Finally, chemical activation of the pathway in nipblb-loss-of-function embryos rescued the adverse phenotype and restored the physiological levels of cell death.

  20. Triazole-induced gene expression changes in the zebrafish embryo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermsen, S.A.B.; Pronk, T.; van den Brandhof, E.J.; van der Ven, L.T.; Piersma, A.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/071276947


    The zebrafish embryo is considered to provide a promising alternative test model for developmental toxicity testing. Most systems use morphological assessment of the embryos, however, microarray analyses may increase sensitivity and predictability of the test by detecting more subtle and detailed

  1. The Use of Light Microscopy for Detection of Somatic Embryos

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Feb 5, 2014 ... 2,4-D. After four weeks of culture of explants on the callus induction medium, globular structures were obtained. At the end of 20 days in maturation medium, somatic embryos were observed. Histological analysis showed somatic embryos with caulinar and root apex, protodermal tissue, and the vascular ...

  2. Embryo rescue of crosses between diploid and tetraploid grape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ajl yemi


    Dec 19, 2011 ... embryo rescue from interspecific hybridization between diploid and tetraploid grape species. Wakana et al. (2003) and Motosugi et al. (2003) studied the formation and developments of hybrid seeds from cross between diploid and tetraploid, and then obtained triploid progenies through embryo rescue.

  3. Human embryo-conditioned medium stimulates in vitro endometrial angiogenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kapiteijn, K.; Koolwijk, P.; Weiden, R.M.F. van der; Nieuw Amerongen, G. van; Plaisier, M.; Hinsbergh, V.W.M. van; Helmerhorst, F.M.


    Objective: Successful implantation and placentation depend on the interaction between the endometrium and the embryo. Angiogenesis is crucial at this time. In this article we investigate the direct influence of the human embryo on in vitro endometrial angiogenesis. Design: In vitro study. Setting:

  4. Chromosomal mosaicism in human preimplantation embryos: a systematic review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Echten-Arends, J. van; Mastenbroek, S.; Sikkema-Raddatz, B.; Korevaar, J.C.; Heineman, M.J.; Veen, F. van der; Repping, S.


    BACKGROUND: Although chromosomal mosaicism in human preimplantation embryos has been described for almost two decades, its exact prevalence is still unknown. The prevalence of mosaicism is important in the context of preimplantation genetic screening in which the chromosomal status of an embryo is

  5. Chromosomal mosaicism in human preimplantation embryos : a systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Echten-Arends, Jannie; Mastenbroek, Sebastiaan; Sikkema-Raddatz, Birgit; Korevaar, Johanna C.; Heineman, Maas Jan; van der Veen, Fulco; Repping, Sjoerd


    BACKGROUND: Although chromosomal mosaicism in human preimplantation embryos has been described for almost two decades, its exact prevalence is still unknown. The prevalence of mosaicism is important in the context of preimplantation genetic screening in which the chromosomal status of an embryo is

  6. The role of growth regulators, embryo age and genotypes on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    One of the most important problem of tomato breeders is lengthy seed to seed cycle in a breeding program. In vitro techiques provide a lot of advantages for breeders. The objective of this work was to determine the effect of growth regulators and immature embryo age on embryo germination and rapid generation ...

  7. Closure of the vertebral canal in human embryos and fetuses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mekonen, Hayelom K.; Hikspoors, Jill P. J. M.; Mommen, Greet; Kruepunga, Nutmethee; Köhler, S. Eleonore; Lamers, Wouter H.


    The vertebral column is the paradigm of the metameric architecture of the vertebrate body. Because the number of somites is a convenient parameter to stage early human embryos, we explored whether the closure of the vertebral canal could be used similarly for staging embryos between 7 and 10weeks of

  8. Fruit, seed and embryo development of different cassava (Manihot ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fruit, seed and embryo developments of different cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) genotypes, as well as embryo rescue, were investigated. The fruits of three genotypes after uncontrolled open pollination presented the same progressive development with similar sizes at different stages. There are large differences in ...

  9. Patients' Preference for Number of Embryos Transferred During IVF ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority is considering limiting the number of embryos that can be transferred to single embryo per cycle as has been done in several European countries, with the aim of reducing the rate of multiple pregnancies and its attendant complications following in vitro ...

  10. Desiccation tolerance of embryos of Syagrus oleracea, a cerrado ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Mar 18, 2015 ... Tissue culture was used to test the effect of different fruit drying times (0, 4, 8 and 12 days) on embryo ... confers different colours to the embryos, allowing their ..... Superior – CAPES) and the National Council for Scientific.

  11. Plant regeneration from immature embryos of Kenyan maize inbred ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Apr 17, 2008 ... their respective single cross hybrids were evaluated for their ability form callus, somatic embryos and .... Callus was induced from embryos excised from ears at. 10, 15, 18, 21 and ..... Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult., 18: 143-151.

  12. In vitro bulblet regeneration from immature embryos of Muscari ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A high frequency bulblet regeneration was achieved for endemic and endangered ornamental plant Muscari azureum using immature embryos. Immature embryos of M. azureum were cultured on callus induction medium consisting of N6 mineral salts and vitamins, 400 mg/L casein + 40 g/L sucrose + 2 g/l L-proline, 2 mg/L ...

  13. Optimal developmental stage for vitrification of parthenogenetically activated porcine embryos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Rong; Li, Juan; Kragh, Peter


    The objective of this experiment was to determine the optimal developmental stage to vitrify in-vitro cultured porcine parthenogenetically activated (PA) embryos. Embryos were vitrified by Cryotop on Day 4, 5 or 6 after oocyte activation (Day 0), and immediately after warming they were either time...

  14. Development of the ventral body wall in the human embryo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mekonen, Hayelom K.; Hikspoors, Jill P. J. M.; Mommen, Greet; Köhler, S. Eleonore; Lamers, Wouter H.


    Migratory failure of somitic cells is the commonest explanation for ventral body wall defects. However, the embryo increases ~ 25-fold in volume in the period that the ventral body wall forms, so that differential growth may, instead, account for the observed changes in topography. Human embryos

  15. Factors affecting conception rates in cattle following embryo transfer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT) plays an important role in improving productivity of dairy cattle (Bos indicus). Embryo Transfer Technology allows top quality female livestock to improve a herd or flock in much the same way that artificial insemination has allowed greater use of superior sires. The technology hastens ...

  16. 9 CFR 98.16 - The embryo collection unit. (United States)


    ... impervious to moisture and constructed of materials that can withstand repeated cleaning and disinfection. If... materials that can withstand repeated cleaning and disinfection. If the outdoor area also has walls or a... withstand repeated cleaning and disinfection. (c) Embryo processing area. The embryo collection unit must...

  17. Effects of triclosan (TCS) on fecundity, the antioxidant system, and oxidative stress-mediated gene expression in the copepod Tigriopus japonicus. (United States)

    Park, Jun Chul; Han, Jeonghoon; Lee, Min-Chul; Seo, Jung Soo; Lee, Jae-Seong


    Triclosan (TCS) is an antimicrobial agent that has been widely dispersed and detected in the marine environment. However, the effects of TCS in marine invertebrates are poorly understood. In this study, the effects of TCS on life cycle history (e.g. mortality and fecundity) along with cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, GSH content, antioxidant enzymatic activities, and mRNA expression levels of oxidative stress-mediated genes were measured in the copepod Tigriopus japonicus. The no observed effect concentration (NOEC) and median lethal concentration (LC50) of TCS in the adult stage were determined to be 300μg/L and 437.476μg/L, respectively, while in the nauplius stages the corresponding values were 20μg/L, and 51.76μg/L, respectively. Fecundity was significantly reduced (Pcopepod T. japonicus. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Transcriptional profiles of chicken embryo cell cultures following infection with infectious bursal disease virus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Yiping; Handberg, K.J.; Juul-Madsen, H.R.


    Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) is the causative agent of infectious bursal disease in chickens and causes a significant economic loss for the poultry industry. Little is understood about the mechanism involved in the host responses to IBDV infection. For better understanding the IBDV......-host interaction, we measured steady-state levels of transcripts from 28 cellular genes of chicken embryo (CE) cell cultures infected with IBDV vaccine stain Bursine-2 during a 7-day infection course by use of the quantitative real-time RT-PCR SYBR green method. Of the genes tested, 21 genes (IRF-1, IFN 1...

  19. Implications of Changing Temperatures on the Growth, Fecundity and Survival of Intermediate Host Snails of Schistosomiasis: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chester Kalinda


    Full Text Available Climate change has been predicted to increase the global mean temperature and to alter the ecological interactions among organisms. These changes may play critical roles in influencing the life history traits of the intermediate hosts (IHs. This review focused on studies and disease models that evaluate the potential effect of temperature rise on the ecology of IH snails and the development of parasites within them. The main focus was on IH snails of schistosome parasites that cause schistosomiasis in humans. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, EBSCOhost and PubMed databases using predefined medical subject heading terms, Boolean operators and truncation symbols in combinations with direct key words. The final synthesis included nineteen published articles. The studies reviewed indicated that temperature rise may alter the distribution, optimal conditions for breeding, growth and survival of IH snails which may eventually increase the spread and/or transmission of schistosomiasis. The literature also confirmed that the life history traits of IH snails and their interaction with the schistosome parasites are affected by temperature and hence a change in climate may have profound outcomes on the population size of snails, parasite density and disease epidemiology. We concluded that understanding the impact of temperature on the growth, fecundity and survival of IH snails may broaden the knowledge on the possible effects of climate change and hence inform schistosomiasis control programmes.

  20. Body size, blood feeding activity, and fecundity of Psorophora howardii, Psorophora ciliata, and Psorophora ferox (Diptera: Culicidae). (United States)

    Zhu, Lin; Fulcher, Ali; Hossain, Tanjim; Davidson, Claudia; Beier, John C; Xue, Rui-De


    Field-collected female Psorophora howardii (Coquillett), Psorophora ciliate (F.), and Psorophora ferox (Humboltd) mosquitoes were tested in laboratory conditions to measure body size, blood engorgement duration, bloodmeal size, fecundity, and egg morphology. Mean bloodmeal size was significantly different among the three species of mosquitoes, whereas there was no difference in blood engorgement duration. Mean body weights and wing lengths of Ps. howardii and Ps. ciliata were significantly greater than Ps.ferox. Seven days after bloodmeals, oviposition rates for Ps. howardii, Ps. ciliata, and Ps.ferox were 18.8, 56.2, and 0%, respectively. The mean number of total eggs produced per female for the three species was 59, 81, and 73, respectively. Mean egg lengths of Ps. howardii and Ps. ciliata were significantly greater than Ps.ferox, and egg diameters for each of the three species were significantly different from one another. Length per diameter ratios of Ps. howardii and Ps. ciliata were significantly smaller than Ps. ferox. Bloodmeal size was positively related to body weight, but not related to blood engorgement duration, and the total egg number was positively related to bloodmeal size.

  1. Impacts of low dose rate irradiation on the fertility, fecundity and hatchling survival of Japanese rice fish (medaka, Oryzias latipes)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinton, T.G.; Coughlin, D.P.; Marsh, L.C.; Yi, Yi; Winn, R.


    A renewed international interest in the effects on biota from low dose rate irradiation has recently occurred. Much of that interest is centered on the relevance of previously accepted dose rate guidelines (e.g. 10 mGy d -1 for aquatic biota) suggested by the ICRP and IAEA. All parties concerned seem to agree that additional data are needed on population level impacts from chronic low-level exposures to radionuclides. Using a Low Dose Rate Irradiation Facility (LoDIF), we conducted an experiment on the fecundity, fertility and hatchling survival of Japanese Rice Fish (medaka, Oryzias latipes). Fish were exposed externally to 137 Cs from juvenile through adulthood at mean dose rates of 3.5, 35 and 350 mGy d -1 . Fish were bred at maturity and the following endpoints were examined: 1) the number of eggs produced; 2) the percent of eggs that hatched; and 3) the survival of hatchlings 20-days post hatch. The influence of gender was examined by breeding irradiated males with control females; control males with irradiated females; irradiated males with irradiated females; and control males with control females. The data contribute to our understanding the impacts of low dose rate irradiation. (author)

  2. When stress predicts a shrinking gene pool, trading early reproduction for longevity can increase fitness, even with lower fecundity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C Ratcliff


    Full Text Available Stresses like dietary restriction or various toxins increase lifespan in taxa as diverse as yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila and rats, by triggering physiological responses that also tend to delay reproduction. Food odors can reverse the effects of dietary restriction, showing that key mechanisms respond to information, not just resources. Such environmental cues can predict population trends, not just individual prospects for survival and reproduction. When population size is increasing, each offspring produced earlier makes a larger proportional contribution to the gene pool, but the reverse is true when population size is declining.We show mathematically that natural selection can favor facultative delay in reproduction when environmental cues predict a decrease in total population size, even if lifetime fecundity decreases with delay. We also show that increased reproduction from waiting for better conditions does not increase fitness (proportional representation when the whole population benefits similarly.We conclude that the beneficial effects of stress on longevity (hormesis in diverse taxa are a side-effect of delaying reproduction in response to environmental cues that population size is likely to decrease. The reversal by food odors of the effects of dietary restriction can be explained as a response to information that population size is less likely to decrease, reducing the chance that delaying reproduction will increase fitness.

  3. Yeasts in nectar of an early-blooming herb: sought by bumble bees, detrimental to plant fecundity. (United States)

    Herrera, Carlos M; Pozo, María I; Medrano, Mónica


    Through their effects on physicochemical features of floral nectar, nectar-dwelling yeasts can alter pollinator behavior, but the effect of such changes on pollination success and plant reproduction is unknown. We present results of experiments testing the effects of nectar yeasts on foraging patterns of captive and free-ranging bumble bees, and also on pollination success and fecundity of the early-blooming, bumble bee-pollinated Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae). Under controlled experimental conditions, inexperienced Bombus terrestris workers responded positively to the presence of yeasts in artificial sugar solutions mimicking floral nectar by visiting proportionally more yeast-containing artificial flowers. Free-ranging bumble bees also preferred yeast-containing nectar in the field. Experiments conducted in two different years consistently showed that natural and artificial nectars containing yeasts were more thoroughly removed than nectars without yeasts. Experimental yeast inoculation of the nectar of H. foetidus flowers was significantly associated with reductions in number of pollen tubes in the style, fruit set, seed set, and mass of individual seeds produced. These results provide the first direct evidence to date that nectar yeasts can modify pollinator foraging patterns, pollination success, and the quantity and quality of seeds produced by insect-pollinated plants.

  4. Fecundity, embryonic and ovarian development of blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) in coastal water of Johor, Malaysia. (United States)

    Ikhwanuddin, M; Azra, M N; Siti-Aimuni, H; Abol-Munafi, A B


    Blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus is widely study and research throughout the Indo-West Pacific, but little is known of its reproductive biology in Malaysia. The present study describes the fecundity, embryonic development and ovarian development stages of the P. pelagicus from Johor coastal water, Malaysia. Carapace width range of berried crabs sampled was from 9.64 to 13.32 cm, while the body weight range was from 75 to 235 g. The mean number of egg produced by females in different sizes ranged from 105443.333 +/- 35448.075 per eggs batch. Mean egg size during embryonic development at stage 1 was 0.307 +/- 0.037, while 0.386 +/- 0.039 and 0.396 +/- 0.033 for stage 2 and stage 3, respectively. Study showed that there was significant (p < 0.05) relationship between the number of eggs and carapace width/body weight. Mean diameter oocyte during ovarian development at stage 1 was 97.732 +/- 12.391 while for stage 2 was 149.516 +/- 23.287. Stage 3 showed increasingly of size with mean diameter was 158.506 +/- 27.616 and 181.013 +/- 24.339 for stage 4.

  5. Incidence of infertility and risk factors of impaired fecundity among newly married couples in a Chinese population. (United States)

    Meng, Qinqin; Ren, Aiguo; Zhang, Le; Liu, Jufen; Li, Zhiwen; Yang, Yan; Li, Rong; Ma, Le


    The aims of this study were to obtain the incidence of infertility, to examine the causes of infertility and to explore risk factors for impaired fecundity in a rural region of northern China using a prospective follow-up design. A total of 2151 newly married couples planning to become pregnant within the next 12 months were enrolled between 2009 and 2012 from two counties of Shanxi Province in northern China. Couples were followed up for at least 1 year or until a clinical pregnancy occurred. Information about clinical pregnancy was obtained. The 12-month and 24-month infertility rates were 13.6% (95% CI 11.9 to 15.3) and 8.5% (95% CI 6.7 to 10.3), respectively. About 63% of women became pregnant within 6 months of follow up, and 86% did so within 12 months of follow up. The main causes of female infertility were ovulation disorders, fallopian tube problems and polycystic ovary syndrome. The primary cause of male infertility was sperm quality problems. Couples who used coal as cooking fuel, women with a higher body mass index, women with long-term health problems, and men who had married at later ages were more likely to have delayed pregnancies. Copyright © 2014 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Embryo apoptosis identification: Oocyte grade or cleavage stage? (United States)

    Bakri, Noraina Mohd; Ibrahim, Siti Fatimah; Osman, Nurul Atikah; Hasan, Nurhaslina; Jaffar, Farah Hanan Fathihah; Rahman, Zulaiha Abdul; Osman, Khairul


    Apoptosis is a programed cell death that is vital for tissue homeostasis. However, embryo apoptosis had been known to be related to embryo fragmentation which should be avoided in in vitro fertilization (IVF). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship of embryo apoptosis with the grade of immature oocytes and cleavage stage of in vitro produced (IVP) cattle embryos. This study consisted of 345 oocytes collected through ovary slicing. Immature oocytes were graded as A, B and C. This grading was based on cumulus cell thickness and compactness. All oocytes then underwent an in vitro maturation (IVM) procedure. An IVF was done 24 h after IVM culture. Prior to staining, stage of cleaved embryos was determined and classified as either 2, 4, 8 or >8-cell embryo stage. Apoptosis status of cleaved IVP embryos was determined by using annexin V-FITC staining technique at 48 and 72 h post insemination (hpi). Apoptosis status for each embryo was classified as either early or late. The result showed that there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) of apoptosis status among grade A, B and C embryos. All grades of oocytes showed embryo apoptosis where 1.5% late apoptosis for grade A, 4.5% and 10.4% of early and late apoptosis for grade B and grade C. Early apoptosis was not seen in grade A embryo. We also noted no significant difference (p > 0.05) of apoptosis status between 2, 4, 8 and >8-cell embryo stage. Early apoptosis was also not seen in >8-cell stage. Even though there were no differences in apoptosis expression between the three classes, the cleavage rate of grade A oocytes was significantly higher (p < 0.01) than grade B and grade C. In conclusion, the apoptosis expression in the embryo can occur regardless of the oocyte quality and the cleavage stage of the embryo produced. PMID:26858565

  7. The prevalence of embryonic remnants following the recovery of post-hatching bovine embryos produced in vitro or by somatic cell nuclear transfer. (United States)

    Alexopoulos, Natalie I; French, Andrew J


    The reliable collection of peri-implantation embryos in the bovine has important ramifications to post-transfer consequences, particularly in the elucidation of mechanisms associated with post-hatching embryo development and to perturbations in developmental growth following transfer. This study analyzed both in vitro produced (IVP) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryo-like structures (ELS) recovered at Day (D) 14 and D21. The recovered ELS were subsequently processed for histological examination. At D14 and D21, many of the embryos recovered in the IVP group conformed to the appropriate stage of development. However, a significant number of anomalies were present in the SCNT groups when examined in more detail. Histological examination revealed that irrespective of whether these embryos had undergone trophoblast expansion to an ovoid, tubular or filamentous morphology, many had a degenerated hypoblast layer and a large proportion did not possess an epiblast and therefore could not differentiate into any of the three germ layers as would be expected at the neural groove or somite stage. The prevalence of this developmental pattern was random and did not correlate with treatment (IVP or SCNT) or with types of structures recovered. The rapid embryo elongation period also coincides with the time of greatest embryonic loss and these observations could have important implications for assessing the recovery of embryos post-transfer where incorrect morphological assessment could lead to false implantation and pregnancy determination rates. The implementation of additional methodology is required to adequately characterize the quality of IVP and SCNT-derived embryos collected post-transfer.

  8. Patients' attitudes to their embryos and their destiny: social conditioning? (United States)

    de Lacey, Sheryl


    The clinical management of embryo storage and disposal is dynamic and subject to changes in the cultural context such as public debate and the implementation of public policy. Studies of the decisions made by patient couples for their embryos, and trends in decision-making over time and in relation to issues arising in the cultural context are rare. Studies of the attitudes that patient couples have towards their frozen embryos have largely focused on measuring patients' intentions in relation to publicly contentious outcomes. A small but expanding number of interview studies are illuminating the meaning that couples attribute to frozen embryos and how this influences decisions for their destiny. This chapter maps both quantitative and qualitative studies of patients' attitudes and decisions illuminating similarities and contradictions in study findings, and ultimately highlights the range of attitudes in patients, clinics and the community towards what is evidently a difficult and morally challenging decision to end the storage of frozen embryos.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitin M. LABHANE


    Full Text Available The study of morphology of embryo is very significant considering the fact that the embryo represents the important step in the determination of the viability of the seed. Ruminate endosperm has been reported in about 58 families of angiosperms. The rumination caused by the activity of the seed coat or by the endosperm itself is quite recurrent in angiosperm. Ruminate endosperm due to seed coat is reported from the family Acanthaceae in Andrographis paniculata. The rumination of endosperm is also considered as phylogenetically important. Rumination of endosperm is very common, however very little is known about rumination in embryo. The present papers reports the de novo development of ruminate embryo in Blepharis repens. The development of ruminate embryo is seen as an adaptation to ensure proper aeration and optimum germination for survival of the species.

  10. The effect of insecticide Deltamethrin on development of chick embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Naal, R.; Bassal, M. Osman, M.


    This study was conducted to evaluate the cyto and the embryo toxicity of Deltamethrin and its commercial formulation DECIS 50 EC in chick embryo during its critical embryonic development period before and in the organogenesis. The embryos were incubated in well closed plastic caps containing the complete egg composition at 38 o. the Deltamethrin and DECIS were found to cause histological and morphological malformations, specially in the brain, also they reduced the majority of the synthetic activities of the DNA, RNA, and proteins in the embryonic and the vascular areas. The flow cytometric analysis showed alterations in frequency of cells in both embryonic and vascular areas in the treated embryo during the cell cycle phases. Our study also showed that the DECIS had greater cyto and embryo toxicity than the Seltamethrin for analysis (author). 149 refs., 36 figs., 16 tabs

  11. Sex determination of duck embryos: observations on syrinx development (United States)

    Wilson, Robert E.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Franson, J. Christian


    Ducks exhibit sexual dimorphism in vocal anatomy. Asymmetrical ossification of the syrinx (bulla syringealis) is discernable at about 10 days of age in male Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) embryos, but information is lacking on the early development of the bulla in wild ducks. To evaluate the reliability of this characteristic for sexing developing embryos, we examined the syrinx of dead embryos and compared results with molecular sexing techniques in high arctic nesting Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima). Embryos 8 days or older were accurately (100%) sexed based on the presence/absence of a bulla, 2 days earlier than Pekin duck. The use of the tracheal bulla can be a valuable technique when sex identification of embryos or young ducklings is required.

  12. Protein synthesis in the embryo of Pinus thunbergii seed, 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamamoto, Naoaki; Sasaki, Satohiko.


    14 C-Amino acid incorporating activity in the absence of exogenous mRNA was found in a cell-free system from embryos of light-germinated Pinus thunbergii seeds, but not in that from dark-imbibed seed embryos. Template activity in the cell-free system from the light-germinated seed embryos was observed in the ribosome fraction, especially the polyribosome fraction, but not in the 100,000 x g supernatant fraction (s100). These facts suggest that the nature of the block in protein synthesis during the imbibition of seeds in the dark is due to the lack or inactivity of mRNA. The s100 from light-germinated seed embryos was found to be less active in amino acid incorporation than that from dark-imbibed seed embryos. (auth.)

  13. [TSA improve transgenic porcine cloned embryo development and transgene expression]. (United States)

    Kong, Qing-Ran; Zhu, Jiang; Huang, Bo; Huan, Yan-Jun; Wang, Feng; Shi, Yong-Qian; Liu, Zhong-Feng; Wu, Mei-Ling; Liu, Zhong-Hua


    Uncompleted epigenetic reprogramming is attributed to the low efficiency of producing transgenic cloned animals. Histone modification associated with epigenetics can directly influence the embryo development and transgene expression. Trichostatin A (TSA), as an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can change the status of histone acetylation, improve somatic cell reprogramming, and enhance cloning efficiency. TSA prevents the chromatin structure from being condensed, so that transcription factor could binds to DNA sequence easily and enhance transgene expression. Our study established the optimal TSA treatment on porcine donor cells and cloned embryos, 250 nmol/L, 24 h and 40 nmol/L, 24 h, respectively. Furthermore, we found that both the cloned embryo and the donor cell treated by TSA resulted in the highest development efficiency. Meanwhile, TSA can improve transgene expression in donor cell and cloned embryo. In summary, TSA can significantly improve porcine reconstructed embryo development and transgene expression.

  14. Detection of programmed cell death in plant embryos. (United States)

    Filonova, Lada H; Suárez, María F; Bozhkov, Peter V


    Programmed cell death (PCD) is an integral part of embryogenesis. In plant embryos, PCD functions during terminal differentiation and elimination of the temporary organ, suspensor, as well as during establishment of provascular system. Embryo abortion is another example of embryonic PCD activated at pathological situations and in polyembryonic seeds. Recent studies identified the sequence of cytological events leading to cellular self-destruction in plant embryos. As in most if not all the developmental cell deaths in plants, embryonic PCD is hallmarked by autophagic degradation of the cytoplasm and nuclear disassembly that includes breakdown of the nuclear envelope and DNA fragmentation. The optimized setup of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) allows the routine in situ analysis of nuclear DNA fragmentation in plant embryos. This chapter provides step-by-step procedure of how to process embryos for TUNEL and how to combine TUNEL with immunolocalization of the protein of interest.

  15. Cryopreservation of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) zygotic embryos by vitrification. (United States)

    Sajini, K K; Karun, A; Amamath, C H; Engelmann, F


    The present study investigates the effect of preculture conditions, vitrification and unloading solutions on survival and regeneration of coconut zygotic embryos after cryopreservation. Among the seven plant vitrification solutions tested, PVS3 was found to be the most effective for regeneration of cryopreserved embryos. The optimal protocol involved preculture of embryos for 3 days on medium with 0.6 M sucrose, PVS3 treatment for 16 h, rapid cooling and rewarming and unloading in 1.2 M sucrose liquid medium for 1.5 h. Under these conditions, 70-80 survival (corresponding to size enlargement and weight gain) was observed with cryopreserved embryos and 20-25 percent of the plants regenerated (showing normal shoot and root growth) from cryopreserved embryos were established in pots.

  16. Improved bovine embryo production in an oviduct-on-a-chip system : prevention of poly-spermic fertilization and parthenogenic activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferraz, Marcia A.M.M.; Henning, Heiko H.W.; Costa, Pedro F.; Malda, Jos; Melchels, Ferry P.W.; Wubbolts, Richard; Stout, Tom A.E.; Vos, Peter L.A.M.; Gadella, Bart M.


    The oviduct provides the natural micro-environment for gamete interaction, fertilization and early embryo development in mammals, such as the cow. In conventional culture systems, bovine oviduct epithelial cells (BOEC) undergo a rapid loss of essential differentiated cell properties; we aimed to

  17. Improved bovine embryo production in an oviduct-on-a-chip system: prevention of poly-spermic fertilization and parthenogenic activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Almeida Monteiro Melo Ferraz, M.; Henning, H.H.W.; Ferreira da Costa, Pedro; Malda, J.; Melchels, F P W; Wubbolts, R.W.; Stout, T.A.E.; Vos, P.L.A.M.; Gadella, B.M.


    The oviduct provides the natural micro-environment for gamete interaction, fertilization and early embryo development in mammals, such as the cow. In conventional culture systems, bovine oviduct epithelial cells (BOEC) undergo a rapid loss of essential differentiated cell properties; we aimed to

  18. Age-dependent effects of oral infection with dengue virus on Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity. (United States)

    Sylvestre, Gabriel; Gandini, Mariana; Maciel-de-Freitas, Rafael


    Aedes aegypti is the main vector of dengue, a disease that is increasing its geographical range as well as incidence rates. Despite its public health importance, the effect of dengue virus (DENV) on some mosquito traits remains unknown. Here, we investigated the impact of DENV-2 infection on the feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity of Ae. aegypti females. After orally-challenging Ae. aegypti females with a DENV-2 strain using a membrane feeder, we monitored the feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity throughout the mosquito lifespan. We observed an age-dependent cost of DENV infection on mosquito feeding behavior and fecundity. Infected individuals took more time to ingest blood from anesthetized mice in the 2(nd) and 3(rd) weeks post-infection, and also longer overall blood-feeding times in the 3(rd) week post-infection, when females were around 20 days old. Often, infected Ae. aegypti females did not lay eggs and when they were laid, smaller number of eggs were laid compared to uninfected controls. A reduction in the number of eggs laid per female was evident starting on the 3(rd) week post-infection. DENV-2 negatively affected mosquito lifespan, since overall the longevity of infected females was halved compared to that of the uninfected control group. The DENV-2 strain tested significantly affected Ae. aegypti traits directly correlated with vectorial capacity or mosquito population density, such as feeding behavior, survival, fecundity and oviposition success. Infected mosquitoes spent more time ingesting blood, had reduced lifespan, laid eggs less frequently, and when they did lay eggs, the clutches were smaller than uninfected mosquitoes.

  19. Age-dependent effects of oral infection with dengue virus on Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Sylvestre

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti is the main vector of dengue, a disease that is increasing its geographical range as well as incidence rates. Despite its public health importance, the effect of dengue virus (DENV on some mosquito traits remains unknown. Here, we investigated the impact of DENV-2 infection on the feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity of Ae. aegypti females. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: After orally-challenging Ae. aegypti females with a DENV-2 strain using a membrane feeder, we monitored the feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity throughout the mosquito lifespan. We observed an age-dependent cost of DENV infection on mosquito feeding behavior and fecundity. Infected individuals took more time to ingest blood from anesthetized mice in the 2(nd and 3(rd weeks post-infection, and also longer overall blood-feeding times in the 3(rd week post-infection, when females were around 20 days old. Often, infected Ae. aegypti females did not lay eggs and when they were laid, smaller number of eggs were laid compared to uninfected controls. A reduction in the number of eggs laid per female was evident starting on the 3(rd week post-infection. DENV-2 negatively affected mosquito lifespan, since overall the longevity of infected females was halved compared to that of the uninfected control group. CONCLUSIONS: The DENV-2 strain tested significantly affected Ae. aegypti traits directly correlated with vectorial capacity or mosquito population density, such as feeding behavior, survival, fecundity and oviposition success. Infected mosquitoes spent more time ingesting blood, had reduced lifespan, laid eggs less frequently, and when they did lay eggs, the clutches were smaller than uninfected mosquitoes.

  20. Cryopreservation of mouse embryos by ethylene glycol-based vitrification. (United States)

    Mochida, Keiji; Hasegawa, Ayumi; Taguma, Kyuichi; Yoshiki, Atsushi; Ogura, Atsuo


    Cryopreservation of mouse embryos is a technological basis that supports biomedical sciences, because many strains of mice have been produced by genetic modifications and the number is consistently increasing year by year. Its technical development started with slow freezing methods in the 1970s(1), then followed by vitrification methods developed in the late 1980s(2). Generally, the latter technique is advantageous in its quickness, simplicity, and high survivability of recovered embryos. However, the cryoprotectants contained are highly toxic and may affect subsequent embryo development. Therefore, the technique was not applicable to certain strains of mice, even when the solutions are cooled to 4°C to mitigate the toxic effect during embryo handling. At the RIKEN BioResource Center, more than 5000 mouse strains with different genetic backgrounds and phenotypes are maintained(3), and therefore we have optimized a vitrification technique with which we can cryopreserve embryos from many different strains of mice, with the benefits of high embryo survival after vitrifying and thawing (or liquefying, more precisely) at the ambient temperature(4). Here, we present a vitrification method for mouse embryos that has been successfully used at our center. The cryopreservation solution contains ethylene glycol instead of DMSO to minimize the toxicity to embryos(5). It also contains Ficoll and sucrose for prevention of devitrification and osmotic adjustment, respectively. Embryos can be handled at room temperature and transferred into liquid nitrogen within 5 min. Because the original method was optimized for plastic straws as containers, we have slightly modified the protocol for cryotubes, which are more easily accessible in laboratories and more resistant to physical damages. We also describe the procedure of thawing vitrified embryos in detail because it is a critical step for efficient recovery of live mice. These methodologies would be helpful to researchers and

  1. Ovarian histology and fecundity in the evaluation of the reproduction of the invasive species Serrasalmus marginatus (Characidae on a neotropical floodplain

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    Gabriele Sauthier Romano de Melo


    Full Text Available The construction of the Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Plant in 1982 led to the formation of a reservoir, which, in turn, leveled the waters of the Paraná River by flooding the geographic barrier Salto de Sete Quedas. This allowed the piranha Serrasalmus marginatus to invade and colonize the upper Paraná River. This study aimed to: i confirm, through light microscopy, the reproductive phases of S. marginatus females; ii estimate fecundity and iii evaluate the reproduction areas of the population. A total of 764 females were collected from nine sampling sites on the upper Paraná River floodplain. Microscopic analysis of the ovaries showed the following phases: early developing subphase, developing phase, spawning capable phase, actively spawning subphase, regressing phase and regenerating phase. The frequency distribution of the oocytes shows that spawning is fractional and fecundity indeterminate. Fecundity varied from 410 to 752 oocytes (mean = 584. The continual spawning of oocytes during the long reproductive period, as well as the aggressiveness of the species as regards the defense of its offspring, guarantees more descendants in the Patos, Ventura, Fechada, Guaraná and Garças lagoons and Ivinheima and Baia rivers of the upper Paraná River floodplain.

  2. Sexual maturity, spawning and fecundity of king weakfish Macrodon ancylodon, caught off Rio Grande do Sul State (southern coast of Brazil

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    Anastácio Afonso Juras


    Full Text Available Investigations on the sexual maturity, spawning and fecundity of king weakfish, Macrodon ancylodon, off the southern coast of Brazil (lat. 29º to 32ºS were carried out from September, 1976, to August, 1977. The sex ratio varied monthly, with slight predominance of males (51.14% over females (48.86%. The mean size at first maturity was estimated as 27.4 cm TL for females and 21.5 cm TL for males. The macroscopic examination of gonads and analysis of the gonadal index indicated that December and February were the most intensive spawning months. Fish weight proved to be the best predictor data of fecundity: F = 17056.2500 + 425.3712 Wt (r² = 0.6434 , were F is the total number of eggs in both ovaries. The number of eggs of 199 females varied from 59,850 for 33.4 cm TL fish to over 358,450 for 37.2 cm TL; the mean fecundity verified was 165,273 eggs per female. Frequency distributions of egg diameter in the ovaries were polymodal, suggesting fractional spawning during the reproduction season.

  3. Phytohemagglutinin facilitates the aggregation of blastomere pairs from Day 5 donor embryos with Day 4 host embryos for chimeric bovine embryo multiplication. (United States)

    Simmet, Kilian; Reichenbach, Myriam; Reichenbach, Horst-Dieter; Wolf, Eckhard


    Multiplication of bovine embryos by the production of aggregation chimeras is based on the concept that few blastomeres of a donor embryo form the inner cell mass (ICM) and thus the embryo proper, whereas cells of a host embryo preferentially contribute to the trophectoderm (TE), the progenitor cells of the embryonic part of the placenta. We aggregated two fluorescent blastomeres from enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) transgenic Day 5 morulae with two Day 4 embryos that did not complete their first cleavage until 27 hours after IVF and tested the effect of phytohemagglutinin-L (PHA) on chimeric embryo formation. The resulting blastocysts were characterized by differential staining of cell lineages using the TE-specific factor CDX2 and confocal laser scanning microscopy to facilitate the precise localization of eGFP-positive cells. The proportions of blastocyst development of sandwich aggregates with (n = 99) and without PHA (n = 46) were 85.9% and 54.3% (P chimeric blastocysts analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy, nine had eGFP-positive cells (three of them in the ICM, three in the TE, and three in both lineages). When integration in the ICM occurred, the number of eGFP-positive cells in this compartment was 8.3 ± 2.3 (mean ± standard error of the mean). We conclude that PHA is advantageous for the formation of aggregation chimeras, but the approach tested in the present study with only two donor blastomeres and two host embryos did not result in multiplication of genetically valuable donor embryos. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The influence of the type of embryo culture medium on neonatal birthweight after single embryo transfer in IVF

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vergouw, C.G.; Kostelijk, E.H.; Doejaaren, E.; Hompes, P.G.A.; Lambalk, C.B.; Schats, R.


    STUDY QUESTION Does the type of medium used to culture fresh and frozenthawed embryos influence neonatal birthweight after single embryo transfer (SET) in IVF? SUMMARY ANSWER A comparison of two commercially available culture media showed no significant influence on mean birthweight and mean

  5. Expression of Aquaporins in Human Embryos and Potential Role of AQP3 and AQP7 in Preimplantation Mouse Embryo Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Xiong


    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Water channels, also named aquaporins (AQPs, play crucial roles in cellular water homeostasis. Methods: RT-PCR indicated the mRNA expression of AQPs 1-5, 7, 9, and 11-12, but not AQPs 0, 6, 8, and 10 in the 2∼8-cell stage human embryos. AQP3 and AQP7 were further analyzed for their mRNA expression and protein expression in the oocyte, zygote, 2-cell embryo, 4-cell embryo, 8-cell embryo, morula, and blastocyst from both human and mouse using RT-PCR and immunofluorescence, respectively. Results: AQP3 and AQP7 were detected in all these stages. Knockdown of either AQP3 or AQP7 by targeted siRNA injection into 2-cell mouse embryos significantly inhibited preimplantation embryo development. However, knockdown of AQP3 in JAr spheroid did not affect its attachment to Ishikawa cells. Conclusion: These data demonstrate that multiple aquaporins are expressed in the early stage human embryos and that AQP3 and AQP7 may play a role in preimplantation mouse embryo development.

  6. NMR studies of preimplantation embryo metabolism in human assisted reproductive techniques: a new biomarker for assessment of embryo implantation potential. (United States)

    Pudakalakatti, Shivanand M; Uppangala, Shubhashree; D'Souza, Fiona; Kalthur, Guruprasad; Kumar, Pratap; Adiga, Satish Kumar; Atreya, Hanudatta S


    There has been growing interest in understanding energy metabolism in human embryos generated using assisted reproductive techniques (ART) for improving the overall success rate of the method. Using NMR spectroscopy as a noninvasive tool, we studied human embryo metabolism to identify specific biomarkers to assess the quality of embryos for their implantation potential. The study was based on estimation of pyruvate, lactate and alanine levels in the growth medium, ISM1, used in the culture of embryos. An NMR study involving 127 embryos from 48 couples revealed that embryos transferred on Day 3 (after 72 h in vitro culture) with successful implantation (pregnancy) exhibited significantly (p < 10(-5) ) lower pyruvate/alanine ratios compared to those that failed to implant. Lactate levels in media were similar for all embryos. This implies that in addition to lactate production, successfully implanted embryos use pyruvate to produce alanine and other cellular functions. While pyruvate and alanine individually have been used as biomarkers, the present study highlights the potential of combining them to provide a single parameter that correlates strongly with implantation potential. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Accurate and noninvasive embryos screening during in vitro fertilization (IVF) assisted by Raman analysis of embryos culture medium Accurate and noninvasive embryos screening during IVF (United States)

    Shen, A. G.; Peng, J.; Zhao, Q. H.; Su, L.; Wang, X. H.; Hu, J. M.; Yang, J.


    In combination with morphological evaluation tests, we employ Raman spectroscopy to select higher potential reproductive embryos during in vitro fertilization (IVF) based on chemical composition of embryos culture medium. In this study, 57 Raman spectra are acquired from both higher and lower quality embryos culture medium (ECM) from 10 patients which have been preliminarily confirmed by clinical assay. Data are fit by using a linear combination model of least squares method in which 12 basis spectra represent the chemical features of ECM. The final fitting coefficients provide insight into the chemical compositions of culture medium samples and are subsequently used as criterion to evaluate the quality of embryos. The relative fitting coefficients ratios of sodium pyruvate/albumin and phenylalanine/albumin seem act as key roles in the embryo screening, attaining 85.7% accuracy in comparison with clinical pregnancy. The good results demonstrate that Raman spectroscopy therefore is an important candidate for an accurate and noninvasive screening of higher quality embryos, which potentially decrease the time-consuming clinical trials during IVF.

  8. Effect of embryo age and recipient asynchrony on pregnancy rates in a commercial equine embryo transfer program. (United States)

    Jacob, J C F; Haag, K T; Santos, G O; Oliveira, J P; Gastal, M O; Gastal, E L


    In the present study, 809 uterine flushes and 454 embryo transfers performed in mares over a 4-yr interval were examined to evaluate the effects of: (1) the day of embryo collection on recovery rates; (2) the degree of synchrony between donor and recipient mares on pregnancy rates; (3) the recipient day post ovulation on pregnancy rates; and (4) the age of the embryo at recovery on pregnancy rates at 60 days. Uterine flushes were performed on Days 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 (Day 0 = ovulation) and embryos were transferred to recipients with degrees of synchrony varying between +1 to -6 (recipient ovulated 1 day before through 6 days after the donor). Recipient mares ranged from 2 to 8 days post ovulation. Embryo recovery rates were similar for flushes performed on Day 7 (61%), Day 8 (66%), Day 9 (59%), and Day 10 (56%), but the embryo recovery rate was lower (P recipient mares on Day 2 (33%) compared with mares on Day 3 (66%), Day 4 (66%), Day 5 (62%), Day 6 (55%), Day 7 (58%), and Day 8 (56%). Pregnancy rate was higher (P recipient mares does not need to be as restricted as previously reported in horses. Acceptable pregnancy rates (e.g., 70%, 99/142) were obtained even when recipient mares ovulated 4 to 5 days after the donors; (3) similar pregnancy rates were obtained when recipient mares received embryos within a large range of days post ovulation (Days 3 to 8); and (4) Day 7 embryos produced higher pregnancy rates when compared with Days 8 and 9 embryos. In clinical terms, the application of these new findings will be beneficial to large equine embryo transfer operations in producing more pregnancies per season. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Electroporation of Postimplantation Mouse Embryos In Utero. (United States)

    Huang, Cheng-Chiu; Carcagno, Abel


    Gene transfer by electroporation is possible in mouse fetuses within the uterus. As described in this protocol, the pregnant female is anesthetized, the abdominal cavity is opened, and the uterus with the fetuses is exteriorized. A solution of plasmid DNA is injected through the uterine wall directly into the fetus, typically into a cavity like the brain ventricle, guided by fiber optic illumination. Electrodes are positioned on the uterus around the region of the fetus that was injected, and electrical pulses are delivered. The uterus is returned to the abdominal cavity, the body wall is sutured closed, and the female is allowed to recover. The manipulated fetuses can then be collected and analyzed at various times after the electroporation. This method allows experimental access to later-stage developing mouse embryos. © 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  10. Mammalian diversity: gametes, embryos and reproduction. (United States)

    Behringer, Richard R; Eakin, Guy S; Renfree, Marilyn B


    The class Mammalia is composed of approximately 4800 extant species. These mammalian species are divided into three subclasses that include the monotremes, marsupials and eutherians. Monotremes are remarkable because these mammals are born from eggs laid outside of the mother's body. Marsupial mammals have relatively short gestation periods and give birth to highly altricial young that continue a significant amount of 'fetal' development after birth, supported by a highly sophisticated lactation. Less than 10% of mammalian species are monotremes or marsupials, so the great majority of mammals are grouped into the subclass Eutheria, including mouse and human. Mammals exhibit great variety in morphology, physiology and reproduction. In the present article, we highlight some of this remarkable diversity relative to the mouse, one of the most widely used mammalian model organisms, and human. This diversity creates challenges and opportunities for gamete and embryo collection, culture and transfer technologies.

  11. Selection for rapid embryo development correlates with embryo exposure to maternal androgens among passerine birds. (United States)

    Schwabl, Hubert; Palacios, Maria G; Martin, Thomas E


    Greater offspring predation favors evolution of faster development among species. We hypothesized that greater offspring predation exerts selection on mothers to increase levels of anabolic androgens in egg yolks to achieve faster development. Here, we tested whether (1) concentrations of yolk androgens in passerine species were associated with offspring predation and (2) embryo and nestling development rates were associated with yolk androgen concentrations. We examined three androgens that increase in potency along the synthesis pathway: androstenedione (A(4)) to testosterone (T) to 5 alpha -dihydrotestosterone (5 alpha -DHT). Concentrations of none of these steroids were related to clutch size; only A(4) was allometrically related to egg volume. Species that experience greater predation showed higher yolk concentrations of T and 5 alpha -DHT. Higher concentrations of T and particularly 5 alpha -DHT were strongly correlated with faster development during the embryo period and less so during the nestling period. Development rates were most strongly correlated with 5 alpha -DHT, suggesting that potency increases along the androgen synthesis pathway and that effects are mediated by the androgen receptor pathway. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that selection for faster development by time-dependent offspring mortality may be achieved epigenetically by varying embryo exposure to maternal anabolic steroids.

  12. Immunoanalysis of dehydrins in Araucaria angustifolia embryos. (United States)

    Farias-Soares, Francine Lunardi; Burrieza, Hernán Pablo; Steiner, Neusa; Maldonado, Sara; Guerra, Miguel Pedro


    The aim of this study was to describe the dehydrin content of mature Araucaria angustifolia embryos, a species of endangered and economically important conifers, native to southern Brazil, northeastern Argentina, and eastern Paraguay. The A. angustifolia seeds have been categorized as recalcitrant. Dehydrins were studied by western blot analysis and in situ immunolocalization microscopy using antibodies raised against the K segment, a highly conserved lysine-rich 15-amino acid sequence extensively used to recognize proteins immunologically related to the dehydrin family. Western blot analysis of the heat-stable protein fraction, as estimated by 15 % SDS-PAGE, revealed three main bands of approximately 20-, 26-, and 29-kDa; when 17.5 % SDS-PAGE was used, each band resolved into two other bands. Two thermosensitive dehydrin bands of around 16 and 35 kDa were common to the axis and cotyledons, and another thermosensitive band, with molecular mass of approximately 10 kDa, was present in the cotyledons only. Following alkaline phosphatase (AP) treatment, a gel mobility shift was detected for each one of the four main bands that can be due to phosphorylation. Dehydrins were detected in all axis and cotyledon tissues using in situ immunolocalization microscopy. At the subcellular level, dehydrins were immunolocalized in the nuclei, protein bodies, and microbodies. In the nucleus, dehydrins were found to be associated with chromatin. We concluded that the gel mobility shift for the four main bands (probably due to phosphorylation), the presence of thermosensitive bands, and the specific localizations in nuclei and protein bodies provide key starting points to understand the function of dehydrins in the embryo cells of this species.

  13. The mitochondrial genome in embryo technologies. (United States)

    Hiendleder, S; Wolf, E


    The mammalian mitochondrial genome encodes for 37 genes which are involved in a broad range of cellular functions. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecule is commonly assumed to be inherited through oocyte cytoplasm in a clonal manner, and apparently species-specific mechanisms have evolved to eliminate the contribution of sperm mitochondria after natural fertilization. However, recent evidence for paternal mtDNA inheritance in embryos and offspring questions the general validity of this model, particularly in the context of assisted reproduction and embryo biotechnology. In addition to normal mt DNA haplotype variation, oocytes and spermatozoa show remarkable differences in mtDNA content and may be affected by inherited or acquired mtDNA aberrations. All these parameters have been correlated with gamete quality and reproductive success rates. Nuclear transfer (NT) technology provides experimental models for studying interactions between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Recent studies demonstrated (i) a significant effect of mtDNA haplotype or other maternal cytoplasmic factors on the efficiency of NT; (ii) phenotypic differences between transmitochondrial clones pointing to functionally relevant nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions; and (iii) neutral or non-neutral selection of mtDNA haplotypes in heteroplasmic conditions. Mitochondria form a dynamic reticulum, enabling complementation of mitochondrial components and possibly mixing of different mtDNA populations in heteroplasmic individuals. Future directions of research on mtDNA in the context of reproductive biotechnology range from the elimination of adverse effects of artificial heteroplasmy, e.g. created by ooplasm transfer, to engineering of optimized constellations of nuclear and cytoplasmic genes for the production of superior livestock.

  14. Enhancement of NMRI Mouse Embryo Development In vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abedini, F.


    Full Text Available Most of the systematic studies used in the development of human embryo culture media have been done first on mouse embryos. The general use of NMRI outbred mice is a model for toxicology, teratology and pharmacology. NMRI mouse embryo exhibit the two-cell block in vitro. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the effects of four kinds of culture media on the development of zygotes (NMRI after embryo vitrification. One-cell mouse embryos were obtained from NMRI mice after superovulation and mating with adult male NMRI mice. And then randomly divided into 4 groups for culture in four different cultures media including: M16 (A, DMEM/Ham, F-12 (B, DMEM/Ham's F-12 co-culture with Vero cells(C and DMEM/Ham's F-12 co-culture with MEF cells (D. Afterward all of the embryos were vitrified in EFS40 solution and collected. Results of our study revealed, more blastocysts significantly were developed with co-culture with MEF cells in DMEM/Ham's F-12 medium. More research needed to understand the effect of other components of culture medium, and co-culture on NMRI embryo development.

  15. Evaluating the Zebrafish Embryo Toxicity Test for Pesticide ... (United States)

    Given the numerous chemicals used in society, it is critical to develop tools for accurate and efficient evaluation of potential risks to human and ecological receptors. Fish embryo acute toxicity tests are 1 tool that has been shown to be highly predictive of standard, more resource-intensive, juvenile fish acute toxicity tests. However, there is also evidence that fish embryos are less sensitive than juvenile fish for certain types of chemicals, including neurotoxicants. The utility of fish embryos for pesticide hazard assessment was investigated by comparing published zebrafish embryo toxicity data from pesticides with median lethal concentration 50% (LC50) data for juveniles of 3 commonly tested fish species: rainbow trout, bluegill sunfish, and sheepshead minnow. A poor, albeit significant, relationship (r2 = 0.28; p embryo and juvenile fish toxicity when pesticides were considered as a single group, but a much better relationship (r2 = 0.64; p embryo toxicity test endpoints are particularly insensitive to neurotoxicants. These results indicate that it is still premature to replace juvenile fish toxicity tests with embryo-based tests such as the Organisation for Economic Co-op

  16. Hormetic effect induced by depleted uranium in zebrafish embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ng, C.Y.P.; Cheng, S.H.; Yu, K.N.


    Highlights: • Studied hormetic effect induced by uranium (U) in embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio). • Hormesis observed at 24 hpf for exposures to 10 μg/l of depleted U (DU). • Hormesis not observed before 30 hpf for exposures to 100 μg/l of DU. • Hormetic effect induced in zebrafish embryos in a dose-and time-dependent manner. - Abstract: The present work studied the hormetic effect induced by uranium (U) in embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio) using apoptosis as the biological endpoint. Hormetic effect is characterized by biphasic dose-response relationships showing a low-dose stimulation and a high-dose inhibition. Embryos were dechorionated at 4 h post fertilization (hpf), and were then exposed to 10 or 100 μg/l depleted uranium (DU) in uranyl acetate solutions from 5 to 6 hpf. For exposures to 10 μg/l DU, the amounts of apoptotic signals in the embryos were significantly increased at 20 hpf but were significantly decreased at 24 hpf, which demonstrated the presence of U-induced hormesis. For exposures to 100 μg/l DU, the amounts of apoptotic signals in the embryos were significantly increased at 20, 24 and 30 hpf. Hormetic effect was not shown but its occurrence between 30 and 48 hpf could not be ruled out. In conclusion, hormetic effect could be induced in zebrafish embryos in a concentration- and time-dependent manner.

  17. Hormetic effect induced by depleted uranium in zebrafish embryos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ng, C.Y.P. [Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong); Cheng, S.H., E-mail: [Department of Biomedical Sciences, City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong); State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong); Yu, K.N., E-mail: [Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong); State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)


    Highlights: • Studied hormetic effect induced by uranium (U) in embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio). • Hormesis observed at 24 hpf for exposures to 10 μg/l of depleted U (DU). • Hormesis not observed before 30 hpf for exposures to 100 μg/l of DU. • Hormetic effect induced in zebrafish embryos in a dose-and time-dependent manner. - Abstract: The present work studied the hormetic effect induced by uranium (U) in embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio) using apoptosis as the biological endpoint. Hormetic effect is characterized by biphasic dose-response relationships showing a low-dose stimulation and a high-dose inhibition. Embryos were dechorionated at 4 h post fertilization (hpf), and were then exposed to 10 or 100 μg/l depleted uranium (DU) in uranyl acetate solutions from 5 to 6 hpf. For exposures to 10 μg/l DU, the amounts of apoptotic signals in the embryos were significantly increased at 20 hpf but were significantly decreased at 24 hpf, which demonstrated the presence of U-induced hormesis. For exposures to 100 μg/l DU, the amounts of apoptotic signals in the embryos were significantly increased at 20, 24 and 30 hpf. Hormetic effect was not shown but its occurrence between 30 and 48 hpf could not be ruled out. In conclusion, hormetic effect could be induced in zebrafish embryos in a concentration- and time-dependent manner.

  18. In vitro sterilization technique on embryo of black Toraja rice (United States)

    Haring, F.; Riadi, M.; Rafiuddin; Sjahril, R.; Muchlis, A. R.


    Toraja black rice has a high anthocyanin content, a water-soluble pigments, with antioxidant activity. Toraja black rice has a variety of seeds colour in one panicles such as full black (the outside and inside the rice), medium black (the outside and slightly inside rice) and a little black (only the outside of rice). Embryo culture in vitro is one way to grow plants in sterile conditions. The presence of contamination and the death of the embryo require in vitro embryo culture. The sterilization technique is a very important first step to eliminate contamination and the death of embryos. This research aims to determine the right material composition for sterilization of black rice’s embryo. The experiment was done by growing black rice on half strength MS media with the treatment of three method of sterilization, i.e.: S1 (70% alcohol for 5 minutes, 3% and 2% Chlorox each for 10 minutes,), S2 (70% alcohol for 3 minutes, 2% Clorox for 10 minutes) and S3 (70% alcohol for 3 minutes and 1% Clorox for 15 minutes). The materials used are rice seedlings that have been cut in two and opened the pericarp of paddy grain, leaving a piece of rice that has a complete embryo. The best sterilization for Toraja black rice embryo culture was using the S3 composition. Best germination was seen on the seeds with full and medium black color.

  19. Role of microRNAs in embryo implantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingjie Liang


    Full Text Available Abstract Failure of embryo implantation is a major limiting factor in early pregnancy and assisted reproduction. Determinants of implantation include the embryo viability, the endometrial receptivity, and embryo-maternal interactions. Multiple molecules are involved in the regulation of implantation, but their specific regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. MicroRNA (miRNA, functioning as the transcriptional regulator of gene expression, has been widely reported to be involved in embryo implantation. Recent studies reveal that miRNAs not only act inside the cells, but also can be released by cells into the extracellular environment through multiple packaging forms, facilitating intercellular communication and providing indicative information associated with physiological and pathological conditions. The discovery of extracellular miRNAs shed new light on implantation studies. MiRNAs provide new mechanisms for embryo-maternal communication. Moreover, they may serve as non-invasive biomarkers for embryo selection and assessment of endometrial receptivity in assisted reproduction, which improves the accuracy of evaluation while reducing the mechanical damage to the tissue. In this review, we discuss the involvement of miRNAs in embryo implantation from several aspects, focusing on the role of extracellular miRNAs and their potential applications in assisted reproductive technologies (ART to promote fertility efficiency.

  20. Response of maternal immune cells of irradiation of mouse embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicholls, E.M.; Markovic, B.


    This work began as an attempt to explain the paradox of pregnancy - the survival and growth of the semi-allogenic embryo in an immunologically hostile environment. In 1982 and 1983 we reported the tracing of quinacrine labelled maternal leukocytes (WBC) in maternal, placental and embryonic mouse tissues by fluorescence microscopy. We found that cells in the placenta phagocytose labelled WBC, so that after 1-2 hours the labelled nuclear DNA is found as brightly fluorescing particles in the cytoplasm of the phagocytes with no evidence of it in the nuclei. Identical cells were observed in slide preparations of embryos which had been carefully separated from their placentas. We also found a small population of intact labelled lymphocytes, clearly maternal in origin, in the embryos. This seems to be another paradox - placental phagocytes are observed to be phagocytosing maternal WBC in the placenta and embryo, but there are also free maternal cells in the placenta and embryo. A theoretical explanation is that maternal lymphocytes alloreactive against the embryo will attempt to react with placental cells and in the process be phagocytosed, while other maternal cells will be able to enter the embryo where they could have a surveillance function, removing dead or mutant embryonic cells. To test this theory a series of experiments were carried out and are reported

  1. Automatic Blastomere Recognition from a Single Embryo Image

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Tian


    Full Text Available The number of blastomeres of human day 3 embryos is one of the most important criteria for evaluating embryo viability. However, due to the transparency and overlap of blastomeres, it is a challenge to recognize blastomeres automatically using a single embryo image. This study proposes an approach based on least square curve fitting (LSCF for automatic blastomere recognition from a single image. First, combining edge detection, deletion of multiple connected points, and dilation and erosion, an effective preprocessing method was designed to obtain part of blastomere edges that were singly connected. Next, an automatic recognition method for blastomeres was proposed using least square circle fitting. This algorithm was tested on 381 embryo microscopic images obtained from the eight-cell period, and the results were compared with those provided by experts. Embryos were recognized with a 0 error rate occupancy of 21.59%, and the ratio of embryos in which the false recognition number was less than or equal to 2 was 83.16%. This experiment demonstrated that our method could efficiently and rapidly recognize the number of blastomeres from a single embryo image without the need to reconstruct the three-dimensional model of the blastomeres first; this method is simple and efficient.

  2. Shaping the norms that regulate international commerce of embryos. (United States)

    Gard, Julie A; Stringfellow, David A


    As various embryo technologies in livestock were developed and evolved to a state of usefulness over the past 40 years, scientists with a specific interest in infectious diseases sought to determine the epidemiologic consequences of movement, especially international movement, of increasing numbers of embryos. Many of the foundational studies in this area were reported in Theriogenology, beginning in the 1970s and especially throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Unquestionably, Theriogenology has been a widely used venue for dissemination of basic information on this subject, which ultimately led to the development of the now universally accepted techniques for certification of embryo health. Today it is well-recognized that movement in commerce of embryos, especially in vivo-derived embryos, is a very low-risk method for exchange of animal germ plasm. This paper chronicles the evolution of strategies for health certification of embryos. An overview is provided of the calculated efforts of practitioners, scientists, and regulators to organize, forge necessary partnerships, stimulate needed research, provide purposeful analysis of the results, and, through these processes, guarantee the universal acceptance of efficient protocols for certifying the health of embryos intended for movement in international commerce. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. No evidence of association of MUC-1 genetic polymorphism with embryo implantation failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.B. Dentillo


    Full Text Available Pregnancy loss can be caused by several factors involved in human reproduction. Although up to 50% of cases remain unexplained, it has been postulated that the major cause of failed pregnancy is an error of embryo implantation. Transmembrane mucin-1 (MUC-1 is a glycoprotein expressed on the endometrial cell surface which acts as a barrier to implantation. The gene that codes for this molecule is composed of a polymorphic tandem repeat of 60 nucleotides. Our objective was to determine if MUC-1 genetic polymorphism is associated with implantation failure in patients with a history of recurrent abortion. The study was conducted on 10 women aged 25 to 35 years with no history of successful pregnancy and with a diagnosis of infertility. The control group consisted of 32 patients aged 25 to 35 years who had delivered at least two full-term live children and who had no history of abortions or fetal losses. MUC-1 amplicons were obtained by PCR and observed on agarose and polyacrylamide gel after electrophoresis. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference in the number of MUC-1 variable number of tandem repeats between these groups (P > 0.05. Our results suggest that there is no effect of the polymorphic MUC-1 sequence on the implantation failure. However, the data do not exclude MUC-1 relevance during embryo implantation. The process is related to several associated factors such as the mechanisms of gene expression in the uterus, specific MUC-1 post-translational modifications and appropriate interactions with other molecules during embryo implantation.

  4. Functional divergence of chloroplast Cpn60α subunits during Arabidopsis embryo development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaolong Ke


    Full Text Available Chaperonins are a class of molecular chaperones that assist in the folding and assembly of a wide range of substrates. In plants, chloroplast chaperonins are composed of two different types of subunits, Cpn60α and Cpn60β, and duplication of Cpn60α and Cpn60β genes occurs in a high proportion of plants. However, the importance of multiple Cpn60α and Cpn60β genes in plants is poorly understood. In this study, we found that loss-of-function of CPNA2 (AtCpn60α2, a gene encoding the minor Cpn60α subunit in Arabidopsis thaliana, resulted in arrested embryo development at the globular stage, whereas the other AtCpn60α gene encoding the dominant Cpn60α subunit, CPNA1 (AtCpn60α1, mainly affected embryonic cotyledon development at the torpedo stage and thereafter. Further studies demonstrated that CPNA2 can form a functional chaperonin with CPNB2 (AtCpn60β2 and CPNB3 (AtCpn60β3, while the functional partners of CPNA1 are CPNB1 (AtCpn60β1 and CPNB2. We also revealed that the functional chaperonin containing CPNA2 could assist the folding of a specific substrate, KASI (β-ketoacyl-[acyl carrier protein] synthase I, and that the KASI protein level was remarkably reduced due to loss-of-function of CPNA2. Furthermore, the reduction in the KASI protein level was shown to be the possible cause for the arrest of cpna2 embryos. Our findings indicate that the two Cpn60α subunits in Arabidopsis play different roles during embryo development through forming distinct chaperonins with specific AtCpn60β to assist the folding of particular substrates, thus providing novel insights into functional divergence of Cpn60α subunits in plants.

  5. Gene expression during ovarian differentiation in parasitic and non-parasitic lampreys: implications for fecundity and life history types. (United States)

    Spice, Erin K; Whyard, Steven; Docker, Margaret F


    Lampreys diverged from the jawed vertebrate lineage approximately 500million years ago. Lampreys undergo sex differentiation much later than most other vertebrates, and ovarian differentiation occurs several years before testicular differentiation. The genetic basis of lamprey sex differentiation is of particular interest both because of the phylogenetic importance of lampreys and because of their unusual pattern of sex differentiation. As well, differences between parasitic and non-parasitic lampreys may first become evident at ovarian differentiation. However, nothing is known about the genetic basis of ovarian differentiation in lampreys. This study examined potential differences in gene expression before, during, and after ovarian differentiation in parasitic chestnut lamprey Ichthyomyzon castaneus and non-parasitic northern brook lamprey Ichthyomyzonfossor. Eight target genes (17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, germ cell-less, estrogen receptor β, insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, daz-associated protein 1, cytochrome c oxidase subunit III, Wilms' tumour suppressor protein 1, and dehydrocholesterol reductase 7) were examined. Northern brook lamprey displayed higher expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit III, whereas chestnut lamprey displayed higher expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor; these genes may be involved in apoptosis and oocyte growth, respectively. Presumptive male larvae had higher expression of Wilms' tumour suppressor protein 1, which may be involved in the undifferentiated gonad and/or later testicular development. Differentiated females had higher expression of 17β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and daz-associated protein 1, which may be involved in female development. This study is the first to identify genes that may be involved in ovarian differentiation and fecundity in lampreys. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Azadirachtin-induced hormesis mediating shift in fecundity-longevity trade-off in the Mexican bean weevil (Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae). (United States)

    Mallqui, K S Vilca; Vieira, J L; Guedes, R N C; Gontijo, L M


    Insecticides can have lethal or sublethal effects upon targeted pest species, and sublethal effects may even favor pest outbreaks if insecticide-induced hormesis occurs. Hormesis is a biphasic dose-response of a given chemical compound that is stimulatory at low doses and toxic at high doses. The former response may result from the disruption of animal homeostasis leading to trade-off shifts between basic ecophysiological processes. A growing interest in the use of biorational insecticides, such as azadirachtin to control stored-product pests, raises concerns about potential sublethal effects. In this study, we explored the hypothesis that azadirachtin can negatively impact the reproductive capacity of the Mexican bean weevil, Zabrotes subfasciatus (Boheman) (Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae), a key pest of stored beans. In addition, we investigated whether adults of this species could compensate for any sublethal effect that might have affected any of their reproductive parameters by adjusting the allocation of its reproductive efforts. The results showed that females of Z. subfasciatus increased fecundity daily to compensate for azadirachtin-induced decreased longevity. In addition, a stage-structured matrix study revealed that populations of Z. subfasciatus engendered from females exposed to azadirachtin exhibited a higher rate of population increase (r) and a higher net reproductive rate (R(o)). Finally, a projection matrix analysis showed notably higher densities along the generations for azadirachtin-exposed Z. subfasciatus populations. Thus, our study provides empirical evidence for the capacity of Z. subfasciatus to adapt to sublethal effects caused by biorational insecticides; consequently, this study highlights the importance of understanding this phenomenon when devising pest management strategies.

  7. Reproductive interference and fecundity affect competitive interactions of sibling species with low mating barriers: experimental and theoretical evidence. (United States)

    Gebiola, M; Kelly, S E; Velten, L; Zug, R; Hammerstein, P; Giorgini, M; Hunter, M S


    When allopatric species with incomplete prezygotic isolation come into secondary contact, the outcome of their interaction is not easily predicted. The parasitoid wasp Encarsia suzannae (iES), infected by Cardinium inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), and its sibling species E. gennaroi (EG), not infected by bacterial endosymbionts, may have diverged because of the complementary action of CI and asymmetric hybrid incompatibilities. Whereas postzygotic isolation is now complete because of sterility of F1 hybrid progeny, prezygotic isolation is still incipient. We set up laboratory population cage experiments to evaluate the outcome of the interaction between ES and EG in two pairwise combinations: iES vs EG and cured ES (cES, where Cardinium was removed with antibiotics) vs EG. We also built a theoretical model aimed at exploring the role of life-history differences and asymmetric mating on competitive outcomes. In three of four cages in each treatment, ES dominated the interaction. We found evidence for reproductive interference, driven by asymmetric mating preferences, that gave a competitive edge to ES, the species that better discriminated against heterospecifics. However, we did not find the fecundity cost previously shown to be associated with Cardinium infection in iES. The model largely supported the experimental results. The finding of only a slight competitive edge of ES over EG in population cages suggests that in a more heterogeneous environment the species could coexist. This is supported by evidence that the two species coexist in sympatry, where preliminary data suggest reproductive character displacement may have reinforced postzygotic isolation.

  8. Dose estimation in embryo or fetus in external fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gregori, Beatriz N.


    The embryo or the fetus can be irradiated as result of radiological procedures of diagnosis of therapy in where the beam effects directly on the same one or in tissues or peripherical organs. Some authors have suggested that in the first stages of the pregnancy the dose in ovaries can be the good estimated of the dose in embryo or fetus. In advanced conditions of the development, probably also in the early stage, is more appropriated to specify the dose in the embryo or fetus equal of the uterus. The dose in the uterus is a good estimated so much for external irradiation as for radionuclides incorporation

  9. The effects of X-rays on chicken embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wendt, E.


    The radiosensitivity of the chickens embryo changes in the course of its 21 days of development. A period of relatively high resistance in the early stages of development (1. to 3. day of incubation), is followed by an increase of sensitivity from the 4. day onwards. In 1- to 3-day-old embryos, X-rays cause nonspecific malformations in those organs which are in a phenocritical period at the moment of irradiation. In mature embryos (4. to 20. day of incubation) characteristic biochemical changes in the metabolism of proteins and amino-acids as well as the nitrogen excretion can be observed as the predominant radiation effects. (orig.)

  10. Human embryo research and the 14-day rule. (United States)

    Pera, Martin F


    In many jurisdictions, restrictions prohibit the culture of human embryos beyond 14 days of development. However, recent reports describing the successful maintenance of embryos in vitro to this stage have prompted many in the field to question whether the rule is still appropriate. This Spotlight article looks at the original rationale behind the 14-day rule and its relevance today in light of advances in human embryo culture and in the derivation of embryonic-like structures from human pluripotent stem cells. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. Psychological study of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer participants' attitudes toward the destiny of their supernumerary embryos. (United States)

    Laruelle, C; Englert, Y


    To study the motivations underlying IVF-ET participants' choice to donate or destroy their supernumerary embryos. Couples' opinions are studied through a questionnaire and a psychological interview. Two hundred couples about to undergo IVF-ET. The fertility unit of an academic hospital. Couples' choice for supernumerary embryos' destiny; opinions on embryo status, on importance of genetic lineage in the filial bonding, on gamete donation, and on multiple pregnancy risk. Donation is the most frequent choice but destruction is tolerated by almost all the couples (92%). Couples considering the embryo as a child choose destruction as frequently as donation but refuse experimentation on the embryo. Donation is highest among couples who stress education more than genetic lineage in parental bonding. This is confirmed by the choice of the couples requiring donor gametes. Couples express differing attitudes toward risks of twins and risks of triplets: twins are much more desired than triplets, which are frequently refused. Couples' opinions on the respective importance of genetic lineage and education in defining parental bonding are more determinant in their decision to destroy or to donate their supernumerary embryos than their opinions on the in vitro embryo status, which only determines their attitude toward experimentation.

  12. Limited importance of pre-embryo pronuclear morphology (zygote score) in assisted reproduction outcome in the absence of embryo cryopreservation. (United States)

    Nicoli, Alessia; Valli, Barbara; Di Girolamo, Roberta; Di Tommaso, Barbara; Gallinelli, Andrea; La Sala, Giovanni B


    To investigate the hypothesis that Z-score criteria represent a reliable predictor of implantation rate and pregnancy outcome in in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles, excluding the possibility of embryo selection before the embryo transfer. Retrospective clinical study. Centre of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Arcispedale S. Maria Nuova (ASMN), Reggio Emilia, Italy. We analyzed 393 pregnancies obtained by IVF or ICSI cycles. Morphologic evaluations of Z-score in pre-embryos obtained from IVF or ICSI cycles. Evaluations of Z-scores, implantation rate, and clinical pregnancy outcome. We did not find any statistically significant correlation between the Z-score of 1032 embryos transferred in 393 embryo transfers and the implantation rate or the pregnancy outcome. In particular, the best Z-score identified (Z1, 7.2%) did not seem to correlate with embryo implantation rate or pregnancy outcomes any better than those with worse scores (Z2, 6.9% and Z3, 85.9%). Our results seem to confirm that Z-score alone cannot be considered a better tool than standard morphologic criteria for identifying, controlling, or selecting embryos with a better chance of successful ongoing pregnancy.

  13. Non-invasive analysis of bovine embryo metabolites during in vitro embryo culture using nuclear magnetic resonance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Rubessa


    Full Text Available The ability to identify embryos that have the highest developmental potential from a cohort would significantly increase the chances of achieving pregnancy. Metabolic analysis is a well-established analytical approach in biological systems. Starting from this idea, we chose to use high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR spectroscopy. The aim of this study was to determine if it is possible to select viable embryos after 48 h of culture using metabolic activity as the parameter. We evaluated embryo metabolism after the first 48 h of culture and compared the activity of cleaved embryos that became blastocysts to cleaved embryos that did not develop to blastocysts, and in vitro fertilized (IVF blastocysts and parthenogenetic-activated (PA blastocysts. Our results show that citrate, pyruvate, myo-inositol and lysine have great impact on predicting embryo development. When we compared IVF and PA blastocysts, we found that acetate and phenylalanine concentrations are excellent parameters for evaluating blastocyst quality. Combining all these results, we were able to create a formula that predicts zygote development after 2 days of culture. In conclusion, we found that it is possible predict the future development of in vitro produced bovine embryos after only 2 days of culture using 1H-NMR.

  14. A biomechanical analysis of ventral furrow formation in the Drosophila melanogaster embryo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vito Conte

    Full Text Available The article provides a biomechanical analysis of ventral furrow formation in the Drosophila melanogaster embryo. Ventral furrow formation is the first large-scale morphogenetic movement in the fly embryo. It involves deformation of a uniform cellular monolayer formed following cellularisation, and has therefore long been used as a simple system in which to explore the role of mechanics in force generation. Here we use a quantitative framework to carry out a systematic perturbation analysis to determine the role of each of the active forces observed. The analysis confirms that ventral furrow invagination arises from a combination of apical constriction and apical-basal shortening forces in the mesoderm, together with a combination of ectodermal forces. We show that the mesodermal forces are crucial for invagination: the loss of apical constriction leads to a loss of the furrow, while the mesodermal radial shortening forces are the primary cause of the internalisation of the future mesoderm as the furrow rises. Ectodermal forces play a minor but significant role in furrow formation: without ectodermal forces the furrow is slower to form, does not close properly and has an aberrant morphology. Nevertheless, despite changes in the active mesodermal and ectodermal forces lead to changes in the timing and extent of furrow, invagination is eventually achieved in most cases, implying that the system is robust to perturbation and therefore over-determined.

  15. Cost-effectiveness of single versus double embryo transfer in IVF in relation to female age

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Loendersloot, Laura L.; Moolenaar, Lobke M.; van Wely, Madelon; Repping, Sjoerd; Bossuyt, Patrick M.; Hompes, Peter G. A.; van der Veen, Fulco; Mol, Ben Willem J.


    Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of single embryo transfer followed by an additional frozen thawed single embryo transfer, if more embryos are available, as compared to double embryo transfer in relation to female age. Study design: We used a decision tree model to evaluate the costs

  16. File list: Pol.Emb.10.AllAg.Mixed_embryo [Chip-atlas[Archive

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  4. Loss of Wolbachia infection during colonisation in the invasive Argentine ant Linepithema humile

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reuter, M.; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Keller, L.


    Wolbachia are maternally inherited bacteria, which are very common in arthropods and nematodes. Wolbachia infection may affect host reproduction through feminisation, parthenogenesis, male-killing, cytoplasmic incompatibility and increased fecundity. Previous studies showing discrepancies between...... of Wolbachia were studied in three native and eight introduced populations of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile. The screening shows that the symbiont is common in the three native L. humile populations analysed. In contrast, Wolbachia was detected in only one of the introduced populations. The loss...... transmission of the symbiont may be important in ants as suggested by the sequence similarity of strains in the three genera Linepithema, Acromyrmex, and Solenopsis native from South and Central America....

  5. Towards single embryo transfer? Modelling clinical outcomes of potential treatment choices using multiple data sources: predictive models and patient perspectives. (United States)

    Roberts, Sa; McGowan, L; Hirst, Wm; Brison, Dr; Vail, A; Lieberman, Ba


    specifically predicted multiple birth outcomes beyond those that predicted treatment success. In the fresh transfer following egg retrieval, SET would lead to a reduction of approximately one-third in the live birth probability compared with DET, a result consistent with the limited data from clinical trials. From the population or clinic perspective, selection of patients based on prognostic indicators might mitigate about half of the loss in live births associated with SET in the initial fresh transfer while achieving a twin rate of 10% or less. Data-based simulations suggested that, if all good-quality embryos are replaced over multiple frozen embryo transfers, repeated SET has the potential to produce more live birth events than repeated DET. However, this would depend on optimising cryopreservation procedures. Universal SET could both reduce the number of twin births and lead to more couples having a child, but at an average cost of one more embryo transfer procedure per egg retrieval. The interview and focus group data suggest that, despite the potential to maintain overall success rates, patients would prefer DET: the potential for twins was seen as positive, while additional transfer procedures can be emotionally, physically and financially draining. For any one transfer, SET has about a one-third loss of success rate relative to DET. This can be only partially mitigated by patient and treatment cycle selection, which may be criticised as unfair as all patients receiving SET will have a lower chance of success than they would with DET. However, considering complete cycles (fresh plus frozen transfers), it is possible for repeat SET to produce more live births than repeat DET. Such a strategy would require support from funders and acceptance by patients of both cryopreservation and the burden of additional transfer cycles. Future work should include development of improved clinical and regulatory database systems, surveys to quantify the extent of patients' beliefs and

  6. An economic assessment of embryo diagnostics (Dx) - the costs of introducing non-invasive embryo diagnostics into IVF standard treatment practices. (United States)

    Fugel, Hans-Joerg; Connolly, Mark; Nuijten, Mark


    New techniques in assessing oocytes and embryo quality are currently explored to improve pregnancy and delivery rates per embryo transfer. While a better understanding of embryo quality could help optimize the existing "in vitro fertilization" (IVF) therapy schemes, it is essential to address the economic viability of such technologies in the healthcare setting. An Embryo-Dx economic model was constructed to assess the cost-effectiveness of 3 different IVF strategies from a payer's perspective; it compares Embryo-Dx with single embryo transfer (SET) to elective single embryo transfer (eSET) and to double embryo transfer (DET) treatment practices. The introduction of a new non-invasive embryo technology (Embryo-Dx) associated with a cost up to €460 is cost-effective compared to eSET and DET based on the cost per live birth. The model assumed that Embryo-Dx will improve ongoing pregnancy rate/realize an absolute improvement in live births of 9% in this case. This study shows that improved embryo diagnosis combined with SET may have the potential to reduce the cost per live birth per couple treated in IVF treatment practices. The results of this study are likely more sensitive to changes in the ongoing pregnancy rate and consequently the live birth rate than the diagnosis costs. The introduction of a validated Embryo-Dx technology will further support a move towards increased eSET procedures in IVF clinical practice and vice versa.

  7. Non-invasive metabolomic profiling of embryo culture media and morphology grading to predict implantation outcome in frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles. (United States)

    Li, Xiong; Xu, Yan; Fu, Jing; Zhang, Wen-Bi; Liu, Su-Ying; Sun, Xiao-Xi


    Assessment of embryo viability is a crucial component of in vitro fertilization and currently relies largely on embryo morphology and cleavage rate. Because morphological assessment remains highly subjective, it can be unreliable in predicting embryo viability. This study investigated the metabolomic profiling of embryo culture media using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy for predicting the implantation potential of human embryos in frozen-thawed embryo transfer (FET) cycles. Spent embryo culture media was collected on day 4 after thawed embryo transfer (n = 621) and analysed using NIR spectroscopy. Viability scores were calculated using a predictive multivariate algorithm of fresh embryos with known pregnancy outcomes. The mean viability indices of embryos resulting in clinical pregnancy following FET were significantly higher than those of non-implanted embryos and differed between the 0, 50, and 100 % implantation groups. Notably, the 0 % group index was significantly lower than the 100 % implantation group index (-0.787 ± 0.382 vs. 1.064 ± 0.331, P  0.05). NIR metabolomic profiling of thawed embryo culture media is independent of morphology and correlates with embryo implantation potential in FET cycles. The viability score alone or in conjunction with morphologic grading is a more objective marker for implantation outcome in FET cycles than morphology alone.

  8. In vitro testing of defense reactions in zygotic and somatic embryos of Abies numidica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Hřib


    Full Text Available Defense of desiccated cotyledonary somatic embryos and mature zygotic embryos of Abies numidica was tested in vitro by dual cultures with tester, fungus Phaeolus schweinitzii. Both types of embryos expressed defense reactions manifested by inhibited growth of fungal tester towards the embryos. Mycelial growth was described by logistic sigmoid growth model with a single asymptote. Mutual comparisons of mycelial growth in presence of zygotic and somatic embryos showed significant differences in parameters of mycelium growth curves towards the embryos. Larger defense reactions were observed in zygotic embryos relative to somatic embryos and unlimited control cultivations without embryo. The possible role of auxin in the defense response of plant embryos is discussed.

  9. Improving production of Zebra Fish Embryos in the lab

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Jens Peter; Adu, Robert Ohene


    in the laboratory. Culture conditions were maintained in the aquaria as stipulated in the OECD draft proposal for a new guideline on fish embryo tests. Furthermore, a sequence of steps were adopted and followed to improve upon previous work done in the lab in 2006. About 200 eggs were produced in one spawn trap......The utilization of fish embryos in toxicity testing of hazardous chemicals has recently been adopted in order to satisfy stricter rules and regulations related to using adult animals in toxicity testing. This paper presents optimising steps towards improving zebra fish embryo production...... within an hour of onset of light, an improvement over the 50-60 eggs produced in the previous work. This result demonstrates that with the right culture conditions and proper optimisation of procedure the required number of embryos needed for toxicity testing can be obtained....

  10. Heme synthesis in the lead-intoxicated mouse embryo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gerber, G B; Maes, J


    Incorporation of /sup 55/Fe and of (/sup 14/C) glycine was studied in control embryos and mothers and in those which had received lead in the diet from day 7 of pregnancy. Incorporation of Fe into heme of embryonic liver which increases markedly for controls on day 17 of pregnancy was depressed greatly and showed no such increase in lead-intoxicated embryos. These embryos were retarded in growth but had normal heme concentrations in body and liver. Incorporation of glycine into embryonic heme and proteins was not affected. Data on incorporation in the mothers are also presented. It is thought that the impaired synthesis of heme in lead-intoxicated embryos limits their body growth during the late phase of pregnancy.

  11. Algorithms for automatic segmentation of bovine embryos produced in vitro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melo, D H; Oliveira, D L; Nascimento, M Z; Neves, L A; Annes, K


    In vitro production has been employed in bovine embryos and quantification of lipids is fundamental to understand the metabolism of these embryos. This paper presents a unsupervised segmentation method for histological images of bovine embryos. In this method, the anisotropic filter was used in the differents RGB components. After pre-processing step, the thresholding technique based on maximum entropy was applied to separate lipid droplets in the histological slides in different stages: early cleavage, morula and blastocyst. In the postprocessing step, false positives are removed using the connected components technique that identify regions with excess of dye near pellucid zone. The proposed segmentation method was applied in 30 histological images of bovine embryos. Experiments were performed with the images and statistical measures of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were calculated based on reference images (gold standard). The value of accuracy of the proposed method was 96% with standard deviation of 3%

  12. Fruit maturation and in vitro germination of macaw palm embryos ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    -industrial potential. Seed dormancy in palm species may be due to embryo immaturity, which could result from delayed embryogenesis. We evaluated the correspondence between the visual characteristics of maturing fruits and their ...

  13. Targeted mutagenesis in sea urchin embryos using TALENs. (United States)

    Hosoi, Sayaka; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Sakamoto, Naoaki; Yamamoto, Takashi


    Genome editing with engineered nucleases such as zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) has been reported in various animals. We previously described ZFN-mediated targeted mutagenesis and insertion of reporter genes in sea urchin embryos. In this study, we demonstrate that TALENs can induce mutagenesis at specific genomic loci of sea urchin embryos. Injection of TALEN mRNAs targeting the HpEts transcription factor into fertilized eggs resulted in the impairment of skeletogenesis. Sequence analyses of the mutations showed that deletions and/or insertions occurred at the HpEts target site in the TALEN mRNAs-injected embryos. The results suggest that targeted gene disruption using TALENs is feasible in sea urchin embryos. © 2013 The Authors Development, Growth & Differentiation © 2013 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  14. Chapter 1 Historical Background on Gamete and Embryo Cryopreservation. (United States)

    Ali, Jaffar; AlHarbi, Naif H; Ali, Nafisa


    This chapter describes the development of the science of cryopreservation of gametes and embryos of various species including human. It attempts to record in brief the main contributions of workers in their attempts to cryopreserve gametes and embryos. The initial difficulties faced and subsequent developments and triumphs leading to present-day state of the art are given in a concise manner. The main players and their contributions are mentioned and the authors' aim is to do justice to them. This work also attempts to ensure that credit is correctly attributed for significant advances in gamete and embryo cryopreservation. In general this chapter has tried to describe the historical development of the science of cryopreservation of gametes and embryos as accurately as possible without bias or partiality.

  15. In Silico Dynamics: computer simulation in a Virtual Embryo (SOT) (United States)

    Abstract: Utilizing cell biological information to predict higher order biological processes is a significant challenge in predictive toxicology. This is especially true for highly dynamical systems such as the embryo where morphogenesis, growth and differentiation require preci...

  16. Homocysteine interference in neurulation: a chick embryo model.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Afman, L.A.; Blom, H.J.; Put, N.M.J. van der; Straaten, H.W.M. van


    BACKGROUND: Periconceptional folic acid supplementation reduces the occurrence and recurrence risk of neural tube defects (NTD). Mothers of children with NTD have elevated plasma homocysteine levels. Administering homocysteine to chick embryos is reported to cause 27% NTD. Therefore, elevated plasma

  17. Embryo mortality and early post-oestrous cycle embryonic death ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Department of Animal Science, University of Natal, P.O. Box 375, ... An estimate of embryo mortality (cycles longer than 28 days) was obtained from milk progesterone analysis and .... test, these differences were significant (P < 0,001). It.

  18. Effects of embryo induction media and pretreatments in isolated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Nov 16, 2009 ... chemical + heat and also the effects of 5 embryo induction media (NPB-99, C17, ... Key words: Hexaploid wheat, haploid, isolated microspore culture, pretreatment, ..... this method is influenced by several mentioned factors.

  19. Effect of localized hypoxia on Drosophila embryo development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhinan Wang

    Full Text Available Environmental stress, such as oxygen deprivation, affects various cellular activities and developmental processes. In this study, we directly investigated Drosophila embryo development in vivo while cultured on a microfluidic device, which imposed an oxygen gradient on the developing embryos. The designed microfluidic device enabled both temporal and spatial control of the local oxygen gradient applied to the live embryos. Time-lapse live cell imaging was used to monitor the morphology and cellular migration patterns as embryos were placed in various geometries relative to the oxygen gradient. Results show that pole cell movement and tail retraction during Drosophila embryogenesis are highly sensitive to oxygen concentrations. Through modeling, we also estimated the oxygen permeability across the Drosophila embryonic layers for the first time using parameters measured on our oxygen control device.

  20. Living with vision loss (United States)

    Diabetes - vision loss; Retinopathy - vision loss; Low vision; Blindness - vision loss ... of visual aids. Some options include: Magnifiers High power reading glasses Devices that make it easier to ...

  1. Analysis of structural and numerical chromosomal aberrations at the first and second mitosis after X irradiation of two-cell mouse embryos

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissenborn, U.; Streffer, C.


    Two-cell mouse embryos were X-irradiated in the late G2 phase in vivo. The first and second postradiation mitoses were analyzed for chromosomal anomalies. The majority of structural aberrations visible at the first mitosis after irradiation were chromatid breaks and chromatid gaps; only a few interchanges and dicentrics were observed. The aberration frequency resulted in a dose-effect relationship which was well described by a linear model. At the second mitosis 29% of the structural aberrations of the first mitosis were counted; the aberration quality changed only slightly. It is discussed whether these aberrations are to be considered new, derived, or unchanged transmitted aberrations. Contrary to the results obtained after irradiation of one-cell embryos, little chromosome loss was induced by radiation in two-cell embryos

  2. Tripolar chromosome segregation drives the association between maternal genotype at variants spanning PLK4 and aneuploidy in human preimplantation embryos. (United States)

    McCoy, Rajiv C; Newnham, Louise J; Ottolini, Christian S; Hoffmann, Eva R; Chatzimeletiou, Katerina; Cornejo, Omar E; Zhan, Qiansheng; Zaninovic, Nikica; Rosenwaks, Zev; Petrov, Dmitri A; Demko, Zachary P; Sigurjonsson, Styrmir; Handyside, Alan H


    Aneuploidy is prevalent in human embryos and is the leading cause of pregnancy loss. Many aneuploidies arise during oogenesis, increasing with maternal age. Superimposed on these meiotic aneuploidies are frequent errors occurring during early mitotic divisions, contributing to widespread chromosomal mosaicism. Here we reanalyzed a published dataset comprising preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy in 24,653 blastomere biopsies from day-3 cleavage-stage embryos, as well as 17,051 trophectoderm biopsies from day-5 blastocysts. We focused on complex abnormalities that affected multiple chromosomes simultaneously, seeking insights into their formation. In addition to well-described patterns such as triploidy and haploidy, we identified 4.7% of blastomeres possessing characteristic hypodiploid karyotypes. We inferred this signature to have arisen from tripolar chromosome segregation in normally-fertilized diploid zygotes or their descendant diploid cells. This could occur via segregation on a tripolar mitotic spindle or by rapid sequential bipolar mitoses without an intervening S-phase. Both models are consistent with time-lapse data from an intersecting set of 77 cleavage-stage embryos, which were enriched for the tripolar signature among embryos exhibiting abnormal cleavage. The tripolar signature was strongly associated with common maternal genetic variants spanning the centrosomal regulator PLK4, driving the association we previously reported with overall mitotic errors. Our findings are consistent with the known capacity of PLK4 to induce tripolar mitosis or precocious M-phase upon dysregulation. Together, our data support tripolar chromosome segregation as a key mechanism generating complex aneuploidy in cleavage-stage embryos and implicate maternal genotype at a quantitative trait locus spanning PLK4 as a factor influencing its occurrence.

  3. Two-cell embryos are more sensitive than blastocysts to AMPK-dependent suppression of anabolism and stemness by commonly used fertility drugs, a diet supplement, and stress. (United States)

    Bolnick, Alan; Abdulhasan, Mohammed; Kilburn, Brian; Xie, Yufen; Howard, Mindie; Andresen, Paul; Shamir, Alexandra M; Dai, Jing; Puscheck, Elizabeth E; Secor, Eric; Rappolee, Daniel A


    This study tests whether metformin or diet supplement BR-DIM-induced AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) mediated effects on development are more pronounced in blastocysts or 2-cell mouse embryos. Culture mouse zygotes to two-cell embryos and test effects after 0.5-1 h AMPK agonists' (e.g., Met, BR-DIM) exposure on AMPK-dependent ACCser79P phosphorylation and/or Oct4 by immunofluorescence. Culture morulae to blastocysts and test for increased ACCser79P, decreased Oct4 and for AMPK dependence by coculture with AMPK inhibitor compound C (CC). Test whether Met or BR-DIM decrease growth rates of morulae cultured to blastocyst by counting cells. Aspirin, metformin, and hyperosmotic sorbitol increased pACC ser79P ~ 20-fold, and BR-DIM caused a ~ 30-fold increase over two-cell embryos cultured for 1 h in KSOMaa but only 3- to 6-fold increase in blastocysts. We previously showed that these stimuli decreased Oct4 40-85% in two-cell embryos that was ~ 60-90% reversible by coculture with AMPK inhibitor CC. However, Oct4 decreased only 30-50% in blastocysts, although reversibility of loss by CC was similar at both embryo stages. Met and BR-DIM previously caused a near-complete cell proliferation arrest in two-cell embryos and here Met caused lower CC-reversible growth decrease and AMPK-independent BR-DIM-induced blastocyst growth decrease. Inducing drug or diet supplements decreased anabolism, growth, and stemness have a greater impact on AMPK-dependent processes in two-cell embryos compared to blastocysts.

  4. [The human embryo after Dolly: new practices for new times]. (United States)

    de Miguel Beriain, Iñigo


    The possiblity of cloning human beings introduced a lot of issues in our ethical and legal frameworks. In this paper, we will put the focus into the necessary changes in the concept of embryo that our legal systems will have to implement in order to face the new situation. The description of the embryo as a group of cells able to develop into a human being will be defended here as the best way of doing so.

  5. Approaches for prediction of the implantation potential of human embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgi Stamenov


    Full Text Available Optimization of assisted reproductive technologies (ART has become the main goal of contemporary reproductive medicine. The main aspiration of scientists working in the field is to use less intervention to achieve more, and, if possible, in a more cost-effective way. A number of directions have been under development, namely – various stimulation protocols, ART with no stimulation whatever, all aiming at a single goal – the chase for Moby Dick, or the perfect embryo. Comprehensive embryo selection resulting in reducing the number of transferred embryos is one of the main directions for optimization of the ART procedures. Both clinical and laboratory procedures are being constantly improved, and today there is a significant number of clinics that report success rates of 30% and even higher. Based on results achieved, and analyzing data from millions of ART procedures, researchers from different centers are seeking to develop prognostic models in order to further improve success rates. One of the greatest challenges remains the reduction of the incidence of multifetal pregnancy, and that can be achieved only through reducing the number of embryos per transfer and a rise in single embryo transfer (SET numbers. This, however, depends on reliable methods for preliminary embryo selection, employing a growing number of morphological, biochemical, genetic and other characteristics of the embryo. A primary concern in developing prognostic models for in vitro fertilization (IVF outcome is selecting the prognostic parameters to be included. A number of publications define the main criteria that have an impact on fertilization outcome on the side of the embryo, and for the ultimate outcome of the ART procedure – on the side of the maternal organism as a whole. In this review, some of the most important parameters are discussed, with particular focus on their application for development of IVF prognostic models.

  6. Acute drug treatment in the early C. elegans embryo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carvalho

    Full Text Available Genetic and genome-wide RNAi approaches available in C. elegans, combined with tools for visualizing subcellular events with high-resolution, have led to increasing adoption of the early C. elegans embryo as a model for mechanistic and functional genomic analysis of cellular processes. However, a limitation of this system has been the impermeability of the embryo eggshell, which has prevented the routine use of small molecule inhibitors. Here, we present a method to permeabilize and immobilize embryos for acute inhibitor treatment in conjunction with live imaging. To identify a means to permeabilize the eggshell, we used a dye uptake assay to screen a set of 310 candidate genes defined by a combination of bioinformatic criteria. This screen identified 20 genes whose inhibition resulted in >75% eggshell permeability, and 3 that permeabilized embryos with minimal deleterious effects on embryo production and early embryonic development. To mount permeabilized embryos for acute drug addition in conjunction with live imaging, we combined optimized inhibition of one of these genes with the use of a microfabricated chamber that we designed. We demonstrate that these two developments enable the temporally controlled introduction of inhibitors for mechanistic studies. This method should also open new avenues of investigation by allowing profiling and specificity-testing of inhibitors through comparison with genome-wide phenotypic datasets.

  7. Embryo mechanics: balancing force production with elastic resistance during morphogenesis. (United States)

    Davidson, Lance A


    Morphogenesis requires the spatial and temporal control of embryo mechanics, including force production and mechanical resistance to those forces, to coordinate tissue deformation and large-scale movements. Thus, biomechanical processes play a key role in directly shaping the embryo. Additional roles for embryo mechanics during development may include the patterning of positional information and to provide feedback to ensure the success of morphogenetic movements in shaping the larval body and organs. To understand the multiple roles of mechanics during development requires familiarity with engineering principles of the mechanics of structures, the viscoelastic properties of biomaterials, and the integration of force and stress within embryonic structures as morphogenesis progresses. In this chapter, we review the basic engineering principles of biomechanics as they relate to morphogenesis, introduce methods for quantifying embryo mechanics and the limitations of these methods, and outline a formalism for investigating the role of embryo mechanics in birth defects. We encourage the nascent field of embryo mechanics to adopt standard engineering terms and test methods so that studies of diverse organisms can be compared and universal biomechanical principles can be revealed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Role of the phagocytes on embryos: some morphological aspects. (United States)

    Da Silva, José Roberto Machado Cunha


    Phagocytosis in embryos was studied by Elie Metchnikoff more than a century ago and is a pillar of the Phagocytic Theory. Throughout the last three decades phagocytosis in embryos has been studied from different perspectives, which this review describes and analyzes. The following branches were identified: 1) the search for the origin and first identification of well-known adult phagocytes in embryos, including their role after induced injuries; 2) the search for the occurrence of phagocytosis in embryos and its role during their physiological development; and 3) the search for phagocytosis in embryos, as a tool to study identity and self-recognition. It is possible to verify that different cell types are able to undertake phagocytosis, under a variety of different stimuli, and that the nature of what is phagocytosed also varies widely. Although the overwhelming majority of species described among metazoarians are invertebrates, most published articles in this field relate to mammals (particularly mice and humans) and birds (particularly chicks). In order to enrich this field of knowledge, research using a wider variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species should be undertaken. Furthermore, the present knowledge of phagocytosis in embryos needs a revised paradigm capable of embracing all the above-mentioned research trends under a single, more general, biological theory. In this sense, Metchnikoff's Phagocytic Theory, which is based on a broad biological paradigm and is thus capable of dealing with all research trends mentioned herein, should be revisited in order to contribute to this edification. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Brooding fathers, not siblings, take up nutrients from embryos (United States)

    Sagebakken, Gry; Ahnesjö, Ingrid; Mobley, Kenyon B.; Gonçalves, Inês Braga; Kvarnemo, Charlotta


    It is well known that many animals with placenta-like structures provide their embryos with nutrients and oxygen. However, we demonstrate here that nutrients can pass the other way, from embryos to the parent. The study was done on a pipefish, Syngnathus typhle, in which males brood fertilized eggs in a brood pouch for several weeks. Earlier research has found a reduction of embryo numbers during the brooding period, but the fate of the nutrients from these ‘reduced’ embryos has been unknown. In this study, we considered whether (i) the brooding male absorbs the nutrients, (ii) siblings absorb them, or (iii) a combination of both. Males were mated to two sets of females, one of which had radioactively labelled eggs (using 14C-labelled amino acids), such that approximately half the eggs in the brood pouch were labelled. This allowed us to trace nutrient uptake from these embryos. We detected that 14C-labelled amino acids were transferred to the male brood pouch, liver and muscle tissue. However, we did not detect any significant 14C-labelled amino-acid absorption by the non-labelled half-siblings in the brood pouch. Thus, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time, that males absorb nutrients derived from embryos through their paternal brood pouch. PMID:19939847

  10. Pre implanted mouse embryos as model for uranium toxicology studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kundt, Miriam S.


    Full text: The search of 'in vitro' toxicology model that can predict toxicology effects 'in vivo' is a permanent challenge. A toxicology experimental model must to fill to certain requirements: to have a predictive character, an appropriate control to facilitate the interpretation of the data among the experimental groups, and to be able to control the independent variables that can interfere or modify the results that we are analyzing. The preimplantation embryos posses many advantages in this respect: they are a simple model that begins with the development of only one cell. The 'in vitro' model reproduces successfully the 'in vivo' situation. Due to the similarity that exists among the embryos of mammals during this period the model is practically valid for other species. The embryo is itself a stem cell, the toxicology effects are early observed in his clonal development and the physical-chemical parameters are easily controllable. The purpose of the exhibition is to explain the properties of the pre implanted embryo model for toxicology studies of uranium and to show our experimental results. The cultivation 'in vitro' of mouse embryos with uranylo nitrate demonstrated that the uranium causes from the 13 μgU/ml delay of development, decrease the number of cells per embryo and hipoploidy in the embryonic blastomere. (author)

  11. Impact of motorboats on fish embryos depends on engine type. (United States)

    Jain-Schlaepfer, Sofia; Fakan, Eric; Rummer, Jodie L; Simpson, Stephen D; McCormick, Mark I


    Human generated noise is changing the natural underwater soundscapes worldwide. The most pervasive sources of underwater anthropogenic noise are motorboats, which have been found to negatively affect several aspects of fish biology. However, few studies have examined the effects of noise on early life stages, especially the embryonic stage, despite embryo health being critical to larval survival and recruitment. Here, we used a novel setup to monitor heart rates of embryos from the staghorn damselfish ( Amblyglyphidodon curacao ) in shallow reef conditions, allowing us to examine the effects of in situ boat noise in context with real-world exposure. We found that the heart rate of embryos increased in the presence of boat noise, which can be associated with the stress response. Additionally, we found 2-stroke outboard-powered boats had more than twice the effect on embryo heart rates than did 4-stroke powered boats, showing an increase in mean individual heart rate of 1.9% and 4.6%, respectively. To our knowledge this is the first evidence suggesting boat noise elicits a stress response in fish embryo and highlights the need to explore the ecological ramifications of boat noise stress during the embryo stage. Also, knowing the response of marine organisms caused by the sound emissions of particular engine types provides an important tool for reef managers to mitigate noise pollution.

  12. In vitro culture of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) zygotic embryos. (United States)

    Engelmann, Florent; Malaurie, Bernard; N'Nan, Oulo


    Coconut is a very important crop for millions of people in tropical countries. With coconut, in vitro culture protocols have been developed with two main objectives, viz. the large scale production of particular types of coconuts and the international exchange and conservation of coconut germplasm. The methods described in this chapter have been developed in the framework of collaborative activities between research institutes in Côte d'Ivoire and France. Two coconut embryo in vitro collecting protocols have been established, one consisting of storing the disinfected embryos in a KCl solution until they are brought back to the laboratory, where they are re-disinfected and inoculated in vitro under sterile conditions, and the other including in vitro inoculation of the embryos in the field. For international germplasm exchange, zygotic embryos inoculated in vitro in plastic test tubes or endosperm cylinders containing embryos in plastic bags are used. For in vitro culture, embryos are inoculated on semi-solid medium supplemented with sucrose and activated charcoal and placed in the dark, and then transferred to light conditions with the same (solid or liquid) medium once the first true leaf is visible and the root system has started developing.

  13. Producing Distant Planets by Mutual Scattering of Planetary Embryos (United States)

    Silsbee, Kedron; Tremaine, Scott


    It is likely that multiple bodies with masses between those of Mars and Earth (“planetary embryos”) formed in the outer planetesimal disk of the solar system. Some of these were likely scattered by the giant planets into orbits with semimajor axes of hundreds of au. Mutual torques between these embryos may lift the perihelia of some of them beyond the orbit of Neptune, where they are no longer perturbed by the giant planets, so their semimajor axes are frozen in place. We conduct N-body simulations of this process and its effect on smaller planetesimals in the region of the giant planets and the Kuiper Belt. We find that (i) there is a significant possibility that one sub-Earth mass embryo, or possibly more, is still present in the outer solar system; (ii) the orbit of the surviving embryo(s) typically has perihelion of 40–70 au, semimajor axis less than 200 au, and inclination less than 30° (iii) it is likely that any surviving embryos could be detected by current or planned optical surveys or have a significant effect on solar system ephemerides; (iv) whether or not an embryo has survived to the present day, its dynamical influence earlier in the history of the solar system can explain the properties of the detached disk (defined in this paper as containing objects with perihelia >38 au and semimajor axes between 80 and 500 au).

  14. A cutin fluorescence pattern in developing embryos of some angiosperms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Szczuka


    Full Text Available A cuticle visualized by auramine O fluorescence appears on the developing embryos of 9 species belonging to Cruciferae, Caryophyllaceae, Plantaginaceae, Linaceae and Papilionaceae. In the investigated species the formation and extent of fluorescing and non-fluorescing embryonic areas follow a similar pattern. At first the cutin fluorescing layer is formed on the apical part of the proembryo without delimited protoderm. This layer extends and at the late globular stage envelops the embryo proper, except for a cell adjoining the suspensor. Fluorescing cutin persists during the heart stage but disappears from the torpedo embryo. During these stages there is no cutine fluorescence on suspensorial cells. Continuous cutin fluorescence appears again on the surface of the whole embryo by the late torpedo stage. Then fluorescence disappears from the radicular part of U-shaped embryos, but persists on the shoot apex, cotyledons and at least on the upper part of hypocotyl. It is assumed that polarization and nutrition of the embryo may be influenced by cuticular changes.

  15. Embryo donation parents' attitudes towards donors: comparison with adoption. (United States)

    MacCallum, Fiona


    Embryo donation produces a family structure where neither rearing parent is genetically related to the child, as in adoption. It is not known how embryo donation parents view the donors compared with how adoptive parents view the birth parents. 21 couples with an embryo donation child aged 2-5 years were compared with 28 couples with an adopted child. Parents were administered a semi-structured interview, assessing knowledge of the donors/birth parents, frequency of thoughts and discussions about the donors/birth parents and disclosure of the donor conception/adoption to the child. Comparisons were made between mothers and fathers to examine gender differences. Embryo donation parents generally knew only the donors' physical characteristics, and thought about and talked about the donors less frequently than adoptive parents thought about and talked about the birth parents. Embryo donation fathers tended to think about the donors less often than did mothers. Disclosure of the child's origins in embryo donation families was far less common than in adoptive families (P parents' views on the donors differ from adoptive parents' views on the birth parents, with donors having little significance in family life once treatment is successful.

  16. High dose progesterone effects the growth of early chick embryo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iqbal, I.; Qamar, K.


    Objective: To find out the effect of high dose progesterone on the development of early chick embryo. Study Design: Lab based randomized controlled trial. Place and Duration of study: This study was carried out in Army Medical College and Post Graduate Institute of Poultry Sciences, Rawalpindi from June 2010 - December 2010. Material and Methods: Forty five specific pathogen free, fertile, eggs of Fyoumi species of chick were selected at zero hour of incubation. They were incubated at 37.5oC and 75% relative humidity for 26 hrs until the embryos reached stage 8 of the development. Then on stage 8 the eggs were divided into three groups consisting of 15 eggs per group. The first group (GI) was incubated without any operation. The second (G2) and third groups (G3) were injected with two and twenty times more than physiologic does of progesterone respectively. After 48 hours of incvbation, all embryos were examined for their development under light microscopy. Results: All the embryos of G1 and G2 showed normal development according to their stage of development, while 4 out of 11 embryos of G3 were under developed and their survival rate was also less. Conclusion: Exogenous progesterone at levels twenty times above its physiologic range effects the development of chick embryos. Further studies are needed to explain the mechanisms of this effect. (author)

  17. Is human fecundity declining?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skakkebæk, Niels E.; Jørgensen, Niels; Main, Katharina M.


    Summary The decreasing trends in fertility rates in many industrialized countries are now so dramatic that they deserve much more scientific attention. Although social and behavioural factors undoubtedly play a major role for these trends, it seems premature, and not based on solid information, t...

  18. Is human fecundity declining?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skakkebaek, Niels E; Jørgensen, Niels; Main, Katharina M


    Summary The decreasing trends in fertility rates in many industrialized countries are now so dramatic that they deserve much more scientific attention. Although social and behavioural factors undoubtedly play a major role for these trends, it seems premature, and not based on solid information, t...... and molecular biologists. This research effort can hardly be carried out without major support from governments and granting agencies making it possible to fund collaborative projects within novel research networks of scientists....

  19. From stem cell to embryo without centrioles. (United States)

    Stevens, Naomi R; Raposo, Alexandre A S F; Basto, Renata; St Johnston, Daniel; Raff, Jordan W


    Centrosome asymmetry plays a key role in ensuring the asymmetric division of Drosophila neural stem cells (neuroblasts [NBs]) and male germline stem cells (GSCs) [1-3]. In both cases, one centrosome is anchored close to a specific cortical region during interphase, thus defining the orientation of the spindle during the ensuing mitosis. To test whether asymmetric centrosome behavior is a general feature of stem cells, we have studied female GSCs, which divide asymmetrically, producing another GSC and a cystoblast. The cystoblast then divides and matures into an oocyte, a process in which centrosomes exhibit a series of complex behaviors proposed to play a crucial role in oogenesis [4-6]. We show that the interphase centrosome does not define spindle orientation in female GSCs and that DSas-4 mutant GSCs [7], lacking centrioles and centrosomes, invariably divide asymmetrically to produce cystoblasts that proceed normally through oogenesis-remarkably, oocyte specification, microtubule organization, and mRNA localization are all unperturbed. Mature oocytes can be fertilized, but embryos that cannot support centriole replication arrest very early in development. Thus, centrosomes are dispensable for oogenesis but essential for early embryogenesis. These results reveal that asymmetric centrosome behavior is not an essential feature of stem cell divisions.

  20. Neutron induced bystander effect among zebrafish embryos (United States)

    Ng, C. Y. P.; Kong, E. Y.; Kobayashi, A.; Suya, N.; Uchihori, Y.; Cheng, S. H.; Konishi, T.; Yu, K. N.


    The present paper reported the first-ever observation of neutron induced bystander effect (NIBE) using zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos as the in vivo model. The neutron exposure in the present work was provided by the Neutron exposure Accelerator System for Biological Effect Experiments (NASBEE) facility at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), Chiba, Japan. Two different strategies were employed to induce NIBE, namely, through directly partnering and through medium transfer. Both results agreed with a neutron-dose window (20-50 mGy) which could induce NIBE. The lower dose limit corresponded to the threshold amount of neutron-induced damages to trigger significant bystander signals, while the upper limit corresponded to the onset of gamma-ray hormesis which could mitigate the neutron-induced damages and thereby suppress the bystander signals. Failures to observe NIBE in previous studies were due to using neutron doses outside the dose-window. Strategies to enhance the chance of observing NIBE included (1) use of a mono-energetic high-energy (e.g., between 100 keV and 2 MeV) neutron source, and (2) use of a neutron source with a small gamma-ray contamination. It appeared that the NASBEE facility used in the present study fulfilled both conditions, and was thus ideal for triggering NIBE.