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Comparative gene expression profiling of early porcine embryos derived from different in vivo and in vitro sources Open Access


Other title
Transcriptomic profiling
Assisted reproductive technology
Early porcine embryos
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Supervisor and department
Dyck, Michael (Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta)
Examining committee member and department
Guan, Leluo (Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta)
Stothard, Paul (Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta)
Klein, Claudia (Faculty of Veterinsry Medicine, University of Calgary)
Dixon, Walter (Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Animal Science
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
There are strong interests in the factors that affect the efficient production of viable porcine embryos using either in vivo or in vitro production methods based on assisted reproductive technologies (ART). During the pre-implantation period of development, the porcine embryo exhibits dramatic changes and many key events of embryonic development take place. In this research, a series of studies were carried out in order to identify the critical regulators during the pre-implantation period of porcine embryonic development, and to identify the gene networks that are responsible for the impaired development of embryos produced after different ART manipulations. The detailed transcriptome profile of in vivo-derived “normal” pre-implantation porcine embryos has been characterized by transcriptomic profiling analysis of porcine oocytes and embryos representing nine different developmental stages from GV stage oocytes to day 11 embryos. Results from this research also suggest that the molecular events associated with embryonic genomic activation (EGA) in porcine pig embryos are probably initiated at, or before, the 4-cell stage. The embryo-activated genes “take-over” the majority of the mRNA profile from 8-cell stage onward, and the second wave of EGA probably peaks around the early blastocyst stage. Further comparative transcriptomic analysis between the in vivo hatched blastocysts (HB) and HB produced after in vitro ART manipulations (parthenogenetic activation (PA) and somatic cell chromatin transfer (CT)) revealed 1492 and 103 genes that differentially expressed of in PA and CT HB, respectively, in comparison with in vivo HB. Several significantly altered critical gene networks and pathways were identified in the PA- and CT-derived HB. In addition, apoptotic process was predicted to be activated in both PA and CT HB, and the activation of this apoptotic process is likely to be greater in PA HB. Finally, the effect of porcine luteinizing hormone-induced ovulation on the transcriptome of early porcine embryos was also investigated. Overall, result from this research provided useful information for the understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying early porcine embryonic development, and identified several critical genes / gene networks that are likely to contribute to the deficiencies of porcine embryos produced after different ART manipulations.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Tsoi, S., C. Zhou, J. Grant, A. Pasternak, J. Dobrinsky, P. Rigault et al. 2012. Development of a porcine (sus scofa) embryo-specific microarray: Array annotation and validation. BMC Genomics. 13(1): 370.

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