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Animal Science

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Published Version

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Journal or Book Title

Reproduction: The Journal of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility



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Day 12 blastocysts from Meishan gilts contain fewer cells than do day 12 blastocysts from Yorkshire gilts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of breed on the relative numbers of inner cell mass and trophectoderm cells in Meishan and Yorkshire embryos at similar stages. Embryos were collected on days 5.5–6.5 of gestation and were subjected to image analysis and differential cell staining. No breed differences were detected in the thickness of zona pellucida or in the areas of the perivitelline space, embryo proper, blastocoel and inner cell mass at any of the developmental stages examined (compact morula, early blastocyst or blastocyst). However, differences were observed in the pattern of growth of embryos from Meishan versus Yorkshire gilts. The total number of cells of Meishan embryos from Meishan gilts increased progressively from the compact morula through the blastocyst stage, whereas the total number of cells of embryos from Yorkshire gilts remained constant from compact morula through to early blastocyst, and then increased markedly from the early blastocyst to the blastocyst stage. At the blastocyst stage, Meishan embryos contained fewer (P < 0.05) cells than did Yorkshire embryos, and this lower number of cells was due entirely to fewer (P< 0.05) trophectoderm cells. As the number of inner cell mass cells increased during embryonic growth, Meishan embryos exhibited a slower (P < 0.02) increase in the number of trophectoderm cells than did Yorkshire embryos. These results demonstrate that the reduced number of cells present in Meishan embryos results from a selective reduction in the number of trophectoderm, but not inner cell mass, cells.


This article is published as Rivera, R. M., C. R. Youngs, and S. P. Ford. "A comparison of the number of inner cell mass and trophectoderm cells of preimplantation Meishan and Yorkshire pig embryos at similar developmental stages." Journal of reproduction and fertility106, no. 1 (1996): 111-116. doi:10.1530/jrf.0.1060111. Posted with permission.

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Journal of Reproduction and Fertility Ltd.



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