Author(s): Bettegowda A, Lee KB, Smith GW
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Abstract Although improvements in culture systems have greatly enhanced in vitro embryo production, success rates under the best conditions are still far from ideal. The reasons for developmental arrest of the majority of in vitro produced embryos are unclear, but likely attributable, in part, to intrinsic and extrinsic influences on the cytoplasmic and/or nuclear environment of an oocyte and/or early embryo that impede normal progression through the maternal-to-embryonic transition. The maternal-to-embryonic transition is the time period during embryonic development spanning from fertilisation until when control of early embryogenesis changes from regulation by oocyte-derived factors to regulation by products of the embryonic genome. The products of numerous maternal effect genes transcribed and stored during oogenesis mediate this transition. Marked epigenetic changes to chromatin during this window of development significantly modulate embryonic gene expression. Depletion of maternal mRNA pools is also an obligatory event during the maternal-to-embryonic transition critical to subsequent development. An increased knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms and mediators of the maternal-to-embryonic transition is foundational to understanding the regulation of oocyte quality and future breakthroughs relevant to embryo production.
This article was published in Reprod Fertil Dev
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering