Special Issue "Reproductive Biology"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Janet Pitman
Website
Guest Editor
School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Kelburn Parade, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Dr. Jennifer Juengel
Website
Guest Editor
Invermay Agricultural Centre, AgResearch Ltd, Puddle Alley, Mosgiel, New Zealand

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent advances in the field of female reproductive biology have been underpinned by a greater understanding of the inter-dependency between the ovarian follicle and oocyte, and the interactions between the oviduct/uterine environment and embryo. These new insights have resulted in the refinement of current artificial reproductive technologies and subsequent improvements in oocyte and embryo quality.

For this special issue, we invite review and research articles on aspects of follicular maturation, attainment of oocyte developmental competency, early embryonic development and embryo interactions with the oviduct or uterus, as well as recent advancements in in vitro maturation or in vitro fertilisation systems.

Dr. Janet Pitman
Dr. Jennifer Juengel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • follicle
  • oocyte
  • developmental competency
  • embryo
  • oviduct
  • uterine
  • ART

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview
Building Principles for Constructing a Mammalian Blastocyst Embryo
Biology 2018, 7(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology7030041 - 23 Jul 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
The self-organisation of a fertilised egg to form a blastocyst structure, which consists of three distinct cell lineages (trophoblast, epiblast and hypoblast) arranged around an off-centre cavity, is unique to mammals. While the starting point (the zygote) and endpoint (the blastocyst) are similar [...] Read more.
The self-organisation of a fertilised egg to form a blastocyst structure, which consists of three distinct cell lineages (trophoblast, epiblast and hypoblast) arranged around an off-centre cavity, is unique to mammals. While the starting point (the zygote) and endpoint (the blastocyst) are similar in all mammals, the intervening events have diverged. This review examines and compares the descriptive and functional data surrounding embryonic gene activation, symmetry-breaking, first and second lineage establishment, and fate commitment in a wide range of mammalian orders. The exquisite detail known from mouse embryogenesis, embryonic stem cell studies and the wealth of recent single cell transcriptomic experiments are used to highlight the building principles underlying early mammalian embryonic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Biology)
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Open AccessReview
Sex Steroid-Mediated Control of Oviductal Function in Cattle
Biology 2018, 7(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology7010015 - 02 Feb 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
In cattle, the oviduct is a tubular organ that connects the ovary and the uterus. The oviduct lumen stages a dynamic set of cellular and molecular interactions to fulfill the noble role of generating a new individual. Specific anatomical niches along the oviduct [...] Read more.
In cattle, the oviduct is a tubular organ that connects the ovary and the uterus. The oviduct lumen stages a dynamic set of cellular and molecular interactions to fulfill the noble role of generating a new individual. Specific anatomical niches along the oviduct lumen provide the appropriate microenvironment for final sperm capacitation, oocyte capture and fertilization, and early embryo development and transport. To accomplish such complex tasks, the oviduct undergoes spatially and temporally-regulated morphological, biochemical, and physiological changes that are associated with endocrine events of the estrous cycle. Specifically, elevated periovulatory concentrations of estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) influence gene expression and morphological changes that have been associated positively to fertility in beef cattle. In this review, we explore how E2 and P4 influence oviductal function in the beginning of the estrous cycle, and prepare the oviductal lumen for interactions with gametes and embryos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Biology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Role of Oocyte Organelles in Determining Developmental Competence
Biology 2017, 6(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology6030035 - 18 Sep 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
The ability of an oocyte to undergo successful cytoplasmic and nuclear maturation, fertilization and embryo development is referred to as the oocyte’s quality or developmental competence. Quality is dependent on the accumulation of organelles, metabolites and maternal RNAs during the growth and maturation [...] Read more.
The ability of an oocyte to undergo successful cytoplasmic and nuclear maturation, fertilization and embryo development is referred to as the oocyte’s quality or developmental competence. Quality is dependent on the accumulation of organelles, metabolites and maternal RNAs during the growth and maturation of the oocyte. Various models of good and poor oocyte quality have been used to understand the essential contributors to developmental success. This review covers the current knowledge of how oocyte organelle quantity, distribution and morphology differ between good and poor quality oocytes. The models of oocyte quality are also described and their usefulness for studying the intrinsic quality of an oocyte discussed. Understanding the key critical features of cytoplasmic organelles and metabolites driving oocyte quality will lead to methods for identifying high quality oocytes and improving oocyte competence, both in vitro and in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Biology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
MicroRNA Signaling in Embryo Development
Biology 2017, 6(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology6030034 - 14 Sep 2017
Cited by 26
Abstract
Expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is essential for embryonic development and serves important roles in gametogenesis. miRNAs are secreted into the extracellular environment by the embryo during the preimplantation stage of development. Several cell types secrete miRNAs into biological fluids in the extracellular environment. [...] Read more.
Expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is essential for embryonic development and serves important roles in gametogenesis. miRNAs are secreted into the extracellular environment by the embryo during the preimplantation stage of development. Several cell types secrete miRNAs into biological fluids in the extracellular environment. These fluid-derived miRNAs have been shown to circulate the body. Stable transport is dependent on proper packaging of the miRNAs into extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes. These vesicles, which also contain RNA, DNA and proteins, are on the forefront of research on cell-to-cell communication. Interestingly, EVs have been identified in many reproductive fluids, such as uterine fluid, where their miRNA content is proposed to serve as a mechanism of crosstalk between the mother and conceptus. Here, we review the role of miRNAs in molecular signaling and discuss their transport during early embryo development and implantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reproductive Biology)
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