Early Embryo Development in Livestock

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 January 2021) | Viewed by 16239

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Interests: bovine preimplantation embryo; gene expression; metabolomics; cell-signaling; biomarkers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today, livestock breeding and production have become an essential part of a global, modern agriculture-based ecosystem. However, one of the major problems for the livestock industry is the high rate of early embryo mortality (EEM), which compromises reproductive efficiency and genetic improvement. This results in serious financial losses for farmers, cooperatives, and specific livestock industries (milk, meat, wool, energy, hide or environment). Although our understanding of the basic processes underlying gamete development, fertilization, and early embryogenesis has significantly improved in the last 60 years, the application of enormous advances in biotechnology encompassing various omic approaches (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, epigenomics, etc.), computing (artificial intelligence/machine learning), imaging and cryopreservation will be important prerequisites for affecting advancement in reproductive technologies and thereby improving the reproductive efficiency of livestock. In addition, by using SCNT or cloning techniques, or generating genetically engineered livestock (transgenic/iPS cells) for the purposes of improving productivity, disease resistance and for mass production of pharmaceutically important proteins, will exponentially improve the efficiency of agriculture production, as well as profits for everyone involved in the livestock industry. Enhancing the production efficiency of livestock using modern tools and by the enhanced understanding of biological processes will also be vital for meeting the future demands for food and in ensuring food security for people around the globe.

For this Special Issue, we will present state-of-the-art work in the area of early embryo development in livestock, assembling the most recent advances in this field in one place. 

Dr. Pavneesh Madan
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Livestock
  • Cow
  • Sheep
  • Goat
  • Buffalo
  • Preimplantation embryo
  • Gene expression
  • Genomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Proteomics
  • Genetic
  • Epigenetics
  • Environmental toxicity
  • Stem cells
  • Endocrinology

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 4646 KiB  
Article
BPA and BPS Affect Connexin 37 in Bovine Cumulus Cells
by Reem Sabry, Charlotte Apps, Jaqueline A. Reiter-Saunders, Angela C. Saleh, Sumetha Balachandran, Elizabeth J. St. John and Laura A. Favetta
Genes 2021, 12(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12020321 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3028
Abstract
Bisphenol S (BPS) is used as an alternative plasticizer to Bisphenol A (BPA), despite limited knowledge of potential adverse effects. BPA exhibits endocrine disrupting effects during development. This article focuses on the impact of bisphenols during oocyte maturation. Connexins (Cx) are gap junctional [...] Read more.
Bisphenol S (BPS) is used as an alternative plasticizer to Bisphenol A (BPA), despite limited knowledge of potential adverse effects. BPA exhibits endocrine disrupting effects during development. This article focuses on the impact of bisphenols during oocyte maturation. Connexins (Cx) are gap junctional proteins that may be affected by bisphenols, providing insight into their mechanism during development. Cxs 37 and 43 are crucial in facilitating cell communication between cumulus cells and oocytes. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs), denuded oocytes, and cumulus cells were exposed to 0.05 mg/mL BPA or BPS for 24 h. Both compounds had no effect on Cx43. Cumulus cells exhibited a significant increase in Cx37 expression following BPA (p = 0.001) and BPS (p = 0.017) exposure. COCs treated with BPA had increased Cx37 protein expression, whilst BPS showed no effects, suggesting BPA and BPS act through different mechanisms. Experiments conducted in in vitro cultured cumulus cells, obtained by stripping germinal vesicle oocytes, showed significantly increased expression of Cx37 in BPA, but not the BPS, treated group. BPA significantly increased Cx37 protein expression, while BPS did not. Disrupted Cx37 following BPA exposure provides an indication of possible effects of bisphenols on connexins during the early stages of development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Embryo Development in Livestock)
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13 pages, 3232 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analyses Reveal Differential Transcriptional Profiles in Early- and Late-Dividing Porcine Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Embryos
by Zhiguo Liu, Guangming Xiang, Kui Xu, Jingjing Che, Changjiang Xu, Kui Li, Bingyuan Wang and Yulian Mu
Genes 2020, 11(12), 1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11121499 - 12 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3043
Abstract
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is not only a valuable tool for understanding nuclear reprogramming, but it also facilitates the generation of genetically modified animals. However, the development of SCNT embryos has remained an uncontrollable process. It was reported that the SCNT embryos [...] Read more.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is not only a valuable tool for understanding nuclear reprogramming, but it also facilitates the generation of genetically modified animals. However, the development of SCNT embryos has remained an uncontrollable process. It was reported that the SCNT embryos that complete the first cell division sooner are more likely to develop to the blastocyst stage, suggesting their better developmental competence. Therefore, to better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms, RNA-seq of pig SCNT embryos that were early-dividing (24 h postactivation) and late-dividing (36 h postactivation) was performed. Our analysis revealed that early- and late-dividing embryos have distinct RNA profiles, and, in all, 3077 genes were differentially expressed. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses revealed that early-dividing embryos exhibited higher expression in genes that participated in the meiotic cell cycle, while enrichment of RNA processing- and translation-related genes was found in late-dividing embryos. There are also fewer somatic memory genes such as FLRT2, ADAMTS1, and FOXR1, which are abnormally activated or suppressed in early-dividing cloned embryos. These results show that early-dividing SCNT embryos have different transcriptional profiles than late-dividing embryos. Early division of SCNT embryos may be associated with their better reprogramming capacity, and somatic memory genes may act as a reprogramming barrier in pig SCNT reprogramming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Embryo Development in Livestock)
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Review

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11 pages, 14888 KiB  
Review
A Comparative Analysis of Hippo Signaling Pathway Components during Murine and Bovine Early Mammalian Embryogenesis
by Jyoti Sharma, Monica Antenos and Pavneesh Madan
Genes 2021, 12(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12020281 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3151
Abstract
The time required for successful blastocyst formation varies among multiple species. The formation of a blastocyst is governed by numerous molecular cell signaling pathways, such as the Hippo signaling pathway. The Hippo signaling pathway is initiated by increased cell–cell contact and via apical [...] Read more.
The time required for successful blastocyst formation varies among multiple species. The formation of a blastocyst is governed by numerous molecular cell signaling pathways, such as the Hippo signaling pathway. The Hippo signaling pathway is initiated by increased cell–cell contact and via apical polarity proteins (AMOT, PARD6, and NF2) during the period of preimplantation embryogenesis. Cell–cell contact and cell polarity activate (phosphorylates) the core cascade components of the pathway (mammalian sterile twenty like 1 and 2 (MST1/2) and large tumor suppressor 1 and 2 (LATS1/2)), which in turn phosphorylate the downstream effectors of the pathway (YAP1/TAZ). The Hippo pathway remains inactive with YAP1 (Yes Associated protein 1) present inside the nucleus in the trophectoderm (TE) cells (polar blastomeres) of the mouse blastocyst. In the inner cell mass (ICM) cells (apolar blastomeres), the pathway is activated with p-YAP1 present in the cytoplasm. On the contrary, during bovine embryogenesis, p-YAP1 is exclusively present in the nucleus in both TE and ICM cells. Contrary to mouse embryos, transcription co activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) (also known as WWTR1) is also predominantly present in the cytoplasm in all the blastomeres during bovine embryogenesis. This review outlines the major differences in the localization and function of Hippo signaling pathway components of murine and bovine preimplantation embryos, suggesting significant differences in the regulation of this pathway in between the two species. The variance observed in the Hippo signaling pathway between murine and bovine embryos confirms that both of these early embryonic models are quite distinct. Moreover, based on the similarity of the Hippo signaling pathway between bovine and human early embryo development, bovine embryos could be an alternate model for understanding the regulation of the Hippo signaling pathway in human embryos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Embryo Development in Livestock)
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18 pages, 1979 KiB  
Review
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection in Cattle
by Veena Unnikrishnan, John Kastelic and Jacob Thundathil
Genes 2021, 12(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12020198 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6514
Abstract
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves the microinjection of sperm into a matured oocyte. Although this reproductive technology is successfully used in humans and many animal species, the efficiency of this procedure is low in the bovine species mainly due to failed oocyte activation [...] Read more.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves the microinjection of sperm into a matured oocyte. Although this reproductive technology is successfully used in humans and many animal species, the efficiency of this procedure is low in the bovine species mainly due to failed oocyte activation following sperm microinjection. This review discusses various reasons for the low efficiency of ICSI in cattle, potential solutions, and future directions for research in this area, emphasizing the contributions of testis-specific isoforms of Na/K-ATPase (ATP1A4) and phospholipase C zeta (PLC ζ). Improving the efficiency of bovine ICSI would benefit the cattle breeding industries by effectively utilizing semen from elite sires at their earliest possible age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Embryo Development in Livestock)
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