Embryo Mortality (embryo + mortality)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Luteal Deficiency and Embryo Mortality in the Mare

WR Allen
Four separate components combine to produce the progesterone and biologically active 5,-reduced pregnanes needed to maintain pregnancy in the mare. The primary corpus luteum (CL) is prolonged beyond its cyclical lifespan by the down-regulation of endometrial oxytocin receptors to prevent activation of the luteolytic pathway and its waning progesterone production is supplemented from day 40 of gestation by the formation of a series of accessory CL which develop in the maternal ovaries as a result of the gonadotrophic actions of pituitary FSH and the equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG). From around day 100 the allantochorion secretes progesterone and progestagens directly to the endometrium and underlying myometrium and, in the last month of gestation, the enlarging foetal adrenal gland secretes appreciable quantities of pregnenelone which is also utilized by the placenta to synthesize progestagens. Between 10 and 15% of mares undergo foetal death and abortion at some time in gestation and the majority of these losses occur during the first 40 days of gestation when the primary CL is the sole source of progesterone. Yet, all the available evidence suggests that untoward luteolysis is not common in this period and the losses that do occur have other underlying causes. Beyond day 40 the secondary CL receive powerful luteotrophic support from eCG and from day 80,100 until term the supply organ (placenta) and target tissues (endometrium and myometrium) are in direct contact with each other over their entire surface. In the face of this interlocking and failsafe system for progestagen production throughout pregnancy, and despite a paucity of evidence that a deficiency of progesterone production is a cause of pregnancy loss in the mare, it is surprising, and worrying, that annually many thousands of pregnant mares throughout the world are given exogenous progestagen therapy during part or all of their gestation as a form of preventative insurance against the possibility of pregnancy failure. Basic investigative research is required urgently to validate or debunk the practice. [source]

Histology, histochemistry and morphometry of the ovary of the adult plains viscacha (Lagostomus maximus) in different reproductive stages

ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 4 2009
Mirta Alicia Flamini
Abstract Lagostomus maximus is a South American Hystricognathi rodent whose reproductive behaviour shows characteristics unusual for mammals, such as polyovulation (200,800 oocytes) and a high rate of embryo mortality. Thirty-six mature females captured in the province of Buenos Aires showed different physiological reproductive stages. Most of them presented a postpartum oestrus in August,September. This characteristic is different from that reported in other geographical areas. The stages considered were: anoestrus, follicular phase, early pregnancy and late pregnancy. The ovaries were light-pink and smooth and presented a tortuous cord-like aspect. Many primordial follicles were found in all the females studied. Follicles in different states of maturation and primary and accessory corpora lutea were observed in the cortex. These structures were smaller than those present in other related species. Follicles did not project into the surface of the organ. Calcified follicles of diverse size were found in all the ovaries. Atretic follicles were found in all the stages analysed. Interstitial tissue surrounding the follicles and the corpora lutea was also observed. The number and proportion of different cortical structures varied in the physiological stages analysed. The ovaries of the viscacha have differential characteristics in comparison to other Hystricognathi, some of them related to polyovulation. [source]

Developmental toxicity of in ovo exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls: I. Immediate and subsequent effects on first-generation nestling American kestrels (Falco sparverius)

Kim Fernie
Abstract We determined that in ovo exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) alters growth off first-generation nestlings during and one year after parental exposure. Captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) laid eggs with environmentally relevant total PCB levels (34.1 ,g/g whole-egg wet wt) when fed PCB-spiked (Aroclor® 1248, 1254, and 1260) food (7 mg/kg body wt/d) for 100 d in 1998. In 1999, the same adults laid eggs with estimated total PCBs of 29.0 ,g/g. Nonsurviving PCB-exposed chicks were small (mass, bones) in 1998. Survivors showed a strong sex-specific growth response (mass, bones) compared to respective sex controls: Only female hatchlings were larger, and only male nestlings had longer feathers (1998); maximal growth and bone growth rates also differed (males were advanced, faster; females delayed, slower) (1999); and male nestlings fledged earlier and were smaller, while females were larger (1998, 1999). However, regardless of sex, PCB-exposed nestlings generally grew at faster rates in both years. In 1998, greater contaminant burdens and toxic equivalent concentrations in sibling eggs were associated with nestlings being lighter, having longer bones and feathers, and growing at faster rates (mass, bone) for females but slower rates (mass) for males. Both physiological-biochemical and behavioral changes are likely mechanisms. This study supports and expands on the Great Lakes embryo mortality, edema, and deformities syndrome: While PCB exposure alters nestling size, maximal growth and growth rates also change immediately, are sustained, and are sex specific. [source]

Effects of bisphenol A and tetrabromobisphenol A on sex organ development in quail and chicken embryos

Cecilia Berg
Abstract The plastic monomere bisphenol A (BPA) and the flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) were examined for estrogen-like developmental effects on the reproductive organs in avian embryos. The synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) was used as a positive control. The test compounds were injected into the yolk of quail and chicken eggs early during incubation and the embryos were examined 2 d before anticipated hatching. At 200 ,g/g egg, BPA induced Müllerian duct (embryonic oviduct) malformation in female quail embryos and feminization of the left testis (ovotestis) in male chicken embryos. The estrogenic potency of BPA compared with DES was species and endpoint specific. Müllerian duct malformation was the most sensitive endpoint in quail embryos, whereas ovotestis formation was the most sensitive response in chicken embryos. Tetrabromobisphenol A caused high embryo mortality at 45 ,g/g egg in both species, but no estrogen-like effects were observed. Bisphenol A caused mortality only in chicken embryos at 67 and 200 ,g/g egg. To our knowledge, this is the first report on estrogen-like or embryolethal effects of BPA and TBBPA in birds. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 9 2002
Sylvain Charlat
Abstract., The intracellular bacterium Wolbachia invades arthropod host populations through various mechanisms, the most common of which being cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI involves elevated embryo mortality when infected males mate with uninfected females or females infected with different, incompatible Wolbachia strains. The present study focuses on this phenomenon in two Drosophila species: D. simulans and D. sechellia. Drosophila simulans populations are infected by several Wolbachia strains, including w Ha and w No. Drosophila sechellia is infected by only two Wolbachia: w Sh and w Sn. In both Drosophila species, double infections with Wolbachia are found. As indicated by several molecular markers, w Ha is closely related to w Sh, and w No to w Sn. Furthermore, the double infections in the two host species are associated with closely related mitochondrial haplotypes, namely si I (associated with w Ha and w No in D. simulans) and se (associated with w Sh and w Sn in D. sechellia). To test the theoretical prediction that Wolbachia compatibility types can diverge rapidly, we injected w Sh and w Sn into D. simulans, to compare their CI properties to those of their sister strains w Ha and w No, respectively, in the same host genetic background. We found that within each pair of sister strains CI levels were similar and that sister strains were fully compatible. We conclude that the short period for which the Wolbachia sister strains have been evolving separated from each other was not sufficient for their CI properties to diverge significantly. [source]

Differential developmental toxicities of di- n -hexyl phthalate and dicyclohexyl phthalate administered orally to rats

Anne-Marie Saillenfait
Abstract The objective of this study was to evaluate the developmental toxic potential of di- n -hexyl phthalate (DnHP) and dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP) in rats. Pregnant Sprague,Dawley rats were exposed to DnHP or DCHP at doses of 0 (olive oil), 250, 500 and 750 mg kg,1 per day, by gavage, on gestational days (GD) 6,20. Maternal food consumption and body weight gain were significantly reduced at 750 mg kg,1 per day of DnHP and at the two high doses of DCHP. Slight changes in liver weight associated with peroxisomal enzyme induction were seen in dams treated with DnHP or DCHP. DnHP caused dose-related developmental toxic effects, including marked embryo mortality at 750 mg kg,1 per day, and presence of malformations (mainly cleft palate, eye defects and axial skeleton abnormalities) and significant decreases in fetal weight at 500 and 750 mg kg,1 per day. Significant delay of ossification and increase in the incidence of skeletal variants (e.g. supernumerary lumbar ribs) also appeared at 250 mg kg,1 per day. DCHP produced fetal growth retardation at 750 mg kg,1 per day, as evidenced by significant reduction of fetal weight. DnHP and DCHP induced a significant and dose-related decrease in the anogenital distance of male fetuses at all doses, and there was a significant increase in the incidence of male fetuses with undescended testis at 500 and 750 mg kg,1 per day of DnHP. In conclusion, DnHP showed clear embryolethality and teratogenicity, but not DCHP. There was evidence that both phthalates could alter the development of the male reproductive system after in utero exposure, DnHP being much more potent than DCHP. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Maternal clutch reduction in the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca: an undescribed clutch size adjustment mechanism

Elisa Lobato
During eight years of study of a population of pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca breeding in central Spain, we observed throughout incubation 22 cases of intact eggs being placed on the nest rim and clearly outside of the nest bowl and remaining there, with consequent embryo mortality. We assume that the removal of eggs had been performed by the incubating female. There is no evidence that pied flycatcher parents can detect embryo mortality and eject unhatchable eggs. Maternal egg ejection constitutes a direct mechanism of clutch size adjustment during incubation and before hatching of any young of the brood. This adjustment of clutch size happened when the mean and minimum temperature of the day before ejection were especially low. Also, clutch-reducing females were significantly more prone to show moult-breeding overlap than other females, suggesting a lower disposition to invest in reproduction. Clutch-reducing females were also frequently older than four years and had indications of a lower immunocompetence than females not ejecting eggs. Our results support the hypothesis that adverse conditions can elicit parental family size adjustment at every stage of reproduction without the need to depend on mechanisms of sibling competition. [source]

Paternal sex in parthenogenetic planarians: a tool to investigate the accumulation of deleterious mutations

Clonally reproducing organisms are expected to accumulate slightly deleterious mutations, and this has been demonstrated in RNA viruses, bacteria and unicellular algae. In this paper we present evidence for increased embryo mortality in obligate parthenogenetic strains of the freshwater flatworm Schmidtea polychroa, possibly indicating the action of deleterious mutations. The inheritance of this fitness defect was tested by crossing parthenogens with sexuals. This is possible because both forms are simultaneous hermaphrodites that produce fertile sperm. The resulting sexual offspring showed significantly increased embryo mortality in comparison to offspring of a sexual × sexual cross. Alternatives to a mutation explanation of these results, like the degeneration of male traits in parthenogens, are being discussed. In conclusion, these results lend support to the hypothesis that sex is advantageous to a multicellular organism because it prevents the accumulation of deleterious mutations. [source]

High mortality of embryos of a distinct autochthonous Austrian coregonid population during Zuger jar incubation

F. Lahnsteiner
For a distinct autochthonous Austrian coregonid population called Reinanke Coregonus sp., embryo viability was very low in Zuger jars (mean ±s.d. 36·1 ± 16·1% eyed stage embryos in experiment 1, 15·1 ± 17·0% in experiment 2) but high in vertical flow incubators (63·3 ± 29·0% eyed stage embryos in experiment 1, 57·8 ± 18·9% in experiment 2). Mechanical shock sensitivity is a possible explanation for high embryo mortality. [source]

Micro-environment of olive ridley turtle nests deposited during an aggregated nesting event

S. Clusella Trullas
Abstract The hatching success of nests deposited by olive ridley turtles Lepidochelys olivacea during aggregated nesting events (,arribada') is typically low and the underlying mechanisms are not clear. In this study, temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide partial pressures (PO2 and PCO2) of in situ nests as well as nests relocated into a hatchery with clean sand were monitored throughout incubation. Hatching success of hatchery nests was significantly higher than in situ nests (83.1 vs. 21.6%) and mainly resulted from higher mortality of early-stage embryos. During the first half of incubation, temperature and PCO2 were higher (by 0.6°C and 0.7 kPa, respectively) and PO2 was lower (by 1.1 kPa) within in situ relative to hatchery nests. Because embryo metabolism does not interfere significantly with nest gas contents during the first half of incubation, these results suggest that the greater content of organic matter and/or microorganisms in the sand surrounding in situ nests had an effect on nest gas contents. As PO2 and PCO2 differences were relatively small, microbial activity (such as fungal and bacterial infection) may have caused the early embryo mortality found in situ. Moreover, our results suggest that during the second half of incubation, neither PO2 nor PCO2 reached threshold levels that resulted in the death of embryos or hatchlings. Overall, this study showed a clear benefit of using clean sand to increase hatchling production in arribada beaches and highlights the importance of further investigating the relationship between nest micro-environment, sand microbial activity and embryo development under natural conditions during these unique nesting events. [source]

Genetic diversity, but not hatching success, is jointly affected by postglacial colonization and isolation in the threatened frog, Rana latastei

Abstract Both postglacial colonization and habitat fragmentation can reduce the genetic diversity of populations, which in turn can affect fitness. However, since these processes occur at different spatial and temporal scales, the consequences of either process may differ. To disentangle the relative role of isolation and postglacial colonization in determining genetic diversity and fitness, we studied microsatellite diversity of 295 individuals from 10 populations and measured the hatch rate of 218 clutches from eight populations of a threatened frog, R. latastei. The populations that were affected by fragmentation to a greater extent suffered higher embryo mortality and reduced hatch rate, while no effects of distance from glacial refugium on hatch rate were detected. Altogether, distance from glacial refugium and isolation explained > 90% of variation in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity was lowest in populations both isolated and far from the glacial refugium, and that distance from refugium seems to have the primary role in determining genetic diversity. The relationship between genetic diversity and hatch rate was not significant. However, the proportion of genetic diversity lost through recent isolation had a significant, negative effect on fitness. It is possible that selection at least partially purged the negative effects of the ancestral loss of genetic diversity. [source]

Synergism between mutational meltdown and Red Queen in parthenogenetic biotypes of the freshwater planarian Schmidtea polychroa

OIKOS, Issue 2 2007
a Bruvo
Do parasites and accumulation of deleterious mutations act synergistically in balancing the costs of sex? We addressed this possibility in the freshwater planarian flatworm Schmidtea polychroa. Sexual and parthenogenetic forms of this species sometimes coexist but show no ecological separation. Previous studies indicate that in a mixed sexual/ parthenogenetic population in Lago di Caldonazzo (N. Italy) parthenogens get more frequently infected with parasites. At the same time, they suffer from higher embryo mortality, which has been interpreted as a sign of accumulation of deleterious mutations. In the present study, we test whether these two factors are correlated, by focusing on the differences among the clonal lineages of a predominantly parthenogenetic subpopulation. Our results suggest that, for two out of three parasite types found, the infections are positively associated with the indirect measure of host mutation load. [source]

Epidemiology of Bovine Venereal Campylobacteriosis: Geographic Distribution and Recent Advances in Molecular Diagnostic Techniques

GD Mshelia
Contents Bovine venereal campylobacteriosis (BVC) is a major cause of economic loss to the cattle industries in different parts of the world. Camplylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis (Cfv), the main causative agent of BVC, is highly adapted to the genital tract of cattle and is transmitted by carrier bulls. However, infertility and abortions can also be caused by the intestinal pathogens C. fetus subsp. fetus (Cff), and C. jenuni, which are not venereally transmitted. Bovine venereal campylobacteriosis, caused by Cfv associated with lowered fertility, embryo mortality and abortion, repeated returns to service, reduced pregnancy rates and extended calving intervals, has the highest prevalence in developing countries where natural breeding in cattle is widely practised. The epidemiology, pathogenesis and diagnosis of the disease have been the subject of previous reviews. The main focus of this review is to highlight the epidemiology of this disease with particular reference to geographical distribution and recent advances in molecular diagnostic techniques. It is hoped that further research interest of scientists will be stimulated with a view to finding lasting solutions to the reproductive problems associated with the disease for better livestock productivity, particularly in developing endemic countries. [source]

Incubation temperatures and sex ratios in Australian brush-turkey (Alectura lathami) mounds

Abstract Megapodes are exceptional among birds because they use external heat sources for incubating their eggs. In Australian brush-turkeys (Alectura lathami), this source is the heat produced by microbial decomposition in mounds of leaf litter. A recent laboratory study showed that artificial incubation of eggs at different temperatures affects the sex ratio of brush-turkey hatchlings. Here, this phenomenon is confirmed for eggs incubated in natural incubation mounds. Eggs from which females hatched were found at significantly higher incubation temperatures in the mounds (mean 33.7°C) than those from which males hatched (mean 32.9°C). Also, sex ratios of chicks from individual mounds were significantly correlated with mean incubation temperatures in those mounds. Furthermore, incubation temperatures differed significantly between incubation mounds during the same month of the year. Within some mounds, incubation temperatures differed up to 9°C between eggs, in others this difference was only up to 1°C. These latter results show that males differ in their ability to maintain stable incubation temperatures. While the effect of incubation temperatures on sex ratio is a novel discovery for any bird, it was previously suggested that incubation temperatures in megapodes also affect embryo mortality and chick survival. These combined effects of incubation temperature, and the limited ability of males to provide optimal temperatures, seem to provide answers to the question why so few birds have adopted this unusual mode of reproduction , a question asked by many behavioural ecologists and evolutionary biologists. [source]