Embryo Size (embryo + size)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Smaller amphipod mothers show stronger trade-offs between offspring size and number

Douglas S. Glazier
Trade-offs between embryo mass and number were studied in 10 populations of the freshwater amphipod Gammarus minus. Trade-offs were stronger in populations with small brooding females than in those with larger brooding females. Relationships between embryo mass and maternal body mass were also stronger in populations dominated by small versus large brooding females. These patterns are likely the result of morphological constraints, at least in part. Embryo size is more affected by brood size and maternal size in small mothers, probably because of offspring-packaging constraints associated with small brood pouches. Energy constraints appear to be less important. These results suggest that body size may not only affect the magnitude of individual life-history traits, as is well known, but also the covariance between traits. [source]

Synthetic matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor decreases early cardiac neural crest migration in chicken embryos

D.H. Cai
Abstract During early embryonic development, cardiac neural crest (NC) cells emerge from the forming neural tube, migrate beneath the ectoderm, enter the pharyngeal arches, and subsequently participate in the septation of the heart. Like tumor cells, NC cells penetrate through basement membranes and invade extracellular matrix during their emigration and migration and, therefore, are liable to use similar invasive mechanisms. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc proteolytic enzymes known to be important in cell migration and invasion of normal and metastatic cells. In an earlier study, we found that the spatial and temporal distribution pattern of MMP-2 positively correlates with cardiac NC migration, suggesting MMP enzymatic activity may be important in mediating cardiac cell NC migration. To test this hypothesis, a synthetic MMP inhibitor, KB8301, was used to block MMP enzymatic activity during in vitro and in vivo cardiac NC cell migration in chick embryos. Injection of KB8301 into the cell-free space adjacent to the neural tube at the level of the second somite before the NC cells emigrated caused major morphologic anomalies in embryos and disrupted cardiac NC morphogenesis. Unilateral injection of KB8301 at lower concentrations, significantly decreased cardiac NC migration on the injected side compared with the noninjected side and compared with that of the injected controls. This decrease correlated with a decrease in MMP activity in the embryos and was not attributable to differences in embryo size or rate of embryonic development after injection. KB8301 also significantly decreased the rate of NC cell motility and distance NC cells migrated from explanted neural tubes and increased cell area and perimeter. These data suggest that MMP enzymatic activity is an important mediator of early cardiac NC migration and that perturbation of endogenous MMP activity may lead to NC-related congenital defects. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Comparing fecundity in parthenogenetic versus sexual populations of the freshwater snail Campeloma limum: is there a two-fold cost of sex?

Lisa T. Crummett
Abstract. The predominance of sexuality in eukaryotes remains an evolutionary paradox, given the "two-fold cost of sex" also known as the "cost of males." [Correction added after online publication 29 January 2009: in the preceding sentence, extraneous words were deleted.] As it requires two sexual parents to reproduce and only one parthenogenetic parent, parthenogens should have twice the reproductive rate compared with their sexual counterparts and their genes should spread twice as fast, if all else is equal. Yet, parthenogenesis is relatively rare and considered an evolutionary dead-end, while sexuality is the dominant form of reproduction in multicellular eukaryotes. Many studies have explored short-term benefits of sex that could outweigh its two-fold cost, but few have compared fecundity between closely related sexuals and parthenogens to first verify that "all else is equal" reproductively. We compared six fecundity measures between sexual and parthenogenetic populations of the freshwater snail, Campeloma limum, during a brooding cycle (1 year) across two drainages. Drainages were analyzed separately because of a significant drainage effect. In the Savannah drainage, fecundity was not significantly different between sexuals and parthenogens, even though parthenogens had significantly more empty egg capsules per brood. In the Ogeechee drainage, parthenogens had significantly more egg capsules with multiple embryos and more hatched embryos than sexuals. Taken over 1 year, embryo size was not significantly different between parthenogens and sexuals in either drainage. Given these results and the close proximity of sexual and parthenogenetic populations, it is perplexing why parthenogenetic populations have not completely replaced sexual populations in C. limum. [source]

Demographic aspects of sympatric Praomys jacksoni and P. stella in a tropical lowland forest in Kakamega, Kenya

Catherine W. Waweru
Abstract Populations of coexisting tropical forest rodents Praomys jacksoni and P. (Hylomyscus) stella were investigated to test whether lower relative densities in regenerating forest compared with mature forest were because of poor health and/or reduced chances for females to breed. Relative frequencies, litter size, mass, length of embryos, presence or absence of ecto- and/ or endoparasites, and liver condition were recorded and analysed. Higher numbers of either species occurred in the mature compared with regenerating forest. Mottled livers and endoparasites were associated with heavier rodents; litter size related positively to mass of pregnant females in both species. Litter size, embryo size, sex ratios, liver condition, and infestation of ecto- and endoparasites were independent of forest and species. Apparently, reduced female density in regenerating forest had no breeding cost on individual females occurring there. Résumé Les populations de rongeurs coexistants en forêt tropicale Praomys jacksoni et P. (Hylomyscus) stella ont étéétudiées pour vérifier si les densités relatives, plus faibles dans les forêts en voie de régénération que dans les forêts mâtures, étaient dues à une moins bonne santé et/ou à de plus faibles chances de se reproduire pour les femelles. On a noté et analysé les fréquences relatives, la taille des portées, le poids, la taille des embryons, la présence ou l'absence d'ecto- et/ou d'endoparasites et l'état du foie. On a constaté des nombres plus importants des deux espèces dans les forêts mâtures que dans les forêts en voie de règénération. Des foies tachetés et des endoparasites étaient associés à des rongeurs plus lourds; la taille des portées était positivement liée au poids des femelles pleines dans les deux espèces. La taille de la portée, le poids des petits, le sex-ratio, l'état du foie et l,infestation par des ecto- et endoparasites étaient indépendants de la forêt et de l'espèce. Apparemment, la densité réduite des femelles dans la forêt en voie de régénération n'avait aucun impact sur la reproduction locale des femelles prises individuellement. [source]

In vivo expression of interferon tau mRNA by the embryonic trophoblast and uterine concentrations of interferon tau protein during early pregnancy in the cow

R.S. Robinson
Abstract In this study, we have measured uterine concentrations of interferon tau and intensity of embryonic interferon tau mRNA expression between day 14 and 18 in cows. While interferon tau concentrations rose dramatically (P,<,0.001) from day 14 to 18, there was no significant increase in the intensity of expression of interferon tau mRNA by the trophoblast. When results were analyzed on the basis of embryo size, well elongated embryos (>10 cm) produced significantly (P,<,0.001) more interferon tau than smaller embryos but showed similar levels of interferon tau mRNA expression. These results demonstrate that the increase in interferon tau concentrations responsible for the maternal recognition of pregnancy results from the increase in embryo size during elongation and not from any upregulation of mRNA expression. Mol. Reprod. Dev. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Reproductive biology of the brown smoothhound shark Mustelus henlei, in the northern Gulf of California, México

J. C. Pérez-Jiménez
Female brown smoothhound sharks Mustelus henlei were found to reproduce annually. A mature female carried both developing oocytes in the ovary and developing embryos in the uteri concurrently for c. 1 year. A great variability in the size of embryos was recorded each month, and the maximum embryo sizes were found from late January to mid-March. The largest oocytes in mature females were observed in mid-March. Gestation lasted c. 10 months. A linear relationship between maternal total length (LT) and the number of pups per litter (litter size one to 21) was estimated. Birth LT was reached in c. 280 mm. Females and males matured at 570,660 and 550,560 mm LT, respectively. Difference in the litter size among Californian coast (one to 10) and northern Gulf of California (one to 21) populations existed for this smoothhound shark. [source]