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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of three methods of selection for litter size in mice on pre-implantation embryonic development.

Characteristics of preimplantation embryonic development to Day 3.5 of gestation were evaluated in lines of mice after 21 generations of selection for litter size or components of litter size. Selection criteria were direct selection for number born (LS), selection on an index of ovulation rate and the proportion of ova shed that resulted in fully formed pups (IX), selection for number born in unilaterally ovariectomized females as an indication of uterine capacity ( UT), and an unselected control (LC). Comparison of the average distributions of embryonic stage of development on the left side of the uterus showed that selection (average effect of LS, IX, and UT vs. LC) tended to advance (p = 0.07) the average stage of embryonic development at Day 3.5 and shift the distribution (p = 0.10) by increasing the frequency of expanded blastocysts and decreasing the frequency of pre-morula embryos. A similar shift in the distribution on the right side of the uterus was not statistically significant. Selection decreased (p = 0.06) variability in developmental stage among embryos within the right uterine horn. These selection criteria evaluated in the mouse appear to have changed the frequencies of genes that affect some determinants of average stage of embryonic development and uniformity of development within a uterine horn at Day 3.5 of gestation.[1]


  1. Effects of three methods of selection for litter size in mice on pre-implantation embryonic development. al-Shorepy, S.A., Clutter, A.C., Blair, R.M., Nielsen, M.K. Biol. Reprod. (1992) [Pubmed]
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