Protein content and volume of early porcine blastocysts

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Mean protein and volume of 222 blastocysts collected on 6 to 9 days of pregnancy were measured. Embryo protein differed (P < 0.05) for each day of development studied. Protein content of embryos doubled between days 6 and 7 and days 7 and 8 (1.2 ± 0.04, 2.0 ± 0.14, and 3.7 ± 0.2 μg, respectively). A dramatic increase from 3.7 ± 0.2 to 56.0 ± 3.4 μg was observed between days 8 and 9. Blastocyst volume increased (P < 0.05) from 0.56 ± 0.03 × 10-2mm3 to 1.11 ± 0.04 × 10-2mm3 between days 6 and 7, and then increased 10-fold on day 8 and five-fold on day 9. Blastocyst volume was not correlated with protein for days of development and females studied. Approximately 20% of all blastocysts within a single female contained less protein than the average protein content of all embryos from the same uterus. The results indicate that day 6 of development marks the onset of an exponential increase in embryo protein. Also, blastocyst volume is not correlated with blastocyst protein, suggesting that embryo viability is difficult to estimate by size alone. Further, approximately 20% of the blastocysts collected from a single female may exhibit reduced viability, based on reduced protein content, as early as day 6 of development. © 1983.

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Animal Reproduction Science

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