Changes in morphology, cell number, cell size and cellular estrogen content of individual littermate pig conceptuses on days 9 to 13 of gestation

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Pusateri, A. E.
Warner, C. M.
Ford, S. P.
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Rothschild, Max
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
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Animal Science

The Department of Animal Science originally concerned itself with teaching the selection, breeding, feeding and care of livestock. Today it continues this study of the symbiotic relationship between animals and humans, with practical focuses on agribusiness, science, and animal management.

The Department of Animal Husbandry was established in 1898. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Animal Science in 1962. The Department of Poultry Science was merged into the department in 1971.

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Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

The Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology was founded to give students an understanding of life principles through the understanding of chemical and physical principles. Among these principles are frontiers of biotechnology such as metabolic networking, the structure of hormones and proteins, genomics, and the like.

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics was founded in 1959, and was administered by the College of Sciences and Humanities (later, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences). In 1979 it became co-administered by the Department of Agriculture (later, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences). In 1998 its name changed to the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology.

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  • Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics (1959–1998)

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Days 9 to 12 of gestation in the pig are marked by a pronounced asynchrony among littermate embryos. Previously published studies have suggested that the most advanced embryos within a litter by d 12 synthesize greater amounts of estrogen. Embryonic estrogen secretion has been shown to advance endometrial secretions, which may adversely affect less-developed littermates. To date, however, no comprehensive study of the developmental pattern and synthetic activities of individual littermate embryos during this period has been conducted. Litters were collected from Yorkshire gilts on d 9 (n = 11), 11 (n = 10), 12 (n = 5) and 13 (n = 8). Size (greatest diameter), DNA content (cell number), protein:DNA ratio and estrone (E1) and estradiol-17 beta (E2) content were determined for each embryo. Embryo sizes (mm greatest diameter) were (x +/- SEM) 1 +/- .1, 5.6 +/- .7, 41.2 +/- 11.7 and 405.7 +/- 16.7 on d 9, 11, 12 and 13, respectively. The daily variation in embryo size, expressed as CV was 82% on d 9, 145% on d 11, 206% on d 12 and 46% on d 13. DNA per embryo increased progressively from d 9 to 13, whereas the protein:DNA ratio declined. Content of E1 and E2 per embryonic cell was greatest on d 11 and d 12 before declining markedly on d 13. Cell number and embryo size were correlated positively in embryos 1 to 7 mm (P less than .01) and embryos greater than 100 mm (P less than .01) but not in embryos 8 to 100 mm.


This is an article from Journal of Animal Science 68 (1990): 3727, doi:/1990.68113727x. Posted with permission.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1990