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Effect of nucleocytoplasmic ratio on the in vitro porcine embryo development after in vitro fertilization or parthenogenetic activation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 October 2021

Nguyen Thi Men
Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Ibaraki305-8602, Japan
Thanh Quang Dang-Nguyen*
Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Ibaraki305-8602, Japan
Tamas Somfai
Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO, Ibaraki305-0901, Japan
Hiep Thi Nguyen
Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Ibaraki305-8602, Japan Institute of Biotechnology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam The United Graduate School of Veterinary Science, Yamaguchi University, Yamaguchi753-8515Japan
Junko Noguchi
Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Ibaraki305-8602, Japan
Hiroyuki Kaneko
Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Ibaraki305-8602, Japan
Kazuhiro Kikuchi
Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Ibaraki305-8602, Japan The United Graduate School of Veterinary Science, Yamaguchi University, Yamaguchi753-8515Japan
Author for correspondence: T. Q. Dang-Nguyen. Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Ibaraki305–8602, Japan. E-mail:


This study was conducted to examine whether the nuclear to cytoplasmic (N/C) ratio had any influence on the timing of embryo compaction and blastocoel formation, as well as formation rate and quality of blastocyst. First, we produced embryos with increased N/C ratio by removal of approximately one-third of the cytoplasm and with decreased N/C ratio by doubling the oocyte cytoplasm with an enucleated oocyte. The initiation of compaction and cavitation in reduced cytoplasm group was significantly earlier (P < 0.05) compared with the control and doubled cytoplasm groups. The rate of blastocysts in the reduced cytoplasm and doubled cytoplasm groups was significantly lower (P < 0.05) compared with the control group. Blastocyst quality in terms of total cell number in the reduced cytoplasm group was significantly lower (P < 0.05) compared with the doubled cytoplasm group, but not different from the control group. Next, we produced embryos with various N/C ratios by oocyte fusion combined with cytochalasin D treatment. The onset of compaction and cavitation in the 2N/2C group (decreased N/C ratio) was significantly delayed (P < 0.05) or had the tendency to be delayed (P = 0.064), respectively, compared with the control group (2N/1C). A significantly higher rate of blastocyst was observed in the 4N/2C group compared with the 1N/1C group (P < 0.05) but not different from the remaining groups. These results demonstrated that an increase in N/C ratio caused an earlier occurrence of morula compaction and blastocyst formation in both in vitro fertilization (IVF) and parthenogenetically activated pig embryos.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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