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Bioscientifica Proceedings (2020) 19 CPRCPR6 | DOI: 10.1530/biosciprocs.19.0006

CPR2013 Control of Pig Reproduction IX Oocyte-embryo Interplay with in vitro or in vivo milieu (4 abstracts)

Transcriptional profiling of oocyte maturation and embryonic development elucidates metabolism and control of development

Randall S. Prather , Alana Brown , Lee D. Spate & Bethany K. Redel, Kristin M. Whitworth and Jeffrey J. Whyte

Division of Animal Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

With the advent of next generation sequencing platforms (RNA-seq), transcriptional profiling permits the characterization of millions of RNAs from even the most limiting samples like early embryos. High-throughput RNA-seq can generate over 600 gigabases (Gb) in a single sequencing run, providing a near-complete record of all of the genes expressed in a sample at the time of collection. Condensing and finding coherence in the immense amount of raw data generated by transcriptional profiling methods such as RNA-seq is a complex task, but necessary if useful information is to be gleaned. Here we review the current technology and describe how transcriptional profiling has been used to improve oocyte maturation and embryo culture conditions, to decrease polyspermy and to improve somatic cell nuclear transfer. Most recently, RNA-seq data has provided a unique framework for understanding metabolism of the early embryo, i.e. the Warburg Effect. Rapidly proliferating cells use glucose for synthesis of nucleotides that are necessary for DNA synthesis. They shunt metabolism away from the tri-carboxylic acid cycle and toward lactic acid production and the pentose phosphate pathway. Pathways identified by RNA-seq data show that early embryos, as it turns out, are quite similar and thrive in conditions that promote proliferation of cancer cells. Application of the Warburg Effect framework to early embryos has, and will continue to contribute to improved culture conditions for embryos in vitro.

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