Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Irina Polejaeva


Irina Polejaeva


S. Clay Isom


Lee Rickords


Mirella Meyer-Ficca


John Stevens


Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have now been extensively used to promote reproductive efficiency as a fertility treatment not only in human medicine but also animal reproduction. ARTs serve as an important tool to advance the fundamental knowledge of reproductive processes. The quality of female’s eggs defines its ability to undergo maturation, fertilization, and development. This quality is determined by various factors and is crucial for the success of ARTs. Any alternations happening during the egg growth and maturation process can result in the decreased quality, which could have long-lasting effects on development. Improving the developmental efficiency of the egg is quite challenging due to the limited knowledge on the underlying mechanism of how the egg regulates biological processes during the growth and maturation phase. We compared good-quality and poor-quality eggs to detect the key players in determining the egg quality at the molecular level. Our finding also provides information that benefits the understanding of how the nutrients in culture medium facilitate oocyte maturation, which will eventually help optimize the condition for oocyte culture. Based on the results from these comparative studies, we proposed a potential strategy for improving egg quality. The knowledge obtained from our research offers promise for many applications in the treatment of infertility and improvement of ART efficiency.



Available for download on Thursday, May 11, 2023