Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

First Advisor

Shiquan Wang


Advances in in vitro fertilization and in vitro culture techniques have allowed considerable progress in identifying physiological requirements of mammalian embryos. Parrish et al. (11) reported a major breakthrough on in vitro fertilization when his group identified heparin as an important factor for the capacitation of spermatozoa. Capacitation is necessary for fertilization of matured oocytes. During the precoculture era of embryos (prior to 1980), the development of early preirnplantation embryos was vary limited regardless of medium, medium supplement, gas atmosphere, osmolarity or pH used (7). Coculture techniques of fertilized oocytes using somatic cells during in vitro production, particularly of bovine embryos, has resulted in a tremendous resurgence of embryo culture research (1,2,4-6,8,9,13,15-17, 19). The most often used coculture system is oviductal epithelium (4,9,19), and it is also the most efficient system compared to others (16). Within recent years efforts by many have been undertaken to develop defined medium for oocytes/embryos. Although progress has been made in this area with laboratory animals, defined media for livestock species have thus far proven inadequate for supporting normal development of fertilized eggs to the blastocyst stage of embryonic development (3,12)

In vitro fertilization and in vitro culture of embryos is usually performed in laboratories under the presence of fluorescent lights. Oocytes/embryos may be exposed to fluorescent lights ranging from a few minutes to as long as 1/2 hour. Light in the range of fluorescent illumination causes the formation of free radicals in medium which is thought to have deleterious effects on embryo development (18). Although many researchers consider fluorescent lighting to be detrimental to embryo development, there are no documented studies to demonstrate a causal effect in livestock (20). Therefore, this study was designed to identify the effects of fluorescent light on the early stage bovine embryo under conditions that are commonly used in in vitro fertilization laboratories.

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Dairy Science Commons