Parthenogenesis and activation of mammalian oocytes for in vitro embryo production: A review


Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction found in females, where growth and development of embryos occurs without fertilization by a male. Parthenogenesis occurs naturally in aphids, Daphnia, rotifers, nematodes and some other invertebrates but can also be induced efficiently in mammalian oocytes by providing appropriate stimuli invitro. Recently, parthenogenesis has attracted wide attention because of the role of activated oocytes in the field of research that have been described such as intra cytoplasmic sperm injection, cloning by nuclear transfer, somatic cell cloning, investigating culture conditions etc. & potential for deriving pluripotent stem cell lines and their differentiation into various cell lines that can be utilized for various tissue engineering applications. The parthenogenetically activated oocytes possess maternal genome and can developed in to either haploid, diploid or polyploidy embryos with the help of it we can analyze the possible role of all the genes involved in imprinting processes as well as the role the paternal genome plays during early embryo development by comparing them with fertilized embryos. Several methods are able to induce parthenogenetic activation through the elevation of cytoplasmic free calcium in oocytes. But one common, universal method or activation agents has not been developed for all species because the process is highly specific for each species. Therefore, activation step for each species need to be optimized accordingly. This review describes the general method of activation of mammalian oocytes and their genomic imprinting analysis.

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Kharche, S. and Birade, H. (2013) Parthenogenesis and activation of mammalian oocytes for in vitro embryo production: A review. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 4, 170-182. doi: 10.4236/abb.2013.42025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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