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Genomic DNA methylation patterns in bovine preimplantation embryos derived from in vitro fertilization

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By using the approach of immunofluorescence staining with an antibody against 5-methylcytosine (5MeC), the present study detected the DNA methylation patterns of bovine zygotes and preimplantation embryos derived from oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo in vitro culture (IVC). The results showed that: a) paternal-specific demethylation occurred in 61.5% of the examined zygotes, while 34.6% of them showed no demethylation; b) decreased methylation level was observed after the 8-cell stage and persisted through the morula stage, however methylation levels were different between blastomeres within the same embryos; c) at the blastocyst stage, the methylation level was very low in inner cell mass, but high in trophectoderm cells. The present study suggests, at least partly, that IVM/IVF/IVC may have effects on DNA methylation reprogramming of bovine zygotes and early embryos.

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Correspondence to An XiaoRong.

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Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 30270956) and High-Tech Research & Development Program of China (Grant No. 2002AA206311)

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Hou, J., Liu, L., Lei, T. et al. Genomic DNA methylation patterns in bovine preimplantation embryos derived from in vitro fertilization. SCI CHINA SER C 50, 56–61 (2007).

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