Indexed on: 01 Feb '15Published on: 01 Feb '15Published in: Reproduction, fertility, and development
Peri-gastrulation defines the time frame between blastocyst formation and implantation that also corresponds in cattle to elongation, pregnancy recognition and uterine secretion. Optimally, this developmental window prepares the conceptus for implantation, placenta formation and fetal development. However, this is a highly sensitive period, as evidenced by the incidence of embryo loss or early post-implantation mortality after AI, embryo transfer or somatic cell nuclear transfer. Elongation markers have often been used within this time frame to assess developmental defects or delays, originating either from the embryo, the uterus or the dam. Comparatively, gastrulation markers have not received great attention, although elongation and gastrulation are linked by reciprocal interactions at the molecular and cellular levels. To make this clearer, this peri-gastrulating period is described herein with a focus on its main developmental landmarks, and the resilience of the landmarks in the face of biotechnologies is questioned.