Biological Systems Engineering, Department of


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Walsh, S. C., Miles, J. R., Keel, B. N., Rempel, L. A., Wright‐Johnson, E. C., Lindholm‐Perry, A. K., Oliver, W. T., & Pannier, A. K. (2022). Global analysis of differential gene expression within the porcine conceptus transcriptome as it transitions through spherical, ovoid, and tubular morphologies during the initiation of elongation. Molecular Reproduction and Development, 89, 175–201.


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This study aimed to identify transcriptome differences between distinct or transitional stage spherical, ovoid, and tubular porcine blastocysts throughout the initiation of elongation. We performed a global transcriptome analysis of differential gene expression using RNA‐Seq with high temporal resolution between spherical, ovoid, and tubular stage blastocysts at specific sequential stages of development from litters containing conceptus populations of distinct or transitional blastocysts. After RNA‐Seq analysis, significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and pathways were identified between distinct morphologies or sequential development stages. Overall, 1898 significant DEGs were identified between distinct spherical and ovoid morphologies, with 311 total DEGs between developmental stages throughout this first morphological transition, while 15 were identified between distinct ovoid and tubular, with eight total throughout these second morphological transition developmental stages. The high quantity of DEGs and pathways between conceptus stages throughout the spherical to ovoid transition suggests the importance of gene regulation during this first morphological transition for initiating elongation. Further, extensive DEG coverage of known elongation signaling pathways was illustrated from spherical to ovoid, and regulation of lipid signaling and membrane/ECM remodeling across these early conceptus stages were implicated as essential to this process, providing novel insights into potential mechanisms governing this rapid morphological change.