A comparison of rate and uniformity of embryo development in Meishan and European white pigs

I Wilmut, W A Ritchie, C S Haley, C J Ashworth, R P Aitken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A comparison was made of the rate and uniformity of development of embryos recovered from Meishan and European white sows. The time of ovulation was estimated to be 34.3 and 49.0 h after the onset of oestrus in large white and Meishan sows, respectively. Embryos were recovered from a total of 38 Meishan and 37 European pigs between 18 and 219 h after the estimated time of ovulation. Embryos recovered after 18-59 or 44-82 h were classified into one of 11 stages (from early fertilization to early blastocyst), and the maximum blastocyst diameter was measured for embryos recovered 140-219 h after ovulation. There was no evidence of a difference between the genotypes in the stage or size of embryos at these times or of large differences between the genotypes in the extent of variation in embryo stage within females, although a minority of European white females had very variable embryos. As the differences between the embryos of the Meishan and the European white were small, it seems unlikely that greater uniformity of Meishan embryo development is a major cause of the higher prenatal survival in that breed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of reproduction and fertility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1992


  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Estrus
  • Female
  • Fetal Death
  • Ovulation
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal
  • Swine


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of rate and uniformity of embryo development in Meishan and European white pigs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this