The effect of pronuclear microinjection of DNA and culture in excised mouse oviducts on the development of porcine zygotes was assessed in this study. Precocious ovulation was induced in prepubertal gilts with pregnant mare's serum gonadotrophin and hCG. Zygotes received either pronuclear microinjection of buffer alone, buffer containing a DNA construct, or no microinjection. Zygotes were cultured in vitro in either modified Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate medium [KRB] for 144 h or in mouse oviduct [MO] explant culture with KRB for 48, 72, 96, or 120 h. Pronuclear microinjection of DNA resulted in a lower [P < .05] cleavage index [CI] than did buffer or no microinjection [CI 2.16 +/- .10 vs 2.80 +/- .13 and 2.93 +/- .10]. The CI loss was greatest for DNA-injected zygotes at the two-cell stage of development. Coculture of zygotes in MO resulted in a higher CI [P < .01] than did culture in KRB. Culture in MO for 72 h was the most beneficial system compared with MO for 48, 96, or 120 h [P < .05; CI 3.25 +/- .12 vs 2.66 +/- .18, 2.79 +/- .14, and 2.40 +/- .14, respectively]. Microinjection of DNA, not merely the mechanical procedure, was detrimental to early zygote development and may be the cause of low pregnancy rates.
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