Critical developmental windows for morphology and hematology revealed by intermittent and continuous hypoxic incubation in embryos of quail (Coturnix coturnix)

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This article describes the exposure of quail embryos in the intact egg to hypoxia during "early" or "late" incubation for their entire 16-18 day incubation to determine critical windows for viability and growth.

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20 p.

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Burggren, Warren W. & Elmonoufy, Nourhan September 19, 2017.

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This article describes the exposure of quail embryos in the intact egg to hypoxia during "early" or "late" incubation for their entire 16-18 day incubation to determine critical windows for viability and growth.

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20 p.

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Abstract: Hypoxia during embryonic growth in embryos is frequently a powerful determinant of development, but at least in avian embryos the effects appear to show considerable intra- and inter-specific variation. We hypothesized that some of this variation may arise from different protocols that may or may not result in exposure during the embryo's critical window for hypoxic effects. To test this hypothesis, quail embryos (Coturnix coturnix) in the intact egg were exposed to hypoxia (~15% O2) during "early" (Day 0 through Day 5, abbreviated as D0-D5), "middle" (D6-D10) or "late" (D11-D15) incubation or for their entire 16±18 day incubation ("continuous hypoxia") to determine critical windows for viability and growth. Viability, body mass, beak and toe length, heart mass, and hematology (hematocrit and hemoglobin concentration) were measured on D5, D10, D15 and at hatching typically between D16 and D18. Viability rate was ~50±70% immediately following the exposure period in the early, middle and late hypoxic groups, but viability improved in the early and late groups once normoxia was restored. Middle hypoxia groups showed continuing low viability, suggesting a critical period from D6-D10 for embryo viability. The continuous hypoxia group experienced viability reaching <10% after D15. Hypoxia, especially during late and continuous hypoxia, also inhibited growth of body, beak and toe when measured at D15. Full recovery to normal body mass upon hatching occurred in all other groups except for continuous hypoxia. Contrary to previous avian studies, heart mass, hematocrit and hemoglobin concentration were not altered by any hypoxic incubation pattern. Although hypoxia can inhibit embryo viability and organ growth during most incubation periods, the greatest effects result from continuous or middle incubation hypoxic exposure. Hypoxic inhibition of growth can subsequently be "repaired" by catch-up growth if a final period of normoxic development is available. Collectively, these data indicate a critical developmental window for hypoxia susceptibility during the mid-embryonic period of development.

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  • PLOS ONE, 2017. San Francisco, CA: Public Library of Science

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  • Publication Title: PLOS ONE
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 9
  • Pages: 1-20
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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  • November 14, 2016

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  • August 8, 2017

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  • September 19, 2017

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  • Sept. 29, 2017, 9:53 a.m.

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Burggren, Warren W. & Elmonoufy, Nourhan. Critical developmental windows for morphology and hematology revealed by intermittent and continuous hypoxic incubation in embryos of quail (Coturnix coturnix), article, September 19, 2017; San Francisco, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc993950/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.