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Dynamics of Maternally-expressed Proteins in Parthenogenetic Embryos of Buffalo Unraveled

Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is an important economic livestock species in Southern Asia, and Buffalo have many good characteristics, such as resistance to roughage, the high value of dairy products, and good quality meat. However, its economic value is limited by its low reproductive efficiency. Notably, under the laboratory conditions, we found that the rate of cleavage and blastocyst in buffalo is lower than the cattle during its period of pre-implantation, which indicated that the different regulatory mechanism may exist in the development of pre-implantation, and before the activation of zygotic genome, the early development of embryo is regulated by maternal genome mainly.

A recent publication in MOLECULAR & CELLULAR PROTEOMICS reported out the dynamic functions of maternally-expressed proteins using quantitative proteomic method combined with transcriptional profiles of buffalo oocytes/embryos after parthenogenetic activation. And we find that the maternally-expressed proteins after parthenogenetic activation are possibly involved in the formation of cell junctions firstly. Also, the two maternal proteins (NPM2, NLRP5) that have been reported in previous studies were confirmed again in this study. In addition, our research demonstrates that the parthenogenetic model of Buffalo may exist an “MZT” (maternal-to-zygotic transition) similar to normally fertilized embryos, and they may occur between the 8-cell stage to 16-cell stage.

These data provide a rich resource for further studies on maternal proteins and genes, and they improve our understanding of the mechanisms of maternal genomics regulation and are conducive to improving nuclear transfer technology, also the strategy of this research may provide a valuable reference to explore the function of maternal genome for other species.

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