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Early embryogenesis of the chick

Dr. Marleen Boerjan


Zeddam, November 10th 2008
Early embryonic development

Contents

• Development in the hen’s oviduct


Body axis formation during egg formation.
• Embryonic development in the incubator
The spatial-temporal principle
• Formation of extra-embryonic membranes

• Body axis formation in modern breeds: what do we


know?
Avian development

Ref. S.F. Gilbert: developmental biology 6th ed


Maternal contribution

Embryo and egg formation in the oviduct

• The production of high quality chicks starts with


fertilization, egg formation and embryo development
in the oviduct of hens body
Maternal contribution

Ovary and oviduct in adult hen

Ref: Ohio state university


Maternal contribution

Embryo and egg formation in the oviduct

Ovary: female gamete + yolk


lipids and proteins

Magnum: albumen proteins

Water: isthmus

Shell: shell gland


Maternal contribution

The avian egg

composition:
Albumen: 58.5%
Yolk: 31.0%
Shell: 10.5%
Maternal contribution

The avian egg: at oviposition

Germinal disc is an
early embryo with
head and tail
structures specified
Maternal contribution

Egg formation, early embryonic


development
Oviduct Event Time spent

Ovary Ovulation 0h

Infundibulum Fertilization/thick 15 min


albumen
Magnum Albumen added/thin 3h
albumen
Isthmus Shell membranes 15 min
added
Shell gland Shell added 20 h
Maternal contribution

The avian ovary


Small yellow follicles

unfertilized oocyte

F1..F3: hierarchy
of follicles
Van Nassauw, 1997
Maternal contribution

The avian embryo: fertilization

Ovulation: release
unfertilized oocyte in (infundibulum)
the infundibulum

Fertilization: fusion of
sperm and oocyte: one-
cell embryo

(sperm storage tubules)


Maternal contribution

The avian embryo: early development

Cleavage divisions and


development of the
head to tail axis during
formation of the shell
Maternal contribution

The avian embryo: early development

Cleavage divisions and


development of the
head to tail axis during
formation of the shell
Maternal contribution

The avian embryo: early development


Maternal contribution

The avian embryo: axis specification in


the oviduct

P= posterior (future tail)


A= anterior (future head) Ref. S.F. Gilbert: developmental biology 8th ed
Maternal contribution

The avian embryo: axis specification in


the oviduct
Development in the oviduct: Induction of anterior-
posterior axis during shell formation

Anterior

Posterior Anterior

Posterior
Early embryonic development

Contents

• Development in the hen’s oviduct


Body axis formation during egg formation.
• Embryonic development in the incubator
The spatial-temporal principle
• Formation of extra-embryonic membranes

• Body axis formation in modern breeds: what do we


know?
Maternal contribution

Embryo and egg formation

Body- axis formation in the oviduct


is essential for further
development in the incubator

15 hr embryo
Early development

Development after oviposition: spatial-


temporal principle
• Normal development starts at 100 °F

Day 0: 2D-structure Day 3: 3D-structure


Early development

Development after oviposition: spatial-


temporal principle
• Early development: fate map, future function have been
specified
Early development

Development after oviposition: spatial-


temporal principle
• Early development: fate map, future function have been
determined
Mesoderm: Future muscle

Ectoderm: Future skin

Future tail Future head


Early development

spatial-temporal principle

• Early development (differentiation) characterised by transition


from a 2D structure to 3D organism

Day 3
Day 0
Early development

spatial-temporal principle

• Early development (differentiation) characterised by transition


from a 2D structure to 3D organism

gastrulation
Early development

spatial-temporal principle

• Early development (differentiation) characterised by transition


from a 2D structure to 3D organism

gastrulation
Early development

spatial-temporal principle

• Gastrulation is the proces in


which the cells move from the
outer surface of the embryo to
the inside, where they give
rise to internal organs
Early development

spatial-temporal principle

• Gastrulation is a 3-dimensional
proces + the fourth dimension of time

• Spatial-temporal principle of
development: Gastrulation is an
example
Environmental influence

Temperature

• Normal development at 37.7 °C (100 °F)

Continuous exposure to temperatures


above 38 °C or below 37 °C disturbs the
spatial-temporal development and
results in progressively lower hatchability
and higher risk of crippled (abnormal)
embryos (Alexis Romanoff, 1936)
Early development

Development of the embryo

Conclusion:
The differentiation of embryonic structures is the result
of a 4-dimensional process in which internal (genes)
and external (temperature) work together

Day 3 Day 4
Early embryonic development

Contents

• Development in the hen’s oviduct


Body axis formation during egg formation.
• Embryonic development in the incubator
The spatial-temporal principle

• Formation of extra-embryonic membranes

• Body axis formation in modern breeds: what do we


know?
Extra-embryonic structures

• Extra-embryonic structures transport the nutrients


from yolk and albumen to the developing embryo.
Extra-embryonic structures transport
nutrients
Extra-embryonic structures transport
nutrients
Extra-embryonic structures transport
nutrients: day 3
embryo

Sub-embryonic
yolk fluid
yolk

albumen
Extra-embryonic structures transport
nutrients: day 6

embryo

yolk

albumen
Extra-embryonic structures transport
nutrients: protection of the embryo
Moisture loss and extra-embryonic
structures transport nutrients
Early embryonic development

Contents

• Development in the hen’s oviduct


Body axis formation during egg formation.
• Embryonic development in the incubator
The spatial-temporal principle
• Formation of extra-embryonic membranes

• Body axis formation in modern breeds: what do we


know?
Today’s egg incubation

Embryo and egg formation in the oviduct

• The production of high quality chicks starts with


fertilization, egg formation and embryo development
in the oviduct of hens body
Today’s egg incubation

Body axis formation in modern breeds

• Hatchability
depends on
age of the hens

• Observed: Hatchablity(%)
variation
between flocks

30 40 50 60 70
30 40 50 60
Age of the hens
Today’s egg incubation

Body axis formation in modern breeds

• Hatchability depends
on nutrition of breeders 100%

90%

• Observed: 80%

Great variation in

Hatchability (%)
70%

hatchability curves
between feed companies 60%

50%

40%
20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65

Age of the Hens (weeks)

Different colours represent different feed


companies
Today’s egg incubation

Body axis formation in modern breeds

• What do we know about the early development of


the embryo from highly selected modern breeds?

• Is the induction of the anterior-posterior axis during


shell formation similar compared to traditional
breeds?
Today’s egg incubation

Body axis formation in modern breeds

• Answer: must be found in egg and embryo


formation in broiler breeders
Today’s egg incubation

Body axis formation in modern breeds

• Answer: must be found in egg and embryo


formation in broiler breeders

• What do we have observed?


Today’s egg incubation

The avian ovary: broiler breeder


Small yellow follicles

F1..F3: hierarchy
Ref; Robinson,F.E, et.al (2003).
of follicles
Optimizing chick production in broiler breeders. Spotted Cow Press.
Today’s egg incubation

Body axis formation in modern breeds:


question
Small yellow follicles
Production of hatching eggs ask for good broiler breeder
management

• Is oocyte quality influenced?

• Is the development (axis formation) in the oviduct


impaired?

F1..F3: hierarchy
of follicles
Today’s egg incubation

Body axis formation in modern breeds:


question
• Is the induction of the anterior-posterior axis during
shell formation similar?

Area pellucida

Area opaca

2008 1998
embryos from unincubated eggs
Today’s egg incubation

Is the development (axis formation) in


the oviduct impaired?

1998: embryo from unincubated egg: Goosecoid gene expression


Today’s egg incubation

Is the development (axis formation) in


the oviduct impaired?
• Is the induction of the anterior-posterior axis during
shell formation similar?

2008: embryo from unincubated egg, goosecoid expression???


Today’s egg incubation

Statement

• Low fertilities seen in today’s hatchery


practice is more than a male problem
Contents

• Development in the hen’s oviduct


Body axis formation during egg formation.
• Embryonic development in the incubator
The spatial-temporal principle
• Formation of extra-embryonic membranes

• Body axis formation in modern breeds: what do we


know?
Thank You