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Attempts to produce monozygotic quadruplets in cattle by blastomere separation
  1. SM Willadsen and
  2. C Polge


The blastomeres of eight-cell cow embryos were separated by micromanipulation into four pairs, inserted in foreign zonae pellucidae, embedded in agar and cultured for approximately four days in ligated sheep oviducts. Of 44 "quarter" embryos (11 monozygotic groups) transferred to sheep, 91 per cent had continued to develop at a normal rate and 77 per cent had formed small blastocysts with a single inner cell mass. Twenty-six blastocysts freed from the agar were transferred to heifers, each heifer receiving two monozygotic embryos, one to the tip of each uterine horn. Nine recipients were diagnosed pregnant by rectal palpation on day 50, six carrying twins. Thus 15 of the embryos had continued to develop including two sets of monozygotic quadruplets and one set of monozygotic triplets. Eight fetuses developed to full term, one set of monozygotic triplets, two sets of monozygotic twins (one set born dead) and one single.

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