Effects of varying chamber construction and embryo pre-incubation age on survival and growth of chick embryos in shell-less culture

Authors

  • Bruce E. Dunn,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29403
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  • PhD Timothy P. Fitzharris,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy and Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29403
    • Department of Anatomy, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29403
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  • Bobby D. Barnett

    1. Poultry Science Department, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29631
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Abstract

Shell-less cultrure involves culturing chick embryos with associated yolk and albumen outside of the eggshell and shell membranes. The technique allows direct access to and continuous observation of cultured embryos almost to the time of hatching. The plastic wrap/culture tripod technique described in this paper allows normal embryonic growth and differentiation from 48 hours (in ovo pre-incubation age) through at least 10 days of total incubation. As the duration of in ovo pre-incubation is decreased below 36 hours, there is a concomitant increase in the percentage of grossly abnormal embryos associated with decreased survival and retarded growth and differentiation. Survival of embryos pre-incubated for 72 hours through 13 and 18 days of total incubation is greater than 80% and 40%, respectively. The wrap/tripod technique allows substantially better survival and more normal development of cultured embryos than does the petri dish technique of Auerbach et al. (1974). Embryonic growth in 7.8-cm-diameter chambers is significantly greater than in either larger (10.6 cm) or smaller (5.2 cm) diameter chambers. Some gas exchange through the culture chamber walls appears necessary for optional embryonic survival and growth. Suspending egg contents in either Safeway® or Handi-Wrap® plastic wrap (both of intermediate permeability) in 7.8-cm tripods resulted in superior growth and/or survival compared to suspension in Silastic® sheeting (high permeability), Saran Wrap® (low permeability), glass dishes (nonpermeable), or glass dishes lined with an inner layer of Safeway® wrap(nonpermeable).

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