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11 June 2022 Environment to embryo: intersections of contaminant exposure and preimplantation embryo development in agricultural animals
Maura S. McGraw, Bradford W. Daigneault
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Environmental impacts on reproductive function are well documented in humans, yet little information is known about the effects on large animals. The interface of environment and reproduction has evolved prudently with a concerted effort to ensure global food sustainability tightly integrated with the application of technological advances in agriculture production that include nutrient and resource management. Exposure to environmental toxicants through chemical pesticide application and industry practices has coincided with a decline in cattle and human fertility. The increased adoption of agriculture animals for human biomedical models further emphasizes the importance of understanding the consequences of livestock exposure to environmentally and physiologically relevant levels of contaminants to preimplantation embryo development. In addition, increased awareness of paternal contributions to the early embryo that include both genetic and nongenetic factors supports the need to define environmental interactions from gamete to genome. Herein we summarize current knowledge of common environmental contaminants on reproductive function including direct and indirect effects on embryo development success in livestock. Information obtained from a diverse number of species including humans is presented to illustrate gaps in knowledge within livestock directly pertaining to agriculture success, sustainability, clinical practice, and biomedical research.

Summary Sentence

Livestock embryo exposure to environmental contaminants suggests detrimental effects to developmental competence that remain largely uncharacterized.

Graphical Abstract

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Maura S. McGraw and Bradford W. Daigneault "Environment to embryo: intersections of contaminant exposure and preimplantation embryo development in agricultural animals," Biology of Reproduction 107(4), 869-880, (11 June 2022).
Received: 8 March 2022; Accepted: 3 June 2022; Published: 11 June 2022
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