Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name




First Advisor

Dr. Curtis L. Parker


The embryo culture system, which allows complete access and continuous observation of developing embryos, is a valuable biological tool. The chick embryo system has already proven useful in studies of tissue grafts, calcium absorption and teratogenic agents, however, its application has been limited because of the reduced rates of growth, development and survival of shell-less embryos in comparison to embryos maintained in~. This study was therefore conducted to aid in the design of a shell-less culture system that would support complete and normal growth and development of shell-less chick embryos. The work presented here provides the first detailed study to address hypoxia as a major cause of abnormalcharacteristics of shell-less embryos. Embryos were cultured in 21-80% oxygen and examined routinely to determine the concentration of oxygen that best supported survival, growth and development. Results showed that 30% oxygen with improved the overall state of shell-less embryos or without prior in ovo incubation. Oxygen concentrations of 40-80% caused signs of hyperoxia, as well as marked peaks in mortality during days 13-16. Assays of metabolic parameters suggested that shell-less embryos grown in air suffered from hypoxia. While oxygen-treated embryos were significantly better developed than she11- less embryos maintained in air, oxygen-treated embryos remained less developed than embryos maintained in ovo. The results of this study however, establish the importance of oxygen treatment in the improvement of shell-less chick culture systems.

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Biology Commons