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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Comparative Staging of Embryo Development in Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose, Guinea Fowl, and Quail Assessed from 5 Hours after Fertilization to 72 Hours of Incubation

item Dupuy, Vincent - INRA, FRANCE
item Sellier, Nadine - INRA, FRANCE
item Brillard, Jean-Pierre - INRA, FRANCE
item Bakst, Murray

Submitted to: Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 30, 2005
Publication Date: February 13, 2006
Citation: Dupuy, V., Sellier, N., Brillard, J., Bakst, M.R. 2006. Comparative staging of embryo development in chicken, turkey, duck, goose, guinea fowl, and quail assessed from 5 hours after fertilization to 72 hours of incubation. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 15:219-228.

Interpretive Summary: The fertilized chicken egg is used as a model of embryo development. For descriptions of the sequential progression of development to be better understood, embryo growth from first cleavage through hatching been divided into a series of defined stages of morphological differentiation. These are collectively referred to as the “normal-tables of chicken embryo development”. In the present work, we compared and evaluated the application of the normal-tables of chicken development to embryos from other species of commercial and research importance. Embryos from pre-layed and layed eggs from chicken, turkey, Japanese quail, and Pekin duck, goose, Muscovy and mule ducks, and Guinea fowl were examined 72 hr of incubation. There was considerable variation in the developmental stages of the embryo at the time of lay both between and within the birds examined. Hatchery personnel, poultry scientists and developmental biologists using normal-tables of chicken embryo development to describe embryo development in another bird species should expect to observe temporal differences in the appearance of different stages.

Technical Abstract: Normal tables of chicken embryo development are used to define specific stages of morphogenetic progression from the first cleavage divisions through hatching. While established for the turkey and Pekin duck, the application of the normal tables of chicken embryo development to other birds of commercial and research importance needs be examined. Chicken, turkey, Japanese quail, and Pekin duck blastoderms from oviductal eggs showed differences in the rate of development which was inversely correlated with egg size. Oviposited eggs from these and additional species (goose, Muscovy and mule ducks, and Guinea fowl) were examined after 24-72 hr of storage and at 6 hr intervals up to 72 hr of incubation. There was considerable variation in the developmental stages of the blastoderm at the time of oviposition both between and within the species/strains examined. While an inverse correlation between eggs size and rate of blastoderm development was observed in oviducal eggs such a relationship was not evident during incubation. While it is recognized that the temporal rate of development will differ between different species/strains, the external features of any embryo in any given stage will be nearly identical.

Last Modified: 4/20/2015
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