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Animal Reproduction and Physiology
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2009;22(3): 336-342.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2009.80384    Published online March 4, 2009.
Differential Embryo Development among Tibetan Chicken, DRW and Shouguang Chicken Exposed to Chronic Hypoxia
Mei Li, Chun-Jiang Zhao, Chang-Xin Wu*
Correspondence:  Chang-Xin Wu,
Avian embryos at high altitude are independent of maternal protection against hypoxia, which is contrary to mammals. It is well known that chronic hypoxic exposure at key points can significantly impact on avian development. Tibetan Chicken, a Chinese indigenous breed, living in Tibetan areas with an altitude of 2.2 to 4.1 thousand meters, has an adaptive mechanism to hypoxia. In the present study, fertilized eggs of Tibetan Chicken were incubated under 13% and 21% oxygen concentration. Two lowland chicken breeds, Shouguang Chicken, an indigenous chicken breed in Shandong Province of China, and Dwarf Recessive White Chicken, an imported breed in Beijing, were used as control groups. The embryo mass and some organs such as brain, heart, liver, stomach and eye weight in the three species were measured at Hamburger-Hamilton stage 39, 41, 43 and 45 under hypoxic and normal conditions. The results showed that in hypoxia Tibetan Chicken significantly differed from the two lowland chicken breeds in embryo mass at Hamburger-Hamilton stage 41, 43 and 45 (p<0.01). In particular, Dwarf Recessive White Chicken and Shouguang Chicken showed retarded growth in hypoxic incubation (p<0.01), whereas Tibetan Chicken showed no significant difference between hypoxic and normal conditions (p>0.05). In addition, heart and the other organs showed different susceptibility to hypoxia at the studied stages. In conclusion, chronic hypoxia induced a change in the embryo development of the three different species and Tibetan Chicken showed adaptation to hypoxia. Of note, the embryo developmental physiology of Tibetan Chicken in response to hypoxia will shed light on the process of physiological acclimation or evolutionary adaptation as well as the study of clinical disease.
Keywords: Adaptation; Chronic Hypoxia; Developmental Physiology; Tibetan Chicken
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