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Lisanne Fermin

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal Science)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Pre-implantation maternal uterine effects on embryo growth and development: An investigation using models of maternal constraint in sheep

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Prenatal growth and development are critical to survival of the fetus and neonate. The pre-implantation period of pregnancy is a critical time during which embryo growth and development is influenced by uterine factors. Ms Fermin investigated the effects of a constrained maternal uterine environment on embryo development using two sheep models: litter size and mature dam size. She investigated uterine gene expression to determine the role of the mother in driving embryo growth, and examined the use of progesterone treatment as a means of overcoming maternal constraint effects on embryo growth. Her main findings indicate that progesterone exerts its effects by regulation of uterine genes, advancing structural and secretory activity, to indirectly advance embryo growth and thereby overcome maternal constraint. Her findings contribute to the knowledge of mechanisms controlling embryo growth and present a platform within livestock and human reproductive science to improve pregnancy success and survival of offspring.

Dr Sarah Pain
Professor Hugh Blair
Professor Paul Kenyon