Fertilization: The fusion of a spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) with an OVUM thus resulting in the formation of a ZYGOTE.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Oocytes: Female germ cells derived from OOGONIA and termed OOCYTES when they enter MEIOSIS. The primary oocytes begin meiosis but are arrested at the diplotene state until OVULATION at PUBERTY to give rise to haploid secondary oocytes or ova (OVUM).Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Embryo, Nonmammalian: The developmental entity of a fertilized egg (ZYGOTE) in animal species other than MAMMALS. For chickens, use CHICK EMBRYO.Sperm-Ovum Interactions: Interactive processes between the oocyte (OVUM) and the sperm (SPERMATOZOA) including sperm adhesion, ACROSOME REACTION, sperm penetration of the ZONA PELLUCIDA, and events leading to FERTILIZATION.Ovum: A mature haploid female germ cell extruded from the OVARY at OVULATION.Blastocyst: A post-MORULA preimplantation mammalian embryo that develops from a 32-cell stage into a fluid-filled hollow ball of over a hundred cells. A blastocyst has two distinctive tissues. The outer layer of trophoblasts gives rise to extra-embryonic tissues. The inner cell mass gives rise to the embryonic disc and eventual embryo proper.Embryonic Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS.Embryo Implantation: Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.Zygote: The fertilized OVUM resulting from the fusion of a male and a female gamete.Chick Embryo: The developmental entity of a fertilized chicken egg (ZYGOTE). The developmental process begins about 24 h before the egg is laid at the BLASTODISC, a small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK. After 21 days of incubation, the embryo is fully developed before hatching.Embryo Transfer: The transfer of mammalian embryos from an in vivo or in vitro environment to a suitable host to improve pregnancy or gestational outcome in human or animal. In human fertility treatment programs, preimplantation embryos ranging from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage are transferred to the uterine cavity between 3-5 days after FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Oogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the female from the primordial germ cells through OOGONIA to the mature haploid ova (OVUM).Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic: An assisted fertilization technique consisting of the microinjection of a single viable sperm into an extracted ovum. It is used principally to overcome low sperm count, low sperm motility, inability of sperm to penetrate the egg, or other conditions related to male infertility (INFERTILITY, MALE).Zona Pellucida: A tough transparent membrane surrounding the OVUM. It is penetrated by the sperm during FERTILIZATION.Cleavage Stage, Ovum: The earliest developmental stage of a fertilized ovum (ZYGOTE) during which there are several mitotic divisions within the ZONA PELLUCIDA. Each cleavage or segmentation yields two BLASTOMERES of about half size of the parent cell. This cleavage stage generally covers the period up to 16-cell MORULA.Oocyte Donation: Transfer of preovulatory oocytes from donor to a suitable host. Oocytes are collected, fertilized in vitro, and transferred to a host that can be human or animal.Cryopreservation: Preservation of cells, tissues, organs, or embryos by freezing. In histological preparations, cryopreservation or cryofixation is used to maintain the existing form, structure, and chemical composition of all the constituent elements of the specimens.Oocyte Retrieval: Procedures to obtain viable OOCYTES from the host. Oocytes most often are collected by needle aspiration from OVARIAN FOLLICLES before OVULATION.Embryonic and Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS or FETUSES.Pregnancy Rate: The ratio of the number of conceptions (CONCEPTION) including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; and fetal losses, to the mean number of females of reproductive age in a population during a set time period.Meiosis: A type of CELL NUCLEUS division, occurring during maturation of the GERM CELLS. Two successive cell nucleus divisions following a single chromosome duplication (S PHASE) result in daughter cells with half the number of CHROMOSOMES as the parent cells.Microinjections: The injection of very small amounts of fluid, often with the aid of a microscope and microsyringes.Xenopus laevis: The commonest and widest ranging species of the clawed "frog" (Xenopus) in Africa. This species is used extensively in research. There is now a significant population in California derived from escaped laboratory animals.Parthenogenesis: A unisexual reproduction without the fusion of a male and a female gamete (FERTILIZATION). In parthenogenesis, an individual is formed from an unfertilized OVUM that did not complete MEIOSIS. Parthenogenesis occurs in nature and can be artificially induced.In Vitro Oocyte Maturation Techniques: Methods used to induce premature oocytes, that are maintained in tissue culture, to progress through developmental stages including to a stage that is competent to undergo FERTILIZATION.Sea Urchins: Somewhat flattened, globular echinoderms, having thin, brittle shells of calcareous plates. They are useful models for studying FERTILIZATION and EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT.Sperm Motility: Movement characteristics of SPERMATOZOA in a fresh specimen. It is measured as the percentage of sperms that are moving, and as the percentage of sperms with productive flagellar motion such as rapid, linear, and forward progression.Infertility, Female: Diminished or absent ability of a female to achieve conception.Ovulation Induction: Techniques for the artifical induction of ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the ovum.Blastomeres: Undifferentiated cells resulting from cleavage of a fertilized egg (ZYGOTE). Inside the intact ZONA PELLUCIDA, each cleavage yields two blastomeres of about half size of the parent cell. Up to the 8-cell stage, all of the blastomeres are totipotent. The 16-cell MORULA contains outer cells and inner cells.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Cumulus Cells: The granulosa cells of the cumulus oophorus which surround the OVUM in the GRAAFIAN FOLLICLE. At OVULATION they are extruded with OVUM.Xenopus: An aquatic genus of the family, Pipidae, occurring in Africa and distinguished by having black horny claws on three inner hind toes.Egg Proteins: Proteins which are found in eggs (OVA) from any species.Acrosome: The cap-like structure covering the anterior portion of SPERM HEAD. Acrosome, derived from LYSOSOMES, is a membrane-bound organelle that contains the required hydrolytic and proteolytic enzymes necessary for sperm penetration of the egg in FERTILIZATION.Metaphase: The phase of cell nucleus division following PROMETAPHASE, in which the CHROMOSOMES line up across the equatorial plane of the SPINDLE APPARATUS prior to separation.Infertility: Inability to reproduce after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Reproductive sterility is permanent infertility.Ovary: The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.Morula: An early embryo that is a compact mass of about 16 BLASTOMERES. It resembles a cluster of mulberries with two types of cells, outer cells and inner cells. Morula is the stage before BLASTULA in non-mammalian animals or a BLASTOCYST in mammals.Sperm Capacitation: The structural and functional changes by which SPERMATOZOA become capable of oocyte FERTILIZATION. It normally requires exposing the sperm to the female genital tract for a period of time to bring about increased SPERM MOTILITY and the ACROSOME REACTION before fertilization in the FALLOPIAN TUBES can take place.Acrosome Reaction: Changes that occur to liberate the enzymes of the ACROSOME of a sperm (SPERMATOZOA). Acrosome reaction allows the sperm to penetrate the ZONA PELLUCIDA and enter the OVUM during FERTILIZATION.Infertility, Male: The inability of the male to effect FERTILIZATION of an OVUM after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Male sterility is permanent infertility.Follicular Fluid: The fluid surrounding the OVUM and GRANULOSA CELLS in the Graafian follicle (OVARIAN FOLLICLE). The follicular fluid contains sex steroids, glycoprotein hormones, plasma proteins, mucopolysaccharides, and enzymes.Embryo Loss: Early pregnancy loss during the EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN stage of development. In the human, this period comprises the second through eighth week after fertilization.Pregnancy Outcome: Results of conception and ensuing pregnancy, including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; SPONTANEOUS ABORTION; INDUCED ABORTION. The outcome may follow natural or artificial insemination or any of the various ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, such as EMBRYO TRANSFER or FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Reproductive Techniques: Methods pertaining to the generation of new individuals, including techniques used in selective BREEDING, cloning (CLONING, ORGANISM), and assisted reproduction (REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, ASSISTED).Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Fertilizers: Substances or mixtures that are added to the soil to supply nutrients or to make available nutrients already present in the soil, in order to increase plant growth and productivity.Vitelline Membrane: The plasma membrane of the egg.Nuclear Transfer Techniques: Methods of implanting a CELL NUCLEUS from a donor cell into an enucleated acceptor cell.Chorionic Gonadotropin: A gonadotropic glycoprotein hormone produced primarily by the PLACENTA. Similar to the pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in structure and function, chorionic gonadotropin is involved in maintaining the CORPUS LUTEUM during pregnancy. CG consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is virtually identical to the alpha subunits of the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN).Superovulation: Occurrence or induction of release of more ova than are normally released at the same time in a given species. The term applies to both animals and humans.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.Embryo Culture Techniques: The technique of maintaining or growing mammalian EMBRYOS in vitro. This method offers an opportunity to observe EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT; METABOLISM; and susceptibility to TERATOGENS.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Fallopian Tubes: A pair of highly specialized muscular canals extending from the UTERUS to its corresponding OVARY. They provide the means for OVUM collection, and the site for the final maturation of gametes and FERTILIZATION. The fallopian tube consists of an interstitium, an isthmus, an ampulla, an infundibulum, and fimbriae. Its wall consists of three histologic layers: serous, muscular, and an internal mucosal layer lined with both ciliated and secretory cells.Zebrafish: An exotic species of the family CYPRINIDAE, originally from Asia, that has been introduced in North America. They are used in embryological studies and to study the effects of certain chemicals on development.Urochordata: A subphylum of chordates intermediate between the invertebrates and the true vertebrates. It includes the Ascidians.Sperm Head: The anterior portion of the spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) that contains mainly the nucleus with highly compact CHROMATIN material.Cryoprotective Agents: Substances that provide protection against the harmful effects of freezing temperatures.Insemination, Artificial: Artificial introduction of SEMEN or SPERMATOZOA into the VAGINA to facilitate FERTILIZATION.Cytoplasm: The part of a cell that contains the CYTOSOL and small structures excluding the CELL NUCLEUS; MITOCHONDRIA; and large VACUOLES. (Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)Semen Preservation: The process by which semen is kept viable outside of the organism from which it was derived (i.e., kept from decay by means of a chemical agent, cooling, or a fluid substitute that mimics the natural state within the organism).Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Vitrification: The transformation of a liquid to a glassy solid i.e., without the formation of crystals during the cooling process.Cell Nucleus: Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (CELL NUCLEOLUS). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Ectogenesis: Embryonic and fetal development that takes place in an artificial environment in vitro.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Culture Techniques: Methods of maintaining or growing biological materials in controlled laboratory conditions. These include the cultures of CELLS; TISSUES; organs; or embryo in vitro. Both animal and plant tissues may be cultured by a variety of methods. Cultures may derive from normal or abnormal tissues, and consist of a single cell type or mixed cell types.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Reproductive Techniques, Assisted: Clinical and laboratory techniques used to enhance fertility in humans and animals.Embryo Disposition: Utilization or disposal of an embryo that is fertilized but not immediately transplanted and resulting course of action.Menotropins: Extracts of urine from menopausal women that contain high concentrations of pituitary gonadotropins, FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE and LUTEINIZING HORMONE. Menotropins are used to treat infertility. The FSH:LH ratio and degree of purity vary in different preparations.Xenopus Proteins: Proteins obtained from various species of Xenopus. Included here are proteins from the African clawed frog (XENOPUS LAEVIS). Many of these proteins have been the subject of scientific investigations in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Live Birth: The event that a FETUS is born alive with heartbeats or RESPIRATION regardless of GESTATIONAL AGE. Such liveborn is called a newborn infant (INFANT, NEWBORN).Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Culture Media: Any liquid or solid preparation made specifically for the growth, storage, or transport of microorganisms or other types of cells. The variety of media that exist allow for the culturing of specific microorganisms and cell types, such as differential media, selective media, test media, and defined media. Solid media consist of liquid media that have been solidified with an agent such as AGAR or GELATIN.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Fetal Viability: The potential of the FETUS to survive outside the UTERUS after birth, natural or induced. Fetal viability depends largely on the FETAL ORGAN MATURITY, and environmental conditions.Starfish: Echinoderms having bodies of usually five radially disposed arms coalescing at the center.Pregnancy, Multiple: The condition of carrying two or more FETUSES simultaneously.Seeds: The encapsulated embryos of flowering plants. They are used as is or for animal feed because of the high content of concentrated nutrients like starches, proteins, and fats. Rapeseed, cottonseed, and sunflower seed are also produced for the oils (fats) they yield.Single Embryo Transfer: The techniques used to select and/or place only one embryo from FERTILIZATION IN VITRO into the uterine cavity to establish a singleton pregnancy.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Mice, Inbred ICRSwine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Gastrula: The developmental stage that follows BLASTULA or BLASTOCYST. It is characterized by the morphogenetic cell movements including invagination, ingression, and involution. Gastrulation begins with the formation of the PRIMITIVE STREAK, and ends with the formation of three GERM LAYERS, the body plan of the mature organism.Ovarian Follicle: An OOCYTE-containing structure in the cortex of the OVARY. The oocyte is enclosed by a layer of GRANULOSA CELLS providing a nourishing microenvironment (FOLLICULAR FLUID). The number and size of follicles vary depending on the age and reproductive state of the female. The growing follicles are divided into five stages: primary, secondary, tertiary, Graafian, and atretic. Follicular growth and steroidogenesis depend on the presence of GONADOTROPINS.Embryo Research: Experimentation on, or using the organs or tissues from, a human or other mammalian conceptus during the prenatal stage of development that is characterized by rapid morphological changes and the differentiation of basic structures. In humans, this includes the period from the time of fertilization to the end of the eighth week after fertilization.Body Patterning: The processes occurring in early development that direct morphogenesis. They specify the body plan ensuring that cells will proceed to differentiate, grow, and diversify in size and shape at the correct relative positions. Included are axial patterning, segmentation, compartment specification, limb position, organ boundary patterning, blood vessel patterning, etc.Mice, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations, or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. All animals within an inbred strain trace back to a common ancestor in the twentieth generation.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Semen: The thick, yellowish-white, viscid fluid secretion of male reproductive organs discharged upon ejaculation. In addition to reproductive organ secretions, it contains SPERMATOZOA and their nutrient plasma.Preimplantation Diagnosis: Determination of the nature of a pathological condition or disease in the OVUM; ZYGOTE; or BLASTOCYST prior to implantation. CYTOGENETIC ANALYSIS is performed to determine the presence or absence of genetic disease.Cloning, Organism: The formation of one or more genetically identical organisms derived by vegetative reproduction from a single cell. The source nuclear material can be embryo-derived, fetus-derived, or taken from an adult somatic cell.Insemination: The deposit of SEMEN or SPERMATOZOA into the VAGINA to facilitate FERTILIZATION.Germ Cells: The reproductive cells in multicellular organisms at various stages during GAMETOGENESIS.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos: Cellular proteins encoded by the c-mos genes (GENES, MOS). They function in the cell cycle to maintain MATURATION PROMOTING FACTOR in the active state and have protein-serine/threonine kinase activity. Oncogenic transformation can take place when c-mos proteins are expressed at the wrong time.Sperm Count: A count of SPERM in the ejaculum, expressed as number per milliliter.Zebrafish Proteins: Proteins obtained from the ZEBRAFISH. Many of the proteins in this species have been the subject of studies involving basic embryological development (EMBRYOLOGY).Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: A complication of OVULATION INDUCTION in infertility treatment. It is graded by the severity of symptoms which include OVARY enlargement, multiple OVARIAN FOLLICLES; OVARIAN CYSTS; ASCITES; and generalized EDEMA. The full-blown syndrome may lead to RENAL FAILURE, respiratory distress, and even DEATH. Increased capillary permeability is caused by the vasoactive substances, such as VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH FACTORS, secreted by the overly-stimulated OVARIES.Gonadotropins: Hormones that stimulate gonadal functions such as GAMETOGENESIS and sex steroid hormone production in the OVARY and the TESTIS. Major gonadotropins are glycoproteins produced primarily by the adenohypophysis (GONADOTROPINS, PITUITARY) and the placenta (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN). In some species, pituitary PROLACTIN and PLACENTAL LACTOGEN exert some luteotropic activities.Echinodermata: A phylum of the most familiar marine invertebrates. Its class Stelleroidea contains two subclasses, the Asteroidea (the STARFISH or sea stars) and the Ophiuroidea (the brittle stars, also called basket stars and serpent stars). There are 1500 described species of STARFISH found throughout the world. The second class, Echinoidea, contains about 950 species of SEA URCHINS, heart urchins, and sand dollars. A third class, Holothuroidea, comprises about 900 echinoderms known as SEA CUCUMBERS. Echinoderms are used extensively in biological research. (From Barnes, Invertebrate Zoology, 5th ed, pp773-826)Ovule: The element in plants that contains the female GAMETOPHYTES.Acrosin: A trypsin-like enzyme of spermatozoa which is not inhibited by alpha 1 antitrypsin.Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Morphogenesis: The development of anatomical structures to create the form of a single- or multi-cell organism. Morphogenesis provides form changes of a part, parts, or the whole organism.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Ethylene Glycol: A colorless, odorless, viscous dihydroxy alcohol. It has a sweet taste, but is poisonous if ingested. Ethylene glycol is the most important glycol commercially available and is manufactured on a large scale in the United States. It is used as an antifreeze and coolant, in hydraulic fluids, and in the manufacture of low-freezing dynamites and resins.Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)Maturation-Promoting Factor: Protein kinase that drives both the mitotic and meiotic cycles in all eukaryotic organisms. In meiosis it induces immature oocytes to undergo meiotic maturation. In mitosis it has a role in the G2/M phase transition. Once activated by CYCLINS; MPF directly phosphorylates some of the proteins involved in nuclear envelope breakdown, chromosome condensation, spindle assembly, and the degradation of cyclins. The catalytic subunit of MPF is PROTEIN P34CDC2.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Spermatids: Male germ cells derived from the haploid secondary SPERMATOCYTES. Without further division, spermatids undergo structural changes and give rise to SPERMATOZOA.Polar Bodies: Minute cells produced during development of an OOCYTE as it undergoes MEIOSIS. A polar body contains one of the nuclei derived from the first or second meiotic CELL DIVISION. Polar bodies have practically no CYTOPLASM. They are eventually discarded by the oocyte. (from King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Fallopian Tube Diseases: Diseases involving the FALLOPIAN TUBES including neoplasms (FALLOPIAN TUBE NEOPLASMS); SALPINGITIS; tubo-ovarian abscess; and blockage.Sperm Transport: Passive or active movement of SPERMATOZOA from the testicular SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES through the male reproductive tract as well as within the female reproductive tract.Aneuploidy: The chromosomal constitution of cells which deviate from the normal by the addition or subtraction of CHROMOSOMES, chromosome pairs, or chromosome fragments. In a normally diploid cell (DIPLOIDY) the loss of a chromosome pair is termed nullisomy (symbol: 2N-2), the loss of a single chromosome is MONOSOMY (symbol: 2N-1), the addition of a chromosome pair is tetrasomy (symbol: 2N+2), the addition of a single chromosome is TRISOMY (symbol: 2N+1).Fertility Agents, Female: Compounds which increase the capacity to conceive in females.Oligospermia: A condition of suboptimal concentration of SPERMATOZOA in the ejaculated SEMEN to ensure successful FERTILIZATION of an OVUM. In humans, oligospermia is defined as a sperm count below 20 million per milliliter semen.Estradiol: The 17-beta-isomer of estradiol, an aromatized C18 steroid with hydroxyl group at 3-beta- and 17-beta-position. Estradiol-17-beta is the most potent form of mammalian estrogenic steroids.Microscopy, Fluorescence: Microscopy of specimens stained with fluorescent dye (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) or of naturally fluorescent materials, which emit light when exposed to ultraviolet or blue light. Immunofluorescence microscopy utilizes antibodies that are labeled with fluorescent dye.Bufo arenarum: A species of the true toads, Bufonidae, found in South America.Follicle Stimulating Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Drosophila: A genus of small, two-winged flies containing approximately 900 described species. These organisms are the most extensively studied of all genera from the standpoint of genetics and cytology.Epididymis: The convoluted cordlike structure attached to the posterior of the TESTIS. Epididymis consists of the head (caput), the body (corpus), and the tail (cauda). A network of ducts leaving the testis joins into a common epididymal tubule proper which provides the transport, storage, and maturation of SPERMATOZOA.Spindle Apparatus: A microtubule structure that forms during CELL DIVISION. It consists of two SPINDLE POLES, and sets of MICROTUBULES that may include the astral microtubules, the polar microtubules, and the kinetochore microtubules.Mice, Inbred CBAAnimals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.RNA, Complementary: Synthetic transcripts of a specific DNA molecule or fragment, made by an in vitro transcription system. This cRNA can be labeled with radioactive uracil and then used as a probe. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Drosophila Proteins: Proteins that originate from insect species belonging to the genus DROSOPHILA. The proteins from the most intensely studied species of Drosophila, DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER, are the subject of much interest in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Chromosomes: In a prokaryotic cell or in the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell, a structure consisting of or containing DNA which carries the genetic information essential to the cell. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Gonadotropins, Equine: Gonadotropins secreted by the pituitary or the placenta in horses. This term generally refers to the gonadotropins found in the pregnant mare serum, a rich source of equine CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. Unlike that in humans, the equine LUTEINIZING HORMONE, BETA SUBUNIT is identical to the equine choronic gonadotropin, beta. Equine gonadotropins prepared from pregnant mare serum are used in reproductive studies.Abortion, Spontaneous: Expulsion of the product of FERTILIZATION before completing the term of GESTATION and without deliberate interference.Mice, Inbred C57BLTranscription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Pollen Tube: A growth from a pollen grain down into the flower style which allows two sperm to pass, one to the ovum within the ovule, and the other to the central cell of the ovule to produce endosperm of SEEDS.Sperm Tail: The posterior filiform portion of the spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) that provides sperm motility.Freezing: Liquids transforming into solids by the removal of heat.Ejaculation: The emission of SEMEN to the exterior, resulting from the contraction of muscles surrounding the male internal urogenital ducts.Ectoderm: The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo.Contraception, Immunologic: Contraceptive methods based on immunological processes and techniques, such as the use of CONTRACEPTIVE VACCINES.Mesoderm: The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Maternal Age: The age of the mother in PREGNANCY.Caenorhabditis elegans: A species of nematode that is widely used in biological, biochemical, and genetic studies.Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone: A decapeptide that stimulates the synthesis and secretion of both pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. GnRH is produced by neurons in the septum PREOPTIC AREA of the HYPOTHALAMUS and released into the pituitary portal blood, leading to stimulation of GONADOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Buserelin: A potent synthetic analog of GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING HORMONE with D-serine substitution at residue 6, glycine10 deletion, and other modifications.Ionophores: Chemical agents that increase the permeability of biological or artificial lipid membranes to specific ions. Most ionophores are relatively small organic molecules that act as mobile carriers within membranes or coalesce to form ion permeable channels across membranes. Many are antibiotics, and many act as uncoupling agents by short-circuiting the proton gradient across mitochondrial membranes.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Micromanipulation: The performance of dissections, injections, surgery, etc., by the use of micromanipulators (attachments to a microscope) that manipulate tiny instruments.Microtubules: Slender, cylindrical filaments found in the cytoskeleton of plant and animal cells. They are composed of the protein TUBULIN and are influenced by TUBULIN MODULATORS.RNA, Messenger, Stored: Messenger RNA that is stored in a masked state for translation at a later time. Distinguish from RNA, UNTRANSLATED which refers to non-messenger RNA, i.e. RNA that does not code for protein.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Surrogate Mothers: Women who allow themselves to be impregnated with the understanding that the offspring are to be given over to the parents who have commissioned the surrogate.Homeodomain Proteins: Proteins encoded by homeobox genes (GENES, HOMEOBOX) that exhibit structural similarity to certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA-binding proteins. Homeodomain proteins are involved in the control of gene expression during morphogenesis and development (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION, DEVELOPMENTAL).Suction: The removal of secretions, gas or fluid from hollow or tubular organs or cavities by means of a tube and a device that acts on negative pressure.Germ Cells, Plant: The reproductive cells of plants.Drosophila melanogaster: A species of fruit fly much used in genetics because of the large size of its chromosomes.Species Specificity: The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Chromatin: The material of CHROMOSOMES. It is a complex of DNA; HISTONES; and nonhistone proteins (CHROMOSOMAL PROTEINS, NON-HISTONE) found within the nucleus of a cell.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Mitosis: A type of CELL NUCLEUS division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of CHROMOSOMES of the somatic cells of the species.Uterus: The hollow thick-walled muscular organ in the female PELVIS. It consists of the fundus (the body) which is the site of EMBRYO IMPLANTATION and FETAL DEVELOPMENT. Beyond the isthmus at the perineal end of fundus, is CERVIX UTERI (the neck) opening into VAGINA. Beyond the isthmi at the upper abdominal end of fundus, are the FALLOPIAN TUBES.Pollen: The fertilizing element of plants that contains the male GAMETOPHYTES.Blastoderm: A layer of cells lining the fluid-filled cavity (blastocele) of a BLASTULA, usually developed from a fertilized insect, reptilian, or avian egg.Genomic Imprinting: The variable phenotypic expression of a GENE depending on whether it is of paternal or maternal origin, which is a function of the DNA METHYLATION pattern. Imprinted regions are observed to be more methylated and less transcriptionally active. (Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Oviducts: Ducts that serve exclusively for the passage of eggs from the ovaries to the exterior of the body. In non-mammals, they are termed oviducts. In mammals, they are highly specialized and known as FALLOPIAN TUBES.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Sperm Maturation: The maturing process of SPERMATOZOA after leaving the testicular SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. Maturation in SPERM MOTILITY and FERTILITY takes place in the EPIDIDYMIS as the sperm migrate from caput epididymis to cauda epididymis.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer: A technique that came into use in the mid-1980's for assisted conception in infertile women with normal fallopian tubes. The protocol consists of hormonal stimulation of the ovaries, followed by laparoscopic follicular aspiration of oocytes, and then the transfer of sperm and oocytes by catheterization into the fallopian tubes.Propylene Glycol: A clear, colorless, viscous organic solvent and diluent used in pharmaceutical preparations.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Chimera: An individual that contains cell populations derived from different zygotes.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Seminal Plasma Proteins: Proteins found in SEMEN. Major seminal plasma proteins are secretory proteins from the male sex accessory glands, such as the SEMINAL VESICLES and the PROSTATE. They include the seminal vesicle-specific antigen, an ejaculate clotting protein; and the PROSTATE-SPECIFIC ANTIGEN, a protease and an esterase.Embryonic Induction: The complex processes of initiating CELL DIFFERENTIATION in the embryo. The precise regulation by cell interactions leads to diversity of cell types and specific pattern of organization (EMBRYOGENESIS).Endosperm: Nutritive tissue of the seeds of flowering plants that surrounds the EMBRYOS. It is produced by a parallel process of fertilization in which a second male gamete from the pollen grain fuses with two female nuclei within the embryo sac. The endosperm varies in ploidy and contains reserves of starch, oils, and proteins, making it an important source of human nutrition.Gametogenesis: The process of germ cell development from the primordial GERM CELLS to the mature haploid GAMETES: ova in the female (OOGENESIS) or sperm in the male (SPERMATOGENESIS).Calcium Signaling: Signal transduction mechanisms whereby calcium mobilization (from outside the cell or from intracellular storage pools) to the cytoplasm is triggered by external stimuli. Calcium signals are often seen to propagate as waves, oscillations, spikes, sparks, or puffs. The calcium acts as an intracellular messenger by activating calcium-responsive proteins.Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins: Proteins from the nematode species CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS. The proteins from this species are the subject of scientific interest in the area of multicellular organism MORPHOGENESIS.Larva: Wormlike or grublike stage, following the egg in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Crosses, Genetic: Deliberate breeding of two different individuals that results in offspring that carry part of the genetic material of each parent. The parent organisms must be genetically compatible and may be from different varieties or closely related species.Twins: Two individuals derived from two FETUSES that were fertilized at or about the same time, developed in the UTERUS simultaneously, and born to the same mother. Twins are either monozygotic (TWINS, MONOZYGOTIC) or dizygotic (TWINS, DIZYGOTIC).Semen Analysis: The quality of SEMEN, an indicator of male fertility, can be determined by semen volume, pH, sperm concentration (SPERM COUNT), total sperm number, sperm viability, sperm vigor (SPERM MOTILITY), normal sperm morphology, ACROSOME integrity, and the concentration of WHITE BLOOD CELLS.Follicular Phase: The period of the MENSTRUAL CYCLE representing follicular growth, increase in ovarian estrogen (ESTROGENS) production, and epithelial proliferation of the ENDOMETRIUM. Follicular phase begins with the onset of MENSTRUATION and ends with OVULATION.