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Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assays have become increasingly prevalent for sexing embryos. The aim of the present study was to develop a suitable duplex PCR procedure based on the amplification of porcine repetitive sequences for sexing porcine tissues, embryos and single cells. Primers were designed targeting the X12696 Y chromosome-specific repeat sequence (SUSYa and SUSYb; sex-related primer sets), the multicopy porcine-specific mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene (SUS12S; control primer set) and the X51555 1 chromosome repeat sequence (SUS1; control primer set). The specificity of the primer sets was established and the technique was optimised by testing combinations of two specific primer sets (SUSYa/SUS12S; SUSYb/SUS12S), different primer concentrations, two sources of DNA polymerase, different melting temperatures and different numbers of amplification cycles using genomic DNA from porcine ovarian and testicular tissue. The optimised SUSYa/SUS12S- and SUSYb/SUS12S-based duplex PCR procedures were applied to porcine in vitro-produced (IVP) blastocysts, cell-stage embryos and oocytes. The SUSYb/SUS12S primer-based procedure successfully sexed porcine single cells and IVP cell-stage embryos (100% efficiency), as well as blastocysts (96.6% accuracy; 96.7% efficiency). This is the first report to demonstrate the applicability of these repetitive sequences for this purpose. In conclusion, the SUSYb/SUS12S primer-based duplex PCR procedure is highly reliable and sensitive for sexing porcine IVP embryos.


Eva Torner, Eva Bussalleu, M Dolors Briz, Alfonso Gutiérrez-Adán, Sergi Bonet. Sex determination of porcine embryos using a new developed duplex polymerase chain reaction procedure based on the amplification of repetitive sequences. Reproduction, fertility, and development. 2013;25(2):417-25

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PMID: 23445818

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