A bovine egg after fertilization: The parental genomes are still located in two separate pronuclei. Before unification, the chromosomes (magenta) cluster at the pronuclear interface. Part of the cytoskeleton is colored blue. Super resolution microscopy image.© Tommaso Cavazza and Melina Schuh / Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

Errors at the start of life

Only one in three fertilizations leads to a successful pregnancy. Many embryos fail to progress beyond early development. MBExC member Melina Schuh from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany) and her team, together with researchers at the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics in Mariensee and other international colleagues, have now developed a new model system for studying early embryonic development. With the help of this system, they discovered that errors often occur when the genetic material from each parent combines immediately after fertilization. This is due to a remarkably inefficient process. (Cell, May 7, 2021)

Link to the MPI-BPC press release