Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 307–314 | Cite as

Chromosome constitution of equal-sized three-cell embryos using next-generation sequencing technology

  • Minyue Ma
  • Shihui Zhang
  • Chongzhao Lu
  • Shuling Wang
  • Yuanqing Yao
  • Hongmei PengEmail author



To study the chromosome constitution of equal-sized three-cell embryo.


We determined the chromosome constitution of 105 blastomeres from 35 embryos using multiple annealing and looping-based amplification cycles (MALBAC) together with NGS sequencing technology. Chromosomal copy number variation (CNV) analysis was successfully performed in 27 embryos. We also analyzed radius, perimeter, area, and volume of each blastomere to explore the possibility of selecting the normal embryos.


Majority of the embryos (77.8%, 21/27) studied were mosaic or aneuploid, and only 22.2% (6/27) had normal chromosome numbers. The aneuploid chromosomes spread across all chromosomes and the most frequent aneuploidies were for chromosomes 1, 16, and 18 followed by 13, 19, and 21. Statistical analyses showed no significant difference between euploid and aneuploid embryos regarding radius, perimeter, area, and volume of their blastomeres.


Our results showed that majority of the equal-sized three-cell embryos were chromosomally abnormal and could not be distinguished by morphology observation, so they should be given lower priority at selection for transfer.


Assisted reproduction Chromosome constitution Equal-sized three-cell embryos Next-generation sequencing Aneuploidy 



We thank Pro. William SB Yeung (The University of Hong Kong) for critical reading and editing of the manuscript.


This research was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (81300549), Translational Medicine Program of Chinese PLA General Hospital (2016TM-028) and National Key Technology Support Program (2012BAI32B04).

Compliance with ethical standards

The Institutional Review Board of Chinese PLA General Hospital (S2016-106-01) approved this study. All the recruited patients signed a written consent.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10815_2018_1362_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (15 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minyue Ma
    • 1
  • Shihui Zhang
    • 1
  • Chongzhao Lu
    • 1
  • Shuling Wang
    • 1
  • Yuanqing Yao
    • 1
  • Hongmei Peng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Reproductive Medicine Center, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyChinese PLA General HospitalBeijingChina

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