Day 7 to Day 14 cow embryos were analyzed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry for their fatty acid content. The total amount per embryo does not change between Day 7 and Day 10, but then increases sharply between Days 11 and 13, suggesting that it is related to blastocyst volume or weight. With increasing embryonic age, there is an increase in the fatty acid elongation and desaturation. Arachidonic acid is present in significant amounts on Day 14 which may indicate that prostaglandin synthesis has started. The composition of the fatty acids bound to bovine serum albumin (BSA) is similar to that for embryos. Therefore, this macromolecule may be of special value for adding lipids in culture media for mammalian embryos.
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