The evolution of embryo implantation

Michael R. McGowen, Offer Erez, Roberto Romero, Derek E. Wildman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Embryo implantation varies widely in placental mammals. We review this variation in mammals with a special focus on two features: the depth of implantation and embryonic diapause. We discuss the two major types of implantation depth, superficial and interstitial, and map this character on a well-resolved molecular phylogenetic tree of placental mammals. We infer that relatively deep interstitial implantation has independently evolved at least eight times within pla-cental mammals. Moreover, the superficial type of implantation represents the ancestral state for placental mammals. In addition, we review the genes involved in various phases of implantation, and suggest a future direction in investigating the molecular evolution of implantation-related genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Biology
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene
  • Implantation
  • Interstitial
  • Mammal
  • Phylogeny
  • Superficial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The evolution of embryo implantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this