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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology