The present study was conducted to examine the effect of different levels of essential and nonessential amino acid in NCSU-23 medium on the in vitro-produced porcine embryo as it develops from the zygote to the blastocyst stage. Four experiments were performed, each with a completely randomized design involving 5 to 8 replications of treatments. In order to know the effect of nonessential amino acids in NCSU-23 medium, 0, 5, 10 and
MEM were supplemented there to, (Exp. 1) and the medium was supplemented with same level of essential amino acids (Exp. 2). The combined effect of nonessential (0, 5, 10 and
MEM) and essential amino acids (0, 5, 10 and
MEM) in NCSU-23 medium (Exp. 3), first 72 h with non-essential amino acids (at 0, 5, 10 and
MEM), and last 4 d with essential amino acids with the same level as NEAA (Exp. 4) were examined. The embryo development was monitored and the quality of blastocysts was evaluated by counting the number of total cells and determining the ratio of inner cell mass (ICM) to trophoectoderm (TE) cells. When Eagle's nonessential amino acids (MEM) added to NCSU-23 medium, it significantly increased the likelihood of development to the 2- to 4-cell stage and subsequent blastocyst development. Supplementation of different levels of essential amino acids in the NCSU-23 medium decreased cleavage rate, rate of morula and blastocyst development and the number of ICMs. In the case of the combined effect of essential and nonessential amino acids, better and significant results were found for blastocysts, hatching blastocysts and for ICM numbers which were also dose dependent. With respect to the biphasic effect of nonessential and essential amino acids, nonessential amino acids increased cleavage whereas essential amino acids increased the total cell number. Neither the nonessential nor the essential group of amino acids, on their own, affected blastocyst cell number or the differentiation of cells in the blastocyst. In conclusion, this study determined the role of nonessential and essential amino acids in the culture of the porcine embryo and showed that the embryo requires different levels of amino acids as it develops from the zygote to the blastocyst stage.