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In cattle, embryos elongate before implantation and after hatching. Changes in gene expression during this transition are not well studied. Especially important are variations in the expression of pluripotency-associated genes as a result of assisted reproductive biotechnologies, such as cloning and in vitro fertilization (IVF). We hypothesize that there will be a decline in the expression of key pluripotency-associated genes and an increase in the expression of IFN-tau in elongated embryos when compared with day-7 blastocysts. To test this we generated cloned and IVF bovine day-7 blastocyst and day-17 elongated embryos (day 0 = day of nucleus transfer or IVF). Gene expression in all embryos was assessed via RT-qPCR. OCT4 was overexpressed (p < 0.05) in the cloned blastocysts when compared with IVF. No differences in gene expression at this stage between cloned and IVF embryos were found for EOMES, NANOG and FGF4. At elongation EOMES, NANOG and FGF4 were upregulated in IVF embryos (p < 0.05). IFN-tau and OCT4 were expressed at similar levels. There were changes in the expression levels for all transcripts between blastogenesis and elongation. NANOG, IFN-tau and EOMES were overexpressed in all the elongated embryos (p < 0.05), FGF4 was underexpressed in both treatments. OCT4 dropped drastically in the cloned elongated embryos, but not in the IVF. Interestingly only adult donor cells (but not fetal) from which the cloned embryos originated also expressed high levels of OCT4. Our findings might help to understand the shift of gene expression during elongation and to identify key markers of embryonic development useful for embryo screening purposes.