In vitro production (IVP) has been shown to affect embryonic gene expression and often result in large offspring syndrome (LOS) in cattle and sheep. To dissect the effects of in vitro maturation, fertilization and culture on bovine embryos, we compared the expression profiles of single blastocysts generated by: (1) in vitro maturation, fertilization and culture (IVF); (2) in vivo maturation, fertilization and in vitro culture (IVD); and (3) in vivo maturation, fertilization and development (AI). To conduct expression profiling, total RNA was isolated from individual embryos, linearly amplified and hybridized to a custom bovine cDNA microarray containing approximately 6,300 unique genes. There were 306, 367, and 200 genes differentially expressed between the AI and IVD, IVF and IVD, and AI and IVF comparisons, respectively. Interestingly, 44 differentially expressed genes were identified between the AI embryos and both the IVF and IVD embryos, making these potential candidates for LOS. There were 60 genes differentially expressed between the IVF embryos and the AI and IVD embryos. The Gene Ontology category "RNA processing" was over-represented among the genes that were down-regulated in the IVF embryos, indicating an effect of in vitro oocyte maturation/fertilization on the ability to transcribe maternal RNA stores. A culture effect on the expression of genes involved in translation was also observed by the comparison of AI with IVD embryos.