We analyzed embryonic stem cell lines for their capacity to produce aggregation chimeras with diploid or developmentally compromised tetraploid embryos, Descendants of embryonic stem cells which contributed to midgestation fetuses at high levels were capable of supporting fetal development also with tetraploid partners. Different numbers of embryonic stem cells were introduced into diploid and tetraploid morulae as well as into blastocysts by microinjection. There were no differences in the frequency of embryonic stem cell-containing fetuses when comparing aggregation or injection into morulae versus blastocysts. However, the distribution pattern of embryonic stem cell derivatives in chimeric fetuses suggested that precompaction embryos are more suitable for generating fetuses with high embryonic stem cell contribution. Injection of embryonic stem cells into tetraploid embryos showed that completely embryonic stem cell-derived fetuses can also be produced by this technique. Totally embryonic stem cell derived fetuses were observed in each group, when embryonic stem cells were injected into diploid embryos. However, the rate of chimeras and chimerism was lower when 1 or 3 embryonic stem cells were used versus 8 or 15 cells. This suggests that the number of embryonic stem cells introduced might play a role in the colonization ability.