Quantification of bull sperm characteristics measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and the relationship to fertility.
ABSTRACT Two experiments were conducted to evaluate semen quality of bulls housed under controlled conditions at a large AI facility and relate results to fertility. In Experiment 1 semen was collected from six 6-yr-old bulls twice daily at 3- to 4-d intervals for 3 d. In Experiment 2 eleven 6- to 11-yr-old bulls were used. Extensive breeding information was available and semen was collected as in Experiment 1 but replicated 4 times. Standard semen analysis and computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) with the Hamilton Thorne IVOS, model 10 unit, were performed on 36 first and second ejaculates in Experiment 1 and on 44 first ejaculates in Experiment 2. Sixteen fields (2 chambers with 8 fields per chamber) were examined per sample. In Experiment 1 the correlation between estimated sperm concentration by spectrophotometry and CASA was 0.91 (P < 0.01). Among bulls the range in the percentage of motile spermatozoa was 52 to 82 for CASA versus 62 to 69 for subjective measurements made by highly experienced technicians. Thus, CASA, with high repeatability, provided a more discriminating estimate of the percentage of motile sperm cells than did the subjective procedure. Bull effect was much greater than any other variable in the experiments. Chamber differences were small and so the results for the 2 chambers with 8 fields each were combined. One to five CASA values were correlated with bull fertility, defined as 59-day nonreturn rates corrected for cow and herd effects. The percentage of motile spermatozoa accounted for a small fraction of the total variation in fertility (r2 = 0.34). However higher r2 values (0.68 to 0.98) were obtained for 2 to 5 variables used in the multiple regression equations. The results are promising, and further testing will determine more precisely which of these CASA variables are most useful in estimating bull fertility potential.
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ABSTRACT: Sperm quality has an important role in determining fertility. The aims of this study were to compare the conventional sperm parameters, plus the characteristics of the motility patterns of the different sperm subpopulations, of donkey donors with different fertility level, and to determine their relationships to fertility. Thirty ejaculates from 6 Andalusian donkeys were assessed for gel-free volume, pH, sperm concentration, motility and morphology. The fertility of donkeys was classified on the basis of pregnancy rates per cycle, where donkeys with a per cycle pregnancy rate ≥60% were considered to be "fertile" (n=3) and those with a per cycle pregnancy rate <40% were categorized to be "sub-fertile" (n=3). Significant differences (P<0.001) between the "fertile" and the "sub-fertile" group were found for total and progressive motility, and for straight line velocity. Sperm variables associated (P<0.05) with an increase in percent pregnant per cycle included total motility (r=0.37), progressive motility (r=0.53), curvilinear velocity (r=0.44), straightness (r=0.39), beat cross frequency (r=0.44), and gel-free volume (r=0.53). Four sperm subpopulations (sP) were identified in fresh semen: sP1 (slow and non-progressive spermatozoa, 20%), sP2 (moderately slow but progressive spermatozoa, 71.2%), sP3 (highly active but non-progressive spermatozoa, 2.9%), and sP4 (highly active and progressive spermatozoa, 5.9%). The lowest percentage (3.1%; P<0.001) of sP4 spermatozoa was observed in the "sub-fertile" group. Three of the sperm subpopulations were related (P<0.05) to fertility (sP2, r=0.54; sP3, r=0.45; sP4, r=0.56). In conclusion, we were able to relate the fertility of donkeys with in vitro measures of sperm motility using computer-assisted sperm analysis techniques.Animal reproduction science 10/2013; · 1.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The interest to develop assisted reproductive technologies and cryobanking for farm animal genetic resource conservation has recently increased. However, cryopreservation for ex-situ management of genetic diversity sometimes is not routinely feasible, owing to the lack of facilities (AI centres, laboratories) and expertise near the local breed farming area. In these cases, epididymal sperm obtained from slaughtered or castrated animals, associated with the possibility of managing rather long periods between animal death, sperm recovery and freezing, would increase the opportunities to create semen storages. This investigation addresses the pre-freeze/post-thaw quality of goat epididymal sperm as a function of testicle storage temperature (environment or +5°C) and time elapsed between animal's death and sperm recovery (0, 24, 48, 72 h) to establish the optimal protocols for the recovery and cryopreservation of epididymal sperm in this species. Testicles of 50 mature bucks collected at the abattoir were divided in two groups: half of the testicles (n=50) were transported to the laboratory at environment temperature (E), whereas the remaining half (n=50) at a refrigeration temperature (R) of +5°C. In the two groups (E) and (R), one testicle from each pair was processed after slaughter forming the time 0 groups (0E and 0R). The contralateral testicle was processed after 24, 48 or 72 h of storage, at the corresponding temperature. Sperm motility and kinetic parameters, viability and morphology were assessed in pre-freeze and post-thaw samples. Until 48 h postmortem, both E and R temperatures are able to maintain good pre-freeze epididymal sperm quality. After 48 h postmortem, R temperature is fundamental to reduce epididymal sperm quality decay in pre-freeze samples. Moreover, testicle refrigeration also has a positive impact on post-thaw samples, allowing a lower decline through time considering total motility, kinetics parameters, sperm viability and sperm abnormalities. Therefore, when sperm cryopreservation is not immediately practicable, goat testicles should be transported and stored at 5°C up to a maximum of 48 h postmortem to ensure an acceptable sperm quality.animal 03/2014; 8(3):440-7. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The present study examined the relationship between the relative amount of high motile sperm and sperm-oocyte interactions obtained from Holstein bull ejaculates. Post-thaw sperm motility was analyzed using a computer-assisted sperm analyzer system and evaluated to determine the sperm motility subpopulations. Adhesion and penetration of zona pellucida (ZP) and pronucleus formation using post-thawed samples (15 ejaculates form 5 different bulls) with different percentages of sperm in the subpopulation with the fastest and most progressive subpopulation (subpopulation 4 [SP4]) were analyzed. The correlation between the proportion of sperm in SP4 and the number of spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida (ZBA), the penetration rate, and the rate of pronucleus formation were calculated. A significant (P < 0.05) and positive correlation was found between the number of spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida, the penetration rate, and the rate of pronucleus formation with the proportion of sperm in SP4 (r = 0.79, r = 0.66, and r = 0.63, respectively). Our results suggest that this specific high motile and progressive subpopulation is positively and significantly correlated with the ability of a thawed bull semen sample to interact properly with the oocyte and its extracellular vestments. These findings emphasize the relevance of analyzing semen subpopulation composition to predict bull sperm fertilizing ability and to select Holstein bulls for breeding purposes.Theriogenology 01/2014; · 1.85 Impact Factor