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Relationship between thirty post-thaw spermatozoal characteristics and the field fertility of 11 high-use Australian dairy AI sires

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Phillips, N.J., McGowan, M. R., Johnston, S. D. and Mayer, D. G. (2004) Relationship between thirty post-thaw spermatozoal characteristics and the field fertility of 11 high-use Australian dairy AI sires. Animal Reproduction Science, 81 (1-2). pp. 47-61. ISSN 0378-4320

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2003.10.003


This study determined the relationship between two measures of field fertility of 11 high-use Australian artificial insemination (AI) dairy bulls and thirty standard laboratory assessments of spermatozoal post-thaw viability.

The two measures of field fertility used, conception rates (cCR) and non-return rates (cNRR), were both corrected for all major non-bull variables. Sperm viability assessments were conducted on semen collected within the same season as that used to derive the field fertility estimates. These assessments measured sperm concentration, motility, morphology and membrane integrity at thawing, after 2 h incubation and after the swim-up sperm selection procedure. Derivations of these measures and in vitro embryo fertilizing and developmental capacity were also determined. The Genstat Statistical Package [Genstat 5 Release 4.2 Reference Manual, VSN International, Oxford, 2000] was used to conduct an analysis of variance on the viability parameters across semen straws and bulls, and to calculate the strength of correlation between each semen parameter, cNRR and cCR in a correlation matrix. Step forward multiple regression identified the combination of semen parameters that were most highly correlated with cCR and with cNRR.

The sperm parameters identified as being most predictive of cCR were the percentage of morphologically normal sperm immediately post-thaw (zeroNorm), the number of morphologically normal sperm after the swim-up procedure (nSuNorm), and the rate of zygote cleavage in vitro (Clv); the predictive equation formed by these parameters accounted for 70% of variance. The predictive equation produced for cNRR contained the variables zeroNorm, the proportion of membrane intact sperm after 2 h incubation at 37 °C (twoMem) and Clv and accounted for 76.5% of the variation. ZeroNorm was found to be consistent across straws and semen batches within-bull and the sperm parameter with the strongest individual predictive capacity for both cCR (P=0.1) and cNRR (P=0.001). Post-thaw sperm parameters can be used to predict field fertility of Australian dairy sires; the calculated predictive equations are particularly useful for identifying and monitoring bulls of very high and very low potential fertility within a group.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Animal culture > Breeding and breeds
Animal culture > Cattle
Live Archive:30 Jan 2024 05:27
Last Modified:30 Jan 2024 05:27

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