Assessment of Novel Semen Evaluation Technologies and Breed Comparisons in Yearling Beef Bulls
sperm motility, morphology, concentration
Objective: The objectives were 1) to evaluate the iSperm, when conducting breeding soundness exams (BSE) on bulls by comparing sperm motility to a technician’s assessment and 2) to evaluate correlations between sperm response to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and functional sperm measurements.
Study Description: Ejaculates were collected via electroejaculation from yearling bulls as part of a BSE. All BSE were conducted by one veterinarian and ejaculates were evaluated by a single technician. Additional sperm motility analysis was conducted with the iSperm analyzer. Ejaculates meeting minimum thresholds for passing a BSE were diluted and sent overnight for flow cytometry evaluation. Data were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficients in SAS.
Results: Both gross and progressive motilities were significantly (r = 0.30; 0.38; P < 0.001) correlated to the technician’s assessment of progressive motility. Percentage of live spermatozoa with positive ROS status was correlated (r = 0.53; P < 0.001) with percentage progressive motility. Percentage of live spermatozoa with negative ROS status was moderately correlated with percentage spermatozoa exhibiting secondary abnormalities (r = 0.33; P = 0.02). Percentage live spermatozoa that had disrupted acrosomes was strongly correlated with percentage live spermatozoa with negative ROS (r = 0.66; P < 0.001) and moderately negatively correlated with percentage live spermatozoa with positive ROS (r = -0.31; P = 0.04). Percentage of live spermatozoa with positive ROS status was correlated (r = 0.58; P < 0.001) with percentage of spermatozoa with active mitochondrial membranes. Percentage of live spermatozoa with positive ROS status was strongly correlated (r = 0.92; P < 0.001) with percentage of live spermatozoa with intact acrosomes.
The Bottom Line: The iSperm can be used to produce semen assessments similar to those of a trained technician and may offer a useful tool for producers to perform on-farm semen analysis. Sperm health and function continue to be related to negative ROS status.
Hartman, A. R.; Batey, I. E.; Grieger, D. M.; and Fike, K. E.
"Assessment of Novel Semen Evaluation Technologies and Breed Comparisons in Yearling Beef Bulls,"
Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Reports: