Sperm variables as predictors of fertility in Black Castellana roosters: use in the selection of sperm donors for genome resource banking purposes
Semen was collected from 10 Black Castellana roosters and the classic sperm variables (ejaculate volume, sperm concentration and sperm motility) examined. In addition, the hypo-osmotic swelling test was used to investigate sperm cell membrane integrity, and acidic aniline blue staining used to screen for morphological abnormalities (including acrosome integrity) and to examine the condensation status of the chromatin. The latter was also examined by Gram staining. Large and small semen volumes were associated high and low sperm concentrations respectively (R2=0.04, P<0.05). The percentage of motile spermatozoa correlated strongly with the percentage of sperm cells showing an intact acrosome (R2=0.13, P<0.001) and with the percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa (R2=0.04, P<0.05). The percentage of Gram positive spermatozoa was positively correlated with semen appearance (R2=0.12, P<0.05), sperm cell concentration (R2=0.13, P<0.05), and with the sperm motility variables studied (R2=0.14, P<0.05 for percentage mobility, and R2=0.12, P<0.05 for quality of movement). Only three of the 10 roosters, all with fertilisation potentials of 80-90%, were considered potential sperm donors for genome resource banking purposes. The remaining birds were all of low fertility (=50%); in fact, some produced semen volumes too small to perform fertility tests. Semen volume and membrane integrity were found to be the best variables for predicting the fertilisation potential of rooster ejaculates.
COCKS; LAND RACES; SEMEN; FERTILITY; SIRE EVALUATION; ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES; ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION; SPAIN