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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Paternity Efficiency in Turkeys Differs Extensively after Heterospermic Insemination

Authors
item Donoghue, Ann
item Bakst, Murray
item Drummond, P - TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY
item Haqque, S - TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY
item Smith, Ed - TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: All commercial turkey hens in the US are bred by artificial insemination. Since semen samples are pooled from 10 or more males paternity of the progeny is rarely known. Whereas it is known that sperm competition exists, the degree to which one males sperm fertilizes an ovum relative to another male remains unknown. In this work, we determined individual male fecundity relative to the other males used in the study and attempted to establish a relationship between male fecundity and semen characteristics in turkeys. Fingerprinting of genomic DNA from parents and offspring was used to determine parentage efficiency. This work demonstrated that relatively few toms sired a high percentage of the progeny.

Technical Abstract: All commercial turkey hens in the US are bred by artificial insemination (AI). Since semen samples are pooled from 10 or more males (heterospermic inseminations), paternity of the progeny is rarely known. We determined individual male fecundity relative to the other males used in the study and attempted to establish a relationship between male fecundity and semen characteristics in turkeys. Fingerprinting of genomic DNA from parents an offspring was used to determine parentage efficiency. Of the 26 toms contributing to the pooled ejaculates, six (23%) sired more than 60% of the 145 poults. Conversely, 14 toms (54%) sired 0 to 3 poults. Under the conditions of this study, the majority of the progeny were derived from semen from one or two toms after heterospermic inseminations.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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