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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Adaptation of the Sperm Mobility Test for Identification of Turkey Toms with Low Fertilizing Potential

Authors
item King, Laura - USDA, ARS, LPSI, GGPL
item DONOGHUE, ANN

Submitted to: Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 13, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Because nearly all the turkeys produced in the United States are the result of artificial insemination (AI), it is important to increase the efficiency of this labor-intensive practice. A semen evaluation test predictive of fertility would be extremely beneficial. Studies have shown that sperm mobility, objectively quantified by measuring the density of sperm that swim through a solution of Accudenz at body temperature, is predictive of fertility. Toms classified as having low sperm mobility have reduced fertility compared to those toms with high mobility. By using the Sperm Mobility Test, it is possible to screen males to determine which toms have the least chance of siring poults, and cull them from a flock. This study was designed to compare a reliable laboratory method for the analysis of turkey sperm mobility with simpler modifications that may be suitable for commercial use in the turkey industry. Equivalent results were found between the laboratory method and the proposed field methods. Consistently, toms classified with low mobility ejaculates could be identified utilizing any of the test methods evaluated. Thus, the Sperm Mobility Test has been successfully adapted for on farm use for the selection of potential sires.

Technical Abstract: Because nearly all the turkeys produced in the United States are the result of artificial insemination (AI), it is important to increase the efficiency of this labor-intensive practice. A semen evaluation test predictive of fertility would be extremely beneficial. Studies have shown that sperm mobility, objectively quantified by measuring the density of sperm that swim through a solution of Accudenz at body temperature, is predictive of fertility. Toms classified as having low sperm mobility have reduced fertility compared to those toms with high mobility. By using the Sperm Mobility Test, it is possible to screen males to determine which toms have the least chance of siring poults, and cull them from a flock. This study was designed to compare a reliable laboratory method for the analysis of turkey sperm mobility with simpler modifications that may be suitable for commercial use in the turkey industry. Equivalent results were found between the laboratory method and the proposed field methods. Consistently, toms classified with low mobility ejaculates could be identified utilizing any of the test methods evaluated. Thus, the Sperm Mobility Test has been successfully adapted for on farm use for the selection of potential sires.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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