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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Computer Aided (Casa) Measurement of Turkey Sperm Motility Parameters: Correlation with a Sire-Selection Test

Authors
item King, L - USDA, ARS, LPSI, GGPL
item Holsberger, D - CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
item Donoghue, Ann

Submitted to: Journal of Andrology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 31, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Since all turkeys are produced through artificial insemination, the measurement of sperm motion characteristics from individual toms would identify poor males. These males could be removed from the flock, resulting in improved reproduction. The objective of this study was to evaluate specific sperm motion characteristics of individual toms. A sire- -selection test, the Sperm Mobility Test (SMT), was used to objectively ran the top and bottom percentiles of the flock into toms with High and Low sperm motion, respectively. Sperm motion characteristics were measured using a computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) system, the Hobson Sperm Tracker. The measurements of 200 sperm tracks/ejaculate included: curvilinear velocity (VCL), average path velocity (VAP), straight-line velocity (VSL), beat cross frequency (BCF), and mean angular displacement (MAD). The velocity parameters VCL, VAP, VSL, and BCF were all positively correlated with the sperm motion rank, while the MAD was inversely related to the sperm motion rank. We conclude that sperm velocity and linearity are important characteristics of turkey sperm function, and contribute to overall sperm motion rank. These traits may influence the ability of sperm to maneuver through the hen's reproductive tract and ultimately reach the site of fertilization.

Technical Abstract: Since all turkeys are produced through artificial insemination, assessing semen characteristics of individual toms would allow for the culling of poor males, resulting in improved reproductive efficiency. The Sperm Mobility Test (SMT), which quantifies sperm penetration into an Accudenz solution, was recently shown to correlate highly with the fertilization potential of individual roosters and turkeys. Since this sire-selection test is based on the mobility of sperm within an ejaculate, the objective of this study was to evaluate specific sperm motility parameters of individual toms. The SMT was used to objectively rank the top and bottom percentiles of the flock into High and Low mobility phenotypes, respectively. Sperm motility parameters were evaluated using a computer- aided sperm analysis (CASA) system, the Hobson Sperm Tracker. The measurements of 200 sperm tracks/ejaculate included: curvilinear velocity (VCL), average path velocity (VAP), straight-line velocity (VSL), beat cross frequency (BCF), and mean angular displacement (MAD). The velocity parameters VCL, VAP, VSL, and BCF were all positively correlated with the mobility phenotype, while the MAD was inversely related to mobility phenotype. When motile sperm subpopulations from each mobility phenotype were isolated and analyzed, significant differences between groups were observed in VSL, BCF, and MAD. We conclude that sperm velocity and linearity are important characteristics of turkey sperm function, which contribute to overall sperm mobility phenotype. These traits may influence the ability of sperm to maneuver through the hen's reproductive tract and ultimately reach the site of fertilization.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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