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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Livestock Bio-Systems » Research » Research Project #443970

Research Project: Enhancing Boar Fertility in the Face of Climate Change through the Mitigation of In utero Heat Stress

Location: Livestock Bio-Systems

Project Number: 3040-31320-001-005-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2023
End Date: Mar 31, 2026

The long-term goal of this research is to better understand how IUHS impairs boar reproductive physiology and fertility. The specific objectives are to 1)determine how IUHS of boars impacts their reproductive endocrinology as adults, 2) assess how IUHS alters the cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying porcine testicular function, and 3) examine spermatogenesis and sperm function in adult boars that experiences IUHS.

Using a unique cohort of sows divergently selected for heat tolerance will be exposed to different environmental temperatures during pregnancy and resulting male progeny will be developed to adults. These boar offspring will be catheterized for frequent blood sampling and subsequent analysis of hormones to determine IUHS effects on reproductive endocrine function. Boars will be trained for collection of semen to determine effects of IUHS on fertility. Testicular tissue will be collected from these boars to understand how IUHS affects molecular mechanisms (gene expression) important for sperm production and fertility.