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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Turkey Sperm Reside in the Tubular Glands in the Urodeum Following Artificial Insemination

item Bakst, Murray
item Akuffo, Valorie

Submitted to: Reproduction
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2006
Publication Date: 4/1/2008
Citation: Bakst, M.R., Akuffo, V. 2008. Turkey sperm reside in the tubular glands in the urodeum following artificial insemination. Poultry Science. 87(4):790-2.

Interpretive Summary: Turkey hens can store no more than 5 million sperm in their oviductal sperm storage sites. It takes up to 48 hr for the sperm to reach these sites. In that 48 hr, the hen could have laid 2 eggs that would sweep the sperm out of the vagina. The question we addressed was if not the vagina, where are the sperm residing during the interval between the last insemination and the maximum filling of the sperm storage sites. Using histological techniques we discovered tubular glands in the central compartment of the cloaca. These glands were often observed with resident sperm. Although not part of the vagina, we propose that sperm are released from these tubular glands and ascend the vagina, eventually contributing to the population of sperm stored in the oviductal sperm storage sites. This information will be helpful to poultry scientists addressing the question of sperm selection and storage in the hens oviduct.

Technical Abstract: A turkey hen in egg production requires 48 hr after the last insemination to maximize the number of sperm in the uterovaginal junction sperm-storage tubules. Where the sperm that continue to fill the oviductal sperm-storage sites during this 48 hr period reside remains unknown. Histological sections of the juncture of the vagina with the urodeum, the central compartment of the cloaca, revealed deep tubular glands containing PAS-positive secretory material. When examined 36 hr after the last artificial insemination, sperm were observed in the lumen of the tubular glands associated with the urodeum. We suggest that sperm reside in the tubular glands within the urodeum and exit in association with the secretory activity. These sperm then may ascend the vagina to continue to populate the sperm-storage tubules.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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