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Title: Number and distribution of sperm-storage tubules in four strains of broiler breeders

item Bakst, Murray
item YOHO, D
item MOYLE, J
item LIU, G
item Donoghue, Ann - Annie

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2008
Publication Date: 1/26/2009
Citation: Bakst, M.R., Whipple, S.M., Bramwell, R.K., Yoho, D.E., Moyle, J.R., Liu, G., Donoghue, A.M. 2009. Number and distribution of sperm-storage tubules in four strains of broiler breeders. International Poultry Scientific Forum, p. 24, January 2009.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Restricted to the utero-vaginal junction (UVJ) in the hen's oviduct are tubular invaginations of the surface epithelium collectively referred to as the sperm-storage tubules (SSTs). One would expect that a larger number of SSTs would be positively correlated with longer, sustained fertility. However, only two studies have reported SST numbers. Goodrich-Smith & Marquez (1978) estimated between 20,000-24,000 SSTs for the turkey while Birkhead & Hunter (1990) observed 1000-2000 SSTs in finches. We report our preliminary results of SST numbers, number of mucosal folds lining the UVJ, and the length (mm) of the mucosal fold with SSTs present in four strains of broiler breeder hens. Two hundred commercial pullets from each strain were reared according to industry standards. Hens were light stimulated at 21 wk and at 33-38 wk, 6 hens per group were randomly selected and euthanized. The vagina was dissected free of connective tissue, UVJ mucosa exteriorized and the number of mucosal folds counted. Six UVJ folds per hen were isolated, placed on a stereomicroscope and the portion of the UVJ fold containing SSTs was measured. The fold was then placed on a slide and a coverslip pressed firmly over the fold. The squash preparation was photographed and SSTs were counted off the images. Preliminary data (2 hens per strain) revealed no statistical variation between strains. However, the following was observed: total number of SSTs, 2,923-5,765; number of UVJ mucosal folds per hen, 16-19; length of UVJ folds containing SSTs, 14-27mm. Interestingly, the total number of SSTs for these broiler strains fell between that reported for turkeys and finches. Future analyses may reveal correlations between the SST numbers, strains, and sustained fertility as the study will be repeated when the hen flock reaches 60 wk of age.