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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of New Technologies and Methods to Enhance the Utilization and Long-Term Storage of Poultry, Swine and Fish Gametes and Embryos

Location: Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory

Title: Applied andrology in chickens and turkeys

item Long, Julie

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2013
Publication Date: 5/6/2014
Citation: Long, J.A. 2014. Applied andrology in chickens and turkeys. Book Chapter. pp.197-225.

Interpretive Summary: Modern commercial poultry operations rely heavily on assisted reproduction to maintain the high level of genetic selection that is the backbone of the industry. The growth rate of meat birds and egg production in laying birds are the two most economically important traits. Because these traits have negative genetic and phenotypic relationships, poultry companies either specialize in breeding meat-type birds or have two separate programs for meat and egg producing strains. Primary breeders maintain 50 or more pure lines with relatively small numbers of pedigreed birds. After specific line crosses, the successive generations are multiplied, or produced in greater numbers, until sufficient bird numbers for the final commercial lines are achieved. For the layer and broiler chicken industries, artificial insemination is used mainly at the primary breeder level. For the turkey industry, all phases of production utilize artificial insemination. In this chapter, pertinent aspects of male reproductive biology, semen evaluation and semen storage are reviewed with emphasis on unique attributes of avian reproductive biology.

Technical Abstract: The theories and practices of applied andrology in commercial poultry species (turkey, layer chicken and broiler chicken) are reviewed. Poultry male reproductive biology, including reproductive anatomy and spermatogenesis, is compared with mammalian livestock species. A detailed description of poultry sperm morphology is provided. Current knowledge of poultry sperm membrane carbohydrates and lipids is summarized, including recent data from the author’s laboratory pertaining to species-specific differences between turkey and chicken spermatozoa. Species-specific differences are further highlighted with respect to sperm metabolism and motility. The components of poultry seminal plasma, including electrolytes, amino acids/peptides, carbohydrates/polyols, lipids/phosphodiesters and enzymes, are reviewed. Previously unpublished data from the author’s laboratory on the proteomic profile for both turkey and chicken seminal plasma are reported. Semen collection and evaluation methods are described. Finally, artificial insemination and in vitro semen storage methods are discussed.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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