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Variance component estimates for post-thaw sperm variables measured by computer assisted semen analyzer for inbred and non-inbred Hereford bulls

Tseveenjav, B., Blackburn, H.D., Garrick, D.J
Animal reproduction science 2018 v.199 pp. 45-50
Hereford, bulls, cryopreservation, head, inbred lines, inbreeding, inbreeding depression, reproductive performance, selection pressure, semen quality, spermatozoa, statistical models, straw, variance
Inbreeding has been shown to have negative effects on animal reproductive performance. It, however, has not been documented as to the extent that inbreeding impacts sperm cell characteristics especially after cells have undergone cryopreservation. In the present study, therefore, there was evaluation of sperm motion and size characteristics from two inbred lines and non-inbred Hereford bulls using Computer Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA). Pre-frozen semen samples were obtained from Line 1, Prospector, and a non-inbred Hereford bulls. Average inbreeding of each group was 27%, 45%, and 0%, for Line 1, Prospector, and non-inbred groups, respectively. For each bull, two straws (0.5 ml) were evaluated, within each straw two slides with ten fields per slide analyzed with the CASA. Cells were analyzed by mixed model analysis using a model that contained line as fixed effect and individual bull, straw, slide, and fields are random effects. No significant differences between lines of bulls were found for motility or progressive motility. For the head elongation (ELON), and head area (AREA) significant differences existed between lines. Mean separation indicated that Line 1 group had a larger head area and the heads were not as elongated as the Prospector and non-inbred group cells. The lack of significant differences for motility and progressive motility across lines was surprising and indicates there was no inbreeding depression for post-thaw semen characteristics. One explanation for this could be that indirect selection pressure was placed on these characteristics as inbreeding was increased.