Effects of season and breed on sperm acrosin activity and semen quality of boars

Animal Reproduction Science
A CiereszkoJ Glogowski

Abstract

Acrosin activity and semen quality (sperm concentration, ejaculate volume and number of spermatozoa) were assessed from March 1997 to March 1998 in semen of Large White, Pietrain and Duroc x Pietrain boars. Semen quality varied with season, including high production of spermatozoa in autumn and winter and low production in summer. Semen quality also differed across breeds. Acrosin activity of boar spermatozoa was not affected by breed (range 3.16-3.32 mU/10(6) spermatozoa), but exhibited distinct seasonal changes. Monthly changes in acrosin activity were parallel to changes in number of sperm in the ejaculate from November to March. On the other hand, dramatic changes in acrosin activity between July and October (range 1.85-4.59 mU/10(6) spermatozoa) were not paralleled by similar changes in number of ejaculated sperm. These fluctuations in acrosin activity may reflect either changes in sperm acrosin production or disturbances to sperm membranes, probably related to effects of high summer temperatures during spermatogenesis. Results confirmed seasonal and breed-related differences in boar semen quality characteristics.

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