Tropical summer induces DNA fragmentation in boar spermatozoa: implications for evaluating seasonal infertility

Peña Jr., Santiago T., Stone, Felicity, Gummow, Bruce, Parker, Anthony J., and Paris, Damien B.B.P. (2019) Tropical summer induces DNA fragmentation in boar spermatozoa: implications for evaluating seasonal infertility. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 31 (3). pp. 590-601.

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Summer infertility continues to undermine pig productivity, costing the pig industry millions in annual losses. The boar’s inefficient capacity to sweat, non-pendulous scrotum and the extensive use of European breeds in tropical conditions, can make the boar particularly vulnerable to the effects of heat stress; however, the link between summer heat stress and boar sperm DNA damage has not yet been demonstrated. Semen from five Large White boars was collected and evaluated during the early dry, late dry and peak wet seasons to determine the effect of seasonal heat stress on the quality and DNA integrity of boar spermatozoa. DNA damage in spermatozoa during the peak wet was 16-fold greater than during the early dry and nearly 9-fold greater than during the late dry season. Sperm concentration was 1.6-fold lower in the peak wet than early dry whereas no difference was found across several motility parameters as determined by computer-assisted sperm analysis. These results demonstrate that tropical summer (peak wet season) induces DNA damage and reduces concentration without depressing motility in boar spermatozoa, suggesting that traditional methods of evaluating sperm motility may not detect inherently compromised spermatozoa. Boar management strategies (such as antioxidant supplementation) need to be developed to specifically mitigate this problem.

Item ID: 54213
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-5990
Keywords: DNA damage, sperm, heat stress, pig, boar, TUNEL, summer infertility, oxidative stress
Copyright Information: Copyright © CSIRO 2018. Open Access CC BY-NC-ND.
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: JCU Development Grant, Australia Awards Scholarship
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2018 22:08
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3003 Animal production > 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310909 Animal physiology - cell @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3101 Biochemistry and cell biology > 310102 Cell development, proliferation and death @ 30%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830308 Pigs @ 60%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 20%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences @ 20%
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