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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: FIELD TESTING THE INFLUENCE OF SPERM COMPETITION BASED ON SPERM MOBILITY INBREEDER TURKEY TOMS

Authors
item Donoghue, Ann
item Kirby, John - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Froman, David - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Lerner, Steve - B.U.T.A.
item Crouch, Andy - B.U.T.A.
item King, Laura - USDA, ARS, ANRI, GGPL
item Donoghue, Dan - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Sonstegard, Tad

Submitted to: British Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 30, 2003
Publication Date: July 1, 2003
Citation: Donoghue, A.M., Kirby, J.D., Froman, D.P., Lerner, S.P., Crouch, A.N., King, L.M., Donoghue, D.J., Sonstegard, T.S. 2003. Field testing the influence of sperm competition based on sperm mobility inbreeder turkey toms. British Poultry Science.

Interpretive Summary: Commercial reproduction of turkeys relies on pooling of semen from multiple males for inseminations. Understanding how sperm characteristics influence paternity under commercial breeding conditions is important to improving production efficiency. The objective of this study was to evaluate: 1) variability of sperm mobility in elite strains of turkeys; and 2) progeny production of individual toms following commercial practices of pooling semen to determine if sperm mobility influences progeny production in field conditions. Toms were ranked by mobility index of sperm and categorized as high or low if mobility score was ñ 1 standard deviation from the flock mean. For parentage determination, DNA was extracted from tom, hen, and poult blood. Parentage was determined by analysis of marker genotypes that were generated by PCR amplification of genomic DNA with selected microsatellite markers. Sperm mobility differed across males. Findings demonstrate differences in poult production among individual toms when semen from multiple males was pooled and inseminated. Toms classified as high, average, and low produced 55%, 41% and 4% of the offspring respectively. Sperm mobility is a trait that influences sperm competition among toms even under field conditions where sperm numbers inseminated from individual toms are not controlled or constant.

Technical Abstract: Commercial reproduction of turkeys relies on pooling of semen from multiple males for inseminations. Understanding how sperm characteristics influence paternity under commercial breeding conditions is important to improving production efficiency. The objective of this study was to evaluate: 1) variability of sperm mobility in elite strains of turkeys; and 2) progeny production of individual toms following commercial practices of pooling semen to determine if sperm mobility influences progeny production in field conditions. A total of 104 toms were evaluated for sperm mobility. A subset of ten toms were housed together and semen was collected, pooled and used to inseminate hens (n=28). Hens were inseminated at 30 weeks of age and weekly thereafter. Toms were ranked by mobility index of sperm and categorized as high or low if mobility score was ñ 1 standard deviation from the flock mean. For parentage determination, DNA was extracted from tom, hen, and poult blood. Poult parentage (n=276) was determined by analysis of marker genotypes that were generated by PCR amplification of genomic DNA with selected microsatellite markers. Sperm mobility differed across males with absorbance values ranging from 0.147 to 0.366. Findings demonstrate differences in poult production among individual toms when semen from multiple males was pooled and inseminated. Toms classified as high, average, and low produced 55%, 41% and 4% of the offspring respectively. Sperm mobility is a trait that influences sperm competition among toms even under field conditions where sperm numbers inseminated from individual toms are not controlled or constant.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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