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Karolina Stasiak, Stanisław Kondracki and Maria Iwanina

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the relationship of sperm morphology with age of males, ejaculate concentration and volume, as well as with acrosin activity determined in sperm acrosome extracts. The study used manually collected ejaculates from 9 male arctic foxes, including 6 young males aged one year and 3 older males (between 3 and 5 years of age). All of the 39 ejaculates used in the study were classified as normal based on motility exceeding 70%. The ejaculates collected from the foxes were evaluated for volume, sperm concentration and frequency of morphological changes including primary and secondary defects. The spermiograms of the male arctic foxes were classified according to a six-grade subjective scale. In addition, acrosin activity was determined in the sperm acrosome extracts. The data were analysed using the criteria of male age, sperm concentration, ejaculate volume, and acrosin activity. The morphology of arctic fox spermatozoa was dependent on the age of the male. A greater number of morphologically altered spermatozoa tended to occur in the ejaculates of young foxes, which were in their first breeding season. In addition, statistical analysis revealed positive relationships between the frequency of morphological changes in sperm and their ejaculate concentration. In contrast, there were no significant correlations between the percentages of morphologically changed spermatozoa and the ejaculate volume and the content of acrosin, which is an indicator of acrosomal integrity. Semen quality is dependent on the number of sperm in ejaculate with morphological defects which prevent oocyte fertilization. Therefore, morphological assessment of semen, which covers both the number and type of morphological changes, is highly useful when selecting appropriate males for reproduction.

Open access

Katarzyna Łącka, Stanisław Kondracki, Maria Iwanina and Anna Wysokińska

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of this study was to propose the optimal methodology for stallion semen morphology analysis while taking into consideration the staining method, the microscopic techniques, and the workload generated by a number of samples. Material and Methods: Ejaculates from eight pure-bred Arabian horses were tested microscopically for the incidence of morphological defects in the spermatozoa. Two different staining methods (eosin-nigrosin and eosin-gentian dye), two different techniques of microscopic analysis (1000× and 400× magnifications), and two sample sizes (200 and 500 spermatozoa) were used. Results: Well-formed spermatozoa and those with major and minor defects according to Blom’s classification were identified. The applied staining methods gave similar results and could be used in stallion sperm morphology analysis. However, the eosin-nigrosin method was more recommendable, because it allowed to limit the number of visible artefacts without hindering the identification of protoplasm drops and enables the differentiation of living and dead spermatozoa. Conclusion: The applied microscopic techniques proved to be equally efficacious. Therefore, it is practically possible to opt for the simpler and faster 400x technique of analysing sperm morphology to examine stallion semen. We also found that the number of spermatozoa clearly affects the results of sperm morphology evaluation. Reducing the number of spermatozoa from 500 to 200 causes a decrease in the percentage of spermatozoa identified as normal and an increase in the percentage of spermatozoa determined as morphologically defective.

Open access

Krzysztof Górski, Stanisław Kondracki, Anna Wysokińska and Maria Iwanina

Abstract

Introduction: Determination of sperm concentration and morphology in ejaculate is essential in evaluating fertility. Sperm shape and dimensions may depend on their concentration in ejaculate. The aim of the study was to evaluate the dependence of Hypor boar morphological and morphometric sperm characteristics on concentration in ejaculate.

Material and Methods: The study was conducted on 120 ejaculates from 12 Hypor boars. Depending on sperm concentration, they were put into three groups: low, medium, and high. Ejaculate sperm concentration was determined with the photometric method. Slides were prepared from semen samples which were evaluated for the morphology of spermatozoa. The preparations for morphological analyses were by the eosin-gentian staining method.

Results: As the sperm concentration in the ejaculate increased, the length, perimeter, and area of the sperm heads also did. In the ejaculates with higher sperm concentration the sperm heads were rounder. The ratios of head dimensions to tail length or total length were the highest in the sperm from ejaculates with the highest concentrations. The highest percentage of morphologically abnormal sperm was noted in ejaculates with low concentrations.

Conclusion: The dimensions and shape of sperm depend on the sperm concentration in the ejaculate. In ejaculates with the highest concentrations, the sperm have larger dimensions. Sperm concentration affects the frequency of morphological anomalies in the spermatozoa.