Semen quality of postpubertal boars during increasing and decreasing natural photoperiods.
Sancho S., Pinart E., Briz M., Garcia-Gil N., Badia E., Bassols J., Kádár E., Pruneda A., Bussalleu E., Yeste M., Coll MG., Bonet S.
The present study analyses the effects of increasing and decreasing photoperiods on the semen quality of 20 selected postpubertal Landrace boars. The boars were exposed, throughout 75 days, to increasing and decreasing photoperiods of natural light, a constant temperature of 21 +/- 1 degrees C and 60-70% of humidity, fed with a nutritious diet and, submitted to a rhythm of semen collection of twice a week. During the last 2 weeks of each treatment, semen samples were analysed and the parameters measured were: ejaculate volume and pH, sperm concentration, sperm production and the number of semen doses per ejaculate, sperm vitality, sperm motility, osmotic resistance of spermatozoa and sperm morphology. The comparative analysis between increasing and decreasing photoperiods indicated that the semen quality of boars exposed to a decreasing photoperiod was reduced as a consequence of decreases in sperm concentration, sperm production and the number of semen doses. There was no difference between increasing and decreasing photoperiods in terms of sperm vitality and sperm motility, nor in the osmotic resistance of spermatozoa to isotonic and hypotonic media. The analysis of sperm morphology showed significantly lower frequencies of mature and immature spermatozoa with a distal cytoplasmic droplet, and significantly higher frequencies of immature spermatozoa with a proximal droplet in boars exposed to the decreasing photoperiod. These results indicate that the sperm quality of the selected boars decreased during decreasing photoperiods, in comparison with increasing photoperiods, mainly due to impaired testicular function.