Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Sperm: morphology assessment

Synonym(s): Spermatozoa

Contributor(s): Stuart Revell , Jonathan Statham

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Introduction

  • The types and prevalence of abnormal spermatozoa give an indication of the likely fertility of the bull and the section of the reproductive tract which is malfunctioning.
  • This is a relatively crude assessment – the female reproductive tract selects for oviduct colonization only a thousand or so of the millions/billions of sperm inseminated.
  • This selection excludes sperm on the basis of very subtle morphological criteria, together with functional and molecular factors in addition to rejecting the defects visible by microscopy.
  • Additional techniques such as flow cytometry with specifically stained spermatozoa may offer further opportunities to identify abnormalities.

Normal sperm morphology

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Primary abnormalities of the head

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Primary abnormalities of the mid-piece and tail

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Secondary abnormalities

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Artifacts

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Prognosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Barth A D & Oko R J (1989) Abnormal Morphology of Bovine Spermatozoa. Iowa State University Press.
     


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