Journal of Animal Research: v.5 n.2, p. 289-292. June 2015
DOI Number: 10.5958/2277-940X.2015.00049.2
Polymorphic Sperm Phenotype Suggesting Genetic Sperm Defects in a Jersey
( Bos taurus ) X Zebu ( Bos indicus ) Crossbred Bull
Madurantakam N. Sundararaman * , Alagappan Gopinathan, Arunachalam Subramanian
Frozen Semen Bank, Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal
Sciences University, Chennai, INDIA.
*Corresponding Author: MN Sundararaman; Email:
Received: 18 March, 2015
Accepted: 15 May, 2015
Data on semen collections from a Jersey X Zebu crossbred bull, consistently producing semen with high proportion of sperm
abnormalities was collected and the semen characteristics were analyzed. Observation of the records of 58 ejaculations from
the bull has revealed that 96.6% of the ejaculates were rejected for poor semen quality especially in sperm morphology. A
representative semen sample from the bull also showed sperm abnormalities up to 72.9%, of which 14.9% and 14.5% of the
spermatozoa exhibited loose heads and microcephalic heads respectively. Coiled tail (16.7%) and short tail (14.9%) were the
main tail defects observed. Since sperm defects were consistently appearing in high proportions in almost all the ejaculates the
genetic cause of the sperm defect was suspected.
Keywords: Bull spermatozoa, Polymorphic sperm phenotype, Genetic sperm defects
Abnormal morphology of sperm is a noncompensable
adversely (Chenoweth, 2005; Chemes, 2012). The present
trait and the merit of the sperm morphology assessment
study is on a Jersey X Zebu crossbred bull, repeatedly
as an in-vitro fertility test of bulls has been well
producing ejaculates containing high proportion of
established. Further, the relationship of proportion of
different types of sperm defects.
morphologically normal and abnormal spermatozoa with
A Jersey X Zebu crossbred bull, aged 30 months,
conception has also been proven (Padrik and Jaakma,
maintained at a frozen semen production centre in Tamil
2001). The most common causes of sperm abnormalities
Nadu State, India was reported to have consistently
are environmental, andrological or endogenous especially
producing ejaculates with high proportion of sperm
for nonspecific head and flageller defects (Chemes and
abnormalities. The ejaculates from the bull were evaluated
Rawe, 2003; Chenoweth, 2005). However, certain types
for semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility
of head shape and tail defects are genetic in origin. The
and sperm morphology by conventional methods using
causative factors lead to impaired spermiogenesis and
phase contrast microscope and photometer. Morphological
sperm maturation (Chenoweth, 2005) which more often
evaluation was done using 3% Rose Bengal stained sperm
results in specific sperm defects. Since the sperm head,
slides. A total of 200 spermatozoa were counted for
which carries the genetic material from the sire to the
assessment of sperm abnormalities. Semen characteristics
offspring, plays a vital role in the fertilization process,
recorded for the 58 ejaculates collected from the bull
even a small proportion of sperm head defects significantly
at the frozen semen production centre were studied. A
affects fertility (Al-Makhzoomi et al., 2008). Decapitated
representative ejaculate from the bull was taken using
sperm, microcephalic sperm heads and short tail are some
artificial vagina and the semen sample was evaluated for
of the genetic sperm defects which influence the fertility