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Gonadotropin releasing hormone-analogue treatment increases sperm motility, seminal plasma pH and sperm production in yellowtail flounder Pleuronectes ferrugineus  

Microsoft Academic Search

Compared to control fish, gonadotropin releasing hormone-analogue (GnRHa) treatment delivered either by microspheres or cholesterol pellets successfully increased sperm production (cells kg-1) and milt volume (ml kg-1) in mature yellowtail flounder Pleuronectes ferrugineus during the spawning season. Spermatocrit decreased in both treated and control groups between 12 and 29 days post-implantation, indicating a seasonal decrease in sperm concentration, rather than

S. J. Clearwater; L. W. Crim



Females become infertile as the stored sperm's oxygen radicals increase  

PubMed Central

Predicting infertility is central to reproductive biology, medicine and evolutionary biology. In-vitro studies suggest that oxidative sperm damage causes infertility. Oxidative sperm damage can be reduced via two fundamental pathways: the removal of oxygen radicals by antioxidants, or the interference with cell metabolism to reduce the formation of oxygen radicals. Oxidative damage protection of spermatozoa should evolve frequently, especially during female sperm storage. However, in-vivo evidence linking oxidative protection and fertility is rare. We show that the intra-sperm production rate of oxygen radicals and the sperm metabolic rate were reduced in female bedbugs, Cimex lectularius, compared to males, and females laid fertile eggs. Females became infertile when sperm oxygen radicals and sperm metabolic rate increased to male levels. Our results link female fitness to sublethal sperm damage, imply adaptive benefits of interfering with sperm metabolism and offer the hypothesis that polyandry may serve to replace low-quality sperm.

Reinhardt, Klaus; Ribou, Anne-Cecile



Inhibition of ROS production through mitochondria-targeted antioxidant and mitochondrial uncoupling increases post-thaw sperm viability in yellow catfish.  


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are one of the main causes for decreased viability in cryopreserved sperm. Many studies have reported the beneficial effect of antioxidant supplements in freezing media for post-thaw sperm quality. In the present study, we explored two new approaches of ROS inhibition in sperm cryopreservation of yellow catfish, namely mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant and metabolic modulator targeting mitochondrial uncoupling pathways. Our study revealed that addition of MitoQ, a compound designed to deliver ubiquinone into mitochondria, significantly decreased ROS production, as well as lipid peroxidation, and increased post-thaw viability. Similarly, sperm incubated with 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a chemical protonophore that induces mitochondrial uncoupling, also had reduced ROS production, as well as lipid peroxidation, and increased post-thaw sperm viability. Conversely, activation of uncoupling protein (UCP2) by 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) neither reduced ROS production nor increased post-thaw sperm viability. Our findings indicate that ROS inhibition through mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant or mild mitochondrial uncoupling is beneficial for sperm cryopreservation in yellow catfish. Our study provides novel methods to mitigate oxidative stress induced damage in cryopreserved sperm for future applications. PMID:25260932

Fang, Lu; Bai, Chenglian; Chen, Yuanhong; Dai, Jun; Xiang, Yang; Ji, Xiaoping; Huang, Changjiang; Dong, Qiaoxiang




Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

In boars, the primary determinant of daily sperm production is number of Sertoli cells, which establishes testicular weight. The only breed comparison of fetal testicular development in boars contrasted two diverse breeds, White composite (WC, Landrace-Yorkshire) with Meishan, a Chinese breed that u...


Saccharin consumption increases sperm DNA fragmentation and apoptosis in mice  

PubMed Central

Background: Saccharin is an artificial non-caloric sweetener that used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, medicines, and toothpaste, but our bodies cannot metabolize it. Sodium saccharin is considered as an important factor in tumor promotion in male rats but not in humans. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of saccharin consumption on sperm parameters and apoptosis in adult mice. Materials and Methods: Totally 14 adult male mice were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 served as control fed on basal diet and group 2 or experimental animals received distilled water containing saccharin (0.2% w/v) for 35 days. After that, the left cauda epididymis of each mouse was cut and placed in Ham’s F10. Swimmed-out spermatozoa were used to analyze count, motility, morphology (Pap-staining) and viability (eosin-Y staining). Sperm DNA integrity, as an indicator of apoptosis, was assessed by SCD (sperm chromatin dispersion) and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TUNEL) assay. Results: Following saccharin consumption, we had a reduction in sperm motility with respect to control animals (p=0.000). In addition, the sperm count diminished (17.70±1.11 in controls vs. 12.80±2.79 in case group, p=0.003) and the rate of sperm normal morphology decreased from 77.00±6.40 in control animals into 63.85±6.81 in saccharin-treated mice (p=0.001). Also, we saw a statistically significant increase in rates of sperm DNA damage and apoptosis in experimental group when compared to control one (p=0.001, p=0.002 respectively). Conclusion: Saccharin consumption may have negative effects on sperm parameters, and increases the rate of sperm DNA fragmentation and apoptosis in mice. PMID:25031574

Rahimipour, Marzieh; Talebi, Ali Reza; Anvari, Morteza; Abbasi Sarcheshmeh, Abolghasem; Omidi, Marjan



Sperm competition effects on sperm production and expenditure in sailfin mollies, Poecilia latipinna  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sperm competition risk (SCR) models predict that if there is a low probability a male's ejaculate will compete with another male, individuals should invest less sperm in a mating, whereas if the probability of competition is high, males should invest more sperm. Alternatively, models of sperm competition intensity (SCI) predict that increased intensity of sperm competition leads to maximal sperm

Andrea S. Aspbury



Discriminating males alter sperm production between species.  


Prezygotic reproductive isolation and its importance in speciation is traditionally approached from the viewpoint of those events that occur before mating. However, recent interest in sperm competition theory has shown that prezygotic isolation can be affected by mechanisms that occur after mating but before fertilization. One neglected aspect of these studies is how the cost of sperm production might play a role in species isolation. We examined differential sperm production in a species whose males are sexually parasitized by a unisexual gynogenetic species. Gynogens are clonal females that require sperm from males of closely related bisexual species to initiate embryogenesis. We tested for differential sperm production by male sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna) when they were in the presence of either a heterospecific, gynogenetic female (Poecilia formosa, Amazon molly) or a conspecific female. We found that previously demonstrated male mate choice for conspecific over heterospecific females also is revealed in sperm production. Males from both an allopatric and a sympatric population produce more sperm when in the presence of a conspecific female than when in the presence of a heterospecific female. We suggest that differential sperm production also could play a role in prezygotic reproductive isolation in bisexual species complexes that occur in sympatry. PMID:15520395

Aspbury, Andrea S; Gabor, Caitlin R



Discriminating males alter sperm production between species  

PubMed Central

Prezygotic reproductive isolation and its importance in speciation is traditionally approached from the viewpoint of those events that occur before mating. However, recent interest in sperm competition theory has shown that prezygotic isolation can be affected by mechanisms that occur after mating but before fertilization. One neglected aspect of these studies is how the cost of sperm production might play a role in species isolation. We examined differential sperm production in a species whose males are sexually parasitized by a unisexual gynogenetic species. Gynogens are clonal females that require sperm from males of closely related bisexual species to initiate embryogenesis. We tested for differential sperm production by male sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna) when they were in the presence of either a heterospecific, gynogenetic female (Poecilia formosa, Amazon molly) or a conspecific female. We found that previously demonstrated male mate choice for conspecific over heterospecific females also is revealed in sperm production. Males from both an allopatric and a sympatric population produce more sperm when in the presence of a conspecific female than when in the presence of a heterospecific female. We suggest that differential sperm production also could play a role in prezygotic reproductive isolation in bisexual species complexes that occur in sympatry. PMID:15520395

Aspbury, Andrea S.; Gabor, Caitlin R.



Phenotypic engineering of sperm-production rate confirms evolutionary predictions of sperm competition theory  

PubMed Central

Sperm production is a key male reproductive trait and an important parameter in sperm competition theory. Under sperm competition, paternity success is predicted to depend strongly on male allocation to sperm production. Furthermore, because sperm production is inherently costly, individuals should economize in sperm expenditure, and conditional adjustment of the copulation frequency according to their sperm availability may be expected. However, experimental studies showing effects of sperm production on mating behaviour and paternity success have so far been scarce, mainly because sperm production is difficult to manipulate directly in animals. Here, we used phenotypic engineering to manipulate sperm-production rate, by employing dose-dependent RNA interference (RNAi) of a spermatogenesis-specific gene, macbol1, in the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano. We demonstrate (i) that our novel dose-dependent RNAi approach allows us to induce high variability in sperm-production rate; (ii) that a reduced sperm-production rate is associated with a decreased copulation frequency, suggesting conditional adjustment of mating behaviour; and (iii) that both sperm production and copulation frequency are important determinants of paternity success in a competitive situation, as predicted by sperm competition theory. Our study clearly documents the potential of phenotypic engineering via dose-dependent RNAi to test quantitative predictions of evolutionary theory. PMID:23446521

Sekii, Kiyono; Vizoso, Dita B.; Kuales, Georg; De Mulder, Katrien; Ladurner, Peter; Schärer, Lukas



Lack of sperm production and sperm storage by arctic-nesting shorebirds during spring migration  

Microsoft Academic Search

Birds nesting at high latitudes may copulate during migration to arrive on the nesting grounds ready to breed. We surveyed 12 species of shorebirds during spring migration to determine whether (1) males produced abundant sperm and (2) females harboured functional sperm storage tubules (SSTs). Sperm production by males on migration was rare. Only four of seven species (9.8% of 41

James W. Rivers; James V. Briskie



Sound production in neonate sperm whales (L)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Acoustic data from two sperm whale neonates (Physeter macrocephalus) in rehabilitation are presented and implications for sound production and function are discussed. The clicks of neonate sperm whale are very different from usual clicks of adult specimens in that neonate clicks are of low directionality [SL anomaly (0°-90°) <8 dB], long duration (2-12 ms), and low frequency (centroid frequency between 300 and 1700 Hz) with estimated SLs between 140 and 162 dB//1 ?Pa (rms). Such neonate clicks are unsuited for biosonar, but can potentially convey homing information between calves and submerged conspecifics in open ocean waters at ranges of some 2 km. Moreover, it is demonstrated that sperm whale clicks are produced at the anterior placed monkey lips, thereby substantiating a key point in the modified Norris and Harvey theory and supporting the unifying theory of sound production in odontocetes.

Madsen, P. T.; Carder, D. A.; Au, W. W. L.; Nachtigall, P. E.; Møhl, B.; Ridgway, S. H.



Estimation of daily sperm production in rats and monkeys  

Microsoft Academic Search

Daily sperm production in rats and monkeys were estimated by extended histometric method. Individual seminiferous tubules\\u000a were separated, fixed, processed and embedded. Semi-thin sections were stained with toluidine blue and the different cell\\u000a types quantitated with Chalkley’s eye piece. The daily sperm production estimated was compared with that obtained by the homogenization\\u000a method. The results indicate that daily sperm production

K. Gopalkrishnan; S. Kholkute; T. C. Anand Kumar



Sperm cells as vectors in the production of transgenic animals  

SciTech Connect

Transgenic animals are used in industry and in biomedical research in order to provide in vivo experimental model systems. Sperm cells have been reported used as vectors in the production of transgenic animals before, however no approach has of yet proven to be successful. Fertilizing eggs with genetically modified sperm would be advantageous in that sperm are readily accessible and stable, and eggs can be fertilized by modified sperm cells in vivo. Recent elucidations regarding the unique manner of DNA packaging in sperm chromatin by protamines has provided us with the insight for developing a method of introducing foreign DNA into sperm which is likely to succeed where others have failed. We have developed a method for mimicking the in vivo system of sperm chromatin toroid subunits in vitro, concentrating these toroids, and fluorescent visualization. Our present work concerns development of a method to successfully deliver DNA across the cell membranes and into the nucleus.

Prince, R.M.



Under-nutrition reduces spermatogenic efficiency and sperm velocity, and increases sperm DNA damage in sexually mature male sheep.  


We tested whether the quality of spermatozoa from mature male sheep would be affected during nutrition-induced changes in testicular mass. Merino rams were fed for 65 days with diets that increased, maintained or decreased body and testis mass (n=8 per group). In semen collected on Days 56 and 63, underfed rams had less sperms per ejaculate than well-fed rams (P<0.05) and a lower sperm velocity (computer-assisted semen analysis) than well-fed or maintenance-fed rams (P<0.05). Sperm chromatin structure assay revealed more sperm DNA damage in underfed rams than in well-fed rams (P<0.05). The amount of sperm DNA damage was inversely correlated with change in scrotal circumference (r=-0.6, P<0.05), the percentages of progressive motile sperm (r=-0.8; P<0.01) and motile sperm (r=-0.6, P<0.05), and the numbers of sperms per gram of testis (r=-0.55, P<0.05). In testicular tissue collected on Day 65, underfed rams had fewer sperm per gram of testis than rams in the other two groups (P<0.001). We conclude that, in adult rams, underfeeding reduces spermatogenic efficiency and that this response is associated with a reduction in spermatozoal quality. PMID:25086661

Guan, Yongjuan; Malecki, Irek A; Hawken, Penelope A R; Linden, Matthew D; Martin, Graeme B



Sperm production in an extremophile fish, the cave molly (Poecilia mexicana, Poeciliidae, Teleostei)  

E-print Network

Sperm production in an extremophile fish, the cave molly (Poecilia mexicana, Poeciliidae, Teleostei. Here, we investigated male sperm stores in Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana) from a sulfidic cave

Schlupp, Ingo


Discriminating males alter sperm production between species  

E-print Network

mollies (Poecilia latipinna) when they were in the presence of either a heterospecific, gyno- genetic female (Poecilia formosa, Amazon molly) or a conspecific female. We found that previously demonstrated that occur in sympatry. Poecilia prezygotic reproductive isolation sperm competition unisexual

Gabor, Caitlin - Department of Biology, Texas State University


Bower-building behaviour is associated with increased sperm longevity in Tanganyikan cichlids.  


We investigated the evolutionary relationship between spawning behaviour and sperm motility traits among Tanganyikan mouth-brooding cichlid species that have developed diverse mating behaviours and male sexual traits. Mouth-brooding behaviour is common among these fish, but different species demonstrate a range of spawning behaviours, bower construction, male sexual traits and timing of gamete release. We observed spawning behaviours and compared sperm motility traits of 28 Tanganyikan mouth-brooding cichlids to elucidate the evolutionary correlations between these traits. Sperm longevity was considerably longer in bower-building species that construct crater-shaped spawning sites compared with species that do not build bowers. Male bower builders released sperm in the pit of the bower prior to spawning, and the time from ejaculation to fertilization was longer. Conversely, most mouth-brooding cichlids deposited semen directly into the female buccal cavity, and spawned eggs were immediately picked up to be placed inside the cavity; thus, the time from ejaculation to fertilization was short. These observations suggest that increased sperm longevity is favoured in bower builders. Comparative phylogenetic analyses suggested that bower-building behaviour and greater time from ejaculation to fertilization are associated with the extension of sperm longevity, whereas sperm competition rank does not play a major role. In addition, bower-building behaviour preceded the emergence of increased sperm longevity. These results indicate that the extension of sperm longevity as a result of the emergence of bower builders may have acted as an evolutionary attractor for sperm longevity. PMID:25330280

Morita, M; Awata, S; Yorifuji, M; Ota, K; Kohda, M; Ochi, H



Advancing age increases sperm chromatin damage and impairs fertility in peroxiredoxin 6 null mice  

PubMed Central

Due to socioeconomic factors, more couples are choosing to delay conception than ever. Increasing average maternal and paternal age in developed countries over the past 40 years has raised the question of how aging affects reproductive success of males and females. Since oxidative stress in the male reproductive tract increases with age, we investigated the impact of advanced paternal age on the integrity of sperm nucleus and reproductive success of males by using a Prdx6?/? mouse model. We compared sperm motility, cytoplasmic droplet retention sperm chromatin quality and reproductive outcomes of young (2-month-old), adult (8-month-old), and old (20-month-old) Prdx6?/? males with their age-matched wild type (WT) controls. Absence of PRDX6 caused age-dependent impairment of sperm motility and sperm maturation and increased sperm DNA fragmentation and oxidation as well as decreased sperm DNA compaction and protamination. Litter size, total number of litters and total number of pups per male were significantly lower in Prdx6?/? males compared to WT controls. These abnormal reproductive outcomes were severely affected by age in Prdx6?/? males. In conclusion, the advanced paternal age affects sperm chromatin integrity and fertility more severely in the absence of PRDX6, suggesting a protective role of PRDX6 in age-associated decline in the sperm quality and fertility in mice. PMID:25796034

Ozkosem, Burak; Feinstein, Sheldon I.; Fisher, Aron B.; O’Flaherty, Cristian



Effect of Purine Nucleoside Analogue-Acyclovir on The Sperm Parameters and Testosterone Production in Rats  

PubMed Central

Background: Acyclovir (ACV), a synthetic purine nucleoside analogue derived from guanosine, is known to be toxic to gonads and the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ACV on the sperm parameters and testosterone production in rat. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, forty adult male Wistar rats (220 ± 20 g) were randomly divided into five groups (n=8 for each group). One group served as control and one group served as sham control [distilled water was intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected]. ACV was administered intraperitoneally in the drug treatment groups (4, 16 and 48 mg/kg/day) for 15 days. Eighteen days after the last injection, rats were sacrificed by CO2 inhalation. After that, cauda epididymides were removed surgically. At the end, sperm concentrations in the cauda epididymis, sperm motility, morphology, viability, chromatin quality and DNA integrity were analyzed. Serum testosterone concentrations were determined. Results: The results showed that ACV did not affect sperm count, but decreased sperm motility and sperm viability at 16 and 48 mg/kg dose-levels. Sperm abnormalities increased at 48 mg/kg dose-level of ACV. Further, ACV significantly increases DNA damage at 16 and 48 mg/kg dose-levels and chromatin abnormality at all doses. Besides, a significant decrease in serum testosterone concentrations was observed at 16 and 48 mg/ kg doses. Conclusion: The present results highly support the idea that ACV induces testicular toxicity by adverse effects on the sperm parameters and serum level of testosterone in male rats. PMID:24520464

Movahed, Elham; Sadrkhanlou, Rajabali; Ahmadi, Abbas; Nejati, Vahid; Zamani, Zahra



Percoll gradient-centrifuged capacitated mouse sperm have increased fertilizing ability and higher contents of sulfogalactosylglycerolipid and docosahexaenoic acid-containing phosphatidylcholine compared to washed capacitated mouse sperm.  


Although Percoll gradient centrifugation has been used routinely to prepare motile human sperm, its use in preparing motile mouse sperm has been limited. Here, we showed that Percoll gradient-centrifuged (PGC) capacitated mouse sperm had markedly higher fertilizing ability (sperm-zona pellucida [ZP] binding and in vitro fertilization) than washed capacitated mouse sperm. We also showed that the lipid profiles of PGC capacitated sperm and washed capacitated sperm differed significantly. The PGC sperm had much lower contents of cholesterol and phospholipids. This resulted in relative enrichment of male germ cell-specific sulfogalactosylglycerolipid (SGG), a ZP-binding ligand, in PGC capacitated sperm, and this would explain, in part, their increased ZP-binding ability compared with that of washed capacitated sperm. Analyses of phospholipid fatty acyl chains revealed that PGC capacitated sperm were enriched in phosphatidylcholine (PC) molecular species containing highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; C22: 6n-3) being the predominant HUFA (42% of total hydrocarbon chains of PC). In contrast, the level of PC-HUFAs comprising arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5n-6), and DHA in washed capacitated sperm was only 27%. Having the highest unsaturation degree among all HUFAs in PC, DHA would enhance membrane fluidity to the uppermost. Therefore, membranes of PGC capacitated sperm would undergo fertilization-related fusion events at higher rates than washed capacitated sperm. These results suggested that PGC mouse sperm should be used in fertilization experiments and that SGG and DHA should be considered to be important biomarkers for sperm fertilizing ability. PMID:15525814

Furimsky, Anna; Vuong, Ngoc; Xu, Hongbin; Kumarathasan, Premkumari; Xu, Min; Weerachatyanukul, Wattana; Bou Khalil, Maroun; Kates, Morris; Tanphaichitr, Nongnuj



Alterations in the estrogen environment of the testis contribute to declining sperm production in aging rats.  


Testicular function, specifically, production of testosterone by Leydig cells, diminishes during aging. Estradiol is also produced by the testis and potentially acts in an autocrine or paracrine manner to help regulate spermatogenesis. However, changes in estradiol concentration or receptor expression within the testis during aging remain unclear. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the estrogen environment of the testis is altered during aging and that these changes are associated with declining sperm production. Sprague Dawley rats were examined at three, 15, 18, and 21 months of age to detail changes in sperm production and testicular concentration of testosterone and estradiol; five rats were used at three and 21 months and three rats were used at 15 and 18 months. Daily sperm production declined 49% from 15 to 21 months of age. Testicular concentrations of estradiol declined 53% from 15 to 21 months of age; testosterone concentrations were not significantly different. These results suggest that declines in intra-testicular estradiol may contribute to declining sperm production. We further tested our hypothesis by treating rats once every third day with a subcutaneous injection of estradiol valerate (1?µg/kg) from 15 to 18 months of age. Estradiol was increased 54% in treated animals while testosterone was unaffected. Estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) expression was significantly reduced from 15 to 18 months and expression in estrogen-treated animals was significantly higher than age-matched controls. Additionally, ESR1 expression in 18 month treated animals was not different from 15 months of age. Importantly, daily sperm production in 18 month treated animals was 22% higher than age-matched controls; thus, treatment prevented approximately half of the decline observed in control animals. Collectively, our results suggest that estrogen is involved in maintaining optimum spermatogenesis in adult rats and that estrogen treatment may attenuate the age-associated loss in sperm production. PMID:24499511

Clarke, Michael; Pearl, Christopher A



RESEARCH ARTICLE Colony pollen reserves affect body size, sperm production  

E-print Network

of large size variation in males of stingless bees that is related with the amount of pollen reservesRESEARCH ARTICLE Colony pollen reserves affect body size, sperm production and sexual development in males of the stingless bee Melipona beecheii F. G. Pech-May · L. Medina-Medina · W. de J. May-Itza´ · R

Paxton, Robert


Sperm Competition Selects for Sperm Quantity and Quality in the Australian Maluridae  

PubMed Central

When ejaculates from rival males compete for fertilization, there is strong selection for sperm traits that enhance fertilization success. Sperm quantity is one such trait, and numerous studies have demonstrated a positive association between sperm competition and both testes size and the number of sperm available for copulations. Sperm competition is also thought to favor increases in sperm quality and changes in testicular morphology that lead to increased sperm production. However, in contrast to sperm quantity, these hypotheses have received considerably less empirical support and remain somewhat controversial. In a comparative study using the Australian Maluridae (fairy-wrens, emu-wrens, grasswrens), we tested whether increasing levels of sperm competition were associated with increases in both sperm quantity and quality, as well as an increase in the relative amount of seminiferous tubule tissue contained within the testes. After controlling for phylogeny, we found positive associations between sperm competition and sperm numbers, both in sperm reserves and in ejaculate samples. Additionally, as sperm competition level increased, the proportion of testicular spermatogenic tissue also increased, suggesting that sperm competition selects for greater sperm production per unit of testicular tissue. Finally, we also found that sperm competition level was positively associated with multiple sperm quality traits, including the proportion of motile sperm in ejaculates and the proportion of both viable and morphologically normal sperm in sperm reserves. These results suggest multiple ejaculate traits, as well as aspects of testicular morphology, have evolved in response to sperm competition in the Australian Maluridae. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the importance of post-copulatory sexual selection as an evolutionary force shaping macroevolutionary differences in sperm phenotype. PMID:21283577

Rowe, Melissah; Pruett-Jones, Stephen



Sperm cryopreservation in live-bearing Xiphophorus fishes: offspring production from Xiphophorus variatus and strategies for establishment of sperm repositories.  


Cryopreservation of sperm from Xiphophorus fishes has produced live young in three species: X. hellerii, X. couchianus, and X. maculatus. In this study, the goal was to establish protocols for sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination to produce live young in X. variatus, and to identify needs for repository development. The objectives were to: 1) collect basic biological characteristics of males; 2) cryopreserve sperm from X. variatus, 3) harvest live young from cryopreserved sperm, and 4) discuss the requirements for establishment of sperm repositories. The 35 males used in this study had a body weight of 0.298±0.096 g (mean±SD), body length of 2.5±0.2 cm, and testis weight of 6.4±3.4 mg. The sperm production per gram of testis was 2.33±1.32×10(9) cells. After freezing, the post-thaw motility decreased significantly to 37%±17% (ranging from 5% to 70%) (p=0.000) from 57%±14% (40%-80%) of fresh sperm (N=20). Artificial insemination of post-thaw sperm produced confirmed offspring from females of X. hellerii and X. variatus. This research, taken together with previous studies, provides a foundation for development of strategies for sperm repositories of Xiphophorus fishes. This includes: 1) the need for breeding strategies for regeneration of target populations, 2) identification of minimum fertilization capacity of frozen samples, 3) identification of fish numbers necessary for sampling and their genetic relationships, 4) selection of packaging containers for labeling and biosecurity, 5) assurance of quality control and standardization of procedures, 6) information systems that can manage the data associated with cryopreserved samples, including the genetic data, 7) biological data of sampled fish, 8) inventory data associated with frozen samples, and 9) data linking germplasm samples with other related materials such as body tissues or cells saved for DNA and RNA analyses. PMID:22924335

Yang, Huiping; Cuevas-Uribe, Rafael; Savage, Markita G; Walter, Ronald B; Tiersch, Terrence R



Sperm Cryopreservation in Live-Bearing Xiphophorus Fishes: Offspring Production from Xiphophorus variatus and Strategies for Establishment of Sperm Repositories  

PubMed Central

Abstract Cryopreservation of sperm from Xiphophorus fishes has produced live young in three species: X. hellerii, X. couchianus, and X. maculatus. In this study, the goal was to establish protocols for sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination to produce live young in X. variatus, and to identify needs for repository development. The objectives were to: 1) collect basic biological characteristics of males; 2) cryopreserve sperm from X. variatus, 3) harvest live young from cryopreserved sperm, and 4) discuss the requirements for establishment of sperm repositories. The 35 males used in this study had a body weight of 0.298±0.096?g (mean±SD), body length of 2.5±0.2?cm, and testis weight of 6.4±3.4?mg. The sperm production per gram of testis was 2.33±1.32×109 cells. After freezing, the post-thaw motility decreased significantly to 37%±17% (ranging from 5% to 70%) (p=0.000) from 57%±14% (40%–80%) of fresh sperm (N=20). Artificial insemination of post-thaw sperm produced confirmed offspring from females of X. hellerii and X. variatus. This research, taken together with previous studies, provides a foundation for development of strategies for sperm repositories of Xiphophorus fishes. This includes: 1) the need for breeding strategies for regeneration of target populations, 2) identification of minimum fertilization capacity of frozen samples, 3) identification of fish numbers necessary for sampling and their genetic relationships, 4) selection of packaging containers for labeling and biosecurity, 5) assurance of quality control and standardization of procedures, 6) information systems that can manage the data associated with cryopreserved samples, including the genetic data, 7) biological data of sampled fish, 8) inventory data associated with frozen samples, and 9) data linking germplasm samples with other related materials such as body tissues or cells saved for DNA and RNA analyses. PMID:22924335

Cuevas-Uribe, Rafael; Savage, Markita G.; Walter, Ronald B.; Tiersch, Terrence R.



Male crickets increase sperm number in relation to competition and female size  

Microsoft Academic Search

There is evidence to suggest that males of various species can respond to the threat of sperm competition by varying the\\u000a amount of sperm transferred during copulation. We tested this in two species of cricket, Acheta domesticus and Gryllodes supplicans (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) by varying the apparent threat of intermale competition experimentally. The results showed that males\\u000a of both species increased

A. R. Gage; C. J. Barnard



Increasing productivity: Another approach  

SciTech Connect

An engineering information (EI) and information technology (IT) organization that must improve its productivity should work to further its business goals. This paper explores a comprehensive model for increasing EI/IT productivity by supporting organizational objectives.

Norton, F.J.



Immunoneutralization of inhibin modifies hormone secretion and sperm production in bulls.  


The objective of this study was to examine the role of endogenous inhibin in the regulation of FSH, LH, and testosterone secretion and sperm production in bulls. Bulls were actively immunized against bovine inhibin alpha 1-26 gly-tyr (bINH) conjugated to human alpha globulin (HAG) or HAG alone (controls) and emulsified in Freund's complete adjuvant. Primary immunization was at 14 wk of age, followed by booster immunizations in Freund's incomplete adjuvant at 28, 30, and 34 wk of age. Ten days after each booster immunization, scrotal circumferences and body weights were measured, and blood was sampled for determination of bINH antibody titer. Ten days after the third booster, blood was sampled at 1-h intervals for 8 h to quantify serum concentrations of FSH, LH, and testosterone. After this blood sampling period, bulls were castrated and testicular sperm production was determined. Serum diluted 1:4,000 from bINH-immunized bulls bound 36%, 52%, and 53% of radioiodinated bINH after the first, second, and third boosters, respectively. Serum from controls bound less than 1% radioiodinated bINH. After the third booster, serum concentrations of FSH and testosterone were increased (p less than 0.05) and LH concentrations were decreased (p less than 0.001) in bINH-immunized bulls compared with controls. After the third booster, daily sperm production per gram of testicular parenchyma was increased (p less than 0.05) in bINH-immunized bulls compared with controls. Scrotal circumferences and body weights were similar between treatment groups throughout the experiment. We concluded that inhibin has a role in regulation of secretion of gonadotrophins and testosterone and testicular sperm production, but not testicular growth, in bulls.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1715195

Martin, T L; Williams, G L; Lunstra, D D; Ireland, J J



High quality sperm for nonhuman primate ART: Production and assessment  

Microsoft Academic Search

Factors that affect sperm quality can include method of semen collection, conditions for capacitation and whether or not agglutination is present. Media and procedures for sperm washing can also impair or improve sperm function in assisted reproductive technologies. For example, the removal of seminal fluid through large volume washing is required to eliminate decapacitation activity of seminal plasma. The forces

Catherine A VandeVoort



Disruption of Maternal DNA Repair Increases Sperm-DerivedChromosomal Aberrations  

SciTech Connect

The final weeks of male germ cell differentiation occur in aDNA repair-deficient environment and normal development depends on theability of the egg to repair DNA damage in the fertilizing sperm. Geneticdisruption of maternal DNA double-strand break repair pathways in micesignificantly increased the frequency of zygotes with chromosomalstructural aberrations after paternal exposure to ionizing radiation.These findings demonstrate that radiation-induced DNA sperm lesions arerepaired after fertilization by maternal factors and suggest that geneticvariation in maternal DNA repair can modulate the risk of early pregnancylosses and of children with chromosomal aberrations of paternalorigin.

Marchetti, Francesco; Essers, Jeroun; Kanaar, Roland; Wyrobek,Andrew J.



Addition of D-penicillamine, hypotaurine, and epinephrine (PHE) mixture to IVF medium maintains motility and longevity of bovine sperm and enhances stable production of blastocysts in vitro.  


The present study aimed to establish an efficient system for bovine embryo production by in vitro fertilization (IVF) that can achieve stable normal fertilization and blastocyst developmental rates in any bull without optimization of the sperm concentration in IVF medium. We examined the effects of a PHE mixture (20 ?M D-penicillamine, 10 ?M hypotaurine and 1 ?M epinephrine), theophylline (2.5 mM), and sperm concentration (1, 2 or 5 × 10(6) cells/ml) on fertilization and blastocyst developmental rates. High cleavage rates (78.3 to 92.4%) and blastocyst developmental rates (31.9 to 62.0%) at day 7 were obtained in the presence of PHE and theophylline in IVF medium with a sperm concentration of 2 × 10(6) cells/ml using sperm from 9 bulls. In addition, the synergistic effect of PHE and theophylline on normal fertilization (2 pronuclei) was clarified at 12 h after IVF with a sperm concentration of 1 × 10(6) cells/ml. Moreover, high linearity, high flagellar beat cross frequency, and low amplitude of lateral head of motile sperm were found by computer-assisted sperm analysis. In conclusion, the combination of the PHE mixture and theophylline synergistically accelerates sperm motility and sperm penetration of bovine oocytes. Theophylline activates sperm motility with increasing intracellular cAMP. However, PHE prevents an excessive increase of cAMP and maintains sperm motility without hyperactivation. When the combination of PHE and theophylline is added to IVF medium at a sperm concentration of 2 × 10(6) cells/ml, we can achieve stable normal fertilization and blastocyst development in any bull. PMID:25501343

Kang, Sung-Sik; Koyama, Keisuke; Huang, Weiping; Yang, Yinghua; Yanagawa, Yojiro; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki; Nagano, Masashi



Increasing Public Library Productivity.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Suggests ways of improving productivity for public libraries faced with increased accountability, dwindling revenues, and continuing inflation. Techniques described include work simplification, work analysis, improved management, and employee motivation. (RAA)

Samuelson, Howard



Current status of plant products reported to inhibit sperm.  


This report reviews research on plant-derived agents that prevent sperm production if taken orally by the male or that incapacitate or kill sperm on contact if used vaginally by the female. It would be of great value to develop fertility inhibitors that are totally selective for reproductive systems and enzymes, and there is a possibility that a plant-derived drug may have this effect. Plants that have been studied for their fertility inhibiting effects in the male include: Aristolochia indica L. (Aristolochiaceae); Azadirachta indica A. Juss (Meliaceae); Balanites roxburghii Planch. (Zygophyllaceae); Calotropis procera (Ait) R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae); Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae); Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don (Apocynaceae); Dieffenbachia seguine (Jacquin) Schott. (Araceae); Ecaballium elaterium A. Richard (Cucurbitaceae); Gossypium species (Malvaceae); Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. (Malvaceae); Hippophae salicifolia D. Don (Elaeagnaceae); Leucaena glauca (L.) Benth. (Leguminosae); Lonicera ciliosa Poir. (Caprifoliaceae); Lupinus termis Forsk. (Leguminosae); Malvaviscus conzattii Greenm. (Malvaceae); Momordica charantia L. (Curcurbitaceae); Ocimum sanctum L. (Labiatae); Prunus emarginata Walp. (Rosaceae); and Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Solanaceae). A large number of plants have been randomly selected and screened for spermicidal activity "in vitro" and several seem promising. Those species found to be active and the nature of the active principle(s), when known, are presented in a table as are plant-derived chemical substances of known or partially known structure reported to be spermicidal "in vitro." Plants warrant systematic study as potential sources of sperm-agglutinating compounds. Of 1600 Indian plants tested, 90 showed positive semen coagulating properties. There seems to be a lack of correlation among experimental results obtained by different groups of investigators, between data obtained "in vitro" and "in vivo," and between experimental results and information found in folklore. Factors complicating the adequate assessment of plants affecting male fertility are inadequate numbers of vehicle-treated controls, poor experimental design, problems related to insolubility of crude plant extracts, variation in routes of administration, diversity in reproductive function and control among various laboratory species, and problems in identifying plant names consistently. PMID:12179631

Farnsworth, N R; Waller, D P



Testes Mass, but Not Sperm Length, Increases with Higher Levels of Polyandry in an Ancient Sex Model  

PubMed Central

There is strong evidence that polyandrous taxa have evolved relatively larger testes than monogamous relatives. Sperm size may either increase or decrease across species with the risk or intensity of sperm competition. Scorpions represent an ancient direct mode with spermatophore-mediated sperm transfer and are particularly well suited for studies in sperm competition. This work aims to analyze for the first time the variables affecting testes mass, ejaculate volume and sperm length, according with their levels of polyandry, in species belonging to the Neotropical family Bothriuridae. Variables influencing testes mass and sperm length were obtained by model selection analysis using corrected Akaike Information Criterion. Testes mass varied greatly among the seven species analyzed, ranging from 1.6±1.1 mg in Timogenes dorbignyi to 16.3±4.5 mg in Brachistosternus pentheri with an average of 8.4±5.0 mg in all the species. The relationship between testes mass and body mass was not significant. Body allocation in testes mass, taken as Gonadosomatic Index, was high in Bothriurus cordubensis and Brachistosternus ferrugineus and low in Timogenes species. The best-fitting model for testes mass considered only polyandry as predictor with a positive influence. Model selection showed that body mass influenced sperm length negatively but after correcting for body mass, none of the variables analyzed explained sperm length. Both body mass and testes mass influenced spermatophore volume positively. There was a strong phylogenetic effect on the model containing testes mass. As predicted by the sperm competition theory and according to what happens in other arthropods, testes mass increased in species with higher levels of sperm competition, and influenced positively spermatophore volume, but data was not conclusive for sperm length. PMID:24736525

Vrech, David E.; Olivero, Paola A.; Mattoni, Camilo I.; Peretti, Alfredo V.



Increasing Productivity at Saturn  

Microsoft Academic Search

To remain competitive, manufacturing enterprises must increase and simultaneously reduce costs. This requires daily and long term examination and analysis of a plant's functions and operations. Using this data, an enterprise can identify production flow bottlenecks and analyze capacity and other factors, which in turn helps identify improvement opportunities. While such information is critical, it is often a challenge to

Earl Long; Amit Misra; Janos Sztipanovits



Intracytoplasmic sperm injection improves in vitro embryo production from poor quality bovine oocytes.  


The objective was to use subzonal sperm injection (SUZI) to understand sperm penetration patterns and to use intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to improve production of bovine embryos using poor quality gametes. In experiment 1, poor versus good quality oocytes were fertilized with sperm from two bulls, A and B, with poor and good sperm vigor, respectively. The blastocyst rate was higher for good versus poor quality oocytes (23.3% vs. 11.1%, P < 0.05), regardless of the bull used. There was no significant difference in blastocyst rate for bull A (low vigor) regardless of oocyte quality, and for bull B (high vigor), blastocyst rate was better for good versus poor quality oocytes (25.7% vs. 9.2%, P < 0.05). In experiment 2, poor quality oocytes were subjected to SUZI. The oocyte penetration rate was lower for bull A than for bull B (29.6% vs. 53.8%, P < 0.05), when SUZI was performed within 1 hour after sperm processing. However, when SUZI was performed 2 to 3 hours after sperm processing, penetrating capacity was similar between bulls, but for bull B, penetrating capacity significantly decreased after 3 hours of sperm processing. In an attempt to overcome sperm penetrating disorders, poor and good quality oocytes were subjected to ICSI (experiment 3). Irrespective of the bull or of the oocyte quality grade, there were no differences in cleavage or blastocyst rates. Both bulls had distinct IVF embryo production rates, which we inferred were because of particular individual sperm characteristics. In conclusion, ICSI was an effective means to achieve in vitro production of bovine embryos with gametes of variable quality. PMID:23312719

Ohlweiler, L U; Brum, D S; Leivas, F G; Moyses, A B; Ramos, R S; Klein, N; Mezzalira, J C; Mezzalira, A



Gamete evolution and sperm numbers: sperm competition versus sperm limitation.  


Both gamete competition and gamete limitation can generate anisogamy from ancestral isogamy, and both sperm competition (SC) and sperm limitation (SL) can increase sperm numbers. Here, we compare the marginal benefits due to these two components at any given population level of sperm production using the risk and intensity models in sperm economics. We show quite generally for the intensity model (where N males compete for each set of eggs) that however severe the degree of SL, if there is at least one competitor for fertilization (N - 1 ? 1), the marginal gains through SC exceed those for SL, provided that the relationship between the probability of fertilization (F) and increasing sperm numbers (x) is a concave function. In the risk model, as fertility F increases from 0 to 1.0, the threshold SC risk (the probability q that two males compete for fertilization) for SC to be the dominant force drops from 1.0 to 0. The gamete competition and gamete limitation theories for the evolution of anisogamy rely on very similar considerations: our results imply that gamete limitation could dominate only if ancestral reproduction took place in highly isolated, small spawning groups. PMID:25100694

Parker, Geoff A; Lehtonen, Jussi



Increased Expression of the Na,K-ATPase alpha4 Isoform Enhances Sperm Motility in Transgenic Mice1  

PubMed Central

The Na,K-ATPase alpha4 (ATP1A4) isoform is specifically expressed in male germ cells and is highly prevalent in spermatozoa. Although selective inhibition of alpha4 activity with ouabain has been shown to affect sperm motility, a more direct analysis of the role of this isoform in sperm movement has not yet been demonstrated. To establish this, we engineered transgenic mice that express the rat alpha4 isoform fused to green fluorescent protein in male germ cells, under the control of the mouse protamine 1 promoter. We showed that the rat Atp1a4 transgene is expressed in mouse spermatozoa and that it is localized to the sperm flagellum. In agreement with increased expression of the alpha4 isoform, sperm from transgenic mice displayed higher alpha4-specific Na,K-ATPase activity and binding of fluorescently labeled ouabain than wild-type mice. In contrast, expression and activity of ATP1A1 (alpha1), the other Na,K-ATPase alpha isoform present in sperm, remained unchanged. Similar to wild-type mice, mice expressing the alpha4 transgene exhibited normal testis and sperm morphology and no differences in fertility. However, compared to wild-type mice, sperm from transgenic mice displayed plasma membrane hyperpolarization and higher total and progressive motility. Other parameters of motility also increased, including straight-line, curvilinear, and average path velocities and amplitude of lateral head displacement. In addition, sperm from the transgenic mice showed enhanced sperm hyperactive motility, but no changes in progesterone-induced acrosome reaction. Altogether, these results provide new genetic evidence for the role of the ATP1A4 isoform in sperm motility, under both noncapacitating and capacitating conditions. PMID:20826726

Jimenez, Tamara; Sanchez, Gladis; McDermott, Jeffrey P.; Nguyen, Anh-Nguyet; Kumar, T. Rajendra; Blanco, Gustavo



Sexing sperm of domestic animals.  


The ability to preselect or predetermine the sex of offspring prior to conception is a highly desired technological tool for assisted female breeding programs specifically for milk production, and in males, for meat production and increasing livestock numbers. The current technology is based on the well-known differences in X- and Y-sperm in the amount of DNA. The technology uses modified flow cytometric instrumentation for sorting X- and Y-bearing sperm. The method can be validated on the basis of live births, laboratory reanalysis of sorted sperm for DNA content, and embryo biopsy for sex determination. Currently, the sex of animals has been predetermined with 90 % accuracy by sexing spermatozoa. In the bovine breeding industry, flow cytometric sperm sexing has not fulfilled its original promise. Sexed sperm doses are too expensive for widespread application while the fertility of sexed sperm doses is lower than unsexed ones. Essentially all bovine sexed semen is frozen and then applied through artificial insemination (AI) or in vitro fertilization. There is still a need in the animal breeding industry to develop a technique for sperm sexing that provides sufficient spermatozoa for AI doses, does not compromise sperm fertility, and is widely applicable to a range of species. In this review, we will summarize the current state-of-the-art in sex preselection in domestic animals and some wildlife species using flow cytometric sperm-sorting of X from Y sperm based on DNA differences. PMID:22829354

Espinosa-Cervantes, Román; Córdova-Izquierdo, Alejandro



Adaptive plasticity of mammalian sperm production in response to social experience  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition theory predicts that males should invest prudently in ejaculates according to levels of female promiscuity. Males may therefore be sensitive to cues in their social environment associated with sexual competition, and tailor investment in sperm production accordingly. We tested this idea experimentally for the first time, to our knowledge, in a mammal by comparing reproductive traits of male house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) that had experienced contrasting encounter regimes with potential sexual competitors. We found that daily sperm production and numbers of sperm in the caput epididymis were significantly higher in subjects that had experienced a high encounter rate of social cues from three other males compared to those that had experienced a low encounter rate of social cues from just one other male. Epididymal sperm counts were negatively correlated with the frequency of scent-marking behaviour across all males in our study, suggesting that investment in ejaculate production may be traded off against traits that function in gaining copulations, although there was no difference in overall levels of scent marking between treatment groups. We conclude that social experience-mediated phenotypic plasticity in mammalian spermatogenesis is likely to be adaptive under sperm competition, enabling males to balance the energetic costs and paternity-enhancing benefits of ejaculate production, and is a potentially widespread explanation for intraspecific variation in ejaculate expenditure. PMID:18986975

Ramm, Steven A.; Stockley, Paula



The role of androgens in species recognition and sperm production in Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana).  


Much is known about the role of hormones in the regulation of vertebrate mating behavior, including receptivity, and several components of mate choice. Hormones may modulate reproductive behavior in such a way to increase or decrease the individual's motivation, and therefore hormones may be important in mediating behavior associated with reproductive isolation. The mating complex of the all female gynogenetic Amazon mollies, Poecilia formosa, and their parental species (sailfin mollies, P. latipinna, and Atlantic mollies, P. mexicana) is a model system for studying ultimate mechanisms of species recognition. However, proximate mechanisms, such as variation in hormone levels, and the effect of hormones on sperm production have not been extensively examined. We predict that one or more of the sex steroid hormones in teleost fish (11-ketotestosterone (KT), testosterone (T), and estradiol (E)) will play a role in species recognition (during mate choice and/or sperm priming) for Atlantic mollies (the maternal parental species) that are sympatric with Amazon mollies. We sequentially paired male Atlantic mollies with female conspecifics and Amazon mollies and obtained water-borne hormone samples before and after mating for all fish. We measured circulating KT, T, and E from the water samples. Although we did not find an overall KT response to mating with conspecifics as has been found previously in sailfin mollies, male Atlantic mollies that mated more with conspecific females had lower postmating T levels. Additionally, males attempted to mate more with conspecific females that had lower postmating E levels, but attempted to mate more with Amazon mollies that had higher postmating KT levels. We also examined the effect of KT on sperm priming (a mechanism of premating mate choice), and found that KT levels of male Atlantic mollies prior to mating are correlated with the sperm priming response when males were paired with conspecific females, but this correlation was not found when males were paired with Amazon mollies. Our results indicate that male mating behavior is affecting or responding to both male and female hormones, but that the hormones alone are not playing a role in species recognition. Male Atlantic mollies may not discriminate against Amazon mollies as strongly as male sailfin mollies because Amazon mollies resemble their maternal parental species more than their paternal species. PMID:22061426

Gabor, Caitlin R; Aspbury, Andrea S; Ma, Jacqueline; Nice, Chris C



Improvement of sperm production in subfertile boars by Cordyceps militaris supplement.  


Cordyceps species have been traditionally used for the enhancement of sexual function, however, there is few direct evidence to prove this. We investigated the spermatogenic effect of Cordyceps militaris (CM) by supplementation with CM mycelium to subfertile boars. Seventeen Duroc and 12 Landrace boars (29 to 40 months old) were selected to feed with regular diet (control groups, n = 8 and 6, respectively) or diet supplemented with CM mycelium (treatment groups, n = 9 and 6, respectively) for 2 months. Semen was collected once a week. The quality of fertile sperm (normally greater than 62% of motility and 70% of normal morphology) and the quantity (semen volume, and total sperm number) were compared in these boars. The result showed that sperm production was enhanced significantly at the end of first month (p < 0.05), peaked at the second month (p < 0.01) of supplementation with CM and was maintained for 2 weeks after stopping the treatment (p < 0.01). Plasma cordycepin concentration was detected in boars supplemented with CM but not in the controls. More importantly, the percentages of motile sperm cells and sperm morphology were also improved significantly in most of treated boars during the second month of supplementation (p < 0.01) and 2 weeks after the treatment (p < 0.05) as compared to their initial values. These results indicate that supplementation with CM mycelium improves sperm quality and quantity in subfertile boars and may partly support the role of Cordyceps in sexual enhancement. PMID:17708629

Lin, Wen-Hung; Tsai, Ming-Ta; Chen, Yuh-Shuen; Hou, Rolis Chien-Wei; Hung, Hsiao-Fang; Li, Ching-Hsiao; Wang, Hsin-Kai; Lai, Min-Nan; Jeng, Kee-Ching G



Sperm competition and the evolution of sperm design in mammals  

Microsoft Academic Search

BACKGROUND: The influence of sperm competition upon sperm size has been a controversial issue during the last 20 years which remains unresolved for mammals. The hypothesis that, when ejaculates compete with rival males, an increase in sperm size would make sperm more competitive because it would increase sperm swimming speed, has generated contradictory results from both theoretical and empirical studies.

Maximiliano Tourmente; Montserrat Gomendio; Eduardo RS Roldan



Sperm competition, male prudence, and sperm-limited females (2002)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sperm are produced in astronomical numbers compared with eggs, and there is good evidence that sperm competition is the force behind the evolution of many tiny sperm. However, sperm production inevitably has costs. Recent research shows that male ejaculate expenditure is dynamic in both time and space, and that males are sensitive to risks of sperm competition and can vary

Nina Wedell; Matthew Gage; Geoffrey Parker


Use of neonatal tolerization and chemical immunosuppression for the production of monoclonal antibodies to maturation-specific sperm surface molecules.  


Mammalian sperm acquire functional maturity as they move from the caput to the cauda epididymidis. Changes occur in the protein/glycoprotein composition of the sperm plasma membrane during this time, and may be essential to the maturation process. The production of monoclonal antibody (Mab) probes to the maturation-specific molecules has been difficult since new proteins comprise a minor portion of total membrane proteins. This report describes a protocol for enhancing the production of Mabs to maturation specific molecules. By injecting neonatal mice with caput epididymal sperm plasma membranes, in combination with chemical immunosuppression at adulthood, the mice were made tolerant to the antigens expressed on the caput sperm membranes. Subsequent immunization with cauda epididymal sperm plasma membranes allowed the production of Mabs to the maturation-specific moieties without the necessity for extensive antigen purification procedures. The majority of the resulting Mabs recognize cauda, not caput, epididymal sperm plasma membranes as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunocytochemistry on unfixed cells, and Western blot analyses, even though the protein profile from caput epididymal sperm plasma membranes is very similar to that from cauda membranes. The five Mabs described also recognize cauda fluid antigens, suggesting that the maturational changes on the sperm plasma membranes arise from interactions with the epididymal fluid. Use of the tolerization/immunosuppression protocol has provided Mab tools to assist in the study of sperm maturation during epididymal transit. PMID:1765566

Ensrud, K M; Hamilton, D W



Gamete therapeutics: recombinant protein adsorption by sperm for increasing fertility via artificial insemination.  


A decrease in fertility can have a negative economic impact, both locally and over a broader geographical scope, and this is especially the case with regard to the cattle industry. Therefore, much interest exists in evaluating proteins that might be able to increase the fertility of sperm. Heparin binding proteins (HBPs), specifically the fertility associated antigen (FAA) and the Type-2 tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-2), act to favor the capacitation and acrosome reaction and perhaps even modulate the immune system's response toward the sperm. The objective of this research was to determine the effect on fertility of adding recombinant FAA (rFAA) and recombinant TIMP-2 (rTIMP-2) to bovine semen before cryopreservation for use in an artificial insemination (AI) program in a tropical environment. For this experiment, 100 crossbred (Bos taurus x Bos indicus) heifers were selected based on their estrus cycle, body condition score (BCS), of 4 to 6 on a scale of 1 to 9, and adequate anatomical conformation evaluated by pelvic and genital (normal) measurements. Heifers were synchronized using estradiol benzoate (EB), Celosil® (PGF2?) (Shering-Plough) and a controlled internal drug release (CIDR) device was inserted that contained progesterone. Inseminations were performed in two groups at random, 50 animals per group. The control group was inseminated with conventional semen. The treatment group was inseminated with semen containing rFAA (25 µg/mL) and rTIMP-2 (25 µg/mL). In the control group a 16% pregnancy rate was obtained versus a 40% pregnancy rate for the HBP treatment group, resulting in a significant difference (P?=?0.0037). Given the results herein, one may conclude that the HBPs can increase fertility and could be an option for cattle in tropical conditions; however, one needs to consider the environment, nutrition, and the genetic interaction affecting the final result in whatever reproductive program that is implemented. PMID:23762288

Alvarez-Gallardo, Horacio; Kjelland, Michael E; Moreno, Juan F; Welsh, Thomas H; Randel, Ronald D; Lammoglia, Miguel A; Pérez-Martínez, Mario; Lara-Sagahón, Alma V; Esperón-Sumano, A Enrique; Romo, Salvador



Effects of polyamine biosynthesis inhibitors on the progesterone-initiated increase in intracellular free Ca2+ and acrosome reactions in human sperm.  


This laboratory has previously reported that progesterone can initiate a rapid transient increase in the concentration of intracellular free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) and an increase in a Ca(2+)-requiring exocytotic event, the acrosome reaction (AR) in human sperm. Rapid increases in Ca2+ fluxes of some mammalian cells caused by another steroid, testosterone, require polyamine biosynthesis. Herein, we tested two polyamine biosynthesis suicide inhibitors for their effects on the progesterone-initiated increase in [Ca2+]i and AR in capacitated human sperm in vitro: DL-alpha-(difluoromethyl)ornithine hydrochloride (DFMO), an inhibitor of putrescine synthesis by ornithine decarboxylase and (5'[[(Z)-4-amino-2-butenyl]methylamino]-5'-deoxyadenosine (MDL 73811), an inhibitor of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (required for spermidine and spermine synthesis). Sperm were capacitated in vitro and preincubated 10 min with 4.9 mM DFMO or 9.8 microM MDL 73811 with or without various polyamines (245 microM). Progesterone (3.09 microM final concentration) or progesterone solvent (ethanol, 0.1% final concentration) was then added, sperm fixed 1 min after additions and AR assayed by indirect immunofluorescence or with fluorescein-labeled Con A lectin. DFMO strongly inhibited the AR, but putrescine (product of ornithine decarboxylase and precursor of spermidine and spermine) reversed that inhibition. Preincubation for 25 min with DMFO + spermidine also reversed DFMO inhibition. MDL 73811 inhibited the progesterone-initiated AR, and a 10 min preincubation with spermidine, but not putrescine or spermine, reversed that inhibition. Preincubations with putrescine alone or with spermidine alone followed by addition of the progesterone solvent did not initiate the AR, and such preincubations followed by progesterone addition did not increase the AR more than progesterone alone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8471265

Meizel, S; Turner, K O




EPA Science Inventory

The rat is the preferred species for reproductive toxicity testing. The inclusion of measures of rat sperm quality, such as motility and morphology, into reproductive test protocols often increases the sensitivity of the test to detect effects, and provides the toxicologist and ...


Direct action of endocrine disrupting chemicals on human sperm.  


Synthetic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), omnipresent in food, household, and personal care products, have been implicated in adverse trends in human reproduction, including infertility and increasing demand for assisted reproduction. Here, we study the action of 96 ubiquitous EDCs on human sperm. We show that structurally diverse EDCs activate the sperm-specific CatSper channel and, thereby, evoke an intracellular Ca(2+) increase, a motility response, and acrosomal exocytosis. Moreover, EDCs desensitize sperm for physiological CatSper ligands and cooperate in low-dose mixtures to elevate Ca(2+) levels in sperm. We conclude that EDCs interfere with various sperm functions and, thereby, might impair human fertilization. PMID:24820036

Schiffer, Christian; Müller, Astrid; Egeberg, Dorte L; Alvarez, Luis; Brenker, Christoph; Rehfeld, Anders; Frederiksen, Hanne; Wäschle, Benjamin; Kaupp, U Benjamin; Balbach, Melanie; Wachten, Dagmar; Skakkebaek, Niels E; Almstrup, Kristian; Strünker, Timo



Sperm competition leads to functional adaptations in avian testes to maximize sperm quantity and quality.  


The outcome of sperm competition (i.e. competition for fertilization between ejaculates from different males) is primarily determined by the relative number and quality of rival sperm. Therefore, the testes are under strong selection to maximize both sperm number and quality, which are likely to result in trade-offs in the process of spermatogenesis (e.g. between the rate of spermatogenesis and sperm length or sperm energetics). Comparative studies have shown positive associations between the level of sperm competition and both relative testis size and the proportion of seminiferous (sperm-producing) tissue within the testes. However, it is unknown how the seminiferous tissue itself or the process of spermatogenesis might evolve in response to sperm competition. Therefore, we quantified the different germ cell types and Sertoli cells (SC) in testes to assess the efficiency of sperm production and its associations with sperm length and mating system across 10 species of New World Blackbirds (Icteridae) that show marked variation in sperm length and sperm competition level. We found that species under strong sperm competition generate more round spermatids (RS)/spermatogonium and have SC that support a greater number of germ cells, both of which are likely to increase the maximum sperm output. However, fewer of the RS appeared to elongate to mature spermatozoa in these species, which might be the result of selection for discarding spermatids with undesirable characteristics as they develop. Our results suggest that, in addition to overall size and gross morphology, testes have also evolved functional adaptations to maximize sperm quantity and quality. PMID:21307271

Lüpold, Stefan; Wistuba, Joachim; Damm, Oliver S; Rivers, James W; Birkhead, Tim R



Variation in paternity in the field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus: no detectable influence of sperm numbers or sperm length  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent attention has focused on the role that sperm competition may play in the evolution of sperm morphology. Theoretical analyses predict increased sperm size, decreased sperm size, and no change in sperm size in response to sperm competition, depending on the assumptions made concerning the life history and function of sperm. However, although there is good evidence that sperm morphology

Leigh W. Simmons; Julie Wernham; Francisco Garci´a-Gonza´lez; Dan Kamien



Effect of increasing paternal body mass index on pregnancy and live birth rates in couples undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  


In this study, our purpose was to investigate the possible effect of paternal obesity on intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcomes on the basis of clinical pregnancy outcome. Antropometric measurements of 155 couples, referred to our infertility clinic and who underwent an ICSI cycle, have been evaluated. The study sample were divided into three groups with respect to paternal body mass index (BMI), as normal weight (BMI: 20-24.9), overweight (BMI: 25-29.9) and obese (BMI ? 30). Results of conventional semen analysis were also analysed. Clinical pregnancy data, including fertilisation rate, implantation rate, clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate, were evaluated. Paternal obesity was a significant negative factor for sperm concentration and sperm motility (P = 0.03 and P = 0.01 respectively). A significant decrease of clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate was associated with increased paternal BMI (P = 0.04 and P = 0.03 respectively). We have not determined a significant difference among groups in terms of fertilisation rate and implantation rate. This study demonstrates that increasing paternal BMI has a negative influence on ICSI success, including clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate. There is a need for further studies to point the importance of lifestyle changes in order to overcome the negative influence of paternal obesity on couple's fertility. PMID:24717066

Umul, M; Köse, S A; Bilen, E; Altuncu, A G; Oksay, T; Güney, M



The Effect of Ambient Air Pollution on Sperm Quality  

PubMed Central

Background Research has suggested an association with ambient air pollution and sperm quality. Objectives We investigated the effect of exposure to ozone (O3) and particulate matter < 2.5 ?m in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) on sperm quality. Methods We reexamined a previous cohort study of water disinfection by-products to evaluate sperm quality in 228 presumed fertile men with different air pollution profiles. Outcomes included sperm concentration, total sperm per ejaculate (count), and morphology, as well as DNA integrity and chromatin maturity. Exposures to O3 and PM2.5 were evaluated for the 90–day period before sampling. We used multivariable linear regression, which included different levels of adjustment (i.e., without and with season and temperature) to assess the relationship between exposure to air pollutants during key periods of sperm development and adverse sperm outcomes. Results Sperm concentration and count were not associated with exposure to PM2.5, but there was evidence of an association (but not statistically significant) with O3 concentration and decreased sperm concentration and count. Additionally, a significant increase in the percentage of sperm cells with cytoplasmic drop [? = 2.64; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.21–5.06] and abnormal head (? = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.03–0.92) was associated with PM2.5 concentration in the base model. However, these associations, along with all other sperm outcomes, were not significantly associated with either pollutant after controlling for season and temperature. Overall, although we found both protective and adverse effects, there was generally no consistent pattern of increased abnormal sperm quality with elevated exposure to O3 or PM2.5. Conclusions Exposures to O3 or PM2.5 at levels below the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards were not associated with statistically significant decrements in sperm outcomes in this cohort of fertile men. However, some results suggested effects on sperm concentration, count, and morphology. PMID:20123611

Hansen, Craig; Luben, Thomas J.; Sacks, Jason D.; Olshan, Andrew; Jeffay, Susan; Strader, Lillian; Perreault, Sally D.



Sperm morphology and sperm velocity in passerine birds.  


Sperm velocity is one of the main determinants of the outcome of sperm competition. Since sperm vary considerably in their morphology between and within species, it seems likely that sperm morphology is associated with sperm velocity. Theory predicts that sperm velocity may be increased by enlarged midpiece (energetic component) or flagellum length (kinetic component), or by particular ratios between sperm components, such as between flagellum length and head size. However, such associations have rarely been found in empirical studies. In a comparative framework in passerine birds, we tested these theoretical predictions both across a wide range of species and within a single family, the New World blackbirds (Icteridae). In both study groups, sperm velocity was influenced by sperm morphology in the predicted direction. Consistent with theoretical models, these results show that selection on sperm morphology and velocity are likely to be concomitant evolutionary forces. PMID:19129098

Lüpold, Stefan; Calhim, Sara; Immler, Simone; Birkhead, Tim R



Production of F1 interspecies hybrid offspring with cryopreserved sperm from a live-bearing fish, the swordtail Xiphophorus helleri.  


Despite study of sperm cryopreservation in more than 200 fish species, production of broods from cryopreserved sperm in live-bearing fish has not been demonstrated. This has not been due to a lack of effort, but instead is a result of the unique morphology, biology, and biochemistry of reproduction in viviparous fishes. For example, sperm of Xiphophorus helleri have a cylindrical nucleus, can swim for days after being activated, have glycolytic capabilities, and can reside in the female reproduction tract for months before fertilization. These traits are not found in fishes with external fertilization. The long-standing research use of the genus Xiphophorus has led to development of over 60 pedigreed lines among the 26 species maintained around the world. These species and lines serve as contemporary models in medical research, although they must be maintained as live populations. Previous attempts at establishing sperm cryopreservation protocols for Xiphophorus have not produced live young. To address this we have been studying the parameters surrounding cryobiology of Xiphophorus sperm and applying this information to an improved understanding of internal fertilization and reproduction. Here we report the first successful fertilization and offspring production by cryopreserved sperm in any live-bearing fish. This claim is supported by our use of artificial insemination between two species that yield distinct hybrid offspring to verify paternity via cryopreserved sperm. We provide a practical approach for preservation of valuable genetic resources from live-bearing fish species, a group that is rapidly being lost due to destruction of native habitats. PMID:17108333

Yang, Huiping; Hazlewood, Leona; Heater, Sheila J; Guerrero, Paula A; Walter, Ronald B; Tiersch, Terrence R



Sperm output of older men  

Microsoft Academic Search

BACKGROUND: Declining fertility of couples from the fourth decade of life is largely attributable to the drop in female fertility. However, increasing numbers of men, whose fertility theoretically lasts until death, are seeking fer- tility treatment at older ages, yet there is little information on sperm production and function past the age of 50 years. The few studies of such

K. K. Ng; R. Donat; L. Chan; A. Lalak; I. Di Pierro; D. J. Handelsman



The secretory products of Trichomonas vaginalis decrease fertilizing capacity of mice sperm in vitro.  


Trichomonas vaginalis infection is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections in humans and is now recognized as an important cause of infertility in men. There is little information about the effect of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) from T. vaginalis on sperm, but previous reports do not provide a conclusive description of the functional integrity of the sperm. To investigate the impact of EPS on the fertilizing capacity of sperm, we assessed sperm motility, acrosomal status, hypo-osmotic swelling, and in vitrofertilization rate after incubating the sperm with EPS in vitrousing mice. The incubation of sperm with EPS significantly decreased sperm motility, viability, and functional integrity in a concentration and time-dependent manner. These effects on sperm quality also resulted in a decreased fertilization rate in vitro. This is the first report that demonstrates the direct negative impact of the EPS of T. vaginalis on the fertilization rate of sperm in vitro. However, further study should be performed using human sperm to determine if EPS has similar negative impact on human sperm fertilizing capacity in vitro. PMID:25578937

Roh, Jaesook; Lim, Young-Su; Seo, Min-Young; Choi, Yuri; Ryu, Jae-Sook



Comparative evidence for the evolution of sperm swimming speed by sperm competition and female sperm storage duration in passerine birds.  


Sperm swimming speed is an important determinant of male fertility and sperm competitiveness. Despite its fundamental biological importance, the underlying evolutionary processes affecting this male reproductive trait are poorly understood. Using a comparative approach in a phylogenetic framework, we tested the predictions that sperm swim faster with (1) increased risk of sperm competition, (2) shorter duration of female sperm storage, and (3) increased sperm length. We recorded sperm swimming speed in 42 North American and European free-living passerine bird species, representing 35 genera and 16 families. We found that sperm swimming speed was positively related to the frequency of extrapair paternity (a proxy for the risk of sperm competition) and negatively associated with clutch size (a proxy for the duration of female sperm storage). Sperm swimming speed was unrelated to sperm length, although sperm length also increased with the frequency of extrapair paternity. These results suggest that sperm swimming speed and sperm length are not closely associated traits and evolve independently in response to sperm competition in passerine birds. Our findings emphasize the significance of both sperm competition and female sperm storage duration as evolutionary forces driving sperm swimming speed. PMID:19453726

Kleven, Oddmund; Fossøy, Frode; Laskemoen, Terje; Robertson, Raleigh J; Rudolfsen, Geir; Lifjeld, Jan T



Production of F1 Offspring with Vitrified Sperm from a Live-Bearing Fish, the Green Swordtail Xiphophorus hellerii  

PubMed Central

Abstract This study reports the first production of offspring with vitrified sperm from a live-bearing fish Xiphophorus hellerii. The overall goal of this study was to develop streamlined protocols for integration into a standardized approach for vitrification of aquatic species germplasm. The objectives were to (1) estimate acute toxicity of cryoprotectants, (2) evaluate vitrification solutions, (3) compare different thawing methods, (4) evaluate membrane integrity of post-thaw sperm vitrified in different cryoprotectants, and (5) evaluate the fertility of vitrified sperm. Nine cryoprotectants and two commercial vitrification additives were tested for acute toxicity and glass forming ability, alone and in combination. Two vitrification solutions, 40% glycerol (Gly) and 20% Gly+20% ethylene glycol (EG) in 500?mOsmol/kg Hanks' balanced salt solution (HBSS), were selected for vitrification of 10??L sperm samples using inoculating loops plunged into liquid nitrogen. Samples were thawed at 24°C (one loop in 5??L of HBSS or three loops in 500??L of HBSS). Samples thawed in 500??L were concentrated by centrifugation (1000 g for 5?min at 4°C) into 5??L for artificial insemination. Offspring were produced from virgin females inseminated with sperm vitrified with 20% Gly+20% EG and concentrated by centrifugation. PMID:21883000

Cuevas-Uribe, Rafael; Yang, Huiping; Daly, Jonathan; Savage, Markita G.; Walter, Ronald B.



Production of F? offspring with vitrified sperm from a live-bearing fish, the green swordtail Xiphophorus hellerii.  


This study reports the first production of offspring with vitrified sperm from a live-bearing fish Xiphophorus hellerii. The overall goal of this study was to develop streamlined protocols for integration into a standardized approach for vitrification of aquatic species germplasm. The objectives were to (1) estimate acute toxicity of cryoprotectants, (2) evaluate vitrification solutions, (3) compare different thawing methods, (4) evaluate membrane integrity of post-thaw sperm vitrified in different cryoprotectants, and (5) evaluate the fertility of vitrified sperm. Nine cryoprotectants and two commercial vitrification additives were tested for acute toxicity and glass forming ability, alone and in combination. Two vitrification solutions, 40% glycerol (Gly) and 20% Gly+20% ethylene glycol (EG) in 500?mOsmol/kg Hanks' balanced salt solution (HBSS), were selected for vitrification of 10??L sperm samples using inoculating loops plunged into liquid nitrogen. Samples were thawed at 24°C (one loop in 5??L of HBSS or three loops in 500??L of HBSS). Samples thawed in 500??L were concentrated by centrifugation (1000 g for 5?min at 4°C) into 5??L for artificial insemination. Offspring were produced from virgin females inseminated with sperm vitrified with 20% Gly+20% EG and concentrated by centrifugation. PMID:21883000

Cuevas-Uribe, Rafael; Yang, Huiping; Daly, Jonathan; Savage, Markita G; Walter, Ronald B; Tiersch, Terrence R



Production of Diabetic Offspring Using Cryopreserved Epididymal Sperm by In Vitro Fertilization and Intrafallopian Insemination Techniques in Transgenic Pigs  

PubMed Central

Abstract Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a useful technique for creating pig strains that model human diseases. However, production of numerous cloned disease model pigs by SCNT for large-scale experiments is impractical due to its complexity and inefficiency. In the present study, we aimed to establish an efficient procedure for proliferating the diabetes model pig carrying the mutant human hepatocyte nuclear factor-1? gene. A founder diabetes transgenic cloned pig was generated by SCNT and treated with insulin to allow for normal growth to maturity, at which point epididymal sperm could be collected for cryopreservation. In vitro fertilization and intrafallopian insemination using the cryopreserved epididymal sperm resulted in diabetes model transgenic offspring. These results suggest that artificial reproductive technology using cryopreserved epididymal sperm could be a practical option for proliferation of genetically modified disease model pigs. PMID:23979397

UMEYAMA, Kazuhiro; HONDA, Kasumi; MATSUNARI, Hitomi; NAKANO, Kazuaki; HIDAKA, Tatsuro; SEKIGUCHI, Keito; MOCHIZUKI, Hironori; TAKEUCHI, Yasuhiro; FUJIWARA, Tsukasa; WATANABE, Masahito; NAGAYA, Masaki; NAGASHIMA, Hiroshi



Efficacy of sperm wash media in improving sperm motility.  


Spermatozoa from 15 fertile men were washed with Ham's F10 and incubated with two commercially available sperm nutrient media for 2, 4, 6, and 24 h. Both sperm capacitation medium (Irvine Scientific Co., Santa Ana, CA) and Pro-ception (Milex Products, Inc., Chicago, IL) proved to be capable of improving sperm motion characteristics. These media may be used for incubating sperm for intrauterine insemination or for in vitro fertilization. PMID:3395154

Daru, J; Mathur, S; Williamson, H O



Effect of Supplementation with Agro-industrial By-products and Khat (Catha edulis) leftovers on testicular growth and sperm production in Ogaden bucks.  


The aim of this study was to characterize growth and sperm production parameters in Ogaden bucks fed a basal diet of hay and supplemented with agro-industrial by-products and Khat leftovers in Ethiopia. Thirty-five bucks with a mean (+/-SD) initial live body weight (BW) of 15.5 +/- 1.5 kg were randomly assigned to one of four dietary treatments for a period of 13 weeks. Treatments consisted of native hay fed ad libitum (control; C), native hay supplemented with a 1% of BW agro-industrial by-products (treatment 1; T1), native hay supplemented with Khat (Catha edulis) leftovers at a rate of 1% of BW (treatment 2; T2) and Khat leftovers fed ad libitum (treatment 3; T3). Bucks fed on T1-T3 had higher BW, body condition score, scrotal circumference (SC), testicular width and testicular length, compared to controls (P < 0.05). Also, bucks in T1-T3 had higher sperm progressive motility, sperm concentration per ml and total number of spermatozoa per ejaculate compared to controls (P < 0.05). Between treatments, bucks in T3 recorded the highest BW (17.2 +/- 0.16) and testicular size (21.1 +/- 0.17 cm). Both testicular and epididymal weight and dimensions were significantly affected (P < 0.05) by supplementation compared to controls. Testicular size was positively correlated to live BW (r = 0.53, P < 0.001). SC was positively correlated with ejaculate volume (r = 0.37, P < 0.001), sperm mass activity (r = 0.65, P < 0.001) and individual sperm progressive motility (r = 0.40; P < 0.001). Supplementation with Khat leftovers induced the highest improvement in live BW, testicular size, semen production and sperm motility in Ogaden bucks and can possibly be considered as a feed supplement to enhance goat production under smallholder livestock farming system in Ethiopia. PMID:17381680

Mekasha, Y; Tegegne, A; Rodriguez-Martinez, H



An Extract of Pomegranate Fruit and Galangal Rhizome Increases the Numbers of Motile Sperm: A Prospective, Randomised, Controlled, Double-Blinded Trial  

PubMed Central

Pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum) and galangal (Alpinia galanga) have separately been shown to stimulate spermatogenesis and to increase sperm counts and motility in rodents. Within traditional medicine, pomegranate fruit has long been used to increase fertility, however studies on the effect on spermatogenesis in humans have never been published. With this study we investigated whether oral intake of tablets containing standardised amounts of extract of pomegranate fruit and powder of greater galangal rhizome (Punalpin) would increase the total number of motile spermatozoa. The study was designed as a prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial. Enrolment was based on the mean total number of motile spermatozoa of two ejaculates. The participants delivered an ejaculate after 4–8 days of tablet intake and two ejaculates just before they stopped taking the tablets. Seventy adult men with a semen quality not meeting the standards for commercial application at Nordic Cryobank, but without azoospermia, were included in the study. Participants were randomized to take tablets containing extract of pomegranate fruit (standardised with respect to punicalagin A+B, punicalin and ellagic acid) and freeze-dried rhizome of greater galangal (standardised with respect to 1?S-1?-acetoxychavicol acetate) or placebo on a daily basis for three months. Sixty-six participants completed the intervention (active treatment: n?=?34; placebo: n?=?32). After the intervention the total number of motile spermatozoa was increased in participants treated with plant extracts compared with the placebo group (p?=?0.026). After three months of active treatment, the average total number of motile sperm increased by 62% (from 23.4 to 37.8 millions), while for the placebo group, the number of motile sperm increased by 20%. Sperm morphology was not affected by the treatment. Our findings may help subfertile men to gain an improved amount of motile ejaculated sperm by taking tablets containing preparations of pomegranate fruit extract and rhizome of greater galangal. Trial Registration NCT01357044 PMID:25275520

Fedder, Maja D. K.; Jakobsen, Henrik B.; Giversen, Ina; Christensen, Lars P.; Parner, Erik T.; Fedder, Jens



A Quality Assurance Initiative for Commercial-Scale Production in High-Throughput Cryopreservation of Blue Catfish Sperm  

PubMed Central

Cryopreservation of fish sperm has been studied for decades at a laboratory (research) scale. However, high-throughput cryopreservation of fish sperm has recently been developed to enable industrial-scale production. This study treated blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) sperm high-throughput cryopreservation as a manufacturing production line and initiated quality assurance plan development. The main objectives were to identify: 1) the main production quality characteristics; 2) the process features for quality assurance; 3) the internal quality characteristics and their specification designs; 4) the quality control and process capability evaluation methods, and 5) the directions for further improvements and applications. The essential product quality characteristics were identified as fertility-related characteristics. Specification design which established the tolerance levels according to demand and process constraints was performed based on these quality characteristics. Meanwhile, to ensure integrity throughout the process, internal quality characteristics (characteristics at each quality control point within process) that could affect fertility-related quality characteristics were defined with specifications. Due to the process feature of 100% inspection (quality inspection of every fish), a specific calculation method, use of cumulative sum (CUSUM) control charts, was applied to monitor each quality characteristic. An index of overall process evaluation, process capacity, was analyzed based on in-control process and the designed specifications, which further integrates the quality assurance plan. With the established quality assurance plan, the process could operate stably and quality of products would be reliable. PMID:23872356

Hu, E; Liao, T. W.; Tiersch, T. R.



Comparative responses of sperm cells and embryos of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) to exposure to metolachlor and its degradation products.  


Metolachlor is one of the most intensively used chloroacetanilide herbicides in agriculture. Consequently, it has been frequently detected in coastal waters as well as its major degradation products, metolachlor ethane sulfonic acid (MESA) and metolachlor oxanilic acid (MOA) which are encountered at higher concentrations than metolachlor. Although a few studies of metolachlor toxicity have been conducted on marine organisms, little is known about the environmental toxicity of metolachlor degradation products. In this study, the deleterious effects of metolachlor and its degradation products on spermatozoa and embryos of Crassostrea gigas have been compared using biomarkers of developmental defects, DNA damage and gene transcription levels. After 24h exposure, significant increases in the percentage of abnormal D-larvae and DNA damage were observed from 0.01 ?g L(-1) for S-metolachlor and 0.1 ?g L(-1) for MESA and MOA. Results showed that S-metolachlor was more embryotoxic and genotoxic than its degradation products. Oyster sperm was also very sensitive to metolachlor exposure and followed the pattern: metolachlor (0.01 ?g L(-1))>MOA (0.1 ?g L(-1))>MESA (1 ?g L(-1)). Metolachlor and MESA mainly triggered variations in the transcription level of genes encoding proteins involved in oxidative stress responses (mitochondrial superoxide dismutase and catalase). Overall, no significant variation in transcription levels could be detected in C. gigas embryos exposed to MOA. This study demonstrates that metolachlor and its main degradation products have the potential to impact several steps of oyster development and therefore recruitment in coastal areas exposed to chronic inputs of pesticides. PMID:24378469

Mai, Huong; Gonzalez, Patrice; Pardon, Patrick; Tapie, Nathalie; Budzinski, Hélène; Cachot, Jérôme; Morin, Bénédicte



Effect of nutritional supplementation of Khat ( Catha edulis) on testicular growth and sperm production in Ethiopian bucks  

Microsoft Academic Search

A study was conducted to characterize body and testicular growth and sperm production parameters in indigenous Ogaden goats fed a basal diet of hay and supplemented with either Khat leftovers or a concentrate. Forty bucks with a mean (±S.D.) initial body weight (BW) of 15.5±1.5kg were selected and randomly assigned to one of four dietary treatments for a period of

Yoseph Mekasha; Azage Tegegne; Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez


The evolution of sperm morphometry in pheasants  

Microsoft Academic Search

Post-copulatory sexual selection is thought to be a potent evolutionary force driving the diversification of sperm shape and function across species. In birds, insemination and fertilization are separated in time and sperm storage increases the duration of sperm-female interaction and hence the opportunity for sperm competition and cryptic female choice. We performed a comparative study of 24 pheasant species (Phasianidae,




ORIGINAL PAPER Rapid evolution of sperm length in response to increased  

E-print Network

in an ectothermic fish Ross D. Breckels · Bryan D. Neff Received: 27 August 2013 / Accepted: 10 February 2014. Tropical ectotherms are expected to be par- ticularly sensitive to this temperature increase because species, such as tropical ectotherms, are living close to their thermal tolerance limit so there is little

Neff, Bryan D.


Seminal fluid promotes in vitro sperm-oviduct binding in the domestic cat (Felis catus).  


From many endangered or threatened species which are expected to profit from assisted reproduction techniques, mainly epididymal sperm of dead or freshly castrated males are available. These sperm had contact to epididymal secretion products but not to seminal fluid components. Notably, products of accessory sex glands have been shown in domestic animals to condition sperm for fertilization, in particular by mediating sperm-oviduct interaction. We report for the first time that motile epididymal sperm from domestic cats are able to bind to fresh oviduct epithelial cell explants from preovulatory females (median [min, max] of 10 [8, 16] and 10 [8, 17] sperm per 0.01 mm(2) explant surface from both isthmic and ampullar regions, respectively). More sperm attach to the explants when epididymal sperm were preincubated for 30 minutes with seminal fluid separated from electroejaculates of mature tomcats (median [min, max] of 17 [13, 25] and 16 [12, 21] sperm per 0.01 mm(2) explant surface from isthmus and ampulla, respectively). The proportion of bound sperm increased from a median of 54% to 62% by seminal fluid treatment. Sperm-oviduct binding could be facilitated by the decelerated sperm motion which was observed in seminal fluid-treated samples or supported by seminal fluid proteins newly attached to the sperm surface. Seminal fluid had no effect on the proportion of sperm with active mitochondria. Extent and pattern of sperm interaction in vitro were independent of explant origin from isthmus or ampulla. Sperm were attached to both cilia and microvilli of the main epithelial cell types present in all explants. In contrast to published sperm-binding studies with porcine and bovine oviduct explants where predominantly the anterior head region of sperm was attached to ciliated cells, the tails of some cat sperm were firmly stuck to the oviduct cell surfaces, whereas the heads were wobbling. Whether this response is a preliminary step toward phagocytosis or a precondition to capacitation and fertilization remains to be determined. In conclusion, treatment of epididymal sperm with seminal fluid or particular protein components should be considered in future investigations for its potential to improve the outcome of artificial insemination in felids. PMID:25735636

Henry, F; Eder, S; Reynaud, K; Schön, J; Wibbelt, G; Fontbonne, A; Müller, K



Sperm swimming speed and energetics vary with sperm competition risk in bluegill ( Lepomis macrochirus )  

Microsoft Academic Search

Under sperm competition, a male’s fertilization success depends largely on the ejaculate characteristics of competing males. Theoretical models predict that, in external fertilizers, increased risk of sperm competition should result in selection for increased sperm swimming speed. To test this prediction, we studied the behavior of sperm from parental and sneaker male bluegill ( Lepomis macrochirus), a fish species characterized

Gary Burness; Stephen J. Casselman; Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde; Christopher D. Moyes; Robert Montgomerie



In vitro production of cattlexbuffalo hybrid embryos using cattle oocytes and African buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer) epididymal sperm.  


Interspecies hybridization of bovids occurs between domestic cattle and at least three other species; American bison (Bison bison), yak (Bos grunniens) and banteng (Bos banteng). Birth of a cattlexbuffalo (Bubalus bubalis) hybrid has reportedly occurred in Russia and in China, but these reports were not authenticated. Such hybrids could be important in improving livestock production and management of diseases that impede production in tropical Africa. This study investigated hybridization between cattle and its closest African wild bovid relative, the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer). In an attempt to produce cattlexbuffalo hybrid embryos in vitro, matured cattle oocytes were subjected to a standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure with either homologous cattle (n=1166 oocytes) or heterologous African buffalo (n=1202 oocytes) frozen-thawed epididymal sperm. After IVF, 67.2% of the oocytes inseminated with the homologous cattle sperm cleaved. In contrast, fertilization with buffalo sperm resulted in only a 4.6% cleavage rate. The cleavage intervals were also slower in hybrid embryos than in the IVF-derived cattle embryos. Of the cleaved homologous cattle embryos 52.2% progressed to the morula stage compared with 12.7% for the buffalo hybrid embryos. No hybrid embryos developed beyond the early morula stage, while 40.1% of the cleaved cattlexcattle embryos developed to the blastocyst stage. Transfer of buffalo hybrid IVF embryos to domestic cattle surrogates resulted in no pregnancies at 60 days post-transfer. This study indicates that interspecies fertilization of cattle oocytes with African buffalo epididymal sperm can occur in vitro, and that a barrier to hybridization occurs in the early stages of embryonic development. Chromosomal disparity is likely the cause of the fertilization abnormalities, abnormal development and subsequent arrest impairing the formation of hybrid embryos beyond the early morula stage. Transfer of the buffalo hybrid embryos did not rescue the embryos from development arrest. PMID:19118889

Owiny, O D; Barry, D M; Agaba, M; Godke, R A



Effects of intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion in American black bears (Ursus americanus).  


Eight adult American black bears were used to evaluate the effects of chemical castration by intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion. Treatment did not affect testicular dimensions and did not result in decreased resting or GnRH-stimulated testosterone secretion. Multifocal hyperchoic areas in the testicular parenchyma were observed on ultrasound examination, and white foci were observed on gross pathology examination after zinc gluconate treatment. Histologically, there were normal seminiferous tubules containing either round or elongated spermatids, along with abnormal tubules in all bears after treatment. Vacuolation of the seminiferous epithelium, sloughing of germ cells into the tubules' lumen, presence of multinuclear giant cells, and reduced height of the seminiferous epithelium with missing generations of germ cells were commonly observed. The most severe testicular changes were multifocal and included fibrosis, complete degeneration of the seminiferous epithelium with shrinkage of the tubule, and sperm stasis. Epididymal sperm reserve was 982.74 ± 654.16 × 10(6) sperm (mean ± SEM) and motile sperm were observed in the epididymis of all but one of the bears. In conclusion, although intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment in black bears resulted in testicular degenerative changes detected by ultrasound and histology examinations, sperm production was not completely ablated. We inferred that normal fertility might have been compromised, but treatment unlikely resulted in sterility. PMID:21356548

Brito, Leonardo F C; Sertich, Patricia L; Rives, William; Knobbe, Marc; Del Piero, Fabio; Stull, Gordon B



A diet supplemented with l-carnitine improves the sperm quality of Piétrain but not of Duroc and Large White boars when photoperiod and temperature increase  

Microsoft Academic Search

It has been reported that a diet supplemented with l-carnitine can improve sperm quality in some mammalian species. Against this background, the current study seeks to determine the effects of feeding l-carnitine (625mg·day?1) on boar semen characteristics (ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, sperm viability, acrosome and mitochondrial sheath integrity, sperm motility, sperm morphology, and osmotic resistance of spermatozoa) in three different

M. Yeste; S. Sancho; M. Briz; E. Pinart; E. Bussalleu; S. Bonet



Fracturing high-permeability reservoirs increases productivity  

SciTech Connect

Hydraulic fracturing of high-permeability reservoirs has increased long-term hydrocarbon production and reduced sand production in many areas of the world. A key element is the reduction of near well bore drawdown during production. Drawdown, the difference between reservoir and production pressures, is the driving force for flow into the well bore. As drawdown increases because of higher production rates or depletion, formation instability may cause fines and sand to migrate into the well bore region. A greater well bore radius reduces both radial velocity and drawdown. Fracturing beyond the well bore region effectively bypasses the damaged zone, increasing the effective radius of the well bore and enabling higher flow rates with lower drawdown pressures. In essence, the reservoir energy is used more efficiently because the conductive proppant bed bypasses the near well bore restrictions. The paper discusses candidate well selection; proppant selection; sand control; minifrac procedures; spurt losses; fracture design; equipment; case histories in West Africa and offshore Louisiana.

Dusterhoft, R.G. (Halliburton Energy Services, Duncan, OK (United States)); Chapman, B.J. (Halliburton Energy Services, New Orleans, LA (United States))



Sexing mammalian sperm for production of offspring: the state-of-the-art  

Microsoft Academic Search

Predetermination of sex in livestock offspring is in great demand and is of critical importance to providing for the most efficient production of the world's food supply. With the changes that have taken place in animal agriculture over the past generation the application of sex preselection to production systems becomes increasingly necessary. The current technology is based on the well-known

L. A Johnson



Variability in sperm form and function in the context of sperm competition risk in two Tupinambis lizards  

PubMed Central

In polyandrous species, sperm morphometry and sperm velocity are under strong sexual selection. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the role of sperm competition in sperm trait variation, this aspect is still poorly understood. It has been suggested that an increase in sperm competition pressure could reduce sperm size variation or produce a diversity of sperm to maximize male fertilization success. We aim at elucidating the variability of sperm morphometric traits and velocity in two Tupinambis lizards in the context of sperm competition risk. Sperm traits showed substantial variation at all levels examined: between species, among males within species, and within the ejaculate of individual males. Sperm velocity was found to be positively correlated with flagellum: midpiece ratio, with relatively longer flagella associated with faster sperm. Our results document high variability in sperm form and function in lizards. PMID:25505535

Blengini, Cecilia S; Sergio, Naretto; Gabriela, Cardozo; Giojalas, Laura C; Margarita, Chiaraviglio



Sperm production in an extremophile fish, the cave molly ( Poecilia mexicana , Poeciliidae, Teleostei)  

Microsoft Academic Search

A prominent trade-off in life history theory and evolution balances the costs of reproduction with those of basic somatic\\u000a needs. Hence, reproductive efforts may be reduced in environments where additional energy is required for somatic maintenance.\\u000a Here, we investigated male sperm stores in Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana) from a sulfidic cave and several sulfidic and non-sulfidic surface habitats. We found

Courtney M. Franssen; Michael Tobler; Rüdiger Riesch; Francisco J. García de León; Ralph Tiedemann; Ingo Schlupp; Martin Plath



Sperm studies in anesthesiologists  

SciTech Connect

Semen samples were collected from 46 anesthesiologists each of whom had worked a minimum of one year in hospital operating rooms ventilated with modern gas-scavenging devices. Samples collected from 26 beginning residents in anesthesiology served as controls. Concentrations of sperm and percentage of sperm having abnormal head shapes were determined for each sample. No significant differences were found between anesthesiologists and beginning residents. Limiting the analyses to men having no confounding factors (varicocele, recent illness, medications, heavy smoking, frequent sauna use) did not change the results. The sperm concentration and morphology in 13 men did not change signficantly after one year of exposure to anesthetic gases. However, the group of men who had one or more confounding factors (excluding exposure to anesthetic gases) showed significantly higher percentages of sperm abnormalities than did the group of men without such factors. These results suggest that limited exposure to anesthetic gases does not significantly affect sperm production as judged by changes in sperm concentration and morphology. These data are reassuring, but since the hospitals surveyed used modern gas-scavenging devices, men who are occupationally exposed to anesthetic gases without this protection should be studied for fuller assessment of the possible human spermatotoxic effects.

Wyrobek, A.J. (Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA); Brodsky, J.; Gordon, l.; Moore, D.H., II; Watchmaker, G.; Cohen, E.N.



In vitro production of functional sperm in cultured neonatal mouse testes.  


Spermatogenesis is one of the most complex and longest processes of sequential cell proliferation and differentiation in the body, taking more than a month from spermatogonial stem cells, through meiosis, to sperm formation. The whole process, therefore, has never been reproduced in vitro in mammals, nor in any other species with a very few exceptions in some particular types of fish. Here we show that neonatal mouse testes which contain only gonocytes or primitive spermatogonia as germ cells can produce spermatids and sperm in vitro with serum-free culture media. Spermatogenesis was maintained over 2?months in tissue fragments positioned at the gas-liquid interphase. The obtained spermatids and sperm resulted in healthy and reproductively competent offspring through microinsemination. In addition, neonatal testis tissues were cryopreserved and, after thawing, showed complete spermatogenesis in vitro. Our organ culture method could be applicable through further refinements to a variety of mammalian species, which will serve as a platform for future clinical application as well as mechanistic understanding of spermatogenesis. PMID:21430778

Sato, Takuya; Katagiri, Kumiko; Gohbara, Ayako; Inoue, Kimiko; Ogonuki, Narumi; Ogura, Atsuo; Kubota, Yoshinobu; Ogawa, Takehiko



Increasing productivity through Total Reuse Management (TRM)  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Total Reuse Management (TRM) is a new concept currently being promoted by the NASA Langley Software Engineering and Ada Lab (SEAL). It uses concepts similar to those promoted in Total Quality Management (TQM). Both technical and management personnel are continually encouraged to think in terms of reuse. Reuse is not something that is aimed for after a product is completed, but rather it is built into the product from inception through development. Lowering software development costs, reducing risk, and increasing code reliability are the more prominent goals of TRM. Procedures and methods used to adopt and apply TRM are described. Reuse is frequently thought of as only being applicable to code. However, reuse can apply to all products and all phases of the software life cycle. These products include management and quality assurance plans, designs, and testing procedures. Specific examples of successfully reused products are given and future goals are discussed.

Schuler, M. P.



Exploring Increased Productivity Through Employee Engagement  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies billions of dollars annually in lowered productivity, a cost which has been compounded by the difficult economic situations in the country. The potential for increasing productivity through increased employee engagement was examined in this study. Using personal engagement theory and the theory of planned behavior, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how the experiences of salaried aerospace employees affected productivity and the financial performance of an organization. Interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 20 aerospace employees whose responses were codified and analyzed to identify themes. The analysis indicated that (a) the lived experiences of employees influenced employee engagement, (b) employee engagement affects organizational commitment and performance, and (c) trust and respect and leadership are essential components to keep employees engaged. Eighty percent of the participants indicated that as employee engagement increases so too does organizational performance. The implications for positive social change include new insights for leaders seeking to increase productivity and financial performance, and to support employee engagement for maintaining sustainability, retaining talent, increasing profits, and improving the economy.

Richards, Wayne K., Jr.


Increasing crop production through more controlled photosynthesis  

Microsoft Academic Search

Some of the information about photosynthesis and related biosynthesis that might be used to develop strategies for increasing crop yields are discussed. It seems possible that techniques of plant breeding can be used to exploit or improve some of the biochemical characteristics now understood for green plants. There may be specifically designed chemicals--for example, glycidate--that can alter production. Finally, we

J. A. Bassham



Increasing Sales by Developing Production Consortiums.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Intended to help rehabilitation facility administrators increase organizational income from manufacturing and/or contracted service sources, this document provides a decision-making model for the development of a production consortium. The document consists of five chapters and two appendices. Chapter 1 defines the consortium concept, explains…

Smith, Christopher A.; Russo, Robert


Four products from Escherichia coli pseudogenes increase hydrogen production q  

E-print Network

Four products from Escherichia coli pseudogenes increase hydrogen production q Mohd Zulkhairi Mohd Escherichia coli pseudogene ydfW ypdJ yqiG ylcE a b s t r a c t Pseudogenes are considered to be nonfunctional genes that lack a physiological role. By screening 3985 Escherichia coli mutants using chemochromic

Wood, Thomas K.


Increasing the availability of national mapping products.  

USGS Publications Warehouse

A discussion of the means employed by the US Geological Survey to facilitate map usage, covering aspects of project Map Accessibility Program including special rolled and folded map packaging, new market testing, parks and campgrounds program, expanded map dealer program, new booklet-type State sales index and catalog and new USGS map reference code. The USGS is seen as the producer of a tremendous nation-wide inventory of topographic and related map products available in unprecedented types, formats and scales, and as endeavouring to increase access to its products. The new USGS map reference code is appended. -J.C.Stone

Roney, J.I.; Ogilvie, B.C.



Sperm storage in caecilian amphibians  

PubMed Central

Background Female sperm storage has evolved independently multiple times among vertebrates to control reproduction in response to the environment. In internally fertilising amphibians, female salamanders store sperm in cloacal spermathecae, whereas among anurans sperm storage in oviducts is known only in tailed frogs. Facilitated through extensive field sampling following historical observations we tested for sperm storing structures in the female urogenital tract of fossorial, tropical caecilian amphibians. Findings In the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, aggregated sperm were present in a distinct region of the posterior oviduct but not in the cloaca in six out of seven vitellogenic females prior to oviposition. Spermatozoa were found most abundantly between the mucosal folds. In relation to the reproductive status decreased amounts of sperm were present in gravid females compared to pre-ovulatory females. Sperm were absent in females past oviposition. Conclusions Our findings indicate short-term oviductal sperm storage in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. We assume that in female caecilians exhibiting high levels of parental investment sperm storage has evolved in order to optimally coordinate reproductive events and to increase fitness. PMID:22672478



[Level of DNA fragmentation in human sperm cells in varicocele and prostatitis].  


Varicocele and prostatitis are the most common andrological diseases, which may be accompanied by a decrease in the production of sperm cells, the deterioration of their quality and increased risk of infertility. This work was aimed to the evaluation of sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI) and main indices of sperm fertility (concentration, motility and morphology), and the relationship between these parameters in the men of active reproductive age suffering from prostatitis or varicocele. Assessment of sperm DNA fragmentation was performed by SCSA (sperm chromatin structure assay) using flow cytometry; sperm parameters were evaluated according to WHO recommendations. It was shown that men with prostatitis (n = 9) and varicocele (n = 22) had significantly higher DFI compared with men in the control group (n = 22). Negative influence of these diseases on the concentration and the percentage of motile sperm cells in the ejaculate was revealed. These data suggest that the deterioration in the quality of semen in varicocele and prostatitis may be caused not only by pathospermia, but also, at least partially, by violation of the integrity of the sperm DNA. Evaluation of sperm DNA fragmentation can be recommended for use in laboratory diagnostics for prediction of fertility in infertile men. PMID:25211925

Osadchuk, L V; Erkovich, A A; Tataru, D A; Markova, E V; Svetlakov, A V



Effects of intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion in American black bears ( Ursus americanus)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Eight adult American black bears were used to evaluate the effects of chemical castration by intratesticular zinc gluconate treatment on testicular dimensions, echodensity, histology, sperm production, and testosterone secretion. Treatment did not affect testicular dimensions and did not result in decreased resting or GnRH-stimulated testosterone secretion. Multifocal hyperchoic areas in the testicular parenchyma were observed on ultrasound examination, and white

Leonardo F. C. Brito; Patricia L. Sertich; William Rives; Marc Knobbe; Fabio Del Piero; Gordon B. Stull



Ten-week exposure to treated sewage discharge has relatively minor, variable effects on reproductive behavior and sperm production in goldfish.  


It is well established that effluent from many sewage treatment plants (STPs) possesses estrogenic properties; however, the biological significance of this estrogenicity to fish reproductive behavior and sperm production is unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that 10-week exposure to a STP effluent with well-established estrogenic properties compromises the reproductive vigor of mature goldfish by decreasing the intensity of their reproductive drive and sperm production. Male goldfish were exposed for 10 weeks to one of four treatments: well water, a solvent control, 50 ng/L estradiol (E2), or undiluted effluent from a major metropolitan STP. Two trials were conducted, one in the winter and one in the summer when the effluent was chlorinated. Exposure to effluent in both the summer and winter trials induced small, but nonsignificant, decreases in the frequency of male spawning behaviors but had no effect on sperm production. Exposure to E2 caused a clear reduction in spawning behavior in one trial while causing reduced sperm production in both trials. We conclude that the effect of effluent exposure from this STP on adult fish is likely to be relatively minor and that the effluent's estrogenic properties may vary over the course of the year. PMID:12371496

Schoenfuss, Heiko L; Levitt, James T; Van der Kraak, Glen; Sorensen, Peter W



Effect of calcium, bicarbonate, and albumin on capacitation-related events in equine sperm.  


Repeatable methods for IVF have not been established in the horse, reflecting the failure of standard capacitating media to induce changes required for fertilization capacity in equine sperm. One important step in capacitation is membrane cholesterol efflux, which in other species is triggered by cholesterol oxidation and is typically enhanced using albumin as a sterol acceptor. We incubated equine sperm in the presence of calcium, BSA, and bicarbonate, alone or in combination. Bicarbonate induced an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) that was abolished by the addition of calcium or BSA. Bicarbonate induced protein tyrosine phosphorylation (PY), even in the presence of calcium or BSA. Incubation at high pH enhanced PY but did not increase ROS production. Notably, no combination of these factors was associated with significant cholesterol efflux, as assessed by fluorescent quantitative cholesterol assay and confirmed by filipin staining. By contrast, sperm treated with methyl-?-cyclodextrin showed a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, but no significant increase in PY or ROS. Presence of BSA increased sperm binding to bovine zonae pellucidae in all three stallions. These results show that presence of serum albumin is not associated with a reduction in membrane cholesterol levels in equine sperm, highlighting the failure of equine sperm to exhibit core capacitation-related changes in a standard capacitating medium. These data indicate an atypical relationship among cholesterol efflux, ROS production, and PY in equine sperm. Our findings may help to elucidate factors affecting failure of equine IVF under standard conditions. PMID:25349439

Macías-García, B; González-Fernández, L; Loux, S C; Rocha, A M; Guimarães, T; Peña, F J; Varner, D D; Hinrichs, K



Cryoprotective effect of phosphorous-containing phenolic anti-oxidant for the cryopreservation of beluga sperm.  


A cryoprotective effect of an addition of a new synthetic antioxidant - a representative of phosphorus-containing sterically hindered phenols is presented. The efficiency of the compound was shown to exceed the effect of lipid-soluble antioxidants butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and trolox in the conditions of cryopreservation of beluga sperm in the presence of the modified Stein's medium. It was shown that the level of carbonyl oxidation by-products, which can react with thiobarbituric acid (TBARS), in beluga sperm was inversely proportional to the motility time of sperm cells. The fertility of beluga sperm increased 2 times upon the addition of phosphorus-containing phenol to a modified Stein's medium. The prospects of the new antioxidant application to improve cryoresistance of beluga sperm in the conditions of cryopreservation for its efficient protection from the peroxidation processes are discussed. PMID:25445463

Osipova, V P; Kolyada, M N; Berberova, N T; Milaeva, E R; Ponomareva, E N; Belaya, M M



Fire increases dust production from chaparral soils  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

By altering the physical and chemical properties of a landscape, fire may increase its vulnerability to erosive processes. Whereas sediment transport by surface runoff after fires has been often investigated, less is known about the role of wind erosion in burned terrain. To examine how fire might increase a soil's vulnerability to aeolian transport, intact soil samples were collected from a chaparral landscape in southern California and heated with a propane torch with temperatures ranging from 250 to 1025 °C and for durations of 5-60 min to simulate a variety of burn severities. The samples were then subjected to simulated wind and the amounts of eroded sediment were measured. Results indicate a linear increase in the production of wind-erodible sediment with applied heat up to ~ 10 MJ/m2. The increase was not due to a reduction in the threshold shear velocity of the soil surface but, instead, to the role of heat in detaching erodible material. In these soils, organic material may be an important binding agent destroyed at high temperatures. The relationship between fire and erodibility is complex, however, because heating may also help to aggregate soil particles. Experiments performed here also suggest a synergistic effect between fire and rain whereby heated soils are more vulnerable to the erosive power of raindrop impacts. Additionally, the soil heating experiments were used to measure and compare the thermal conductivities of intact and disturbed soils. Finally, it is concluded that soil heating may increase the emission of dust through the detachment of erodible particles, a result that may help in the anticipation of respiratory problems for those living downwind of burned areas.

Gabet, Emmanuel J.



The effects of male age on sperm DNA damage in healthy non-smokers  

SciTech Connect

The trend for men to have children at older ages raises concerns that advancing age may increase the production of genetically defective sperm, increasing the risks of transmitting germ-line mutations. We investigated the associations between male age and sperm DNA damage and the influence of several lifestyle factors in a healthy non-clinical group of 80 non-smokers (age: 22-80) with no known fertility problems using the sperm Comet analyses. The average percent of DNA that migrated out of the sperm nucleus under alkaline electrophoresis increased with age (0.18% per year, p=0.006); but there was no age association for damage measured under neutral conditions (p=0.7). Men who consumed >3 cups coffee per day had {approx}20% higher % tail DNA under neutral but not alkaline conditions compared to men who consumed no caffeine (p=0.005). Our findings indicate that (a) older men have increased sperm DNA damage associated with alkali-labile sites or single-strand DNA breaks, and (b) independent of age, men with substantial daily caffeine consumption have increased sperm DNA damage associated with double-strand DNA breaks. DNA damage in sperm can be converted to chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations after fertilization increasing the risks for developmental defects and genetic diseases among offspring.

Schmid, T; Eskenazi, B; Baumgartner, A; Marchetti, F; Young, S; Weldon, R; Anderson, D; Wyrobek, A



Aspermy, Sperm Quality and Radiation in Chernobyl Birds  

PubMed Central

Background Following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, large amounts of radionuclides were emitted and spread in the environment. Animals living in such contaminated areas are predicted to suffer fitness costs including reductions in the quality and quantity of gametes. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied whether aspermy and sperm quality were affected by radioactive contamination by examining ejaculates from wild caught birds breeding in areas varying in background radiation level by more than three orders of magnitude around Chernobyl, Ukraine. The frequency of males with aspermy increased logarithmically with radiation level. While 18.4% of males from contaminated areas had no sperm that was only the case for 3.0% of males from uncontaminated control areas. Furthermore, there were negative relationships between sperm quality as reflected by reduced sperm velocity and motility, respectively, and radiation. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that radioactive contamination around Chernobyl affects sperm production and quality. We are the first to report an interspecific difference in sperm quality in relation to radioactive contamination. PMID:24963711

Møller, Anders Pape; Bonisoli-Alquati, Andrea; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Rudolfsen, Geir



Imbalanced lipid homeostasis in the conditional Dicer1 knockout mouse epididymis causes instability of the sperm membrane.  


During epididymal sperm maturation, the lipid content of the sperm membrane is modified, which facilitates sperm motility and fertility. However, little is known about the mechanisms regulating the maturation process. By generating a conditional knockout (cKO) of Dicer1 in the proximal part of the mouse epididymis, we studied the role of RNA interference in epididymal functions. The Dicer1 cKO epididymis displayed an altered lipid homeostasis associated with a 0.6-fold reduction in the expression of the gene elongation of very long chain fatty acids-like 2, an enzyme needed for production of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Furthermore, the expression of several factors involved in cholesterol synthesis was up-regulated. Accordingly, the Dicer1 cKO sperm membrane showed a 0.7-fold decrease in long-chain PUFAs, whereas the amount of cholesterol in acrosome-reacted sperm displayed a 1.7-fold increase. The increased cholesterol:PUFA ratio of the sperm membrane caused breakage of the neck and acrosome region and immotility of sperm. Dicer1 cKO mice sperm also displayed reduced ability to bind to and fertilize the oocyte in vitro. This study thus shows that Dicer1 is critical for lipid synthesis in the epididymis, which directly affects sperm membrane integrity and male fertility. PMID:25366345

Björkgren, Ida; Gylling, Helena; Turunen, Heikki; Huhtaniemi, Ilpo; Strauss, Leena; Poutanen, Matti; Sipilä, Petra



Towards increased microalgal productivity in photobioreactors  

Microsoft Academic Search

Currently there is much interest to cultivate microalgae for the production of bulk products like lipids for biodiesel or as feedstock for industrial chemical processes. To make the production economically feasible, it is essential to develop cultivation systems in which algae convert the light with a high photosynthetic efficiency, to obtain microalgae with specific production characteristics, to optimize the culture

R. Bosma; M. H. Vermuë; J. Tramper; R. H. Wijffels



Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA): capabilities and potential developments.  


Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems have evolved over approximately 40 years, through advances in devices to capture the image from a microscope, huge increases in computational power concurrent with amazing reduction in size of computers, new computer languages, and updated/expanded software algorithms. Remarkably, basic concepts for identifying sperm and their motion patterns are little changed. Older and slower systems remain in use. Most major spermatology laboratories and semen processing facilities have a CASA system, but the extent of reliance thereon ranges widely. This review describes capabilities and limitations of present CASA technology used with boar, bull, and stallion sperm, followed by possible future developments. Each marketed system is different. Modern CASA systems can automatically view multiple fields in a shallow specimen chamber to capture strobe-like images of 500 to >2000 sperm, at 50 or 60 frames per second, in clear or complex extenders, and in <2 minutes, store information for ? 30 frames and provide summary data for each spermatozoon and the population. A few systems evaluate sperm morphology concurrent with motion. CASA cannot accurately predict 'fertility' that will be obtained with a semen sample or subject. However, when carefully validated, current CASA systems provide information important for quality assurance of semen planned for marketing, and for the understanding of the diversity of sperm responses to changes in the microenvironment in research. The four take-home messages from this review are: (1) animal species, extender or medium, specimen chamber, intensity of illumination, imaging hardware and software, instrument settings, technician, etc., all affect accuracy and precision of output values; (2) semen production facilities probably do not need a substantially different CASA system whereas biology laboratories would benefit from systems capable of imaging and tracking sperm in deep chambers for a flexible period of time; (3) software should enable grouping of individual sperm based on one or more attributes so outputs reflect subpopulations or clusters of similar sperm with unique properties; means or medians for the total population are insufficient; and (4) a field-use, portable CASA system for measuring one motion and two or three morphology attributes of individual sperm is needed for field theriogenologists or andrologists working with human sperm outside urban centers; appropriate hardware to capture images and process data apparently are available. PMID:24274405

Amann, Rupert P; Waberski, Dagmar



Body condition influences sperm energetics in lake whitefish ( Coregonus clupeaformis )  

Microsoft Academic Search

Theoretical models predict that individual males will increase their investment in ejaculates when there is a risk of sperm competition. Because the production of ejaculates is assumed to be energetically costly, only those males in good physical condition should be capable of producing ejaculates of high quality. We studied ejaculate investment (relative testis size, controlling for body size) as well

Gary Burness; Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde; Robert Montgomerie



Parameters of the reproductive tract, spermatogenesis, daily sperm production and major seminal plasma proteins of tropically adapted morada nova rams.  


This study describes the reproductive parameters of Morada Nova rams, a breed of hair sheep from Brazil and with unique adaption to tropical environments. At 42 weeks of age, 15 rams were subjected to semen collection and, 1 week later, animals were slaughtered for collection of testes, epididymis and accessory sex glands. We conducted 2-D electrophoresis of seminal plasma proteins and major spots of stained gels were identified by LC-MS/MS. Total RNA was isolated from testis, epididymis and vesicular glands and subjected to qPCR. At slaughter, scrotal circumference and testicular weight were 27.5 ± 0.5 cm and 109.5 ± 6.0 g, respectively. Seminiferous tubule (ST) diameter was 188.3 ± 4.0 ?m and each testis contained 1.9 ± 0.1 Sertoli cells (×10(9) ). Each Sertoli cell supported 0.1 ± 0.01 A spermatogonia, 3.0 ± 0.2 pachytene spermatocytes and 7.7 ± 0.5 round spermatids/tubule cross section. Daily sperm production reached 5.6 × 10(6)  cells/g of testis parenchyma. Testis size appeared as indicative of ST diameter and associated with epididymal measurements, as well as with the population of round spermatids and Sertoli cells/testis. Rams with heavier testes had greater daily sperm production and more Sertoli cells/testis. We detected 90.9 ± 9.6 spots per 2-D gel of seminal plasma. Major seminal proteins were identified as ram seminal vesicle proteins at 14 and 22 kDa, representing 16.2% and 12.8% of the total intensity of valid spots in the gels, respectively. Expression of both genes was greater in the vesicular glands as compared to testis and epididymis. Pixel intensity for those proteins in the 2-D gels was significantly correlated with seminal vesicle weight. This is the first description of the basic reproductive aspects of Morada Nova rams, including protein profiles of their seminal plasma. These findings will allow a better understanding of their reproductive physiology. PMID:24716618

Sousa, F M L; Lobo, C H; Menezes, E S B; Rego, J P A; Oliveira, R V; Lima-Souza, A C; Fioramonte, M; Gozzo, F C; Pompeu, R C F F; Cândido, M J D; Oliveira, J T; Moura, A A



Female presence influences sperm velocity in the guppy  

PubMed Central

As sperm production is costly, males are expected to strategically allocate resources to sperm production according to mating opportunities. While sperm number adjustments have been reported in several taxa, only a few studies investigated whether sperm quality shows adaptive plasticity as well. We tested this prediction in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. A total of 46 males were initially stripped of all retrievable sperm before being randomly allocated to one of two treatments simulating different levels of mating opportunities (visual contact with females or female deprived). After 3 days, males were stripped and sperm velocity was assayed using Computer Assisted Sperm Analysis. Males in the presence of females produced significantly faster sperm than their counterparts. Implications for the evolution of this ejaculate plasticity in the light of results of sperm competition studies are discussed. PMID:19656863

Gasparini, Clelia; Peretti, Alfredo V.; Pilastro, Andrea



Reversibility of Long-term Effects of GnRH Agonist Administration on Testicular Histology and Sperm Production in the Nonhuman Primate  

Microsoft Academic Search

The present investigation evaluates the long-term effects of GnRH agonist treatment on testicular histology, sperm production and the subsequent recovery of these parameters. Four adult rhesus monkeys (M. mulatta) were treated with the GnRH agonist nafarelin (D_Nal(2)6_ GnRH), released from i.m.-injected poly-D,L-lactic-co- glycolide microspheres for 20 months. Monthly injection of the GnRH agonist preparation uniformly suppressed serum levels of bioactive



The Effects of Four Insect Growth-Regulating (IGR) Insecticides on Honeybee ( Apis mellifera L.) Colony Development, Queen Rearing and Drone Sperm Production  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study assessed the effects of exposure to IGRs on the long-term development of the honeybee colony, viability of queens\\u000a and sperm production in drones and integrated the data into a honeybee population model. Colonies treated with diflubenzuron\\u000a resulted in a short-term reduction in the numbers of adult bees and brood. Colonies treated with fenoxycarb declined during\\u000a the season earlier

Helen M. Thompson; Selwyn Wilkins; Alastair H. Battersby; Ruth J. Waite; David Wilkinson



Effect of Density Gradient Centrifugation on Quality and Recovery Rate of Equine Sperm  

E-print Network

gradient volume (height) on stallion sperm quality and recovery rate in sperm pellets following centrifugation. In all three experiments, equine semen was initially centrifuged to increase sperm concentration. In Experiment 1, one-mL aliquots were layered...

Edmond, Ann J.



Recombinant Hamster Oviductin Is Biologically Active and Exerts Positive Effects on Sperm Functions and Sperm-Oocyte Binding  

PubMed Central

Studies carried out in several mammalian species suggest that oviductin, also known as oviduct-specific glycoprotein or OVGP1, plays a key role in sperm capacitation, fertilization, and development of early embryos. In the present study, we used recombinant DNA technology to produce, for the first time, recombinant hamster OVGP1 (rHamOVGP1) in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. rHamOVGP1 secreted in the culture medium was purified by affinity chromatography. The resulting protein migrated as a poly-dispersed band of 160-350 kDa on SDS-PAGE corresponding to the molecular mass of the native HamOVGP1. Subsequent mass spectrometric analysis of the purified rHamOVGP1 confirmed its identity as HamOVGP1. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated binding of rHamOVGP1 to the mid-piece and head of hamster sperm and to the zona pellucida (ZP) of ovarian oocytes. In vitro functional experiments showed that addition of rHamOVGP1 in the capacitation medium further enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of two sperm proteins of approximately 75 kDa and 83 kDa in a time-dependent manner. After 3 hours of incubation in the presence of rHamOVGP1, a significant increase in acrosome reaction was measured. Pretreatment of either sperm or oocyte with 20 ?g/ml of rHamOVGP1 prior to sperm-egg binding assay significantly increased the number of sperm bound to the ZP. Addition of rHamOVGP1 in the medium during sperm-egg binding with either oocyte or sperm pretreated with rHamOVGP1 also saw an increase in the number of sperm bound to ZP. In all experimental conditions, the effect of rHamOVGP1 on sperm-oocyte binding was negated by the addition of monoclonal anti-HamOVGP1 antibody. The successful production and purification of a biologically active rHamOVGP1 will allow further exploration of the function of this glycoprotein in reproductive function. PMID:25849110

Yang, Xiaojing; Zhao, Yuewen; Yang, Xiaolong; Kan, Frederick W. K.



Recombinant hamster oviductin is biologically active and exerts positive effects on sperm functions and sperm-oocyte binding.  


Studies carried out in several mammalian species suggest that oviductin, also known as oviduct-specific glycoprotein or OVGP1, plays a key role in sperm capacitation, fertilization, and development of early embryos. In the present study, we used recombinant DNA technology to produce, for the first time, recombinant hamster OVGP1 (rHamOVGP1) in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. rHamOVGP1 secreted in the culture medium was purified by affinity chromatography. The resulting protein migrated as a poly-dispersed band of 160-350 kDa on SDS-PAGE corresponding to the molecular mass of the native HamOVGP1. Subsequent mass spectrometric analysis of the purified rHamOVGP1 confirmed its identity as HamOVGP1. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated binding of rHamOVGP1 to the mid-piece and head of hamster sperm and to the zona pellucida (ZP) of ovarian oocytes. In vitro functional experiments showed that addition of rHamOVGP1 in the capacitation medium further enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of two sperm proteins of approximately 75 kDa and 83 kDa in a time-dependent manner. After 3 hours of incubation in the presence of rHamOVGP1, a significant increase in acrosome reaction was measured. Pretreatment of either sperm or oocyte with 20 ?g/ml of rHamOVGP1 prior to sperm-egg binding assay significantly increased the number of sperm bound to the ZP. Addition of rHamOVGP1 in the medium during sperm-egg binding with either oocyte or sperm pretreated with rHamOVGP1 also saw an increase in the number of sperm bound to ZP. In all experimental conditions, the effect of rHamOVGP1 on sperm-oocyte binding was negated by the addition of monoclonal anti-HamOVGP1 antibody. The successful production and purification of a biologically active rHamOVGP1 will allow further exploration of the function of this glycoprotein in reproductive function. PMID:25849110

Yang, Xiaojing; Zhao, Yuewen; Yang, Xiaolong; Kan, Frederick W K



Bioenergy Research at BNL: Increasing Productivity Using  

E-print Network

· And beyond #12;What Type of Research Do I Do? #12;Phytoremediation Phytoremediation A solar driven, plant the environment Poplar is one of the trees of choice for biomass production and phytoremediation of contaminated? Previous work with endophytes showed improved phytoremediation #12;Improved poplar biomass production · Can

Homes, Christopher C.


Fruit flies and the sperm proteome.  


Sperm have been studied for their obvious role in fertilization and as a model system for cell-cell interactions and cell signaling. Despite its central and critical role in reproduction, we know surprisingly little about the overall molecular composition of sperm. Interest in sperm function has greatly intensified for two reasons: first, it is becoming increasingly apparent that human infertility can be traced to male factors, including alterations in sperm proteins, and second, there is increasing empirical evidence that sperm provide essential factors, both nucleic acid- and protein-based, to early zygote development possibly beyond their role in fertilization. At the molecular level, study of the sperm proteome has revealed a variety of genetic mechanisms involved in the organization and evolution of sperm form and function. These discoveries are being augmented and expanded by the application of proteomics that directly identifies protein constituents of sperm. In this article I argue that sperm are ideal candidate cell types for proteomic analyses and describe the current state of the field focussing on the recently described sperm proteome in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. PMID:17911156

Karr, Timothy L



Tactic-specific differences in seminal fluid influence sperm performance  

PubMed Central

Seminal fluid often makes up a large part of an ejaculate, yet most empirical and theoretical studies on sperm competition have focused on how sperm characteristics (number and quality) affect fertilization success. However, seminal fluid influences own sperm performance and may potentially influence the outcome of sperm competition, by also affecting that of rivals. As a consequence males may be expected to allocate their investment in both sperm and seminal fluid in relation to the potential level of competition. Grass goby (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) is an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics, where sperm competition risk varies according to the tactic adopted. Here, we experimentally manipulated grass goby ejaculates by separately combining sperm and seminal fluid from territorial and sneaker males. While sperm of sneaker and territorial males did not differ in their performance when they interacted with their own seminal fluid only, sperm of sneakers increased their velocity and fertilization rate in the presence of territorial males' seminal fluid. By contrast, sneaker males' seminal fluid had a detrimental effect on the performance of territorial males' sperm. Sperm velocity was unaffected by the seminal fluid of males employing the same tactic, suggesting that seminal fluid's effect on rival-tactic sperm is not based on a self/non-self recognition mechanism. Our findings show that cross interactions of sperm and seminal fluid may influence the fertilization success of competing ejaculates with males investing in both sperm and seminal fluid in response to sperm competition risk. PMID:23363633

Locatello, Lisa; Poli, Federica; Rasotto, Maria B.



Tactic-specific differences in seminal fluid influence sperm performance.  


Seminal fluid often makes up a large part of an ejaculate, yet most empirical and theoretical studies on sperm competition have focused on how sperm characteristics (number and quality) affect fertilization success. However, seminal fluid influences own sperm performance and may potentially influence the outcome of sperm competition, by also affecting that of rivals. As a consequence males may be expected to allocate their investment in both sperm and seminal fluid in relation to the potential level of competition. Grass goby (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) is an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics, where sperm competition risk varies according to the tactic adopted. Here, we experimentally manipulated grass goby ejaculates by separately combining sperm and seminal fluid from territorial and sneaker males. While sperm of sneaker and territorial males did not differ in their performance when they interacted with their own seminal fluid only, sperm of sneakers increased their velocity and fertilization rate in the presence of territorial males' seminal fluid. By contrast, sneaker males' seminal fluid had a detrimental effect on the performance of territorial males' sperm. Sperm velocity was unaffected by the seminal fluid of males employing the same tactic, suggesting that seminal fluid's effect on rival-tactic sperm is not based on a self/non-self recognition mechanism. Our findings show that cross interactions of sperm and seminal fluid may influence the fertilization success of competing ejaculates with males investing in both sperm and seminal fluid in response to sperm competition risk. PMID:23363633

Locatello, Lisa; Poli, Federica; Rasotto, Maria B



Understanding email interaction increases organizational productivity  

Microsoft Academic Search

To minimize the effect of email interruption on employee productivity, limit the frequency of new-email alerts (silence them, too), make it easier to assess each message's importance, and remove the reply-to-all facility.

Thomas W. Jackson; Ray Dawson; Darren Wilson



Sperm viability - Determination of sperm viability using fluorescence microscopy  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

To determine the percentage of viable sperm in a semen sample using stains that differentiates viable (live) sperm from nonviable (dead) sperm. Viable sperm are detected by SYBR-14, which stains the sperm nuclei green. Nonviable sperm are detected by propidium iodide (PI), which stains the sperm red...


Sperm competitiveness in frogs: slow and steady wins the race  

PubMed Central

When sperm compete to fertilize available ova, selection is expected to favour ejaculate traits that contribute to a male's fertilization success. While there is much evidence to show that selection favours increased numbers of sperm, only a handful of empirical studies have examined how variation in sperm form and function contributes to competitive fertilization success. Here, we examine selection acting on sperm form and function in the externally fertilizing myobatrachid frog, Crinia georgiana. Using in vitro fertilization techniques and controlling for variation in the number of sperm contributed by males in competitive situations, we show that males with a greater proportion of motile sperm, and motile sperm with slower swimming velocities, have an advantage when competing for fertilizations. Sperm morphology and the degree of genetic similarity between putative sires and the female had no influence on competitive fertilization success. These unusual patterns of selection might explain why frog sperm typically exhibit relatively slow swimming speeds and sustained longevity. PMID:19710059

Dziminski, Martin A.; Roberts, J. Dale; Beveridge, Maxine; Simmons, Leigh W.



Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.  


We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P < 0.05) greater than that of freshwater fish sperm (~150 seconds), with the longevities of both marine and freshwater fish being significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that of anuran sperm (~4100 seconds). The average velocity of anuran sperm (25 ?m/s) was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that of marine fish (140 ?m/s) or freshwater fish (135 ?m/s) sperm. The longevity of the sperm of giant salamanders (Cryptobranchoidea) of approximately 600 seconds was greater than that of freshwater fish sperm but much lower than anuran sperm. Our research and information from the literature showed that higher osmolarities promote greater longevity in anuran sperm, and some freshwater fish sperm, and that anuran and cryptobranchid sperm maintained membrane integrity long after the cessation of motility, demonstrating a preferential sharing of energy reserves toward the maintenance of membrane integrity. The maintenance of the membrane integrity of anuran sperm in fresh water for up to 6 hours showed an extremely high osmotic tolerance relative to fish sperm. The very high longevity and osmotic tolerance of anuran sperm and high longevity of cryptobranchid sperm, relative to those of freshwater fish, may reflect the complex fertilization history of amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management. PMID:25442393

Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J



Increasing Labour Productivity in Agriculture and Its Implications  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In order to profit from the economic growth in their society farmers can (1) increase the yields of their crops and animals, (2) switch to the production of high value products for which there is an increasing demand in the market, (3) increase the labour productivity on their farm, (4) find non-farm sources of income for some or all of their…

van den Ban, Anne



[Effect of the E-50 Biostimulant on sperm production in young bulls].  


The Biostimulant E-50 preparation, a biogenic stumulant, was applied to 8 bulls divided into two groups--with normal and with disturbed semen production (lower qualitative indices of semen and higher number of discarded ejaculates). The stimulant was injected muscularly at the rate of 40 cu. cm, twice, at a seven-day interval, with one of the bulls it being used in a second series. Studied were a total of 587 ejaculates taken from the test bulls following treatment. It was found that the agent produced a favourable effect on semen production, the reaction being individual and better manifested with bulls having disturbances. Up to 13.7 per cent of the ejaculates of bulls with normal semen production were discarded, and up to 31.8 per cent of those showing signs of disturbed spermiogenesis. The spermogram indices with some bulls reliably rose (P less than 0.01 and 0.05) in terms of concentration and motility, the number of dead spermatozoa coming back to normal at negligible rise of the pH value. PMID:3765381

Elezov, G; Marinkov, T; Kr?stev, M




EPA Science Inventory

The toxic and potentially mutagenic actions of triethylenemelamine (TEM) on mouse body and testis weights, testicular cell kinetics, sperm production, sperm head morphology, and sperm chromatin structure were assessed in two experiments. he first experiment examined effects of fo...


Seasonal occurrence of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) around Kelvin Seamount in the Sargasso Sea in relation to oceanographic processes  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are widely distributed in all oceans, but they are clumped geographically, generally in areas associated with high primary and secondary productivity. The warm, clear waters of the Sargasso Sea are traditionally thought to be low in productivity, however recent surveys have found large numbers of sperm whales there. The New England Seamount Chain bisects the north-western portion of the Sargasso Sea, and might influence the mesoscale eddies associated with the Gulf Stream; creating areas of higher productivity within the Sargasso Sea. We investigated the seasonal occurrence of sperm whales over Kelvin Seamount (part of the New England Seamount Chain) and how it is influenced by oceanographic variables. An autonomous recording device was deployed over Kelvin Seamount from May to June 2006 and November 2006 to June 2007. A total of 6505 hourly two-minute recordings were examined for the presence of sperm whale echolocation clicks. Sperm whales were more prevalent around Kelvin in the spring (April to June: mean=51% of recordings contained clicks) compared to the winter (November to March: mean=16% of recordings contained clicks). Sperm whale prevalence at Kelvin was related to chlorophyll-a concentration four weeks previous, eddy kinetic energy and month. The mesoscale activity associated with the Gulf Stream and the Gulf Stream's interaction with the New England Seamount Chain likely play an important role in sperm whale occurrence in this area, by increasing productivity and perhaps concentration of cephalopod species.

Wong, Sarah N. P.; Whitehead, Hal



Wonders of the Seas: Sperm Whales  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Overview of sperm whale biology, adaptations, and behaviors. Basic introduction to anatomy, diet, echolocation, diving, whale oil and other products derived from sperm whales, whaling industry and impacts, and conservation measures. Accessible text, illustrated with excellent photographs. A NSTA SciLinks selected site.


Effect of 655 nm laser different powers on dog sperm motility parameters  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Introduction: One of the most appreciated features of the sperm is its motility, which depends on a big energy consumption despite differences among species. Laser acts direct or indirectly on mitochondria increasing ATP production. Material and method: By means of a Computer Aided Sperm Analysis (CASA) we have studied the effects of a 655 nm continuous wave diode laser irradiation at different power outputs with a dose of 3.3418 J on sperm motility. After an eosine-nigrosine stain to establish its quality, the second fraction of fresh beagle dog sperm was divided into 5 groups, 1 control and four to be irradiated respectively with an average output power of 6.84 mW, 15.43 mW, 33.05 mW and 49.66 mW. At times 0 and 45 minutes from irradiation pictures were taken and analysed with the Sperm class Analyzer SCA2002 programme. The motility parameters of 4987 spermatozoa studied were: curvilinear velocity (VCL), progressive velocity (VSL), straightness (STR), wobble (WOB), average path velocity (VAP), linearity (LIN), mean amplitude of lateral head displacement (ALHmed), beat cross frequency (BCF) and the total motility (MT). At time 15 minutes after irradiation a hypoosmotic swelling test (HOST) was done. Results: Several motility parameters that affect the overall motile sperm subpopulation structure have been changed by different output powers of a 655 nm diode laser irradiation, and prevents the decrease of the sperm motility properties along time.

Corral-Baqués, M. I.; Rigau, T.; Rivera, M. M.; Rodríguez-Gil, J. E.; Rigau, J.



Use of penicillin and streptomycin to reduce spread of bacterial coldwater disease I: antibiotics in sperm extenders.  


Abstract Bacterial coldwater disease caused by Flavobacterium psychrophilum has led to the loss of significant numbers of hatchery-reared salmonids. The bacteria can be spread from parent to progeny within contaminated sperm and ovarian fluid. Methods for disinfecting ovarian fluid and unfertilized eggs are available, but methods for disinfecting sperm have not been described. In this study we determined whether sperm extenders containing a mixture of penicillin and streptomycin can be used to eliminate F. psychrophilum. In vitro trials demonstrated that when Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss sperm is mixed with an extender, a 15-min exposure to 0.197 mg penicillin plus 0.313 mg/mL streptomycin is effective at killing the bacteria and has no effect on sperm motility. Small-scale trials showed that egg fertilization rates were not reduced when sperm held in an extender solution containing the same antibiotic mixture for 15 min was used to fertilize eggs. Production-scale trials, however, showed a roughly 18% decrease in egg fertilization rate when sperm stored in an antibiotic containing extender was used. To determine why a reduction in fertilization capacity was observed, a small-scale experiment testing the fertilization of eggs with larger quantities of sperm was performed and showed that increasing the volume of sperm used did not increase fertilization rates. Our results demonstrate that extenders containing penicillin and streptomycin can be used to disinfect sperm, especially when small quantities of eggs are fertilized, but factors negatively affecting egg fertilization and survival on a production scale still need further investigation. Received May 1, 2014; accepted August 10, 2014. PMID:25581335

Oplinger, Randall W; Wagner, Eric J



Mass-Specific Metabolic Rate and Sperm Competition Determine Sperm Size in Marsupial Mammals  

PubMed Central

Two complementary hypotheses have been proposed to explain variation in sperm size. The first proposes that post-copulatory sexual selection favors an increase in sperm size because it enhances sperm swimming speed, which is an important determinant of fertilization success in competitive contexts. The second hypothesis proposes that mass-specific metabolic rate acts as a constraint, because large animals with low mass-specific metabolic rates will not be able to process resources at the rates needed to produce large sperm. This constraint is expected to be particularly pronounced among mammals, given that this group contains some of the largest species on Earth. We tested these hypotheses among marsupials, a group in which mass-specific metabolic rates are roughly 30% lower than those of eutherian mammals of similar size, leading to the expectation that metabolic rate should be a major constraint. Our findings support both hypotheses because levels of sperm competition are associated with increases in sperm size, but low mass-specific metabolic rate constrains sperm size among large species. We also found that the relationship between sperm size and mass-specific metabolic rate is steeper among marsupials and shallower among eutherian mammals. This finding has two implications: marsupials respond to changes in mass-specific metabolic rate by modifying sperm length to a greater extent, suggesting that they are more constrained by metabolic rate. In addition, for any given mass-specific metabolic rate, marsupials produce longer sperm. We suggest that this is the consequence of marsupials diverting resources away from sperm numbers and into sperm size, due to their efficient sperm transport along the female tract and the existence of mechanisms to protect sperm. PMID:21731682

Tourmente, Maximiliano; Gomendio, Montserrat; Roldan, Eduardo R. S.



Protein and carbohydrate intake influence sperm number and fertility in male cockroaches, but not sperm viability.  


It is commonly assumed that because males produce many, tiny sperm, they are cheap to produce. Recent work, however, suggests that sperm production is not cost-free. If sperm are costly to produce, sperm number and/or viability should be influenced by diet, and this has been documented in numerous species. Yet few studies have examined the exact nutrients responsible for mediating these effects. Here, we quantify the effects of protein (P) and carbohydrate (C) intake on sperm number and viability in the cockroach Nauphoeta cinerea, as well as the consequences for male fertility. We found the intake of P and C influenced sperm number, being maximized at a high intake of diets with a P : C ratio of 1 : 2, but not sperm viability. The nutritional landscapes for male fertility and sperm number were closely aligned, suggesting that sperm number is the major determinant of male fertility in N. cinerea. Under dietary choice, males regulate nutrient intake at a P : C ratio of 1 : 4.95, which is midway between the ratios needed to maximize sperm production and pre-copulatory attractiveness in this species. This raises the possibility that males regulate nutrient intake to balance the trade-off between pre- and post-copulatory traits in this species. PMID:25608881

Bunning, Harriet; Rapkin, James; Belcher, Laurence; Archer, C Ruth; Jensen, Kim; Hunt, John



The role of androgens in species recognition and sperm production in Atlantic mollies ( Poecilia mexicana)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Much is known about the role of hormones in the regulation of vertebrate mating behavior, including receptivity, and several components of mate choice. Hormones may modulate reproductive behavior in such a way to increase or decrease the individual's motivation, and therefore hormones may be important in mediating behavior associated with reproductive isolation. The mating complex of the all female gynogenetic

C. R. Gabor; A. S. Aspbury; J. Ma; C. C. Nice


Increasing Efficiency in Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production  

SciTech Connect

Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production promises to be a renewable, clean, and efficient way of storing the sun's energy for use in hydrogen-powered fuel cells. We use p-type Ga.51In.49P semiconductor (henceforth as GaInP2) to absorb solar energy and produce a photocurrent. When the semiconductor is immersed in water, the photocurrent can break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. However, before the GaInP2 can produce hydrogen and oxygen, the conduction band and the Fermi level of the semiconductor must overlap the water redox potentials. In an unmodified system, the conduction band and Fermi level of GaInP2 do not overlap the water redox potentials. When light shines on the semiconductor, electrons build up on the surface, shifting the bandedges and Fermi level further away from overlap of the water redox potentials. We report on surface treatments with metallated porphyrins and transition metals that suppress bandedge migration and allow bandedge overlap to occur. Coating ruthenium octaethylporphyrin carbonyl (RuOEP CO) on the GaInP2 surface shifted bandedges in the positive direction by 270 mV on average, allowing the bandedges to frequently overlap the water redox potentials. Coating the GaInP2 surface with RuCl3 catalyzed charge transfer from the semiconductor to the water, lessening bandedge migration under light irradiation. Future work will focus on the long-term surface stability of these new treatments and quantitative applications of porphyrins.

Warren, S.; Turner, J.



Leukotriene Production Is Increased in Abdominal Obesity  

PubMed Central

Obesity is a major risk factor for insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. A chronic low grade inflammatory state has been described during obesity and associated with insulin resistance pathogenesis. Results from animal studies are in favor of a role of the leukotriene (LT) pathway in obesity induced-insulin resistance. However, there is a paucity of data regarding this association in human obesity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether LT production was associated with insulin resistance and other metabolic parameters in a cohort of obese subjects. Forty-six (70% females) obese subjects (BMI?30 kg/m2) without known diabetes and without inflammatory disease (CRP<10 mg/l) were included. Median age was 44 years (16–80) with a median BMI of 36.8 kg/m2 (30–51). Insulin resistance was evaluated by HOMA-IR index and glucose tolerance test. Urinary LTE4 (U-LTE4) concentration was measured by enzyme immune assay. Screening for obstructive sleep apnea was performed. There was a positive association of U-LTE4 with waist to hip ratio, systolic blood pressure and HOMA-IR in univariate analysis. Further, waist to hip ratio remained the only parameter significantly correlated with U-LTE4, in adjusted multivariate analysis. Taken together, these results confirm the previously established notion of chronic low grade inflammation in obesity and further suggests a role for the LT pathway in obesity-associated development of insulin resistance in humans. PMID:25437865

Bäck, Magnus; Avignon, Antoine; Stanke-Labesque, Françoise; Boegner, Catherine; Attalin, Vincent; Leprieur, Elodie; Sultan, Ariane



Male meadow voles respond differently to risk and intensity of sperm competition  

Microsoft Academic Search

There are 2 models of male adjustment of sperm investment in the ejaculate in relation to sperm competition. The ''risk model'' predicts that as ''risk'' of sperm competition increases, sperm investment also increases. This prediction has been supported in many species, including mammals. The ''intensity model'' involves the number of competing males copulating with the same female and predicts that

Michael H. Ferkin


The evolution of sperm length in moths.  

PubMed Central

Sperm form and function remain poorly understood despite being of fundamental biological importance. An instructive approach has been to examine evolutionary associations across comparable taxa between sperm characters and other, potentially selective reproductive traits. We adopt this approach here in a comparative study examining how sperm lengths are associated with male and female reproductive characters across moths. Primary data have revealed Lepidoptera to be an ideal order for examination: there is profound variation in the dimensions (but not organization) of the reproductive traits between closely related species which all share a monophyletic ancestry, for example, eupyrene sperm length varies from 110 to 12,675 microm. Eupyrene (normal fertilizing) and apyrene (anucleate and non-fertile) sperm lengths are positively correlated across taxa and both sperm types show positive associations with mating pattern (as measured by the residual testis size). At fertilization, eupyrene sperm must migrate down the often elongated female spermathecal duct from storage to unite with the ovum. Across taxa, the elongation of this duct is associated with increased eupyrene sperm length, suggesting a positive female influence on sperm size since longer, more powerful sperm may be selected to migrate and/or compete successfully down greater ductal lengths. Apyrene sperm length is not associated with female reproductive tract dimensions. However, we found a positive relationship between the residual testis volume and spermathecal volume, suggesting coevolution between male investment in spermatogenesis and the extent of the female sperm storage capacity. Within males, there is a positive association between the two organs which form the ejaculate-containing spermatophore: the testes and the accessory gland. The 'trade-up' in investment to these components is discussed in relation to paternal investment and mating patterns. PMID:10714886

Morrow, E H; Gage, M J



Sexual selection, germline mutation rate and sperm competition  

PubMed Central

Background An important component of sexual selection arises because females obtain viability benefits for their offspring from their mate choice. Females choosing extra-pair fertilization generally favor males with exaggerated secondary sexual characters, and extra-pair paternity increases the variance in male reproductive success. Furthermore, females are assumed to benefit from 'good genes' from extra-pair sires. How additive genetic variance in such viability genes is maintained despite strong directional selection remains an evolutionary enigma. We propose that sexual selection is associated with elevated mutation rates, changing the balance between mutation and selection, thereby increasing variance in fitness and hence the benefits to be obtained from good genes sexual selection. Two hypotheses may account for such elevated mutation: (1) Increased sperm production associated with sperm competition may increase mutation rate. (2) Mutator alleles increase mutation rates that are revealed by the expression of condition-dependent secondary sexual characters used by choosy females during their mate choice. M Petrie has independently developed the idea that mutator alleles may account for the maintenance of genetic variation in viability despite strong directional selection. Results A comparative study of birds revealed a positive correlation between mutation rate at minisatellite loci and extra-pair paternity, but not between mutation rate and relative testes mass which is a measure of relative sperm production. Minisatellite mutation rates were not related to longevity, suggesting a meiotic rather than a mitotic origin of mutations. Conclusion We found evidence of increased mutation rate in species with more intense sexual selection. Increased mutation was not associated with increased sperm production, and we suggest that species with intense sexual selection may maintain elevated mutation rates because sexual selection continuously benefits viability alleles expressed in condition-dependent characters. Sexual selection may increase mutational input, which in turn feeds back on sexual selection because of increased variance in viability traits. PMID:12702218

Møller, AP; Cuervo, JJ



Movement of sea urchin sperm flagella  

Microsoft Academic Search

The motion of the sea urchin sperm flagellum was analyzed from high-speed cinemicrographs. At all locations on the flagellum the transversal motion and the curvature were found to vary sinusoidally in time. The curvatures of the flagella increase strongly near the proximal junction. Two sperm are described in transient from rest to normal motion. The full wave motion developed in




Turkey Sperm Reside in the Tubular Glands in the Urodeum Following Artificial Insemination  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

A turkey hen in egg production requires 48 hr after the last insemination to maximize the number of sperm in the uterovaginal junction sperm-storage tubules. Where the sperm that continue to fill the oviductal sperm-storage sites during this 48 hr period reside remains unknown. Histological sectio...


Fertilization of C57BL/6 mouse sperm collected from cauda epididymides after preservation or transportation at 4 degrees C using laser-microdissected oocytes.  


The C57BL/6 mouse is commonly used to produce transgenic and knockout strains for biomedical research. However, the motility and fertility of its sperm decrease markedly with freezing. Short-term preservation of sperm without freezing can avoid this. Furthermore, such samples can be transported safety without the special skills or equipment needed for the transportation of live animals or frozen products. We evaluated the motility and fertility of sperm collected from cauda epididymides after preservation or transportation at 4 degrees C. Oocytes with the zona pellucida subjected to laser-microdissection were used to assist fertilization in vitro. Although the motility of sperm gradually decreased with storage (P<0.05), no disruption of the sperm plasma membrane was seen. The proportion of zona-intact oocytes fertilized with sperm preserved for 0, 24, 48 and 72h were 70, 14, 5 and 1%, respectively. On the other hand, 45, 20 and 14% of laser-microdissected oocytes were fertilized by sperm preserved for 24, 48 and 72h, respectively (P<0.05). The fertility of sperm collected from cauda epididymides of two transgenic strains after transportation at 4 degrees C were also significantly increased using laser-microdissected oocytes rather than zona-intact oocytes (57 and 68% vs. 5%, P<0.05). Efficient production of offspring from sperm preserved or transported at 4 degrees C was achieved using laser-microdissected oocytes. Thus the fertility of sperm preserved or transported at 4 degrees C could be maintained, although motility gradually decreased with storage. Laser-microdissected oocytes will contribute to the efficient production of embryos and offspring using such preserved sperm samples. PMID:19394323

Kaneko, Takehito; Fukumoto, Kiyoko; Haruguchi, Yukie; Kondo, Tomoko; Machida, Hiromi; Koga, Mika; Nakagawa, Yoshiko; Tsuchiyama, Shuuji; Saiki, Kiyora; Noshiba, Shiho; Nakagata, Naomi



Production of lion (Panthera leo) blastocysts after in vitro maturation of oocytes and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  


Assisted reproductive techniques are becoming widely applied to the breeding of endangered species, but establishing reliable protocols for the production of embryos in vitro is challenging because of the scarcity of sample material. In our study, we applied an assisted reproductive technique protocol for IVM and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), developed in the domestic cat, to oocytes retrieved from ovaries of four 2-year-old lionesses (Panthera leo) eight hours postmortem. In total, 68 cumulus-oocyte complexes of good quality were randomly distributed and cultured for 32 to 34 hours in two different maturation culture media, consisting of Medium 199 with Earle's salts, 3 mg/mL BSA, 0.1 mg/mL cysteine, 1.4 mg/mL sodium pyruvate, 0.6 mg/mL sodium lactate, 0.15 mg/mL l-glutamine, and 0.055 mg/mL gentamicin. Hormonal supplementation of IVM_1 was 0.02 IU/mL FSH and 0.05 IU/mL LH; IVM_2 consisted of 1.64 IU/mL FSH, 1.06 IU/mL LH, and 1 ?g/mL 17ß-estradiol. Differences in hormonal supplementation did not produce significant differences in oocyte maturation rates, which were 39.4% in IVM_1 and 34.3% in IVM_2. Matured oocytes were microinjected with homologous frozen-thawed spermatozoa, and subsequent cleavage rates were 30.8% and 58.3%, respectively. Half of the embryos derived from oocytes matured in IVM_1 developed into blastocysts, whereas only 28.6% of embryos from oocytes matured in IVM_2 reached the blastocyst stage. Morula stages were present from Day 6 onward, and blastocyst stages from Day 9 on, indicating a slower developmental speed in comparison with domestic cats. This is the first report of in vitro-produced blastocysts using ICSI in the lion, and the results report that IVM and ICSI can be successfully performed with cumulus-oocyte complexes retrieved from ovaries after eight hours of shipping, obtaining competent embryos in culture. PMID:25586639

Fernandez-Gonzalez, Lorena; Hribal, Romy; Stagegaard, Julia; Zahmel, Jennifer; Jewgenow, Katarina



Experimental evolution of sperm competitiveness in a mammal  

PubMed Central

Background When females mate with multiple partners, sperm from rival males compete to fertilise the ova. Studies of experimental evolution have proven the selective action of sperm competition on male reproductive traits. However, while reproductive traits may evolve in response to sperm competition, this does not necessarily provide evidence that sperm competitive ability responds to selection. Indeed, a study of Drosophila failed to observe divergence in sperm competitive ability of males in lines selected for enhanced sperm offence and defence. Results Adopting the naturally polygamous house mouse (Mus domesticus) as our vertebrate model, we performed an experimental evolution study and observed genetic divergence in sperm quality; males from the polygamous selection lines produced ejaculates with increased sperm numbers and greater sperm motility compared to males from the monogamous lines. Here, after 12 generations of experimental evolution, we conducted competitive matings between males from lineages evolving under sperm competition and males from lineages subject to relaxed selection. We reduced variation in paternity arising from embryo mortality by genotyping embryos in utero at 14 days gestation. Our microsatellite data revealed a significant paternity bias toward males that evolved under the selective regime of sperm competition. Conclusion We provide evidence that the sperm competitiveness phenotype can respond to selection, and show that improved sperm quality translates to greater competitive fertilisation success in house mice. PMID:21251249



Identification of increased amounts of eppin protein complex components in sperm cells of diabetic and obese individuals by difference gel electrophoresis.  


Metabolic disorders like diabetes mellitus and obesity may compromise the fertility of men and women. To unveil disease-associated proteomic changes potentially affecting male fertility, the proteomes of sperm cells from type-1 diabetic, type-2 diabetic, non-diabetic obese and clinically healthy individuals were comparatively analyzed by difference gel electrophoresis. The adaptation of a general protein extraction procedure to the solubilization of proteins from sperm cells allowed for the resolution of 3187 fluorescent spots in the difference gel electrophoresis image of the master gel, which contained the entirety of solubilized sperm proteins. Comparison of the pathological and reference proteomes by applying an average abundance ratio setting of 1.6 and a p ? 0.05 criterion resulted in the identification of 79 fluorescent spots containing proteins that were present at significantly changed levels in the sperm cells. Biometric evaluation of the fluorescence data followed by mass spectrometric protein identification revealed altered levels of 12, 71, and 13 protein species in the proteomes of the type-1 diabetic, type-2 diabetic, and non-diabetic obese patients, respectively, with considerably enhanced amounts of the same set of one molecular form of semenogelin-1, one form of clusterin, and two forms of lactotransferrin in each group of pathologic samples. Remarkably, ?-galactosidase-1-like protein was the only protein that was detected at decreased levels in all three pathologic situations. The former three proteins are part of the eppin (epididymal proteinase inhibitor) protein complex, which is thought to fulfill fertilization-related functions, such as ejaculate sperm protection, motility regulation and gain of competence for acrosome reaction, whereas the putative role of the latter protein to function as a glycosyl hydrolase during sperm maturation remains to be explored at the protein/enzyme level. The strikingly similar differences detected in the three groups of pathological sperm proteomes reflect a disease-associated enhanced formation of predominantly proteolytically modified forms of three eppin protein complex components, possibly as a response to enduring hyperglycemia and enhanced oxidative stress. PMID:21525168

Paasch, Uwe; Heidenreich, Falk; Pursche, Theresia; Kuhlisch, Eberhard; Kettner, Karina; Grunewald, Sonja; Kratzsch, Jürgen; Dittmar, Gunnar; Glander, Hans-Jürgen; Hoflack, Bernard; Kriegel, Thomas M



Identification of Increased Amounts of Eppin Protein Complex Components in Sperm Cells of Diabetic and Obese Individuals by Difference Gel Electrophoresis*  

PubMed Central

Metabolic disorders like diabetes mellitus and obesity may compromise the fertility of men and women. To unveil disease-associated proteomic changes potentially affecting male fertility, the proteomes of sperm cells from type-1 diabetic, type-2 diabetic, non-diabetic obese and clinically healthy individuals were comparatively analyzed by difference gel electrophoresis. The adaptation of a general protein extraction procedure to the solubilization of proteins from sperm cells allowed for the resolution of 3187 fluorescent spots in the difference gel electrophoresis image of the master gel, which contained the entirety of solubilized sperm proteins. Comparison of the pathological and reference proteomes by applying an average abundance ratio setting of 1.6 and a p ? 0.05 criterion resulted in the identification of 79 fluorescent spots containing proteins that were present at significantly changed levels in the sperm cells. Biometric evaluation of the fluorescence data followed by mass spectrometric protein identification revealed altered levels of 12, 71, and 13 protein species in the proteomes of the type-1 diabetic, type-2 diabetic, and non-diabetic obese patients, respectively, with considerably enhanced amounts of the same set of one molecular form of semenogelin-1, one form of clusterin, and two forms of lactotransferrin in each group of pathologic samples. Remarkably, ?-galactosidase-1-like protein was the only protein that was detected at decreased levels in all three pathologic situations. The former three proteins are part of the eppin (epididymal proteinase inhibitor) protein complex, which is thought to fulfill fertilization-related functions, such as ejaculate sperm protection, motility regulation and gain of competence for acrosome reaction, whereas the putative role of the latter protein to function as a glycosyl hydrolase during sperm maturation remains to be explored at the protein/enzyme level. The strikingly similar differences detected in the three groups of pathological sperm proteomes reflect a disease-associated enhanced formation of predominantly proteolytically modified forms of three eppin protein complex components, possibly as a response to enduring hyperglycemia and enhanced oxidative stress. PMID:21525168

Paasch, Uwe; Heidenreich, Falk; Pursche, Theresia; Kuhlisch, Eberhard; Kettner, Karina; Grunewald, Sonja; Kratzsch, Jürgen; Dittmar, Gunnar; Glander, Hans-Jürgen; Hoflack, Bernard; Kriegel, Thomas M.



Detection of structural and numerical chomosomal abnormalities by ACM-FISH analysis in sperm of oligozoospermic infertility patients  

SciTech Connect

Modern reproductive technologies are enabling the treatment of infertile men with severe disturbances of spermatogenesis. The possibility of elevated frequencies of genetically and chromosomally defective sperm has become an issue of concern with the increased usage of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which can enable men with severely impaired sperm production to father children. Several papers have been published about aneuploidy in oligozoospermic patients, but relatively little is known about chromosome structural aberrations in the sperm of these patients. We examined sperm from infertile, oligozoospermic individuals for structural and numerical chromosomal abnormalities using a multicolor ACM FISH assay that utilizes DNA probes specific for three regions of chromosome 1 to detect human sperm that carry numerical chromosomal abnormalities plus two categories of structural aberrations: duplications and deletions of 1pter and 1cen, and chromosomal breaks within the 1cen-1q12 region. There was a significant increase in the average frequencies of sperm with duplications and deletions in the infertility patients compared with the healthy concurrent controls. There was also a significantly elevated level of breaks within the 1cen-1q12 region. There was no evidence for an increase in chromosome-1 disomy, or in diploidy. Our data reveal that oligozoospermia is associated with chromosomal structural abnormalities suggesting that, oligozoospermic men carry a higher burden of transmissible, chromosome damage. The findings raise the possibility of elevated levels of transmissible chromosomal defects following ICSI treatment.

Schmid, T E; Brinkworth, M H; Hill, F; Sloter, E; Kamischke, A; Marchetti, F; Nieschlag, E; Wyrobek, A J



Turbidity as a method of preparing sperm dilutions in the echinoid sperm/egg bioassay  

SciTech Connect

The use of turbidimeter for preparing sperm dilutions used in the echinoid sperm/egg bioassay was evaluated. Regression analyses of the relationship between sperm density and turbidity for the sea urchins Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis and the sand dollar Dendraster excentricus indicated that although there were slope differences for each species, each coefficient of determination was highly significant. For Dendraster excentricus, triplicate hemacytometer counts over a range of turbidities as well as repeated preparations of a single sperm turbidity indicated similar variability for each. The use of the turbidimeter has time-saving advantages over conventional hemacytometer methods without sacrificing precision. Sperm dilutions can be prepared rapidly, minimizing seawater sperm preactivation before test initiation, and may therefore contribute to increased test precision.

Hall, T.J.; Haley, R.K.; Battan, K.J. (National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement, Anacortes, WA (United States))



Fertilization by proxy: rival sperm removal and translocation in a beetle  

Microsoft Academic Search

Competition between di¡erent males' sperm for the fertilization of ova has led to the evolution of a diver- sity of characters in male reproductive behaviour, physiology and morphology. Males may increase sperm competition success either by enhancing the success of their own sperm or by negating or eliminating the success of rival sperm. Here, we ¢nd that in the £our

E. Haubruge; L. Arnaud; J. Mignon; M. J. G. Gage



Impact of increasing milk production on whole farm environmental management  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

Increasing herd milk production can provide both economic benefit to the producer and environmental benefit to society. Simulated dairy farms with average annual herd productions from 16,000 to 30,000 lb/cow illustrate that increasing milk yield per cow improves feed efficiency, reduces feed costs a...


Flow cytometry of sperm  

SciTech Connect

This brief paper summarizes automated flow cytometric determination of sperm morphology and flow cytometry/sorting of sperm with application to sex preselection. In the latter context, mention is made of results of karyotypic determination of sex chromosome ratios in albumin-processed human sperm. 23 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

Gledhill, B.L.



Female sperm use and storage between fertilization events drive sperm competition and male ejaculate allocation.  


Sperm competition theory has traditionally focused on how male allocation responds to female promiscuity, when males compete to fertilize a single clutch of eggs. Here, we develop a model to ask how female sperm use and storage across consecutive reproductive events affect male ejaculate allocation and patterns of mating and paternity. In our model, sperm use (a single parameter under female control) is the main determinant of sperm competition, which alters the effect of female promiscuity on male success and, ultimately, male reproductive allocation. Our theory reproduces the general pattern predicted by existing theory that increased sperm competition favors increased allocation to ejaculates. However, our model predicts a negative correlation between male ejaculate allocation and female promiscuity, challenging the generality of a prevailing expectation of sperm competition theory. Early models assumed that the energetic costs of precopulatory competition and the level of sperm competition are both determined by female promiscuity, which leads to an assumed covariation between these two processes. By modeling precopulatory costs and sperm competition independently, our theoretical framework allows us to examine how male allocation should respond independently to variation in sperm competition and energetic trade-offs in mating systems that have been overlooked in the past. PMID:25307988

Requena, Gustavo S; Alonzo, Suzanne H



Sperm competition and sperm midpiece size: no consistent pattern in passerine birds  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition is thought to be a major force driving the evolution of sperm shape and function. However, previous studies investigating the relationship between the risk of sperm competition and sperm morphometry revealed inconclusive results and marked differences between taxonomic groups. In a comparative study of two families of passerines (Fringillidae and Sylviidae) and also across species belonging to different passerine families, we investigated the relative importance of the phylogenetic background on the relationship between sperm morphometry and the risk of sperm competition. The risk of sperm competition was inferred from relative testis mass as an indicator of investment in sperm production. We found: (i) a significant positive association between both midpiece length and flagellum length and relative testis mass in the Fringillidae, (ii) a significant negative association between sperm trait dimensions and relative testis mass in the Sylviidae, and (iii) no association across all species. Despite the striking difference in the patterns shown by the Sylviidae and the Fringillidae, the relationship between midpiece length and flagellum length was positive in both families and across all species with positive allometry. Reasons for the differences and similarities between passerine families are discussed. PMID:17476777

Immler, Simone; Birkhead, Tim R



Ovarian fluid of receptive females enhances sperm velocity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The females of several internal fertilizers are able to store sperm for a long time, reducing the risk of sperm limitation. However, it also means that males can attempt to mate outside females' receptive period, potentially increasing the level of sperm competition and exacerbating sexual conflict over mating. The guppy ( Poecilia reticulata), an internally fertilizing fish, is a model system of such competition and conflict. Female guppies accept courtship and mate consensually only during receptive periods of the ovarian cycle but receive approximately one (mostly forced) mating attempt per minute both during and outside their sexually receptive phase. In addition, females can store viable sperm for months. We expected that guppy females would disfavour sperm received during their unreceptive period, possibly by modulating the quality and/or quantity of the components present in the ovarian fluid (OF) over the breeding cycle. Ovarian fluid has been shown to affect sperm velocity, a determinant of sperm competition success in this and other fishes. We found that in vitro sperm velocity is slower in OF collected from unreceptive females than in OF from receptive females. Visual stimulation with a potential partner prior to collection did not significantly affect in vitro sperm velocity. These results suggest that sperm received by unreceptive females may be disfavoured as sperm velocity likely affects the migration process and the number of sperm that reach storage sites.

Gasparini, Clelia; Andreatta, Gabriele; Pilastro, Andrea



Age-dependent changes in sperm production, semen quality, and testicular volume in the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes).  


The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), which was extirpated from its native North American prairie habitat during the 1980s, is being reintroduced to the wild because of a successful captive-breeding program. To enhance propagation, the reproductive biology of this endangered species is being studied intensively. The typical life span of the black-footed ferret is approximately 7 yr. Female fecundity declines after 3 yr of age, but the influence of age on male reproduction is unknown. In this study, testis volume, seminal traits, sperm morphology, and serum testosterone were compared in 116 males from 1 to 7 yr of age living in captivity. Results demonstrated that testes volume during the peak breeding season was similar (P > 0.05) among males 1 to 5 yr of age, reduced (P < 0.05) among males 6 yr of age, and further reduced (P < 0.05) among males 7 yr of age. Motile sperm/ejaculate was similar in males 1 to 6 yr of age but diminished (P < 0.05) in those 7 yr of age. Males at 6 and 7 yr of age produced fewer (P < 0.05) structurally normal sperm than younger counterparts; however, serum testosterone concentrations were not reduced (P > 0.05) in older males. Histological comparison of testicular/epididymal tissue from 5- and 7-yr-old black-footed ferrets confirmed that the interval between these two ages may represent a transitional period to reproductive senescence. In summary, functional reproductive capacity of male black-footed ferrets exceeds that of females by at least 2 yr. Testes and seminal quality are indistinguishable among males 1 to 5 yr of age, with progressive reproductive aging occurring thereafter. PMID:10859258

Wolf, K N; Wildt, D E; Vargas, A; Marinari, P E; Kreeger, J S; Ottinger, M A; Howard, J G



Research Spotlight: Coastal cooling and marine productivity increasing off Peru  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The upwelling system off Peru is of environmental and economic importance due to its high fish productivity. It has been suggested that global warming may be leading to increasing temperature differences between the coast and the ocean, causing increases in alongshore wind stress and coastal upwelling in this zone. Upwelling brings nutrients from deep waters toward the surface, increasing biological productivity. To confirm reported trends of increasing coastal cooling and rising biological productivity, Gutiérrez et al. analyzed sediment records spanning the past 150 years as well as instrumental records from the main upwelling zone off Peru. They found that sea surface temperatures have been declining since the 1950s in the main upwelling zone. The cooling trend is likely linked to increased upwelling in spring, during which there is enhanced biological productivity. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2010GL046324, 2011)

Tretkoff, Ernie



Sperm selection and genetic incompatibility: does relatedness of mates affect male success in sperm competition?  

PubMed Central

Sperm selection may be said to occur if females influence the relative success of ejaculates competing to fertilize their ova. Most evidence that female animals or their ova are capable of sperm selection relates to male genetic incompatibility, although relatively few studies focus on competition between conspecific males. Here I look for evidence of sperm selection with respect to relatedness of mates. Reduced fitness or inbreeding effects in offspring resulting from copulations between close relatives are well documented. If females are capable of sperm selection, they might therefore be expected to discriminate against the sperm of sibling males during sperm competition. I describe an experimental protocol designed to test for evidence of sperm selection while controlling for inbreeding effects. Using decorated field crickets (Gryllodes supplicans), I found that sibling males achieved lower fertilization success in competition with a male unrelated to the female than in competition with another sibling more frequently than expected by chance, although the mean paternity values did not differ significantly between treatments. The tendancy for sibling males to achieve relatively lower fertilization success in competition with males unrelated to the female could not be explained by the effects of increased ejaculate allocation, female control of sperm transfer or inbreeding. This study therefore provides some evidence in support of the idea that female insects (or their ova) may be capable of selection against sperm on the basis of genetic similarity of conspecific males.

Stockley, P.



Elevated frequencies of hyperhaploid sperm were detected in a man with a history of multiple aneuploid pregnancies  

SciTech Connect

The goal of this research is to determine the heritable risk associated with elevations in the proportion of hyperhaploid human sperm. A case family presented with a history of four aneuploid pregnancies: two with autosomal trisomies (47,+ 22 and 47, +15) which were non-viable and two children with sex chromosomal aneuploidies (47, XYY and Klinefelter syndrome, 47, XXY). The father consumed {approximately}{1/2} pack of cigarettes and 1 alcoholic drink per day. He had no notable occupational or environmental exposures. Paternal origin of extra X chromosomes in the boy with Klinefelter syndrome was confirmed by DNA analyses of blood using polymorphic X-linked microsatellite markers. The inheritance pattern was established by {ge}2 informative loci using PCR products analyzed on an automatic DNA sequencer. Multi-probe sperm FISH was employed to determine the proportion of sperm with aneuploidies involving chromosome 21, X, and Y. Sperm aneuploidy frequencies of hyper-haploid sperm; XY ({approximately}6 fold, p < 0.001), 21-21 ({approximately}6 fold, p< 0.001), XX and YY ({approximately}2 fold, p<0.02). These findings suggest that elevated proportions of aneuploid sperm may be associated with an increased risk of fathering an aneuploid offspring. These findings are also relevant for future studies of heritable risk for men with elevations in sperm aneuploidy after exposures to therapeutic or environmental agents.

Chuu, Y.J.; Wyrobek, A.J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Kidd, S. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)] [and others



Characterization of red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) sperm: Seasonal changes and influence of genetic purity.  


The general decline in wild Iberian populations of the red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) has been accompanied by an increase in game-farm facilities producing hybrids with chukar partridges (Alectoris chukar). Genetic introgression from chukar partridges is thought to modify male red-legged partridge reproductive indicators. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of such genetic introgression on seasonal reproductive patterns by comparing the sperm and plasma testosterone concentrations of males from pure red-legged and hybrid red-legged/chukar populations. Semen was collected twice monthly over a 12-mo period using a massage technique. Both types of bird showed a clear seasonal pattern of spermatogenic activity. The proportion of males ejaculating sperm was higher (P < 0.05) among the pure red-legged birds. The greatest sperm production was recorded in March to May among the pure birds and April to May among the hybrids. Reproductive activity in both groups decreased in June, to reach a minimum in August to December among the hybrids and in September to December among the pure birds. Spermatogenic activity resumed in January in both groups. The sperm concentration produced by the pure birds was smaller than that of the hybrids (P < 0.001), but the percentage of motile sperm was higher in the pure birds (P < 0.001). The sperm of the hybrids showed greater straight-line velocity (P < 0.05), linearity (P < 0.001), straightness (P < 0.001), sperm wobble (P < 0.05), and beat-cross frequency values (P < 0.001). The length and area of the sperm head were smaller in the pure birds (P < 0.05). The seasonal plasma testosterone concentration pattern followed a trend roughly parallel to the ejaculatory response. The present results suggest that genetic introgression influences the reproductive variables of the red-legged partridge. PMID:25577796

Santiago-Moreno, J; Castaño, C; Toledano-Díaz, A; Esteso, M C; López-Sebastián, A; Gañán, N; Hierro, M J; Marchal, F; Campo, J L; Blesbois, E



Automatic evaluation of ram sperm morphometry.  


This study was designed to develop a new method based on fluorescence microscopy and image analysis for the automatic assessment of sperm morphometry and to study separately the effect of drying and fixation on the parameters of head sperm morphometry in the ram. The study was divided into two experiments. In the first experiment, ejaculates from 25 adult males were collected using an artificial vagina, diluted and divided into four sample aliquots. The first was labeled directly with Hoechst 33342 (FRESH), and the others were processed as smears. Between smears, one group was directly labeled with Hoechst after air drying (DRIED), and the other were fixed either with glutaraldehyde (GLUT), or with methanol (MET), and labeled with Hoechst afterward. Digital images of the fluorescence-labeled sperm were recorded with a digital camera, and sperm heads were automatically captured and analyzed using the ImageJ program. The method used allowed a fast and automatic selection of most sperm heads for a given image with high precision. There was a general trend toward significant decrease in head length, width, area and perimeter of air-dried sperm compared with fresh sperm. On average, this decrease was of 4.1% in length, 4.3% in width, 9.1% in area, and 2.8% in perimeter. Between semen smears, fixation with glutaraldehyde significantly increased head sperm dimensions. The smears fixed with glutaraldehyde method is recommended for a more practical use than with fresh samples, providing better quality images than the other methods, and because the morphometric results obtained were more similar to the FRESH group than those of the DRIED and MET. In the second experiment, ejaculates from adult males were used to compare the sperm head morphometric results obtained with the new method developed (using the GLUT treatment as reference) with a more conventional CASMA method (semen smears stained with Hemacolor and processed with the ISAS commercial software, HEM). The GLUT method allowed the analysis of 100% of sperm, whereas only 93% of sperm could be analyzed using HEM. Spermatozoa displayed a bigger size when processed with HEM than with GLUT method in all primary sperm head morphometric parameters. A significant correlation was observed between the two methods used in this experiment for all morphometric size parameters. The new method developed allows automatic determination of sperm head morphometry in a reduced time, which facilitates its use in routine semen analysis. It was concluded that the automation of sperm morphometry is feasible using fluorescence microscopy and image analysis and that the effect of drying and fixation was less important than previously stated. PMID:22225689

Yániz, J L; Vicente-Fiel, S; Capistrós, S; Palacín, I; Santolaria, P



Developmental exposure to decabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-209): effects on sperm oxidative stress and chromatin DNA damage in mouse offspring.  


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used as brominated flame retardants and have been found in human milk in recent years. This study investigates whether prenatal exposure to decabrominated diphenyl ether (BDE-209) induces sperm dysfunction in male offspring. Pregnant CD-1 mice were gavaged once daily with corn oil (control), 10, 500, and 1500 mg kg(-1) body weight of BDE-209 from day 0 of gestation to day 17. The outcomes of male reproductive parameters were assessed on postnatal day 71. Anogenital distance, sperm-head abnormalities, and testicular histopathology were significantly affected in male offspring prenatally exposed to 1500 mg kg(-1). Significant increases in the tendency for sperm DNA denaturation (?T) induction and the DNA fragmentation index (DFI) were found in those exposed to 10, 500, and 1500 mg kg(-1) (P < 0.05). We observed a significant increase of sperm hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) generation in the 10 and 1500 mg/kg/day groups compared to the control group (P < 0.05). Although our findings suggested that the mechanisms underlying BDE-209-induced sperm DNA damage and H(2)O(2) generation might not be represented as a dose-response relationship, we found that the greater the excess production of sperm H(2)O(2), the greater the sperm ?T (r = 0.65, P = 0.0155) and DFI (r = 0.53, P = 0.002). In conclusion, developmental exposure to BDE-209 induced sperm-head abnormality, oxidative stress, chromatin DNA damage, and testicular histopathological changes. These findings suggest that BDE-209-induced male reproductive effects might involve the formation of sperm H(2)O(2) which attacks nucleic acids via H(2)O(2) generation. PMID:21626651

Tseng, Li-Ho; Hsu, Ping-Chi; Lee, Chia-Wei; Tsai, Shinn-Shyong; Pan, Min-Hsiung; Li, Mei-Hui



Second Forum on Energy & Water Sustainability: Increasing Resource Productivity  

E-print Network

Second Forum on Energy & Water Sustainability: Increasing Resource Productivity April 10, 2009 on Energy & Water Sustainability in 2007 successfully brought together policy-makers, researchers, energy of energy and water sustainability, considering the important linkages between these two resources

Keller, Arturo A.


The dynamics of sperm cooperation in a competitive environment  

PubMed Central

Sperm cooperation has evolved in a variety of taxa and is often considered a response to sperm competition, yet the benefit of this form of collective movement remains unclear. Here, we use fine-scale imaging and a minimal mathematical model to study sperm aggregation in the rodent genus Peromyscus. We demonstrate that as the number of sperm cells in an aggregate increase, the group moves with more persistent linearity but without increasing speed. This benefit, however, is offset in larger aggregates as the geometry of the group forces sperm to swim against one another. The result is a non-monotonic relationship between aggregate size and average velocity with both a theoretically predicted and empirically observed optimum of six to seven sperm per aggregate. To understand the role of sexual selection in driving these sperm group dynamics, we compared two sister-species with divergent mating systems. We find that sperm of Peromyscus maniculatus (highly promiscuous), which have evolved under intense competition, form optimal-sized aggregates more often than sperm of Peromyscus polionotus (strictly monogamous), which lack competition. Our combined mathematical and experimental study of coordinated sperm movement reveals the importance of geometry, motion and group size on sperm velocity and suggests how these physical variables interact with evolutionary selective pressures to regulate cooperation in competitive environments. PMID:25056618

Fisher, Heidi S.; Giomi, Luca; Hoekstra, Hopi E.; Mahadevan, L.



The dynamics of sperm cooperation in a competitive environment.  


Sperm cooperation has evolved in a variety of taxa and is often considered a response to sperm competition, yet the benefit of this form of collective movement remains unclear. Here, we use fine-scale imaging and a minimal mathematical model to study sperm aggregation in the rodent genus Peromyscus. We demonstrate that as the number of sperm cells in an aggregate increase, the group moves with more persistent linearity but without increasing speed. This benefit, however, is offset in larger aggregates as the geometry of the group forces sperm to swim against one another. The result is a non-monotonic relationship between aggregate size and average velocity with both a theoretically predicted and empirically observed optimum of six to seven sperm per aggregate. To understand the role of sexual selection in driving these sperm group dynamics, we compared two sister-species with divergent mating systems. We find that sperm of Peromyscus maniculatus (highly promiscuous), which have evolved under intense competition, form optimal-sized aggregates more often than sperm of Peromyscus polionotus (strictly monogamous), which lack competition. Our combined mathematical and experimental study of coordinated sperm movement reveals the importance of geometry, motion and group size on sperm velocity and suggests how these physical variables interact with evolutionary selective pressures to regulate cooperation in competitive environments. PMID:25056618

Fisher, Heidi S; Giomi, Luca; Hoekstra, Hopi E; Mahadevan, L



The dynamics of sperm cooperation in a competitive environment  

E-print Network

Sperm cooperation has evolved in a variety of taxa and is often considered a response to sperm competition, yet the benefit of this form of collective movement remains unclear. Here we use fine-scale imaging and a minimal mathematical model to study sperm aggregation in the rodent genus $Peromyscus$. We demonstrate that as the number of sperm cells in an aggregate increase, the group moves with more persistent linearity but without increasing speed; this benefit, however, is offset in larger aggregates as the geometry of the group forces sperm to swim against one another. The result is a non-monotonic relationship between aggregate size and average velocity with both a theoretically predicted and empirically observed optimum of 6-7 sperm/aggregate. To understand the role of sexual selection in driving these sperm group dynamics, we compared two sister-species with divergent mating systems and find that sperm of $P.\\,maniculatus$ (highly promiscuous), which have evolved under intense competition, form optimal-sized aggregates more often than sperm of $P.\\,polionotus$ (strictly monogamous), which lack competition. Our combined mathematical and experimental study of coordinated sperm movement reveals the importance of geometry, motion and group size on sperm velocity and suggests how these physical variables interact with evolutionary selective pressures to regulate cooperation in competitive environments.

H. S. Fisher; L. Giomi; H. E. Hoekstra; L. Mahadevan



An investigation of productivity increases from hydraulic fracturing treatments  

E-print Network

AN INVESTIGATION OF PRODUCTIVITY INCREASES FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING TREATMENTS A Thesis b7 Robert Joe Boriskie Submitted to the Graduate School of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in partial fulfillment of the requirements... for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE August, 1963 Major Subject: Petroleum Engineering AN INVESTIGATION OF PRODUCTIVITY INCREASES FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING TREATMENTS A Thesis Robert Joe Boriskie Approved as to style and content by: Chairman of Committee...

Boriskie, Robert Joe



Single bovine sperm sex typing by amelogenin nested PCR.  


Sex-sorted bovine semen has become a valuable tool in animal production for sex preselection. Development of novel sperm sexing technologies, or evaluation of the quality of existing methods, often requires a single-sperm, sex-typing method that is reliable and easy to perform. In the present study, we report the development, validation, and application of a simple, reliable, and cost-effective method for single-sperm sex typing using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), based on the amelogenin gene. Several hundred single sperm were isolated using a simple manual technique, or a high-speed flow-sorter, and were successfully sex-typed using the amelogenin nested PCR. Based on the pooled results of individual sperm, there was no significant difference in the semen sex ratio of unsorted (44.6% X-sperm and 55.4% Y-sperm) or X/Y-sorted semen (91.4% X-sperm and 94.0% Y-sperm), as compared to the expected ratio in unsorted semen or the post-sorting reanalysis data, respectively. The amelogenin single-sperm sexing method was an adaptable, accurate, and reliable tool for single-sperm sex typing. PMID:18653223

Colley, A; Buhr, M; Golovan, S P



Observation of sperm-head vacuoles and sperm morphology under light microscope  

PubMed Central

Objective The presence of sperm-head vacuoles has been suspected to be deleterious to the outcomes of assisted reproductive technology (ART). It is difficult to accurately distinguish morphologically abnormal sperm with vacuoles under a light microscope. This study was performed to analyze the result of the observation of sperm-head vacuoles using Papanicolaou staining under a light microscope and whether the male partner's age affects these vacuoles. Methods Sperm morphology with vacuoles was evaluated using Papanicolaou staining and observed under a light microscope (400×) in 980 men. The normal morphology was divided into three categories (group A, <4% of normal morphology; group B, 4%-14% of normal morphology; and group C, >14% of normal morphology). The criteria for the sperm-head vacuoles were those given in the World Health Organization manual. For the analysis of the age factor, the participants were divided into the following groups: 26-30 years, 31-35 years, 36-40 years, 41-45 years, and 46-50 years. Results The percentage of sperm-head vacuoles increased with normal sperm morphology (group A vs. groups B, C) (p<0.05). In the case of the age factor, a statistically significant difference was not observed across any of the age groups. Conclusion A majority of the sperm-head vacuoles showed a statistically significant difference among normal morphology groups. Therefore, we should consider the probability of the percentage of sperm-head vacuoles not increasing with age but with abnormal sperm morphology. A further study is required to clarify the effect of the sperm-head vacuoles on ART outcomes. PMID:25309858

Park, Sol; Ko, Duck Sung; Park, Dong Wook; Yang, Kwang Moon



Mammalian sperm morphometry.  

PubMed Central

Understanding the adaptive significance of sperm form and function has been a challenge to biologists because sperm are highly specialized cells operating at a microscopic level in a complex environment. A fruitful course of investigation has been to use the comparative approach. This comparative study attempts to address some fundamental questions of the evolution of mammalian sperm morphometry. Data on sperm morphometry for 445 mammalian species were collated from published sources. I use contemporary phylogenetic analysis to control for the inherent non-independence of species and explore relationships between the morphometric dimensions of the three essential spermatozoal components: head, mid-piece and flagellum. Energy for flagellar action is metabolized by the mitochondrial-dense mid-piece and these combine to propel the sperm head, carrying the male haplotype, to the ovum. I therefore search for evolutionary associations between sperm morphometry and body mass, karyotype and the duration of oestrus. In contrast to previous findings, there is no inverse correlation between body weight and sperm length. Sperm mid-piece and flagellum lengths are positively associated with both head length and area, and the slopes of these relationships are discussed. Flagellum length is positively associated with mid-piece length but, in contrast to previous research and after phylogenetic control, I find no relationship between flagellum length and the volume of the mitochondrial sheath. Sperm head dimensions are not related to either genome mass or chromosome number, and there are no relationships between sperm morphometry and the duration of oestrus. PMID:9474794

Gage, M J



Sperm functional tests.  


Several semen parameters are used to discriminate the fertile male from the subfertile male. The most widely used parameters are sperm concentration, motility, progressive motility, and sperm morphology. Semen analysis is usually applied as described in the World Health Organization manual for semen analysis. In addition to a routine semen analysis, sperm functional tests have been described for many years, which in most cases are regarded as research tools and not part of the routine semen testing in an infertility clinic. In this review we report on the value of four sperm function tests: the sperm penetration assay, the sperm-zona pellucida binding tests, the acrosome reaction, and the hyaluronan binding assay. For each test we describe the current value, the indication for performing the test, how to interpret the results, and its therapeutic implications. Our data show that sperm functional assays are highly predictive of IVF outcome results and have the potential to assist in clinical decision making, especially to avoid the current long-standing treatment with IUI and to direct the patients to intracytoplasmic sperm injection without delay when sperm functional testing fails. We believe that advances in molecular biology techniques will allow us to develop simpler sperm function assays in the near future. This will undoubtedly help clinicians in optimizing male factor infertility diagnosis and treatment. PMID:25450304

Oehninger, Sergio; Franken, Daniel R; Ombelet, Willem



Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase-S, a sperm-specific glycolytic enzyme, is required for sperm motility and male fertility  

PubMed Central

Although glycolysis is highly conserved, it is remarkable that several unique isozymes in this central metabolic pathway are found in mammalian sperm. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase-S (GAPDS) is the product of a mouse gene expressed only during spermatogenesis and, like its human ortholog (GAPD2), is the sole GAPDH isozyme in sperm. It is tightly bound to the fibrous sheath, a cytoskeletal structure that extends most of the length of the sperm flagellum. We disrupted Gapds expression by gene targeting to selectively block sperm glycolysis and assess its relative importance for in vivo sperm function. Gapds–/– males were infertile and had profound defects in sperm motility, exhibiting sluggish movement without forward progression. Although mitochondrial oxygen consumption was unchanged, sperm from Gapds–/– mice had ATP levels that were only 10.4% of those in sperm from WT mice. These results imply that most of the energy required for sperm motility is generated by glycolysis rather than oxidative phosphorylation. Furthermore, the critical role of glycolysis in sperm and its dependence on this sperm-specific enzyme suggest that GAPDS is a potential contraceptive target, and that mutations or environmental agents that disrupt its activity could lead to male infertility. PMID:15546993

Miki, Kiyoshi; Qu, Weidong; Goulding, Eugenia H.; Willis, William D.; Bunch, Donna O.; Strader, Lillian F.; Perreault, Sally D.; Eddy, Edward M.; O'Brien, Deborah A.



REGULAR ARTICLE Selenium increases seed production in Brassica  

E-print Network

Abstract Selenium (Se) is essential for humans and animals but is not considered to be essential for higher plants. Although researchers have found increases in vegetative growth due to fertiliser Se, there has been no definitive evidence to date of increased reproductive capacity, in terms of seed production and seed viability. The aim of this study was to evaluate seed production and growth responses to a low dose of Se (as sodium selenite, added to solution culture) compared to very low-Se controls in fast-cycling Brassica rapa L. Although there was no change in total biomass, Se treatment was associated with a 43 % increase in seed production. The Se-treated Brassica plants had higher total respiratory activity in leaves and flowers, which may have contributed to higher seed production. This

G. H. Lyons; Y. Genc; K. Soole; J. C. R. Stangoulis; G. H. Lyons; Y. Genc; F. Liu; R. D. Graham; Y. Genc



Male mammals respond to a risk of sperm competition conveyed by odours of conspecific males  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Sperm competition occurs when a female copulates with two or more males and the sperm of those males compete within the female's reproductive tract to fertilize her eggs. The frequent occurrence of sperm competition has forced males of many species to develop different strategies to overcome the sperm of competing males. A prevalent strategy is for males to increase their sperm investment (total number of sperm allocated by a male to a particular female) after detecting a risk of sperm competition. It has been shown that the proportion of sperm that one male contributes to the sperm pool of a female is correlated with the proportion of offspring sired by that male. Therefore, by increasing his sperm investment a male may bias a potential sperm competition in his favour. Here we show that male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm investment when they mate in the presence of another male's odours. Such an increase in sperm investment does not occur by augmenting the frequency of ejaculations, but by increasing the amount of sperm in a similar number of ejaculations.

delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H.



Male mammals respond to a risk of sperm competition conveyed by odours of conspecific males.  


Sperm competition occurs when a female copulates with two or more males and the sperm of those males compete within the female's reproductive tract to fertilize her eggs. The frequent occurrence of sperm competition has forced males of many species to develop different strategies to overcome the sperm of competing males. A prevalent strategy is for males to increase their sperm investment (total number of sperm allocated by a male to a particular female) after detecting a risk of sperm competition. It has been shown that the proportion of sperm that one male contributes to the sperm pool of a female is correlated with the proportion of offspring sired by that male. Therefore, by increasing his sperm investment a male may bias a potential sperm competition in his favour. Here we show that male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm investment when they mate in the presence of another male's odours. Such an increase in sperm investment does not occur by augmenting the frequency of ejaculations, but by increasing the amount of sperm in a similar number of ejaculations. PMID:15386011

Delbarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H



Cryopreservation of Sperm from the Endangered Colorado Pikeminnow  

USGS Publications Warehouse

We developed methods for the cryopreservation of sperm of the endangered Colorado pikeminnow Ptychocheilus lucius. Sperm were collected from a captive broodstock population of Colorado pikeminnow reared and maintained at the Dexter National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center. Our objectives were to (1) evaluate the effects on sperm motility of 24-h storage in Hanks' balanced salt solution (HBSS); (2) characterize sperm motility and duration; (3) examine the relationship between sperm motility and osmotic pressure; (4) examine the effect of four cryoprotectants (dimethyl sulfoxide [DMSO], dimethyl acetamide [DMA], glycerol, and methanol [MeOH] at two concentrations [5% and 10%]) on postthaw motility; and (5) compare the effect of two cooling rates (40??C/ min and 4??C/min) on postthaw motility. The sperm samples diluted with HBSS retained higher motility (mean ??SD, 77 ?? 22%; n = 9) than did undiluted samples (12 ?? 30%; n = 9) after 24 h of storage. When exposed to HBSS at 274 mosmols/kg or more, few sperm became motile (???1%). Exposure to HBSS at 265 mosmols/kg elicited threshold activation (defined as 10% motility), and maximum motility (>95%) was observed at 93 mosmols/ kg. The maximum motility of sperm was observed within 10 s after activation with deionized water, and sperm remained motile for 57 s. The sperm that were cooled at a rate of 40??C/min and cryopreserved with 5% MeOH retained higher postthaw motility (56 ?? 13%) than did sperm cryopreserved with DMSO, DMA, or glycerol (at 5% and 10%). When the sperm samples were cooled at a rate of 4??C/min, sperm cryopreserved with MeOH (5% or 10%) or DMSO (5% or 10%) retained the highest postthaw motilities (???14%). The use of cryopreserved sperm can assist hatchery managers in the production of fish, provide for the long-term conservation of genetic resources, and assist in the recovery of endangered species such as the Colorado pikeminnow.

Tiersch, T.R.; Figiel, C.R., Jr.; Wayman, W.R.; Williamson, J.H.; Gorman, O.T.; Carmichael, G.J.



Increasing protein production by directed vector backbone evolution  

PubMed Central

Recombinant protein production in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms was a key enabling technology for the rapid development of industrial and molecular biotechnology. However, despite all progress the improvement of protein production is an ongoing challenge and of high importance for cost-effective enzyme production. With the epMEGAWHOP mutagenesis protocol for vector backbone optimization we report a novel directed evolution based approach to increase protein production levels by randomly introducing mutations in the vector backbone. In the current study we validate the epMEGAWHOP mutagenesis protocol for three different expression systems. The latter demonstrated the general applicability of the epMEGAWHOP method. Cellulase and lipase production was doubled in one round of directed evolution by random mutagenesis of pET28a(+) and pET22b(+) vector backbones. Protease production using the vector pHY300PLK was increased ~4-times with an average of ~1.25 mutations per kb vector backbone. The epMEGAWHOP does not require any rational understanding of the expression machinery and can generally be applied to enzymes, expression vectors and related hosts. epMEGAWHOP is therefore from our point of view a robust, rapid and straight forward alternative for increasing protein production in general and for biotechnological applications. PMID:23890095



Effect of organic selenium in the diet on sperm quality of boars.  


The effect of a diet supplemented with organic selenium (Se) on sperm production and quality of boars was investigated. Sixty mature boars from a commercial artificial insemination centre were randomly allocated at Day (D) 0 into Group A and B. Group A received the regular ration supplemented with inorganic Se (0.4?mg/kg feed as Na(2) SeO(3)) whereas Group B was switched to the same diet but with organic Se (0.4?mg/kg fed as Se-yeast). The sperm was investigated during 4?months (D0, D30, D60, D75, D90, D105 and D120). Sperm concentration and motility were objectively measured using a photometer and Computer Assisted Semen Analysis (CASA) respectively. Morphology of the sperm was assessed using eosin-nigrosin staining and the resistance to induction of oxidative stress (production of malonaldehyde, MDA) through thiobarbituric acid reagent species analysis. Additionally, the Se concentration in sperm and blood plasma were measured. Repeated measures analysis of variance (anova) from D60 to 120 (spermatogenesis of approximately 2?months) or anova at D120 (Se concentrations) were used for statistical analysis. The total number of ejaculated sperm was not significantly different between both groups, but boars of Group B had a significantly higher sperm concentration (434.6 vs 514.1?×?10(6) sperm/ml; p?sperm of Group B showed more oxidative stress (4.1 vs 4.9??mol MDA/l; p??0.05) were observed for the other parameters. Under the present study conditions, changing from inorganic Se to organic Se in the diet of boars increased sperm concentration but reduced some motility parameters and resistance to oxidative stress. PMID:20015118

López, A; Rijsselaere, T; Van Soom, A; Leroy, J L M R; De Clercq, J B P; Bols, P E J; Maes, D



Effects of extracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate on human sperm motility.  


Extracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) previously has been shown to increase the fertilization percentage in human in vitro fertilization (IVF) performed for male factor infertility. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of extracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATPe) on human sperm function by examining its effects on end points of sperm capacitation. Sperm obtained from healthy volunteers with normal semen parameters, asthenozoospermic men, and cryopreserved samples were incubated in medium with or without 2.5 mM ATPe. The effects of ATPe on acrosomal exocytosis, protein tyrosine phosphorylation, and sperm motility parameters were quantified. Although ATPe did not affect acrosomal exocytosis or protein tyrosine phosphorylation in sperm from healthy donors, it significantly altered several motility parameters, with the largest effects manifested in increased curvilinear velocity and percentage hyperactivation. ATPe similarly affected sperm selected for poor motility and thawed cryopreserved sperm but to a lesser extent than its effects on sperm with normal motility. ATPe increased straight-line velocity and linearity of sperm obtained from asthenozoospermic men. Human sperm motility characteristics are altered by ATPe; this finding may explain its previously reported beneficial effect on human IVF. These results suggest that ATPe could constitute a new therapeutic modality in the treatment of male infertility. PMID:18000227

Edwards, Scott E; Buffone, Mariano G; Knee, Gerald R; Rossato, Marco; Bonanni, Guglielmo; Masiero, Stefano; Ferasin, Sergio; Gerton, George L; Moss, Stuart B; Williams, Carmen J



Differences in the fatty-acid composition of rodent spermatozoa are associated to levels of sperm competition  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition is a prevalent phenomenon that drives the evolution of sperm function. High levels of sperm competition lead to increased metabolism to fuel higher sperm velocities. This enhanced metabolism can result in oxidative damage (including lipid peroxidation) and damage to the membrane. We hypothesized that in those species experiencing high levels of sperm competition there are changes in the fatty-acid composition of the sperm membrane that makes the membrane more resistant to oxidative damage. Given that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are the most prone to lipid peroxidation, we predicted that higher sperm competition leads to a reduction in the proportion of sperm PUFAs. In contrast, we predicted that levels of sperm competition should not affect the proportion of PUFAs in somatic cells. To test these predictions, we quantified the fatty-acid composition of sperm, testis and liver cells in four mouse species (genus Mus) that differ in their levels of sperm competition. Fatty-acid composition in testis and liver cells was not associated to sperm competition levels. However, in sperm cells, as predicted, an increase in sperm competition levels was associated with an increase in the proportion of saturated fatty-acids (the most resistant to lipid peroxidation) and by a concomitant decrease in the proportion of PUFAs. Two particular fatty acids were most responsible for this pattern (arachidonic acid and palmitic acid). Our findings thus indicate that sperm competition has a pervasive influence in the composition of sperm cells that ultimately may have important effects in sperm function. PMID:25795911

delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Mateo, Rafael; Roldan, Eduardo R. S.



Rheotaxis guides mammalian sperm  

PubMed Central

Background In sea urchins, spermatozoan motility is altered by chemotactic peptides, giving rise to the assumption that mammalian eggs also emit chemotactic agents that guide spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract to the mature oocyte. Mammalian spermatozoa indeed undergo complex adaptations within the female (the process of capacitation) that are initiated by agents ranging from pH to progesterone, but these factors are not necessarily taxic. Currently, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, and rheotaxis have not been definitively established in mammals. Results Here, we show that positive rheotaxis, the ability of organisms to orient and swim against the flow of surrounding fluid, is a major taxic factor for mouse and human sperm. This flow is generated within 4 hours of sexual stimulation and coitus in female mice; prolactin-triggered oviductal fluid secretion clears the oviduct of debris, lowers viscosity, and generates the stream that guides sperm migration in the oviduct. Rheotaxic movement is demonstrated in capacitated and uncapacitated spermatozoa in low and high viscosity medium. Finally, we show that a unique sperm motion we quantify using the sperm head's rolling rate reflects sperm rotation that generates essential force for positioning the sperm in the stream. Rotation requires CatSper channels, presumably by enabling Ca2+ influx. Conclusions We propose that rheotaxis is a major determinant of sperm guidance over long distances in the mammalian female reproductive tract. Coitus induces fluid flow to guide sperm in the oviduct. Sperm rheotaxis requires rotational motion during CatSper channel-dependent hyperactivated motility. PMID:23453951

Miki, Kiyoshi; Clapham, David E



Current status of freeze-drying technology to preserve domestic animals sperm.  


In recent years, there has been an increased interest in new preservation techniques that facilitate sperm storage and distribution, with freeze-drying (FD) having been proposed as an alternative method for sperm preservation and maintenance of genetic resources in different animal species. FD is a method in which frozen material is dried by sublimation of ice, thereby involving a direct transition from a solid (ice) to a vapour (gas) phase. One of the main advantages of FD is that nitrogen and dry ice are no longer required for the storage and shipment of frozen sperm, which can be stored at room temperature or 4°C, thereby resulting in enormous reductions in storage and shipping costs. Unlike sperm cryopreserved after gradual freezing, the sperm membrane may be further damaged by both snap-freezing and drying stresses during the FD procedure. As mammalian spermatozoa lose their motility, viability and, at least partially, their DNA integrity when freeze-dried, they must be microinjected into an oocyte by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Although the efficiency of ICSI is limited when freeze-dried spermatozoa are used, embryos and live offspring can be produced. DNA fragmentation in freeze-dried spermatozoa is one of the main causes of failure of embryonic development and successful pregnancy. In this regard, it has been suggested that endonucleases are among the leading causes of DNA fragmentation in spermatozoa along with oxidative stress caused by the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Many factors influence the FD process, and it is not clear how FD affects specific components of sperm from different animal species. As such, a sound understanding of the FD process would result in increased production of embryos and/or live offspring. The aim of this review was to study the various stages and techniques used in the FD process and to further evaluate the results obtained. PMID:25277435

Gil, L; Olaciregui, M; Luño, V; Malo, C; González, N; Martínez, F



Increasing food production at the expense of tropical forests  

Microsoft Academic Search

An attempt is made to estimate to what extent it is possible to increase food production by conversion of forest land to agricultural\\u000a land. To accomplish this two different approaches have been explored. The first one represents the possibility of developing\\u000a a comprehensive model capable of taking into account the various processes influencing the food production. It is judged that

Bo R. Döös



Ketosis Leads to Increased Methylglyoxal Production on the Atkins Diet  

Microsoft Academic Search

In the popular and widely used Atkins diet, the body burns fat as its main fuel. This process produces ketosis and hence increased levels of {szligbeta}-hydroxybutyrate (BOB) acetoacetate (AcAc) and its by-products acetone and acetol. These products are potential precursors of the glycotoxin methylglyoxal. Since methylglyoxal and its byproducts are recognized as a significant cause of blood vessel and tissue

Benjamin G. K. Beisswenger; Elizabeth M. Delucia; Nancy Lapoint; Rebecca J. Sanford; Paul J. Beisswenger



Human sperm chromosome analysis after subzonal sperm insemination of hamster oocytes  

SciTech Connect

Sperm microinjection techniques, subzonal sperm insemination (SUZI) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), have achieved a wide spread clinical application for the treatment of male infertility. To date, only one study has focused on sperm karyotypes after microinjection. Martin et al. reported a very high incidence of abnormal human sperm complements after ICSI into hamster oocytes. In the present study, are reported the first human sperm karyotypes after SUZI of hamster oocytes. Spermatozoa from two control donors were treated by calcium ionophore A23187 and injected under the zona of hamster eggs. The microinjected eggs were then cultured for cytogenetic analysis of the pronuclei. Out of 47 analyzed sperm chromosome metaphases, 5 (10.6%) were abnormal, 4 (8.5%) were hypohaploid and 1 (2.1%) had a structural abnormality. The sex ratio was not significantly different from the expected 1:1 ratio. Rates of chromosomal abnormalities in microinjected spermatozoa were similar to those observed in spermatozoa inseminated with zona free eggs, suggesting that SUZI procedure per se does not increase sperm chromosomal abnormalities.

Cozzi, J. [Medical School of Grenoble (France)



Ocean acidification impacts on sperm mitochondrial membrane potential bring sperm swimming behaviour near its tipping point.  


Broadcast spawning marine invertebrates are susceptible to environmental stressors such as climate change, as their reproduction depends on the successful meeting and fertilization of gametes in the water column. Under near-future scenarios of ocean acidification, the swimming behaviour of marine invertebrate sperm is altered. We tested whether this was due to changes in sperm mitochondrial activity by investigating the effects of ocean acidification on sperm metabolism and swimming behaviour in the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii. We used a fluorescent molecular probe (JC-1) and flow cytometry to visualize mitochondrial activity (measured as change in mitochondrial membrane potential, MMP). Sperm MMP was significantly reduced in ?pH -0.3 (35% reduction) and ?pH -0.5 (48% reduction) treatments, whereas sperm swimming behaviour was less sensitive with only slight changes (up to 11% decrease) observed overall. There was significant inter-individual variability in responses of sperm swimming behaviour and MMP to acidified seawater. We suggest it is likely that sperm exposed to these changes in pH are close to their tipping point in terms of physiological tolerance to acidity. Importantly, substantial inter-individual variation in responses of sperm swimming to ocean acidification may increase the scope for selection of resilient phenotypes, which, if heritable, could provide a basis for adaptation to future ocean acidification. PMID:25833135

Schlegel, Peter; Binet, Monique T; Havenhand, Jonathan N; Doyle, Christopher J; Williamson, Jane E



Sperm competition risk generates phenotypic plasticity in ovum fertilizability  

PubMed Central

Theory predicts that sperm competition will generate sexual conflict that favours increased ovum defences against polyspermy. A recent study on house mice has shown that ovum resistance to fertilization coevolves in response to increased sperm fertilizing capacity. However, the capacity for the female gamete to adjust its fertilizability as a strategic response to sperm competition risk has never, to our knowledge, been studied. We sourced house mice (Mus domesticus) from natural populations that differ in the level of sperm competition and sperm fertilizing capacity, and manipulated the social experience of females during their sexual development to simulate conditions of either a future ‘risk’ or ‘no risk’ of sperm competition. Consistent with coevolutionary predictions, we found lower fertilization rates in ova produced by females from a high sperm competition population compared with ova from a low sperm competition population, indicating that these populations are divergent in the fertilizability of their ova. More importantly, females exposed to a ‘risk’ of sperm competition produced ova that had greater resistance to fertilization than ova produced by females reared in an environment with ‘no risk’. Consequently, we show that variation in sperm competition risk during development generates phenotypic plasticity in ova fertilizability, which allows females to prepare for prevailing conditions during their reproductive life. PMID:24132308

Firman, Renée C.; Simmons, Leigh W.



Could increased boreal forest ecosystem productivity offset carbon losses from increased disturbances?  


To understand how boreal forest carbon (C) dynamics might respond to anticipated climatic changes, we must consider two important processes. First, projected climatic changes are expected to increase the frequency of fire and other natural disturbances that would change the forest age-class structure and reduce forest C stocks at the landscape level. Second, global change may result in increased net primary production (NPP). Could higher NPP offset anticipated C losses resulting from increased disturbances? We used the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector to simulate rate changes in disturbance, growth and decomposition on a hypothetical boreal forest landscape and to explore the impacts of these changes on landscape-level forest C budgets. We found that significant increases in net ecosystem production (NEP) would be required to balance C losses from increased natural disturbance rates. Moreover, increases in NEP would have to be sustained over several decades and be widespread across the landscape. Increased NEP can only be realized when NPP is enhanced relative to heterotrophic respiration. This study indicates that boreal forest C stocks may decline as a result of climate change because it would be difficult for enhanced growth to offset C losses resulting from anticipated increases in disturbances. PMID:18029308

Kurz, Werner A; Stinson, Graham; Rampley, Greg



Positive feedback between increasing atmospheric CO2 and ecosystem productivity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Increasing atmospheric CO2 will likely affect both the hydrologic cycle and ecosystem productivity. Current assumptions that increasing CO2 will lead to increased ecosystem productivity and plant water use efficiency (WUE) are driving optimistic predictions of higher crop yields as well as greater availability of freshwater resources due to a decrease in evapotranspiration. The plant physiological response that drives these effects is believed to be an increase in carbon uptake either by (a) stronger CO2 gradient between the stomata and the atmosphere, or by (b) reduced CO2 limitation of enzymatic carboxylation within the leaf. The (a) scenario will lead to increased water use efficiency (WUE) in plants. However, evidence for increased WUE is mostly based on modeling studies, and experiments producing a short duration or step-wise increase in CO2 concentration (e.g. free-air CO2 enrichment). We hypothesize that the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is having a positive effect on ecosystem productivity and WUE. To investigate this hypothesis, we analyzed meteorological, ANPP, and soil CO2 flux datasets together with carbon isotopic ratio (13C/12C) of archived plant samples from the long term ecological research (LTER) program at Kellogg Biological Station. The datasets were collected between 1989 and 2007 (corresponding to an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration of ~33 ppmv at Mauna Loa). Wheat (Triticum aestivum) samples taken from 1989 and 2007 show a significant decrease in the C isotope discrimination factor (?) over time. Stomatal conductance is directly related to ?, and thus ? is inversely related to plant intrinsic WUE (iWUE). Historical changes in the 13C/12C ratio (?13C) in samples of a perennial forb, Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), taken from adjacent successional fields, indicate changes in ? upon uptake of CO2 as well. These temporal trends in ? suggest a positive feedback between the increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, air temperature, and plant iWUE. This positive feedback is expressed by (a) nonparallel changes of ?13C signal of atmospheric CO2 (?a) and plant samples (?p), (b) negative correlation between the ? and average temperatures during the growth season, although only for temperatures up to 21°C. The lack of effect at higher temperatures suggests a negative influence of growing season warming on the iWUE. These results suggest a complex feedback between atmospheric CO2 increase, plant physiology, ecosystem productivity, and soil CO2 fluxes. These complex effects support our hypothesis of a CO2 fertilization effect on plant productivity, and they raise additional questions regarding adaptation of plants to changing atmospheric CO2 and climate.

Gelfand, I.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.



Breeding Technologies to Increase Crop Production in a Changing World  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

To feed the several billion people living on this planet, the production of high-quality food must increase with reduced inputs, but this accomplishment will be particularly challenging in the face of global environmental change. Crop improvement through breeding brings immense value relative to investment and offers an effective approach to improving food security.

Mark Tester (University of Adelaide; )



Pretreatment of beet molasses to increase pullulan production  

Microsoft Academic Search

Pretreatment of beet molasses with cation exchange resin, sulphuric acid, tricalcium phosphate, potassium ferrocyanide, and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and disodium salt (EDTA) to increase the production of pullulan was investigated. Among the above techniques used for the removal of heavy metals, sulphuric acid treatment gave better results regarding polysaccharide concentration, polysaccharide yield, and sugar utilization. Aureobasidium pullulans grown on beet molasses

T. Roukas



Recent primary production increases in arctic lakes Neal Michelutti,1  

E-print Network

are provided in Table 1. In general, water chemistry is acidic (pH = 5.3­6.1), chemically dilute (specificRecent primary production increases in arctic lakes Neal Michelutti,1 Alexander P. Wolfe,1 Rolf D inferences of lake sediment chlorophyll a concentrations and hence of historical trends in lacustrine primary

Wolfe, Alexander P.


Suprazero Cooling Rate, Rather Than Freezing Rate, Determines Post Thaw Quality Of Rhesus Macaque Sperm  

PubMed Central

Sperm become most sensitive to cold shock when cooled from 37ºC to 5ºC at rates that are too fast or too slow; cold shock increases the susceptibility to oxidative damage due to its influence on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production ([1]. ROS are significant stress factors that are generated during cooling and low temperature storage, and may be a main cause of decreased motility and fertility upon warming. ROS have been shown to change cellular function through the disruption of the sperm plasma membrane and through damage to proteins and DNA. The objective of this study was to determine which cryopreservation rates result in the lowest degree of oxidative damage and greatest sperm quality. In the rhesus model it has not been determined whether suprazero cooling or subzero freezing rates causes a significant amount of ROS damage to sperm. Semen samples were collected from male rhesus macaques, washed, and resuspended in TEST-yolk cryopreservation buffer to 100 x 106 sperm/mL. Sperm were frozen in 0.5mL straws at four different combinations of suprazero and subzero rates. Three different suprazero rates were used between 22ºC and 0ºC: 0.5ºC/min (Slow), 45ºC/min (Medium), and 93ºC/min (Fast). These suprazero rates were used in combination with two different subzero rates for temperatures 0ºC to ?110ºC: 42ºC/min (Medium) and 87ºC/min (Fast). The different freezing groups were as follows: Slow-Med (SM), Slow-Fast (SF), Med-Med (MM), and Fast-Fast (FF). Flow cytometry was used to detect lipid peroxidation (LPO), a result of ROS generation. Motility was evaluated using a computer assisted sperm motion analyzer. The MM and FF treated sperm had less viable (P < 0.0001) and motile sperm (P < 0.001) than the SM, SF, or fresh sperm. Sperm exposed to MM and FF treatments demonstrated significantly higher oxidative damage than SM, SF, or fresh sperm (P < 0.05). The SM and SF treated sperm showed decreased motility, membrane integrity, and LPO compared to fresh semen (P<0.001). Slow cooling from room temperature promotes higher membrane integrity and motility post thaw, compared to medium or fast cooling rates. Cells exposed to similar cooling rates with differing freezing rates were not different in motility and membrane integrity, whereas comparison of cells exposed to differing cooling rates with similar freezing rates indicated significant differences in motility, membrane integrity, and LPO. These data suggest that sperm quality appears to be more sensitive to the cooling, rather than freezing rate and highlight the role of the suprazero cooling rate in post thaw sperm quality. PMID:24239181

Martorana, Kelly; Klooster, Katie; Meyers, Stuart



Suprazero cooling rate, rather than freezing rate, determines post thaw quality of rhesus macaque sperm.  


Sperm become most sensitive to cold shock when cooled from 37 °C to 5 °C at rates that are too fast or too slow; cold shock increases the susceptibility to oxidative damage owing to its influence on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which are significant stress factors generated during cooling and low temperature storage. In addition, ROS may be a main cause of decreased motility and fertility upon warming. They have been shown to change cellular function through the disruption of the sperm plasma membrane and through damage to proteins and DNA. The objective of this study was to determine which cryopreservation rates result in the lowest degree of oxidative damage and greatest sperm quality. In the rhesus model, it has not been determined whether suprazero cooling or subzero freezing rates causes a significant amount of ROS damage to sperm. Semen samples were collected from male rhesus macaques, washed, and resuspended in TEST-yolk cryopreservation buffer to 100 × 10(6) sperm/mL. Sperm were frozen in 0.5-mL straws at four different combinations of suprazero and subzero rates. Three different suprazero rates were used between 22 °C and 0 °C: 0.5 °C/min (slow), 45 °C/min (medium), and 93 °C/min (fast). These suprazero rates were used in combination with two different subzero rates for temperatures 0 °C to -110 °C: 42 °C/min (medium) and 87 °C/min (fast). The different freezing groups were as follows: slow-med (SM), slow-fast (SF), med-med (MM), and fast-fast (FF). Flow cytometry was used to detect lipid peroxidation (LPO), a result of ROS generation. Motility was evaluated using a computer assisted sperm motion analyzer. The MM and FF treated sperm had less viable (P < 0.0001) and motile sperm (P < 0.001) than the SM, SF, or fresh sperm. Sperm exposed to MM and FF treatments demonstrated significantly higher oxidative damage than SM, SF, or fresh sperm (P < 0.05). The SM- and SF-treated sperm showed decreased motility, membrane integrity, and LPO compared with fresh semen (P < 0.001). Slow cooling from room temperature promotes higher membrane integrity and motility post thaw, compared with medium or fast cooling rates. Cells exposed to similar cooling rates with differing freezing rates were not different in motility and membrane integrity, whereas comparison of cells exposed to differing cooling rates with similar freezing rates indicated significant differences in motility, membrane integrity, and LPO. These data suggest that sperm quality seems to be more sensitive to the cooling, rather than freezing rate and highlight the role of the suprazero cooling rate in post thaw sperm quality. PMID:24239181

Martorana, Kelly; Klooster, Katie; Meyers, Stuart



Effect of long-term immunization against inhibin on sperm output in bulls.  


To determine the effect of neutralization of inhibin on sperm output, 12 Holstein bulls were paired by birth date and weight on Day 1 of age. Each bull was actively immunized against bovine inhibin alpha1-26 gly-tyr (bINH) conjugated to human alpha globulin (HAG, n = 6 bulls) or HAG alone (controls, n = 6) at 60 days of age; booster immunizations were administered at 90, 104, 124, 270, and 395 days of age. Body weights and scrotal circumferences were measured at the time of primary immunization and at 10 days after each booster. In addition, jugular blood was obtained at 60, 70, 100, 114, 134, 280, and 405 days of age, during the 3-wk sperm collection period, and during a 6-h blood-sampling period after sperm collection to determine bINH antibody titer and concentrations of FSH, LH, testosterone, and estradiol. Beginning at 405 days of age, sperm output was measured 3 days/wk for 3 wk with two successive ejaculates collected each day for a total of 18 ejaculates per bull. During Days 60-405 of age, the increase in titer of bINH antibodies, scrotal circumference, and serum concentration of FSH was greater (p < 0.01) for the bINH-immunized compared with control bulls. There were significant (p < 0.01) pair x treatment interactions for sperm output and serum FSH and LH concentrations. Specifically, bINH-immunized bulls for four of the six pairs had nearly 50% greater serum FSH concentrations and sperm output. For the remaining two pairs, sperm output was lower and FSH was either lower or only marginally higher in the bINH-immunized bulls compared with controls. Also, the control bulls for the two remaining pairs produced more sperm than all but one bINH-immunized bull, and had markedly higher serum LH concentrations than all other bulls. To summarize, enhancement of sperm output after immunization against inhibin depends on the subsequent increment in FSH concentrations. We conclude that inhibin suppresses spermatogenesis. Thus, methods to immunoneutralize inhibin may have merit as a therapeutic route to enhance sperm production in reproductively maturing bulls. PMID:10330093

Bame, J H; Dalton, J C; Degelos, S D; Good, T E; Ireland, J L; Jimenez-Krassel, F; Sweeney, T; Saacke, R G; Ireland, J J



Sperm Patch-Clamp  

PubMed Central

Sperm intracellular pH and calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) are two central factors that control sperm activity within the female reproductive tract. As such, the ion channels of the sperm plasma membrane that alter intracellular sperm [Ca2+] and pH play important roles in sperm physiology and the process of fertilization. Indeed, sperm ion channels regulate sperm motility, control sperm chemotaxis toward the egg in some species, and may trigger the acrosome reaction. Until recently, our understanding of these important molecules was rudimentary due to the inability to patch-clamp spermatozoa and directly record the activity of these ion channels under voltage clamp. Recently, we overcame this technical barrier and developed a method for reproducible application of the patch-clamp technique to mouse and human spermatozoa. This chapter covers important aspects of application of the patch-clamp technique to spermatozoa, such as selection of the electrophysiological equipment, isolation of spermatozoa for patch-clamp experiments, formation of the gigaohm seal with spermatozoa, and transition into the whole-cell mode of recording. We also discuss potential pitfalls in application of the patch-clamp technique to flagellar ion channels. PMID:23522465

Lishko, Polina; Clapham, David E.; Navarro, Betsy; Kirichok, Yuriy



A Systematic Analysis of a Deep Mouse Epididymal Sperm Proteome  

SciTech Connect

Spermatozoa are highly specialized cells that, when mature, are capable of navigating the female reproductive tract and fertilizing an oocyte. The sperm cell is thought to be largely quiescent in terms of transcriptional and translational activity. As a result, once it has left the male reproductive tract, the sperm cell is essentially operating with a static population of proteins. It is therefore theoretically possible to understand the protein networks contained in a sperm cell and to deduce its cellular function capabilities. To this end we have performed a proteomic analysis of mouse sperm isolated from the cauda epididymis and have confidently identified 2,850 proteins, which is the most comprehensive sperm proteome for any species reported to date. These proteins comprise many complete cellular pathways, including those for energy production via glycolysis, ?-oxidation and oxidative phosphorylation, protein folding and transport, and cell signaling systems. This proteome should prove a useful tool for assembly and testing of protein networks important for sperm function.

Chauvin, Theodore; Xie, Fang; Liu, Tao; Nicora, Carrie D.; Yang, Feng; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Roberts, Kenneth P.



Sperm form and function in the absence of sperm competition.  


Sperm competition is a post-copulatory, sexual selection force that, together with phylogeny and fertilization mode, has been regarded as one of the main factors explaining the diversity in sperm size across species. This universal sperm selection mechanism favors traits that enhance a male's fertilizing ability and paternity success. Surprisingly, however, sperm characteristics and semen quality in monogamous species, with low risk of sperm competition, have barely received any attention. In this review, we consider sperm competition and monogamy as two ends of the selective spectrum, and discuss its effect on sperm structure and function. We address the issue of a lack of sperm competition by comparing sperm traits of essentially monogamous species--their largely degenerative sperm features and high degree of polymorphisms could be norms for monogamous species. Further, the level of sperm competition in humans is discussed by comparing its mating strategy, relative testis size, and sperm traits to other primate species. In terms of sperm concentration, sperm swimming speed, and sperm morphology, humans seem to be closer aligned to the low-risk sperm competition situation in gorillas than to promiscuous chimpanzees. PMID:24273026

van der Horst, Gerhard; Maree, Liana



Augmentation of endogenous dopamine production increases lung liquid clearance.  


We have previously reported that dopamine increased active Na+ transport in rat lungs by upregulating the alveolar epithelial Na,K-ATPase. Here we tested whether alveolar epithelial cells produce dopamine and whether increasing endogenous dopamine production by feeding rats a 4% tyrosine diet (TSD) would increase lung liquid clearance. Alveolar Type II cells express the enzyme aromatic-L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) and, when incubated with the dopamine precursor, 3-hydroxy-L-tyrosine (L-dopa), produce dopamine. Rats fed TSD, a precursor of L-dopa and dopamine, had increased urinary dopamine levels, which were inhibited by benserazide, an inhibitor of AADC. Rats fed TSD for 15, 24, and 48 hours had a 26, 46, and 45% increase in lung liquid clearance, respectively, as compared with controls. Also, dopaminergic D1 receptor antagonist--but not dopaminergic D2 receptor antagonist--inhibited the TSD-mediated increase in lung liquid clearance. Alveolar Type II cells isolated from the lungs of rats after they had been fed TSD for 24 hours demonstrated increased protein abundance of Na,K-ATPase alpha1 and beta1 subunits. Basolateral membranes isolated from peripheral lung tissue of tyrosine-fed rats had increased Na,K-ATPase activity and Na,K-ATPase alpha1 subunit. These data provide the first evidence that alveolar epithelial cells produce dopamine and that increasing endogenous dopamine increases lung liquid clearance. PMID:14701706

Adir, Yochai; Azzam, Zaher S; Lecuona, Emilia; Leal, Sergio; Pesce, Liuska; Dumasius, Vidas; Bertorello, Alejandro M; Factor, Phillip; Young, James B; Ridge, Karen M; Sznajder, Jacob Iasha



IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, VOL. 58, NO. 4, APRIL 2011 935 Automated Sperm Immobilization for  

E-print Network

that has enabled the in vitro fertilization of a single egg with a single sperm [1]. The procedure consists into the egg to increase the chance of fertilization since sperm tail movement can cause damage

Sun, Yu



EPA Science Inventory

Stable variants of sperm aneuploidy among healthy men show associations between germinal and somatic aneuploidy The purpose of this study was to identify healthy men who reproducibly produced increased frequencies of sperm with numerical chromosomal abnormalities and to d...


Increasing loyalty to breastfeeding: investigating a product development strategy.  


This article demonstrates how social marketing insights were used to influence women's loyalty to breastfeeding. The article reports on a social marketing campaign undertaken by the Australian Breastfeeding Association and a government health department, which used a product development strategy in order to increase breastfeeding loyalty. Seeking new approaches to support breastfeeding behaviors is critical and timely, because while initiation rates of breastfeeding are high in developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States, duration rates are significantly lower. Results indicate that a product- focused strategy influences pregnant women's loyalty to exclusively breastfeeding. PMID:22905944

Parkinson, Joy; Russell-Bennett, Rebekah; Previte, Josephine



Sperm Shape (Morphology): Does It Affect Fertility?  


... test of a man’s fertility is a semen analysis. This measures many features of the sperm and semen (the fluid in which the sperm are contained). The most important of these are the number of sperm (sperm count), motility of the sperm (percentage of moving sperm), morphology of the sperm (percentage ...


Sexual Selection IV: Sperm Competition  

E-print Network

Sexual Selection IV: Sperm Competition BIO3176 - University of Ottawa Prof. Gabriel Blouin and extra-pair paternity are common, even in socially monogamous species Sperm Competition 2 Proof of Sperm Competition Harcourt et al 1981 Nature 293: 55-57 3 · Primates · Selection on ejaculate volume Proof of Sperm

Blouin-Demers, Gabriel


Programming adaptive control to evolve increased metabolite production.  


The complexity inherent in biological systems challenges efforts to rationally engineer novel phenotypes, especially those not amenable to high-throughput screens and selections. In nature, increased mutation rates generate diversity in a population that can lead to the evolution of new phenotypes. Here we construct an adaptive control system that increases the mutation rate in order to generate diversity in the population, and decreases the mutation rate as the concentration of a target metabolite increases. This system is called feedback-regulated evolution of phenotype (FREP), and is implemented with a sensor to gauge the concentration of a metabolite and an actuator to alter the mutation rate. To evolve certain novel traits that have no known natural sensors, we develop a framework to assemble synthetic transcription factors using metabolic enzymes and construct four different sensors that recognize isopentenyl diphosphate in bacteria and yeast. We verify FREP by evolving increased tyrosine and isoprenoid production. PMID:24131951

Chou, Howard H; Keasling, Jay D



Willow regrowth after galling increases bud production through increased shoot survival.  


Insect herbivory can negatively or positively affect plant performance. We examined how a stem gall midge Rabdophaga rigidae affects the survival, growth, and bud production of current year shoots of the willow Salix eriocarpa. In mid-May, the gall midge initiates stem galls on the apical regions of shoots. The following spring, galled shoots had thicker basal diameters and more lateral shoots than ungalled shoots. Although galled shoots were on average 1.6 times longer than ungalled shoots, there were no significant differences in shoot length or in the numbers of reproductive, vegetative, and dormant buds per shoot. However, the subsequent survival of galled shoots was significantly higher than that of ungalled shoots, probably because of the thicker basal diameter. This increased shoot survival resulted in approximately two times greater reproductive, vegetative, and dormant bud production on galled shoots compared with ungalled shoots in the following spring. These results suggest that the willow regrowth induced by galling can lead to an increase in bud production through increased shoot survival. PMID:17540073

Nakamura, Masahiro; Ohgushi, Takayuki



Increased renal thromboxane production in murine lupus nephritis.  

PubMed Central

To determine whether the amount of cyclooxygenase metabolites correlates with the development of lupus nephritis, intrarenal eicosanoid production was measured in autoimmune mice. Disease progression was related to the renal biosynthesis of prostaglandin (PGE2), prostacyclin (6 keto PGF1 alpha), and thromboxane (TXB2) using the MRL-lpr and NZB X NZW F1 hybrid mouse strains with predictably progressive forms of renal disease that mimic the human illness. Mice were evaluated for renal disease by measuring urinary protein excretion and renal immunopathological conditions and these features were related to renal eicosanoid production. These studies show that: (a) intrarenal synthesis of TXB2 increased incrementally in MRL-lpr and NZB X NZW F1 hybrid mice as renal function deteriorated and renal pathologic events progressed; (b) there were no consistent increases in the levels of two other cyclooxygenase metabolites, PGE2 or 6 keto PGF1 alpha; (c) increased TXB2 production occurred in the renal medulla, cortex, and within enriched preparations of cortical glomeruli; (d) when renal disease was prevented by pharmacologic doses of PGE2, intrarenal TXB2 did not increase; (e) administration of a dose of ibuprofen (9 mg/kg), a cyclooxygenase inhibitor capable of reducing 90% of platelet TXB2 without affecting intrarenal levels, did not retard the progression of renal damage. Taken together, these data indicate that the intrarenal level of TXB2 rises in relation to the severity of murine lupus nephritis. Furthermore, because of the potential deleterious effects of TXA2, enhanced production of this eicosanoid may be an important mediator of renal injury. Images PMID:3455932

Kelley, V E; Sneve, S; Musinski, S



Quantifying Energy Savings from Lean Manufacturing Productivity Increases  

E-print Network

Quantifying Energy Savings from Lean Manufacturing Productivity Increases John Seryak Gary Epstein Mark D’Antonio Engineer President Vice President Energy & Resource Solutions... (specifically Lean Manufacturing techniques) and energy use will be explored in detail. Lean techniques reduce energy use in several ways, which will also be discussed. This paper will apply the categorization of energy use reduction types and equipment...

Seryak, J.; Epstein, G.; D'Antonio, M.



Clinic Overbooking to Improve Patient Access and Increase Provider Productivity  

Microsoft Academic Search

The problem of patient no-shows (patients who do not arrive for scheduled appoint- ments) is significant in many health care settings, where no-show rates can vary widely. No-shows reduce provider productivity and clinic efficiency, increase health care costs, and limit the ability of a clinic to serve its client population by reducing its effective capacity. In this article, we examine

Linda R. LaGanga; Stephen R. Lawrence



Impact of adrenalectomy and dexamethasone treatment on testicular morphology and sperm parameters in rats: insights into the adrenal control of male reproduction.  


Here we investigated the hypothesis that normal levels of glucocorticoids, a class of adrenal steroid hormones, are required for normal testicular and epididymal functions. We examined the effects of the manipulation of glucocorticoid plasma levels by bilateral adrenalectomy (1, 2, 7 and 15 days) alone or in combination with daily treatment with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX; 5 ?g/kg, i.p., 6 days) on the morphology of the testis and sperm parameters in rats. We showed that adrenalectomy led to a reduction in testicular sperm count and daily sperm production starting 2 days after surgery and a differential decrease in sperm count in the epididymis, according to the region and time post-adrenalectomy analysed. In parallel, testes from 7-day adrenalectomized (ADX) rats displayed a higher frequency of damaged seminiferous tubules and the presence of elongated spermatids retained in the basal epithelial compartment in stages IX-XVII, which is indicative of defective spermiation. The alkaline comet assay revealed a late effect of adrenalectomy on epididymal sperm DNA fragmentation, which was increased only 15 days after surgery. DEX treatment prevented the changes in testicular and epididymal sperm count observed in 7-day ADX rats, but failed to protect the testis from ADX-induced morphological abnormalities. Thus, our results indicated that glucocorticoids may be involved in events related to the maintenance of spermatogenesis and sperm maturation during adulthood. These findings provide new insights into the importance of adrenal steroids to male fertility. PMID:24925687

Silva, E J R; Vendramini, V; Restelli, A; Bertolla, R P; Kempinas, W G; Avellar, M C W



Another way of being anisogamous in Drosophila subgenus species: giant sperm, one-to-one gamete ratio, and high zygote provisioning.  

PubMed Central

It is generally assumed that sexes in animals have arisen from a productivity versus provisioning conflict; males are those individuals producing gametes necessarily small, in excess, and individually bereft of all paternity assurance. A 1- to 2-cm sperm, 5-10 times as long as the male body, might therefore appear an evolutionary paradox. As a matter of fact, species of Drosophila of the Drosophila subgenus differ from those of other subgenera by producing exclusively sperm of that sort. We report counts of such giant costly sperm in Drosophila littoralis and Drosophila hydei females, indicating that they are offered in exceedingly small amounts, tending to a one-to-one gamete ratio after a single mating. As a result, most of them are successfully involved in a fertilization. Hence, the concept of "paternity assurance of individual sperm" arises. Evidence is further provided here that almost the entire sperm is incorporated into the egg during fertilization. Labeling with specific antibodies in fertilized eggs reveals intact axonemes up to late gastrulation. The question, then, is why selection has favored such an unusual strategy. Explanations related to some prefertilization functions are ruled out. It is therefore tentatively proposed that virtually every giant sperm constitutes a "direct paternal legacy to the embryo," which, in contrast to any male-derived nuptial gift, cannot be minimized by female remating. We suggest that dramatic shortage of giant sperm with a high prospect of fusion and increased zygote provisioning is merely another way of being anisogamous. Images PMID:7937962

Bressac, C; Fleury, A; Lachaise, D



Fenitrothion induced oxidative stress and morphological alterations of sperm and testes in male sprague-dawley rats  

PubMed Central

OBJECTIVE: Fenitrothion residue is found primarily in soil, water and food products and can lead to a variety of toxic effects on the immune, hepatobiliary and hematological systems. However, the effects of fenitrothion on the male reproductive system remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of fenitrothion on the sperm and testes of male Sprague-Dawley rats. METHODS: A 20 mg/kg dose of fenitrothion was administered orally by gavages for 28 consecutive days. Blood sample was obtained by cardiac puncture and dissection of the testes and cauda epididymis was performed to obtain sperm. The effects of fenitrothion on the body and organ weight, biochemical and oxidative stress, sperm characteristics, histology and ultrastructural changes in the testes were evaluated. RESULTS: Fenitrothion significantly decreased the body weight gain and weight of the epididymis compared with the control group. Fenitrothion also decreased plasma cholinesterase activity compared with the control group. Fenitrothion altered the sperm characteristics, such as sperm concentration, sperm viability and normal sperm morphology, compared with the control group. Oxidative stress markers, such as malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl, total glutathione and glutathione S-transferase, were significantly increased and superoxide dismutase activity was significantly decreased in the fenitrothion-treated group compared with the control group. The histopathological and ultrastructural examination of the testes of the fenitrothion-treated group revealed alterations corresponding with the biochemical changes compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: A 20 mg/kg dose of fenitrothion caused deleterious effects on the sperm and testes of Sprague-Dawley rats. PMID:23420164

Taib, Izatus Shima; Budin, Siti Balkis; Ghazali, Ahmad Rohi; Jayusman, Putri Ayu; Louis, Santhana Raj; Mohamed, Jamaludin



Sperm competition in bats.  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition is a widespread phenomenon influencing the evolution of male anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Bats are an ideal group for studying sperm competition. Females store fertile sperm for up to 200 days and the size of social groups varies from single animals to groups of hundreds of thousands. This study examines the relationship between social group size and investment in spermatogenesis across 31 species of microchiropteran bat using new and published data on testis mass and sperm length. In addition to male competition, I examined the effects of female reproductive biology on characteristics of spermatogenesis. Comparative studies indicate that relative testis mass is positively related to sperm competition risk in a wide range of taxa. Social group size may also influence the level of sperm competition, and one of the costs of living in groups may be decreased confidence of paternity. I used comparative analysis of independent contrast (CAIC) to control for phylogeny. Using two possible phylogenies and two measures of social group size, I found a significant positive relationship between social group size and testis mass. There was no relationship between testis mass and the dimension of the female reproductive tract or oestrus duration. Sperm length was not significantly related to body mass or group size, nor was it related to oestrus duration. PMID:9107054

Hosken, D J



One-sided ejaculation of echidna sperm bundles.  


We report for the first time an unusual ejaculatory mechanism in the short-beaked echidna in which each side of the bilaterally symmetrical, rosettelike glans penis is used alternately, with the other being shut down. This is unparalleled in mammals but is reminiscent of the use of hemipenes in squamate reptiles, providing further reproductive evidence of a sauropsidian lineage in the Monotremata. Further, we describe the occurrence of motile sperm bundles in ejaculated echidna semen and provide scanning electron micrographs of their morphology. Sperm bundling appears to confer increased sperm motility, which may provide the potential for sperm competition between males. PMID:18171162

Johnston, S D; Smith, B; Pyne, M; Stenzel, D; Holt, W V



Effect of Phaleria macrocarpa on Sperm Characteristics in Adult Rats  

PubMed Central

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Phaleria macrocarpa (PM) on male fertility by assessing its effect on the sperm characteristics which included the sperm count, motility, viability and morphology. Methods: Eighteen male rats were equally divided into three groups. Each group of rats was orally supplemented for 7 weeks either with PM aqueous extract (240 mg/kg), distilled water (0 mg/kg) or testosterone hormone, Andriol® Testocaps™ (4 mg/kg) respectively. On the last day of supplementation period, the rats were sacrificed and sperm was obtained from cauda epididymis via orchidectomy. The sperm count, motility, viability and morphology were determined. Results: PM aqueous extract significantly increased (p<0.05) the percentage of sperm viability. However, there was no significant effect of PM on the percentage of both sperm motility and morphology. The mean of body weight declined significantly in rats supplemented with PM aqueous extract compared to control groups (p<0.05). Conclusion: The results showed that PM significantly increased sperm viability without changing the sperm motility and morphology. Hence, this study suggests that PM offers an alternative way to improve male fertility by improving the sperm quality. PMID:24312859

Parhizkar, Saadat; Yusoff, Maryam Jamielah; Dollah, Mohammad Aziz



Are sperm chromatin and DNA defects relevant in the clinic?  


There has been an increase in the use of sperm DNA and chromatin integrity tests in the evaluation of the infertile man with the hypothesis that these tests may better diagnose infertility and predict reproductive outcomes. This review discusses the etiology of sperm DNA damage, briefly describing the tests of sperm DNA damage, and evaluates the relationship between sperm DNA damage and reproductive outcomes. A systematic review of the literature allows us to conclude that sperm DNA damage is associated with lower natural, intra-uterine insemination (IUI), and in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy rates. Studies to date have not shown a clear association between sperm DNA and chromatin defects and pregnancy outcomes after intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). However, we cannot exclude the possibility that very high levels of DNA damage will impact on ICSI outcomes. In couples undergoing IVF or ICSI, there is evidence to show that sperm DNA damage is associated with an increased risk of pregnancy loss. A limitation of this systematic review and meta-analysis is that it does not address the heterogeneity of the individual study characteristics. Although the clinical utility of tests of sperm DNA damage remains to be firmly established, the data suggest that there is clinical value in testing couples prior to assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs IUI, IVF, and ICSI) and in those couples with recurrent miscarriages. Additional, well-designed prospective studies are needed before testing becomes a routine part of patient care. PMID:21208147

Zini, Armand



Supporters of sperm  

PubMed Central

The Biology of Spermatozoa (BoS) meetings have run on a biannual basis since the early 1990s. They are dedicated to the fascinating research topic of sperm and their complicated route to fertilization. The BoS meetings focus on sperm, but they also explore additional supporting factors important in fertilization, such as those present in seminal and ovarian fluid, as well as the genomic bases of sperm biology. Here, I present a report of the recent BoS meeting, and showcase some of the highlights of this year’s meeting. PMID:25225623

Løvlie, Hanne



Human Sperm Tail Proteome Suggests New Endogenous Metabolic Pathways*  

PubMed Central

Proteomic studies are contributing greatly to our understanding of the sperm cell, and more detailed descriptions are expected to clarify additional cellular and molecular sperm attributes. The aim of this study was to characterize the subcellular proteome of the human sperm tail and, hopefully, identify less concentrated proteins (not found in whole cell proteome studies). Specifically, we were interested in characterizing the sperm metabolic proteome and gaining new insights into the sperm metabolism issue. Sperm were isolated from normozoospermic semen samples and depleted of any contaminating leukocytes. Tail fractions were obtained by means of sonication followed by sucrose-gradient ultracentrifugation, and their purity was confirmed via various techniques. Liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry of isolated sperm tail peptides resulted in the identification of 1049 proteins, more than half of which had not been previously described in human sperm. The categorization of proteins according to their function revealed two main groups: proteins related to metabolism and energy production (26%), and proteins related to sperm tail structure and motility (11%). Interestingly, a great proportion of the metabolic proteome (24%) comprised enzymes involved in lipid metabolism, including enzymes for mitochondrial beta-oxidation. Unexpectedly, we also identified various peroxisomal proteins, some of which are known to be involved in the oxidation of very long chain fatty acids. Analysis of our data using Reactome suggests that both mitochondrial and peroxisomal pathways might indeed be active in sperm, and that the use of fatty acids as fuel might be more preponderant than previously thought. In addition, incubation of sperm with the fatty acid oxidation inhibitor etomoxir resulted in a significant decrease in sperm motility. Contradicting a common concept in the literature, we suggest that the male gamete might have the capacity to obtain energy from endogenous pools, and thus to adapt to putative exogenous fluctuations. PMID:23161514

Amaral, Alexandra; Castillo, Judit; Estanyol, Josep Maria; Ballescà, José Luís; Ramalho-Santos, João; Oliva, Rafael



Exposure to endosulfan influences sperm competition in Drosophila melanogaster  

PubMed Central

Dwindling male fertility due to xenobiotics is of global concern. Accordingly, male reproductive toxicity assessment of xenobiotics through semen quality analysis in exposed males, and examining progeny production of their mates is critical. These assays, in part, are biased towards monogamy. Females soliciting multiple male partners (polyandry) is the norm in many species. Polyandry incites sperm competition and allows females to bias sperm use. However, consequences of xenobiotic exposure to the sperm in the light of sperm competition remain to be understood. Therefore, we exposed Drosophila melanogaster males to endosulfan, and evaluated their progeny production as well as the ability of their sperm to counter rival control sperm in the storage organs of females sequentially mated to control/exposed males. Endosulfan (2??g/ml) had no significant effect on progeny production and on the expression of certain genes associated with reproduction. However, exposed males performed worse in sperm competition, both as 1st and 2nd male competitors. These findings indicate that simple non-competitive measures of reproductive ability may fail to demonstrate the harmful effects of low-level exposure to xenobiotics on reproduction and advocate consideration of sperm competition, as a parameter, in the reproductive toxicity assessment of xenobiotics to mimic situations prevailing in the nature. PMID:25503806

Misra, Snigdha; Kumar, Ajay; Ratnasekhar, Ch.; Sharma, Vandana; Mudiam, Mohana Krishna Reddy; Ram, Kristipati Ravi



Thyrotropin Receptor Activation Increases Hyaluronan Production in Preadipocyte Fibroblasts  

PubMed Central

The thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) is expressed during lineage-specific differentiation (e.g. adipogenesis) and is activated by TSH, thyroid-stimulating antibodies, and gain-of-function mutations (TSHR*). Comparison of gene expression profiles of nonmodified human preadipocytes (n = 4) with the parallel TSHR* population revealed significant up-regulation of 27 genes including hyaluronan (HA) synthases (HAS) 1 and 2. The array data were confirmed by quantitative PCR of HAS1 and HAS2 and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay measurement of HA; all values were significantly increased (p < 0.03) in TSHR*-expressing preadipocytes (n = 10). Preadipocytes (n = 8) treated with dibutyryl (db)-cAMP display significantly increased HAS1 and HAS2 transcripts, HAS2 protein, and HA production (p < 0.02). HAS1 or HAS2 small interfering RNA treatment of db-cAMP-stimulated preadipocytes (n = 4) produced 80% knockdown in HAS1 or 61% knockdown in HAS2 transcripts (compared with scrambled), respectively; the corresponding HA production was reduced by 49 or 38%. Reporter assays using A293 cells transfected with HAS1 promoter-driven plasmids containing or not containing the proximal CRE and treated with db-cAMP revealed that it is functional. Chromatin immunoprecipitation, using a cAMP-responsive element-binding protein antibody, of db-cAMP-treated preadipocytes (n = 4) yielded products for HAS1 and HAS2 with relative fold increases of 3.3 ± 0.8 and 2.6 ± 0.9, respectively. HA accumulates in adipose/connective tissues of patients with thyroid dysfunction. We investigated the contributions of TSH and thyroid-stimulating antibodies and obtained small (9–24%) but significant (p < 0.02) increases in preadipocyte HA production with both ligands. Similar results were obtained with a TSHR monoclonal antibody lacking biological activity (p < 0.05). We conclude that TSHR activation is implicated in HA production in preadipocytes, which, along with thyroid hormone level variation, explains the HA overproduction in thyroid dysfunction. PMID:19633293

Zhang, Lei; Bowen, Timothy; Grennan-Jones, Fiona; Paddon, Carol; Giles, Peter; Webber, Jason; Steadman, Robert; Ludgate, Marian



Genetic diversity increases population productivity in a sessile marine invertebrate.  


Reductions in genetic diversity can have widespread ecological consequences: populations with higher genetic diversity are more stable, productive and resistant to disturbance or disease than populations with lower genetic diversity. These ecological effects of genetic diversity differ from the more familiar evolutionary consequences of depleting genetic diversity, because ecological effects manifest within a single generation. If common, genetic diversity effects have the potential to change the way we view and manage populations, but our understanding of these effects is far from complete, and the role of genetic diversity in sexually reproducing animals remains unclear. Here, we examined the effects of genetic diversity in a sexually reproducing marine invertebrate in the field. We manipulated the genetic diversity of experimental populations and then measured individual survival, growth, and fecundity, as well as the size of offspring produced by individuals in high and low genetic diversity populations. Overall, we found greater genetic diversity increased performance across all metrics, and that complementarity effects drove the increased productivity of our high-diversity populations. Our results show that differences in genetic diversity among populations can have pervasive effects on population productivity within remarkably short periods of time. PMID:22764499

Aguirre, J David; Marshall, Dustin J



Female promiscuity promotes the evolution of faster sperm in cichlid fishes.  


Sperm competition, the contest among ejaculates from rival males to fertilize ova of a female, is a common and powerful evolutionary force influencing ejaculate traits. During competitive interactions between ejaculates, longer and faster spermatozoa are expected to have an edge; however, to date, there has been mixed support for this key prediction from sperm competition theory. Here, we use the spectacular radiation of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika to examine sperm characteristics in 29 closely related species. We provide phylogenetically robust evidence that species experiencing greater levels of sperm competition have faster-swimming sperm. We also show that sperm competition selects for increases in the number, size, and longevity of spermatozoa in the ejaculate of a male, and, contrary to expectations from theory, we find no evidence of trade-offs among sperm traits in an interspecific analysis. Also, sperm swimming speed is positively correlated with sperm length among, but not within, species. These different responses to sperm competition at intra- and interspecific levels provide a simple, powerful explanation for equivocal results from previous studies. Using phylogenetic analyses, we also reconstructed the probable evolutionary route of trait evolution in this taxon, and show that, in response to increases in the magnitude of sperm competition, the evolution of sperm traits in this clade began with the evolution of faster (thus, more competitive) sperm. PMID:19164576

Fitzpatrick, John L; Montgomerie, Robert; Desjardins, Julie K; Stiver, Kelly A; Kolm, Niclas; Balshine, Sigal



Centrifugation on Percoll density gradient enhances motility, membrane integrity and in vitro fertilizing ability of frozen-thawed boar sperm.  


The effects of Percoll density gradient centrifugation on sperm quality, in vitro fertilizability and developmental capacity of frozen-thawed boar sperm were evaluated. Two-step density gradient centrifugation by Percoll enhanced significantly the motility parameters of sperm compared with a simple centrifugation procedure. Percentages of motile sperm and sperm with intact plasma and acrosome membranes after Percoll separation were significantly greater than those after simple centrifugation. The rates of penetration, cleavage and blastocyst formation after in vitro fertilization were significantly improved by Percoll separation compared with simple centrifugation and were influenced positively by the intactness of sperm head membranes, but not any sperm motility parameters. However, insemination with increased concentrations of sperm prepared by Percoll gradient centrifugation did not improve the success of fertilization and embryo development in vitro. Our results indicate that the integrity of sperm head membranes after Percoll separation is important for successful embryo development in vitro, more so than sperm motility. PMID:23659202

Noguchi, Michiko; Yoshioka, Koji; Hikono, Hirokazu; Iwagami, Gentaro; Suzuki, Chie; Kikuchi, Kazuhiro



Sperm from pheromone primed brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) produce more larvae.  


Male goldfish (Carassius auratus) exposed to female hormonal pheromones express increased milt volumes and their sperm fertilize more eggs than sperm from unprimed males. Ovulated salmonid females also release odours that increase volumes of strippable milt in males. It is, however, not known if the priming pheromones affect the ability of sperm to fertilize eggs in salmonids. In this study, we compare the proportion of larvae produced from in vitro fertilization tests between primed brown trout (Salmo trutta) males exposed to a mix of female urine and ovarian fluids, and control males exposed only to 0.9 % sodium chloride. We also investigate priming effects on milt yield and sperm motility. Fertilization tests with sperm from single males, as well as sperm from two males (i.e., sperm competition), were performed. Primed males generated more larvae in both the single male and competition fertilization tests. No differences between treatments in milt yield and sperm motility could be established. PMID:22976196

Hellström, Gustav; Prestegaard, Tore; Dannewitz, Johan; Olsén, K Håkan



Sperm glucose transport and metabolism in diabetic individuals.  


Individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM) present marked reduction in sperm quality and higher DNA damage in spermatozoa, evidencing that this metabolic disorder impairs male fertility. These effects are related to defective testicular metabolic pathways and signaling, resulting in altered sperm metabolism. Spermatozoa metabolize several substrates to ensure energy supplies and any alteration in this feature compromise sperm quality. For ATP production, spermatozoa require substrate availability and the involvement of specific hexose membrane carriers. DM is known to modulate the spermatozoa substrate consumption and/or production due to altered glycolytic behavior. In fact, glucose uptake and metabolism is highly deregulated in diabetic individuals. Herein, we present an overview of the implications of DM in sperm glucose uptake and metabolism. The understanding of these processes is essential to identify key mechanisms associated with DM-related male (in)fertility. Moreover, it may contribute to the development of therapeutics to counteract the dysfunction induced by DM in sperm metabolism. PMID:25128846

Dias, Tânia R; Alves, Marco G; Silva, Branca M; Oliveira, Pedro F



Can increasing adult vaccination rates reduce lost time and increase productivity?  


This article addresses limited vaccination coverage by providing an overview of the epidemiology of influenza, pertussis, and pneumonia, and the impact these diseases have on work attendance for the worker, the worker's family, and employer profit. Studies focused on the cost of vaccination programs, lost work time, lost employee productivity and acute disease treatment are discussed, as well as strategies for increasing vaccination coverage to reduce overall health care costs for employers. Communicating the benefits of universal vaccination for employees and their families and combating vaccine misinformation among employees are outlined. [Workplace Health Saf 2014;62(12):508-515.]. PMID:25216055

Rittle, Chad



Sperm Quality Control  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

New research from the University of Missouri-Columbia suggests how defective sperm are tagged for destruction. This 57 second audio recording from Science Update originally aired on Monday, February 11, 2008.

Science Update (AAAS; )



Immune Activation Reduces Sperm Quality in the Great Tit  

PubMed Central

Mounting an immune response against pathogens incurs costs to organisms by its effects on important life-history traits, such as reproductive investment and survival. As shown recently, immune activation produces large amounts of reactive species and is suggested to induce oxidative stress. Sperm are highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which can negatively impact sperm function and ultimately male fertilizing efficiency. Here we address the question as to whether mounting an immune response affects sperm quality through the damaging effects of oxidative stress. It has been demonstrated recently in birds that carotenoid-based ornaments can be reliable signals of a male's ability to protect sperm from oxidative damage. In a full-factorial design, we immune-challenged great tit males while simultaneously increasing their vitamin E availability, and assessed the effect on sperm quality and oxidative damage. We conducted this experiment in a natural population and tested the males' response to the experimental treatment in relation to their carotenoid-based breast coloration, a condition-dependent trait. Immune activation induced a steeper decline in sperm swimming velocity, thus highlighting the potential costs of an induced immune response on sperm competitive ability and fertilizing efficiency. We found sperm oxidative damage to be negatively correlated with sperm swimming velocity. However, blood resistance to a free-radical attack (a measure of somatic antioxidant capacity) as well as plasma and sperm levels of oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation) remained unaffected, thus suggesting that the observed effect did not arise through oxidative stress. Towards the end of their breeding cycle, swimming velocity of sperm of more intensely colored males was higher, which has important implications for the evolution of mate choice and multiple mating in females because females may accrue both direct and indirect benefits by mating with males having better quality sperm. PMID:21765955

Losdat, Sylvain; Richner, Heinz; Blount, Jonathan D.; Helfenstein, Fabrice



Improvement of Stand Jig Sealer and Its Increased Production Capacity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This paper has the objective to prove that improvement of Stand Jig Sealer can lead to the cycle time target as part of Improvement efforts and its Productivity. Prior researches through prior journals both classics journal such as Quesnay (1766) and Solow (1957) and updated journal such as Reikard (2011) researches, are mentioned and elaborated. Precisely, the research is narrowed down and specified into automotive industry and eventually the software related of SPSS and Structural Equation Modeling ( SEM ). The analysis and its method are conducted through the calculation working time. The mentioned calculation are reinforced with the hypothesis test using SPSS Version 19 and involve parameters of production efficiency, productivity calculation, and the calculation of financial investments. The results obtained are augmented achievement of cycle time target ? 80 seconds posterior to improvement stand jig sealer. The result from calculation of SPSS-19 version comprise the following aspects: the one-sided hypothesis test is rejection of Ho:??80 seconds, the correlation rs=0.84, regression y = 0.159+0.642x, validity R table = 0.4438, reliability value of Cronbach's alpha = 0.885>0.70, independence (Chi Square) Asymp. Sig=0.028<0.05, 95% efficiency, increase productivity 11%, financial analysis (NPV 2,340,596>0, PI 2.04>1, IRR 45.56%>i=12.68%, PP=1.86). The Mentioned calculation results support the hypothesis and ultimately align with the objective of this paper to prove that improvement of Stand Jig Sealer and its relation toward the cycle time target. Precisely, the improvement of production capacity of PT. Astra Daihatsu Motor.

Soebandrija, K. E. N.; Astuti, S. W. D.



Sperm competition as a mechanism of female choice in the field cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus  

Microsoft Academic Search

While traditionally viewed as an extension of intermale competition, mechanisms of sperm competition may be used by multiply mating females for mate choice. In the field cricket G. bimaculatus sperm were shown to mix in the spermatheca. The proportion of offspring sired by the second male increased with spermatophore attachment duration and, therefore, the number of sperm transferred. There was

L. W. Simmons



Increased production of intestinal immunoglobulins in Syntenin-1-deficient mice.  


Syntenin-1 is an intracellular PDZ protein that binds multiple proteins and regulates protein trafficking, cancer metastasis, exosome production, synaptic formation, and IL-5 signaling. However, the functions of Syntenin-1 have not yet been clearly characterized in detail, especially in vivo. In this study, we generated a Syntenin-1 knock out (KO) mouse strain and analyzed the role(s) of Syntenin-1 in IL-5 signaling, because the direct interaction of Syntenin-1 with the cytoplasmic domain of the IL-5 receptor ? subunit and the regulation of IL-5 signaling by Syntenin-1 have been reported. Unexpectedly, the number of IL-5-responding cells was normal and the levels of fecal immunoglobulins were rather higher in the Syntenin-1 KO mice. We also found that IgA and IgM production of splenic B cells stimulated in vitro was increased in Syntenin-1 KO mice. In addition, we showed that a distribution of intestinal microbial flora was influenced in Syntenin-1 KO mice. Our data indicate that Syntenin-1 negatively regulates the intestinal immunoglobulin production and has a function to maintain the intestinal homeostasis in vivo. The analysis of Syntenin-1 KO mice may provide novel information on not only mucosal immunity but also other functions of Syntenin-1 such as cancer metastasis and neural development. PMID:25543283

Tamura, Kentaro; Ikutani, Masashi; Yoshida, Taketoshi; Tanaka-Hayashi, Ayumi; Yanagibashi, Tsutomu; Inoue, Ran; Nagai, Yoshinori; Adachi, Yuichi; Miyawaki, Toshio; Takatsu, Kiyoshi; Mori, Hisashi



Production of fertile unreduced sperm by hybrid males of the Rutilus alburnoides complex (Teleostei, cyprinidae). An alternative route to genome tetraploidization in unisexuals.  

PubMed Central

The hybrid minnow Rutilus alburnoides comprises diploid and polyploid females and males. Previous studies revealed that diploid and triploid females exhibit altered oogenesis that does not involve random segregation and recombination of the genomes of the two ancestors, constituting unisexual lineages. In the present study, we investigated the reproductive mode of hybrid males from the Tejo basin, using experimental crosses and flow cytometric analysis of blood and sperm. The results suggest that diploid hybrids produced fertile unreduced sperm, transmitting their hybrid genome intact to offspring. Triploid hybrids also produced unreduced sperm, but it was not possible to obtain data concerning their fertility. Finally, tetraploid hybrids produced fertile diploid sperm, which exhibited Mendelian segregation. Tetraploid R. alburnoides may reestablish biparental reproduction, as individuals of both sexes with the appropriate constitution for normal meiosis (two haploid genomes from each parental species) are likely to occur in natural populations. Tetraploids probably have arisen from syngamy of diploid eggs and diploid sperm produced by diploid hybrid males. Diploid hybrid males may therefore play a significant role in the dynamics of the complex, starting the evolutionary process that may ultimately lead to a new sexually reproducing species. PMID:9872966

Alves, M J; Coelho, M M; Próspero, M I; Collares-Pereira, M J



Laboratory processing and intracytoplasmic sperm injection using epididymal and testicular spermatozoa: what can be done to improve outcomes?  

PubMed Central

There are two main reasons why sperm may be absent from semen. Obstructive azoospermia is the result of a blockage in the male reproductive tract; in this case, sperm are produced in the testicle but are trapped in the epididymis. Non-obstructive azoospermia is the result of severely impaired or non-existent sperm production. There are three different sperm-harvesting procedures that obstructive azoospermic males can undergo, namely MESA (microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration), PESA (percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration), and TESA (testicular sperm aspiration). These three procedures are performed by fine-gauge needle aspiration of epididymal fluid that is examined by an embryologist. Additionally, one technique, called TESE (testicular sperm extraction), is offered for males with non-obstructive azoospermia. In this procedure, a urologist extracts a piece of tissue from the testis. Then, an embryologist minces the tissue and uses a microscope to locate sperm. Finding sperm in the testicular tissue can be a laborious 2- to 3-hour process depending on the degree of sperm production and the etiology of testicular failure. Sperm are freed from within the seminiferous tubules and then dissected from the surrounding testicular tissue. It is specifically these situations that require advanced reproductive techniques, such as ICSI, to establish a pregnancy. This review describes eight different lab processing techniques that an embryologist can use to harvest sperm. Additionally, sperm cryopreservation, which allows patients to undergo multiple ICSI cycles without the need for additional surgeries, will also be discussed. PMID:23503962

Popal, Wana; Nagy, Zsolt P



The healthy men study: an evaluation of exposure to disinfection by-products in tap water and sperm quality  

EPA Science Inventory

BACKGROUND: Chlorination of drinking water generates disinfection by-products (DBPs), which have been shown to disrupt spermatogenesis in rodents at high doses, suggesting that DBPs could pose a reproductive risk to men. In this study we assessed DBP exposure and testicular toxic...


In vitro production of cattle × buffalo hybrid embryos using cattle oocytes and African buffalo ( Syncerus caffer caffer) epididymal sperm  

Microsoft Academic Search

Interspecies hybridization of bovids occurs between domestic cattle and at least three other species; American bison (Bison bison), yak (Bos grunniens) and banteng (Bos banteng). Birth of a cattle×buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) hybrid has reportedly occurred in Russia and in China, but these reports were not authenticated. Such hybrids could be important in improving livestock production and management of diseases that

O. D. Owiny; D. M. Barry; M. Agaba; R. A. Godke



Sexual behavior, reproductive physiology and sperm competition in male mammals.  


Sperm competition involves competition between the gametes of two or more males of a species for fertilization of a given set of ova. Sperm competition is widespread among mammals, as in many other groups of vertebrates. Effects of sexual selection, via sperm competition, upon the evolution of reproductive physiology and behavior are much better understood in invertebrates (and especially in insects) than is the case for mammals. However, if the reproductive organs of male mammals are viewed as an integrated system for production and delivery of spermatozoa (and accessory glandular secretions) to females, then it is logical to assume that sperm competition might influence the evolution of all parts of the system, as well as associated physiological mechanisms (e.g., testicular endocrinology) and behavior (e.g., copulatory patterns). Here we analyze and review relationships between mating systems, relative testes sizes and sperm morphology, phallic morphology, circulating testosterone levels and sexual behavior in male mammals. PMID:15488551

Dixson, Alan F; Anderson, Matthew J



Methods for increasing the production of ethanol from microbial fermentation  


A stable continuous method for producing ethanol from the anaerobic bacterial fermentation of a gaseous substrate containing at least one reducing gas involves culturing a fermentation bioreactor anaerobic, acetogenic bacteria in a liquid nutrient medium; supplying the gaseous substrate to the bioreactor; and manipulating the bacteria in the bioreactor by reducing the redox potential, or increasing the NAD(P)H TO NAD(P) ratio, in the fermentation broth after the bacteria achieves a steady state and stable cell concentration in the bioreactor. The free acetic acid concentration in the bioreactor is maintained at less than 5 g/L free acid. This method allows ethanol to be produced in the fermentation broth in the bioreactor at a productivity greater than 10 g/L per day. Both ethanol and acetate are produced in a ratio of ethanol to acetate ranging from 1:1 to 20:1.

Gaddy, James L. (Fayetteville, AR); Arora, Dinesh K. (Fayetteville, AR); Ko, Ching-Whan (Fayetteville, AR); Phillips, John Randall (Fayetteville, AR); Basu, Rahul (Bethlehem, PA); Wikstrom, Carl V. (Fayetteville, AR); Clausen, Edgar C. (Fayetteville, AR)



Comparison of methods for assessing integrity of equine sperm membranes.  


Sperm membrane integrity (SMI) is thought to be an important measure of stallion sperm quality. The objective was to compare three methods for evaluating SMI: flow cytometry using SYBR-14/propidium iodide (PI) stain; an automated cell counting device using PI stain; and eosin-nigrosin stain. Raw equine semen was subjected to various treatments containing 20 to 80% seminal plasma in extender, with differing sperm concentrations, to simulate spontaneous loss of SMI. The SMI was assessed immediately, and after 1 and 2 d of cooled storage. Agreement between methods was determined according to Bland-Altman methodology. Eosin-nigrosin staining yielded higher (2%) overall mean values for SMI than did flow cytometry. Flow cytometry yielded higher (6%) overall mean values for SMI than did the automated cell counter. As percentage of membrane-damaged sperm increased, agreement of SMI measurement between methods decreased. When semen contained 50-79% membrane-intact sperm, the 95% limits of agreement between SMI determined by flow cytometry and eosin-nigrosin staining were greater (range = -26.9 to 24.3%; i.e., a 51.2% span) than for SMI determined by flow cytometry and the automated cell counter (range = -3.1 to 17.0%; 20.1% span). When sperm populations contained <50% membrane-intact sperm, the 95% limits of agreement between SMI determined by flow cytometry and eosin-nigrosin staining were greater (range = -35.9 to 19.0%; 54.9% span) than for SMI determined by flow cytometry and the automated cell counter (range = -11.6 to 28.7%; 40.3% span). We concluded that eosin-nigrosin staining assessments of percent membrane-intact sperm agreed less with flow cytometry when <80% of sperm had intact membranes, whereas automated cell counter assessments of percent membrane-intact sperm agreed less with flow cytometry when <30% of sperm had intact membranes. PMID:21496902

Foster, M L; Love, C C; Varner, D D; Brinsko, S P; Hinrichs, K; Teague, S; Lacaze, K; Blanchard, T L



Sperm proteasomes degrade sperm receptor on the egg zona pellucida during mammalian fertilization.  


Despite decades of research, the mechanism by which the fertilizing spermatozoon penetrates the mammalian vitelline membrane, the zona pellucida (ZP) remains one of the unexplained fundamental events of human/mammalian development. Evidence has been accumulating in support of the 26S proteasome as a candidate for echinoderm, ascidian and mammalian egg coat lysin. Monitoring ZP protein degradation by sperm during fertilization is nearly impossible because those few spermatozoa that penetrate the ZP leave behind a virtually untraceable residue of degraded proteins. We have overcome this hurdle by designing an experimentally consistent in vitro system in which live boar spermatozoa are co-incubated with ZP-proteins (ZPP) solubilized from porcine oocytes. Using this assay, mimicking sperm-egg interactions, we demonstrate that the sperm-borne proteasomes can degrade the sperm receptor protein ZPC. Upon coincubation with motile spermatozoa, the solubilized ZPP, which appear to be ubiquitinated, adhered to sperm acrosomal caps and induced acrosomal exocytosis/formation of the acrosomal shroud. The degradation of the sperm receptor protein ZPC was assessed by Western blotting band-densitometry and proteomics. A nearly identical pattern of sperm receptor degradation, evident already within the first 5 min of coincubation, was observed when the spermatozoa were replaced with the isolated, enzymatically active, sperm-derived proteasomes. ZPC degradation was blocked by proteasomal inhibitors and accelerated by ubiquitin-aldehyde(UBAL), a modified ubiquitin protein that stimulates proteasomal proteolysis. Such a degradation pattern of ZPC is consistent with in vitro fertilization studies, in which proteasomal inhibitors completely blocked fertilization, and UBAL increased fertilization and polyspermy rates. Preincubation of intact zona-enclosed ova with isolated active sperm proteasomes caused digestion, abrasions and loosening of the exposed zonae, and significantly reduced the fertilization/polyspermy rates after IVF, accompanied by en-mass detachment of zona bound sperm. Thus, the sperm borne 26S proteasome is a candidate zona lysin in mammals. This new paradigm has implications for contraception and assisted reproductive technologies in humans, as well as animals. PMID:21383844

Zimmerman, Shawn W; Manandhar, Gaurishankar; Yi, Young-Joo; Gupta, Satish K; Sutovsky, Miriam; Odhiambo, John F; Powell, Michael D; Miller, David J; Sutovsky, Peter



Sperm count and sperm motility decrease in old rats.  


Sexual behavior declines with age in male rats. The rate and magnitude of this decline may depend on the amount of prior sexual experience and a number of other, unidentified factors. Age-dependent changes in the characteristics of ejaculate quality in rats have not been described earlier, and the relationship between such changes and modifications of sexual behavior is likewise unknown. We have recently developed a technique for the detailed analysis of parameters of ejaculate in rats, and this technique was used for the determination of semen and seminal plug characteristics in rats of different ages. Sexually experienced Wistar rats were tested for sex behavior at the ages of 3, 12 and 24 months. Semen was obtained from the female partner immediately after ejaculation at these tests. Between tests, the males were offered the opportunity to copulate once every 3-4 weeks. The behavioral data showed that the latency to ejaculation was increased only at 24 months. Concerning the characteristics of semen, there was a substantial increase in the proportion of immobile spermatozoa and motility of those moving was much reduced, both at 12 and 24 months of age. There was no relationship between parameters of sexual behavior and those of the ejaculate. Likewise, the size of the seminal plug did not affect the amount of intrauterine spermatozoa. The reduced sperm number together with the increased sperm immobility diminishes the ejaculate quality of old males, which could influence fertility. PMID:23296084

Lucio, Rosa Angélica; Tlachi-López, José L; Eguibar, Jose R; Ågmo, Anders



Sperm Abnormalities in Retinitis Pigmentosa  

Microsoft Academic Search

Purpose. To determine the fatty acid composition of erythrocytes and sperm, along with the functional characteristics of sperm, in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. Sperm and retinal cells share important homologies. Both are rich in the highly polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6(n-3)), and both contain a structural component called the axoneme. Low concentrations of DHA in the retina of

William E. Connor; Richard G. Weleber; Carol DeFrancesco; Don S. Lin; Don P. Wolf



Oviducal sperm storage in poultry  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

Hens are capable of fertilizing a daily succession of ovulated ova due to their ability to store sperm in the oviduct for several weeks. However, the precise biological mechanisms describing how sperm are selected and survive in the oviduct, and which sperm actually reach the site of fertilization c...


Adenine nucleotide changes at initiation of bull sperm motility.  


Testicular and cauda epididymal sperm were obtained via catheters previously implanted in the rete testis and proximal vas deferens of bulls and were used to examine the relationships among sperm motility, cyclic adenosine 3':5'-monophosphate (cAMP) level, adenine nucleotide levels, and rates of glucose and oxygen consumption. Testicular, cauda epididymal, and ejaculated sperm contain cAMP-stimulated protein kinase, adenylate cyclase, and nucleotide phosphodiesterase. Treatment of the nonmotile testicular sperm with phosphodiesterase inhibitors resulted in a doubling of cellular cAMP concentration and a 25% increase in their glucose consumption. No change in motility, ATP level, or rate of oxygen consumption was observed. Sperm in neat cauda epididymal semen had flagellating tails but no progressive motility. Dilution of these sperm into glucose-containing buffer resulted in an increase in intracellular cAMP concentration and a decrease in ATP level with concomitant increases in ADP and AMP levels. These biochemical changes occurred within 30 s after dilution and apparently preceded the initiation of progressive motility by most cells. Since sperm in neat cauda epididymal semen became progressively motile when diluted with neat cauda epididymal plasma as well as accessory sex gland fluid or buffer, composition of the fluid surrounding the sperm is not responsible for the initiation of progressive motility upon dilution nor does cauda epididymal plasma contain an inhibitory factor. Perhaps release from contact immobilization provides the stimulation for the initial acquisition of progressive motility by cauda epididymal sperm. We conclude that during epididymal passage sperm develop from a cell physically unresponsive to changes in cAMP concentration to a form which initiates progressive motility upon changes in cAMP concentration. PMID:175061

Cascieri, M; Amann, R P; Hammerstedt, R H



The computational sperm cell.  


Sperm are guided to the egg by a gradient of chemical attractants - a process called chemotaxis. The binding of the chemoattractant to receptors on the surface of the flagellum triggers a cascade of signaling events that eventually lead to an influx of Ca(2+) ions. Based on these Ca(2+) surges, which control the waveform of the flagellar beat, sperm adjust their swimming path toward the egg. In past years, many components of chemotactic signaling have been identified. Moreover, kinetic spectroscopy and imaging techniques unraveled the sequence of cellular events controlling swimming behavior. During navigation in a chemical gradient, sperm perform a surprising variety of computational operations. Here we discuss theoretical concepts of navigation strategies and the cellular underpinnings. PMID:24342435

Alvarez, Luis; Friedrich, Benjamin M; Gompper, Gerhard; Kaupp, U Benjamin



Glucose is a pH-Dependent Motor for Sperm Beat Frequency during Early Activation  

PubMed Central

To reach the egg in the ampulla, sperm have to travel along the female genital tract, thereby being dependent on external energy sources and substances to maintain and raise the flagellar beat. The vaginal fluid is rich in lactate, whereas in the uterine fluid glucose is the predominant substrate. This evokes changes in the lactate content of sperm as well as in the intracellular pH (pHi) since sperm possess lactate/proton co-transporters. It is well documented that glycolysis yields ATP and that HCO3? is a potent factor in the increase of beat frequency. We here show for the first time a pathway that connects both parts. We demonstrate a doubling of beat frequency in the mere presence of glucose. This effect can reversibly be blocked by 2-deoxy-D-glucose, dichloroacetate and aminooxyacetate, strongly suggesting that it requires both glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidation of glycolytic end products. We show that the glucose-mediated acceleration of flagellar beat and ATP production are hastened by a pHi ?7.1, whereas a pHi ?7.1 leaves both parameters unchanged. Since we observed a diminished rise in beat frequency in the presence of specific inhibitors against carbonic anhydrases, soluble adenylyl cyclase and protein kinase, we suggest that the glucose-mediated effect is linked to CO2 hydration and thus the production of HCO3? by intracellular CA isoforms. In summary, we propose that, in sperm, glycolysis is an additional pHi-dependent way to produce HCO3?, thus enhancing sperm beat frequency and contributing to fertility. PMID:22911736

Mannowetz, Nadja; Wandernoth, Petra M.; Wennemuth, Gunther



Long Polyglutamine Tracts in the Androgen Receptor Are Associated with Reduced TransActivation, Impaired Sperm Production, and Male Infertility  

Microsoft Academic Search

The X-linked androgen receptor (AR) gene contains two polymor- phic trinucleotide repeat segments that code for polyglutamine and polyglycine tracts in the N-terminal trans-activation domain of the AR protein. Changes in the lengths of these polymorphic repeat seg- ments have been associated with increased risk of prostate cancer, an androgen-dependent tumor. Expansion of the polyglutamine tract causes a rare neuromuscular




Enhanced membrane protein expression by engineering increased intracellular membrane production  

PubMed Central

Background Membrane protein research is frequently hampered by the low natural abundance of these proteins in cells and typically relies on recombinant gene expression. Different expression systems, like mammalian cells, insect cells, bacteria and yeast are being used, but very few research efforts have been directed towards specific host cell customization for enhanced expression of membrane proteins. Here we show that by increasing the intracellular membrane production by interfering with a key enzymatic step of lipid synthesis, enhanced expression of membrane proteins in yeast is achieved. Results We engineered the oleotrophic yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, by deleting the phosphatidic acid phosphatase, PAH1, which led to massive proliferation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes. For all eight tested representatives of different integral membrane protein families, we obtained enhanced protein accumulation levels and in some cases enhanced proteolytic integrity in the ?pah1 strain. We analysed the adenosine A2AR G-protein coupled receptor case in more detail and found that concomitant induction of the unfolded protein response in the ?pah1 strain enhanced the specific ligand binding activity of the receptor. These data indicate an improved quality control mechanism for membrane proteins accumulating in yeast cells with proliferated ER. Conclusions We conclude that redirecting the metabolic flux of fatty acids away from triacylglycerol- and sterylester-storage towards membrane phospholipid synthesis by PAH1 gene inactivation, provides a valuable approach to enhance eukaryotic membrane protein production. Complementary to this improvement in membrane protein quantity, UPR co-induction further enhances the quality of the membrane protein in terms of its proper folding and biological activity. Importantly, since these pathways are conserved in all eukaryotes, it will be of interest to investigate similar engineering approaches in other cell types of biotechnological interest, such as insect cells and mammalian cells. PMID:24321035



Polyandry in the medfly - shifts in paternity mediated by sperm stratification and mixing  

PubMed Central

Background In the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata, a highly invasive agricultural pest species, polyandry, associated with sperm precedence, is a recurrent behaviour in the wild. The absence of tools for the unambiguous discrimination between competing sperm from different males in the complex female reproductive tract has strongly limited the understanding of mechanisms controlling sperm dynamics and use. Results Here we use transgenic medfly lines expressing green or red fluorescent proteins in the spermatozoa, which can be easily observed and unambiguously differentiated within the female fertilization chamber. In twice-mated females, one day after the second mating, sperm from the first male appeared to be homogenously distributed all over the distal portion of each alveolus within the fertilization chamber, whereas sperm from the second male were clearly concentrated in the central portion of each alveolus. This distinct stratified sperm distribution was not maintained over time, as green and red sperm appeared homogeneously mixed seven days after the second mating. This dynamic sperm storage pattern is mirrored by the paternal contribution in the progeny of twice-mated females. Conclusions Polyandrous medfly females, unlike Drosophila, conserve sperm from two different mates to fertilize their eggs. From an evolutionary point of view, the storage of sperm in a stratified pattern by medfly females may initially favour the fresher ejaculate from the second male. However, as the second male's sperm gradually becomes depleted, the sperm from the first male becomes increasingly available for fertilization. The accumulation of sperm from different males will increase the overall genetic variability of the offspring and will ultimately affect the effective population size. From an applicative point of view, the dynamics of sperm storage and their temporal use by a polyandrous female may have an impact on the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). Indeed, even if the female's last mate is sterile, an increasing proportion of sperm from a previous mating with a fertile male may contribute to sire viable progeny. PMID:25470981



Stability, delivery and functions of human sperm RNAs at fertilization  

PubMed Central

Increasing attention has focused on the significance of RNA in sperm, in light of its contribution to the birth and long-term health of a child, role in sperm function and diagnostic potential. As the composition of sperm RNA is in flux, assigning specific roles to individual RNAs presents a significant challenge. For the first time RNA-seq was used to characterize the population of coding and non-coding transcripts in human sperm. Examining RNA representation as a function of multiple methods of library preparation revealed unique features indicative of very specific and stage-dependent maturation and regulation of sperm RNA, illuminating their various transitional roles. Correlation of sperm transcript abundance with epigenetic marks suggested roles for these elements in the pre- and post-fertilization genome. Several classes of non-coding RNAs including lncRNAs, CARs, pri-miRNAs, novel elements and mRNAs have been identified which, based on factors including relative abundance, integrity in sperm, available knockout data of embryonic effect and presence or absence in the unfertilized human oocyte, are likely to be essential male factors critical to early post-fertilization development. The diverse and unique attributes of sperm transcripts that were revealed provides the first detailed analysis of the biology and anticipated clinical significance of spermatozoal RNAs. PMID:23471003

Sendler, Edward; Johnson, Graham D.; Mao, Shihong; Goodrich, Robert J.; Diamond, Michael P.; Hauser, Russ; Krawetz, Stephen A.



Effect of method and clinician on stallion sperm morphology evaluation.  


The objective of this study was to determine the effects of method and clinician on stallion sperm morphology evaluation. Five clinicians evaluated 60 semen samples using wet-mount preparations with phase-contrast, eosin/nigrosin-stained semen smears, and Papanicolaou-stained semen smears. There were significant differences among methods for all sperm morphology categories and most intra-class correlation coefficients were only fair to moderate. The use of wet-mount preparations facilitated detection of acrosome defects, nuclear vacuoles, and cytoplasmic droplets when compared to stained smears. Smearing stallion semen samples onto slides increased the proportion of detached sperm heads. In addition, acrosome defects, nuclear vacuoles, rough/swollen midpieces, and cytoplasmic droplets were difficult to observe with Papanicolaou stain; this method resulted in overestimation of normal sperm when compared to other methods. There were significant differences among clinicians for all sperm morphology classification categories. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that sperm morphology evaluation results varied, depending on the evaluation method and clinician. Wet-mount preparation with phase-contrast microscopy appeared to be more sensitive for identification of abnormal stallion sperm when compared to stained smears. Veterinary andrology laboratories should invest in training, continuing education, proficiency testing, and other quality control measures to minimize the variation of sperm morphology evaluation results among clinicians. PMID:21612814

Brito, Leonardo F C; Greene, Lauren M; Kelleman, Audrey; Knobbe, Marc; Turner, Regina



Sequential male mate choice under sperm competition risk.  


Male eagerness to mate is a central paradigm of sexual selection theory. However, limited sperm supplies mean that male sexual restraint might sometimes be favored under promiscuous mating. Here, we demonstrate dynamic plasticity in male mating effort when females are encountered sequentially under varying sperm competition risk. Rather than showing consistent eagerness to mate, male house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) instead tailor their mating effort according to likely reproductive payoffs. They are significantly less likely to mate when sperm competition is certain and potential reproductive payoffs low, but dramatically increase investment if they do choose to mate under such circumstances. By contrast, male mice are significantly more likely to mate in situations simulating extra-territorial copulations, where future risk of competition is high but so too are potential reproductive rewards. Differential mating propensity appears to be the primary mechanism by which male house mice allocate sperm adaptively under sperm competition risk because we find no evidence for facultative adjustment of sperm numbers per ejaculate or ejaculation frequency in response to female-related cues. We conclude that sequential male mate choice under sperm competition risk could be a widespread but often unappreciated mechanism of strategic sperm allocation. PMID:24822023

Ramm, Steven A; Stockley, Paula



Male sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus ) coda production and coda-type usage depend on the presence of conspecifics and the behavioural context  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalusL., 1758 (= Physeter catodon L., 1758)) codas serve a communication function, but the message they carry remains unknown. Very few codas and extremely few coda types are available from males. For 7 years we studied the coda occurrence and the coda types produced by 15 males in different behavioural and encounter contexts. Of the 67 encounters,

Alexandros Frantzis; Paraskevi Alexiadou



Na,K-ATPase ?4 isoform is essential for sperm fertility  

PubMed Central

Regulation of ion balance in spermatozoa has been shown to be essential for sperm motility and fertility. Control of intracellular ion levels requires the function of distinct ion-transport mechanisms at the cell plasma membrane. Active Na+ and K+ exchange in sperm is under the control of the Na,K-ATPase. Two molecular variants of the catalytic subunit of the Na,K-ATPase, ?1 and ?4, coexist in sperm. These isoforms exhibit different biochemical properties; however, their function in sperm fertility is unknown. In this work, we show that Na,K-ATPase ?4 is essential for sperm fertility. Knockout male mice lacking ?4 are completely sterile and spermatozoa from these mice are unable of fertilizing eggs in vitro. Furthermore, ?4 deletion results in severe reduction in sperm motility and hyperactivation typical of sperm capacitation. In addition, absence of ?4 causes a characteristic bend in the sperm flagellum, indicative of abnormal sperm ion regulation. Accordingly, ?4-null sperm present increased intracellular Na+ and cell plasma membrane depolarization. These results are unique in demonstrating the absolute requirement of ?4 for sperm fertility. Moreover, the inability of ?1 to compensate for ?4 suggests that ?4 is the Na,K-ATPase-? isoform directly involved in sperm fertility. Our findings show ?4 as an attractive target for male contraception and open the possibility for the potential use of this Na,K-ATPase isoform as a biomarker for male fertility. PMID:21187400

Jimenez, Tamara; McDermott, Jeffrey P.; Sánchez, Gladis; Blanco, Gustavo



Response of boar sperm to the treatment with cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins added prior to cryopreservation.  


Cryopreserved boar sperm is not used extensively for artificial insemination, owing to the poor fertility rates of the sperm after freezing and thawing. The sperm membrane is damaged as the cells are cooled from body temperature to 5°C (cold shock), as well as during the freeze-thaw process. Increasing the cholesterol content of boar sperm membranes could help them survive cryopreservation, similar to sperm from other species that are cold shock sensitive. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrin (CLC) concentration to use for boar sperm cryopreservation, and the influence of CLCs on the cryosurvival of sperm from boars classified as good or poor freezers. Treating boar sperm with 1 mg of CLC/120 × 10(6) sperm slightly improved (p < 0.05) the percentage of viable sperm after freezing-thawing. On the other hand, sperm, from both good and poor freezers, responded similarly to CLC treatment. Nevertheless, additional studies will be needed to study the effect of this treatment on other parameters of sperm quality. PMID:22372766

Blanch, E; Tomás, C; Graham, J K; Mocé, E



Raman Spectroscopy of DNA Packaging in Individual Human Sperm Cells distinguishes Normal from Abnormal Cells  

SciTech Connect

Healthy human males produce sperm cells of which about 25-40% have abnormal head shapes. Increases in the percentage of sperm exhibiting aberrant sperm head morphologies have been correlated with male infertility, and biochemical studies of pooled sperm have suggested that sperm with abnormal shape may contain DNA that has not been properly repackaged by protamine during spermatid development. We have used micro-Raman spectroscopy to obtain Raman spectra from individual human sperm cells and examined how differences in the Raman spectra of sperm chromatin correlate with cell shape. We show that Raman spectra of individual sperm cells contain vibrational marker modes that can be used to assess the efficiency of DNA-packaging for each cell. Raman spectra obtained from sperm cells with normal shape provide evidence that DNA in these sperm is very efficiently packaged. We find, however, that the relative protein content per cell and DNA packaging efficiencies are distributed over a relatively wide range for sperm cells with both normal and abnormal shape. These findings indicate that single cell Raman spectroscopy should be a valuable tool in assessing the quality of sperm cells for in-vitro fertilization.

Huser, T; Orme, C; Hollars, C; Corzett, M; Balhorn, R



A Mutant Gene That Increases Gibberellin Production in Brassica1  

PubMed Central

A single gene mutant (elongated internode [ein/ein]) with accelerated shoot elongation was identified from a rapid cycling line of Brassica rapa. Relative to normal plants, mutant plants had slightly accelerated floral development, greater stem dry weights, and particularly, increased internode and inflorescence elongation. The application of the triazole plant growth retardant, paclobutrazol, inhibited shoot elongation, returning ein to a more normal phenotype. Conversely, exogenous gibberellin A3 (GA3) can convert normal genotypes to a phenotype resembling ein. The content of endogenous GA1 and GA3 were estimated by gas chromatography-selected ion monitoring using [2H]GA1, as a quantitative internal standard and at day 14 were 1.5- and 12.1-fold higher per stem, respectively, in ein than in normal plants, although GA concentrations were more similar. The endogenous levels of GA20 and GA1, and the rate of GA19 metabolism were simultaneously analyzed at day 7 by feeding [2H2]GA19 and measuring metabolites [2H2]GA20 and [2H2]GA1 and endogenous GA20 and GA1, with [2H5]GA20 and [2H5]GA1 as quantitative internal standards. Levels of GA1 and GA20 were 4.6- and 12.9-fold higher, respectively, and conversions to GA20 and GA1 were 8.3 and 1.3 times faster in ein than normal plants. Confirming the enhanced rate of GA1 biosynthesis in ein, the conversion of [3H]GA20 to [3H]GA1 was also faster in ein than in the normal genotype. Thus, the ein allele results in accelerated GA1 biosynthesis and an elevated content of endogenous GAs, including the dihydroxylated GAs A1 and A3. The enhanced GA production probably underlies the accelerated shoot growth and development, and particularly, the increased shoot elongation. Images Figure 1 PMID:16667574

Rood, Stewart B.; Williams, Paul H.; Pearce, David; Murofushi, Noboru; Mander, Lewis N.; Pharis, Richard P.



Changing rooster sperm membranes to facilitate cryopreservation  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

Cryopreservation damages rooster sperm membranes. Part of this damage is due to membrane transitioning from the fluid to the gel state as temperature is reduced. This damage may be prevented by increasing membrane fluidity at low temperatures by incorporating cholesterol or unsaturated lipids into t...


Protective effect of royal jelly on the sperm parameters and testosterone level and lipid peroxidation in adult mice treated with oxymetholone  

PubMed Central

Objectives : The aim of the present study was to evaluate protective effect of royal jelly on sperm parameters, testosterone level, and malondialdehyde (MDA) production in mice. Materials and Methods: Thirty-two adult male NMRI mice weighing 30±2 g were used. All the animals were divided into 4 groups. Control group: received saline 0.1 ml/mouse/day orally for 30 days. Royal jelly group (RJ): received royal jelly at dose of 100 mg/kg daily for 30 days orally. Oxymetholone group: the received Oxymetholone (OX) at dose of 5 mg/kg daily for 30 days orally. Royal jelly+Oxymetholone group: received royal jelly at dose of 100 mg/kg/day orally concomitant with OX administration. Sperm count, sperm motility, viability, maturity, and DNA integrity were analyzed. Furthermore, serum testosterone and MDA concentrations were determined. Results: In Oxymetholone group, sperm count, motility as well as testosterone concentration reduced significantly (p<0.05), while significant (p<0.05) increases in immature sperm, sperm with DNA damaged, and MDA concentration were announced in Oxymetholone group in comparison with control group and Royal jelly+Oxymetholone group. RJ caused partially amelioration in all of the above- mentioned parameters in Royal Jelly+Oxymetholone group. Conclusion: In conclusion, RJ may be used in combination with OX to improve OX-induced oxidative stress and male infertility. PMID:25050300

Zahmatkesh, Ensieh; Najafi, Gholamreza; Nejati, Vahid; Heidari, Reza



Effect of various commercial buffers on sperm viability and capacitation.  


A wide variety of sperm preparation protocols are currently available for assisted conception. They include density gradient separation and washing methods. Both aim at isolating and capacitating as much motile sperm as possible for subsequent oocyte fertilization. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of four commercial sperm washing buffers on sperm viability and capacitation. Semen samples from 48 healthy donors (normal values of sperm count, motility, morphology, and volume) were analyzed. After separation (density gradient 40/80%), sperm were incubated in various buffers then analysed for reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, viability, tyrosine phosphorylation (Tyr-P), cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) labeling, and the acrosome reaction (AR). The buffers affected ROS generation in various ways resulting either in rapid cell degeneration (when the amount of ROS was too high for cell survival) or the inability of the cells to maintain correct functioning (when ROS were too few). Only when the correct ROS generation curve was maintained, suitable membrane reorganization, evidenced by CTB labeling was achieved, leading to the highest percentages of both Tyr-P- and acrosome-reacted-cells. Distinguishing each particular pathological state of the sperm sample would be helpful to select the preferred buffer treatment since both ROS production and membrane reorganization can be significantly altered by commercial buffers. PMID:24673547

Andrisani, Alessandra; Donà, Gabriella; Ambrosini, Guido; Bonanni, Guglielmo; Bragadin, Marcantonio; Cosmi, Erich; Clari, Giulio; Armanini, Decio; Bordin, Luciana



Sterols in spermatogenesis and sperm maturation  

PubMed Central

Mammalian spermatogenesis is a complex developmental program in which a diploid progenitor germ cell transforms into highly specialized spermatozoa. One intriguing aspect of sperm production is the dynamic change in membrane lipid composition that occurs throughout spermatogenesis. Cholesterol content, as well as its intermediates, differs vastly between the male reproductive system and nongonadal tissues. Accumulation of cholesterol precursors such as testis meiosis-activating sterol and desmosterol is observed in testes and spermatozoa from several mammalian species. Moreover, cholesterogenic genes, especially meiosis-activating sterol-producing enzyme cytochrome P450 lanosterol 14?-demethylase, display stage-specific expression patterns during spermatogenesis. Discrepancies in gene expression patterns suggest a complex temporal and cell-type specific regulation of sterol compounds during spermatogenesis, which also involves dynamic interactions between germ and Sertoli cells. The functional importance of sterol compounds in sperm production is further supported by the modulation of sterol composition in spermatozoal membranes during epididymal transit and in the female reproductive tract, which is a prerequisite for successful fertilization. However, the exact role of sterols in male reproduction is unknown. This review discusses sterol dynamics in sperm maturation and describes recent methodological advances that will help to illuminate the complexity of sperm formation and function. PMID:23093550

Keber, Rok; Rozman, Damjana; Horvat, Simon



Sperm displacement in the Drosophila bipectinata species complex: Evidence for interspecific variations.  


We studied sperm displacement in two members of the Drosophila bipectinata species complex i.e., Drosophila parabipectinata and Drosophila malerkotliana by employing mutant and wild type strains. We found a significant increase in the productivity of remated females than that of once mated ones in all the crosses of the two species. The P2' values range from 0.67 to 0.70 in D. malerkotliana and 0.52 to 0.56 in D. parabipectinata. These results were compared with that of our earlier finding in D. bipectinata belonging to the same complex. We found that though the three species exhibit differences in the degree of sperm displacement, the pattern is somewhat similar in the three species. However, as far as its genetic variability and population size maintenance is considered, D. malerkotliana and D. bipectinata (P2' is 0.60-0.67) are at the forefront. Our finding is also supported by the fact that D. parabipectinata is derived from D. bipectinata and has not diverged much since its emergence as a separate species. The differences in the pattern of sperm displacement may be attributed to differences in remating latency, duration of copulation in first mating and sperm usage pattern among the members of this complex. PMID:25556898

Singh, Akanksha; Singh, Bashisth N



Cotton embryogenesis: The sperm  

Microsoft Academic Search

Summary The sperm of cotton were observed in the pollen tube in the style. They are true cells but relatively simple in organization. The nuclei are small and each contains a single, very small nucleolus. Nuclear pores are common and heterochromatin lines the nuclear membrane. The plastids and mitochondria are so reduced in internal structure that it is impossible to

William A. Jensen; Donald B. Fisher



Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus)  

E-print Network

.3.2 Listing history Original Listing The sperm whale was listed under the precursor to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969, and remained listed after the passage catodon=macrocephalus) Classification: Endangered 1.3.3 Associated rulemakings: N/A #12;2 1.3.4 Review


Equine sperm-neutrophil binding.  


When mares are inseminated repeatedly, protein molecules from the seminal plasma (SP) prevent sperm-neutrophil binding and reduced fertility. The molecule(s) responsible for sperm-neutrophil binding is not known and the identification of beneficial SP proteins is complicated by their large numbers and abundant variation. We examined several important aspects of sperm-neutrophil binding to ultimately facilitate the identification and isolation of the molecule(s) responsible. First, we raised anti-equine P-selectin antibodies to determine the involvement of this adhesion molecule in sperm-neutrophil binding. While these antibodies identified equine P-selectin, they did not inhibit sperm-neutrophil binding. However, acrosome-reacted equine sperm expressed a molecule similar to the ligand recognition unit of P-selectin. Second, we attempted to characterize SP protein binding to equine sperm and gauge their affinity. Biotinylated SP proteins were incubated with fresh sperm, washed over a viscous medium, electrophoresed, and probed with avidin. Several SP proteins bound to sperm with a strong affinity to withstand these treatments. This finding may prove valuable for future attempts to identify and characterize specific SP molecules. Lastly, we compared the secretions from male sex organs/glands on sperm motility, sperm-neutrophil binding, and their protein profile. We expected fewer proteins from individual organs/glands, which would facilitate isolation and identification of target molecules. While each secretion had a varying effect on motility and sperm-neutrophil binding, the protein profile was as complex as that seen in whole SP, indicating that collection of proteins from individual sources will not facilitate this work. Together, these experiments answer several important questions related to sperm-neutrophil binding, sperm-SP proteins interaction, and the complexity of the SP proteome. PMID:25695722

Alghamdi, Abdorrahman S; Madill, Scott; Foster, Douglas N; Troedsson, Mats H T



Studies of percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  


Four distinct studies were carried out using two data sets of percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedures performed from March 1993 to January 1997. In study A, an analysis of 181 ICSI treatment cycles following PESA revealed a successful epididymal sperm retrieval rate of 83%. It confirmed that PESA is an effective sperm retrieval method and the associated ICSI pregnancy rate (35% per embryo transfer) compared favourably with that of other sperm retrieval methods. In study B, the relevance of a prior diagnostic PESA procedure was ascertained by comparing the sperm retrieval rates in two groups of patients having their first ICSI treatment cycle with spermatozoa retrieved through PESA. Group B1 (n = 50) had diagnostic PESA prior to the ICSI treatment cycle PESA procedure, unlike patients in group B2 (n = 64) who did not. The sperm retrieval rate in the treatment cycle procedure was not different at 90 and 82.8% for groups B1 and B2 respectively. However, the discontinuation of diagnostic PESA is fraught with problems including liability to medico-legal sanctions. In study C, analysis of 177 treatment cycles involving PESA and ICSI revealed a successful sperm retrieval rate by PESA of 82% in the first cycle, 93% in the second, 96% in the third and 100% in the fourth cycle. The same trend was evident when sperm retrieval was examined in relation to each of the epididymides. Retrieved spermatozoa were found to be motile in 67-100% of cases and the frequency of samples containing motile spermatozoa did not decrease with increase in the number of PESA attempts. These results show that PESA does not jeopardize future epididymal sperm retrieval. In study D, the outcome of treatment with ICSI using ejaculated spermatozoa (305 cycles) (group D1) was compared with that of ICSI using spermatozoa obtained through PESA (54 cycles) (group D2). The median age of women in the two groups of couples was similar (34 years). In group D1, 70% of metaphase II oocytes were fertilized compared with 61% in group D2 (P < 0.01). The cleavage rate and the median numbers of transferred and cryopreserved embryos were similar in both groups. There was no significant difference between the clinical pregnancy rates (33 and 42% in groups D1 and D2 respectively). Our results show that the outcome of PESA-ICSI treatment compares favourably with that of ICSI using ejaculated spermatozoa. PMID:9622413

Meniru, G I; Gorgy, A; Batha, S; Clarke, R J; Podsiadly, B T; Craft, I L




Microsoft Academic Search

Summary Water plays an important role in livestock productivity. Livestock productivity in pastoral areas depends greatly on the availability of water. There are several factors, which determine water balance, water turnover and functions of the animal. Assessment of livestock and water requirement is helpful in modelling water and livestock relationships.

Girma Taddese


Increasing cropping system diversity balances productivity, profitability and environmental health  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

Balancing productivity, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production systems in the United States are characterized by low species and management diversity, high use of fossil energy and agrichemicals, and can have large negative im...


Does tree diversity increase wood production in pine forests?  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent experimental advances on the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem productivity highlight the need to explore this relationship in communities other than grasslands and using non-synthetic experiments. We investigated whether wood production in forests dominated by Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and Pyrenean Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) differed between monospecific and mixed forests (2-5 species) using the Ecological and

Montserrat Vilà; Jordi Vayreda; Carles Gracia; Joan Josep Ibáñez



Does tree diversity increase wood production in pine forests?  


Recent experimental advances on the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem productivity highlight the need to explore this relationship in communities other than grasslands and using non-synthetic experiments. We investigated whether wood production in forests dominated by Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and Pyrenean Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) differed between monospecific and mixed forests (2-5 species) using the Ecological and Forest Inventory of Catalonia (IEFC) database which contains biotic and environmental characteristics for 10,644 field plots distributed within a 31,944 km(2) area in Catalonia (NE Spain). We found that in Pyrenean Scots pine forests wood production was not significantly different between monospecific and mixed plots. In contrast, in Aleppo pine forests wood production was greater in mixed plots than in monospecific plots. However, when climate, bedrock types, radiation and successional stage per plot were included in the analysis, species richness was no longer a significant factor. Aleppo pine forests had the highest productivity in plots located in humid climates and on marls and sandstone bedrocks. Climate did not influence wood production in Pyrenean Scots pine forests, but it was highest on sandstone and consolidated alluvial materials. For both pine forests wood production was negatively correlated with successional stage. Radiation did not influence wood production. Our analysis emphasizes the influence of macroenvironmental factors and temporal variation on tree productivity at the regional scale. Well-conducted forest surveys are an excellent source of data to test for the association between diversity and productivity driven by large-scale environmental factors. PMID:12698352

Vilà, Montserrat; Vayreda, Jordi; Gracia, Carles; Ibáñez, Joan Josep



Fertilization by proxy: rival sperm removal and translocation in a beetle  

PubMed Central

Competition between different males' sperm for the fertilization of ova has led to the evolution of a diversity of characters in male reproductive behaviour, physiology and morphology. Males may increase sperm competition success either by enhancing the success of their own sperm or by negating or eliminating the success of rival sperm. Here, we find that in the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, the second male to mate gains fertilization precedence over previous males' sperm and fertilizes approximately two-thirds of the eggs. It is not known what mechanism underlies this pattern of last-male sperm precedence; however, the elongate tubules of the female sperm storage organ may encourage a 'last-in, first-out' sperm use sequence. Here we present an additional or alternative mechanism of sperm precedence whereby previously deposited sperm are removed from the female tract by the mating male's genitalia. In addition to providing evidence for sperm removal in T. castaneum, we also show that removed, non-self sperm may be translocated back into the reproductive tracts of new, previously unmated females, where the translocated sperm go on to gain significant fertilization success. We found that, in 45 out of 204 crosses, sperm translocation occurred and in these 45 crosses over half of the offspring were sired by spermatozoa which had been translocated between females on the male genitalia. In the natural environment of stored food, reproductively active T. castaneum adults aggregate in dense mating populations where copulation is frequent (we show in three naturally occurring population densities that copula duration and intermating intervals across three subsequent matings average 1 to 2 min). Selection upon males to remove rival sperm may have resulted in counter-selection upon spermatozoa to survive removal and be translocated into new females where they go on to fertilize in significant numbers.

Haubruge, E.; Arnaud, L.; Mignon, J.; Gage, M. J. G.



Complete hydatidiform mole with coexisting dichorionic diamniotic twins following testicular sperm extraction and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  


We present the first report of complete hydatidiform mole (HM) with coexisting dichorionic diamniotic twins. This pregnancy was achieved after testicular sperm extraction and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for azoospermia in the woman's husband. Standard in vitro fertilization may cause multisperm fertilization and increase triploid partial HM and complete HM, which arise from dispermic fertilization. In contrast, ICSI can avoid multisperm fertilization. In our case, paternal isodisomy in the molar tissue was confirmed by microsatellite analysis suggesting that it resulted from duplication of a haploid paternal genome following monospermic fertilization of an inactivated oocyte or from monospermic fertilization of an inactivated oocyte with a diploid sperm. Although the patient was eager to continue the pregnancy, the size of the HM component increased rapidly and termination of the pregnancy was required for pre-eclampsia-like symptoms at 15 weeks of gestation. After the operation, chemotherapy was initiated for persistent trophoblastic disease. PMID:18226144

Yamada, Takahiro; Matsuda, Takao; Kudo, Masataka; Yamada, Takashi; Moriwaki, Masashi; Nishi, Shinya; Ebina, Yasuhiko; Yamada, Hideto; Kato, Hidenori; Ito, Tomoo; Wake, Norio; Sakuragi, Noriaki; Minakami, Hisanori



Biodiversity increases the productivity and stability of phytoplankton communities.  


Global biodiversity losses provide an immediate impetus to elucidate the relationships between biodiversity, productivity and stability. In this study, we quantified the effects of species richness and species combination on the productivity and stability of phytoplankton communities subject to predation by a single rotifer species. We also tested one mechanism of the insurance hypothesis: whether large, slow-growing, potentially-defended cells would compensate for the loss of small, fast-growing, poorly-defended cells after predation. There were significant effects of species richness and species combination on the productivity, relative yield, and stability of phytoplankton cultures, but the relative importance of species richness and combination varied with the response variables. Species combination drove patterns of productivity, whereas species richness was more important for stability. Polycultures containing the most productive single species, Dunaliella, were consistently the most productive. Yet, the most species rich cultures were the most stable, having low temporal variability in measures of biomass. Polycultures recovered from short-term negative grazing effects, but this recovery was not due to the compensation of large, slow-growing cells for the loss of small, fast-growing cells. Instead, polyculture recovery was the result of reduced rotifer grazing rates and persisting small species within the polycultures. Therefore, although an insurance effect in polycultures was found, this effect was indirect and unrelated to grazing tolerance. We hypothesize that diverse phytoplankton assemblages interfered with efficient rotifer grazing and that this "interference effect" facilitated the recovery of the most productive species, Dunaliella. In summary, we demonstrate that both species composition and species richness are important in driving patterns of productivity and stability, respectively, and that stability in biodiverse communities can result from an alteration in consumer functioning. Our findings underscore the importance of predator-prey dynamics in determining the relationships between biodiversity, productivity and stability in producer communities. PMID:23173059

Corcoran, Alina A; Boeing, Wiebke J



Sperm abnormalities in post-thawed semen of Tunisian Arab stallions.  


The study was undertaken in order to evaluate sperm morphology features of post-thawed semen of Tunisian Arab stallions. Forty two ejaculates was collected and frozen, during years 2009 and 2010, from 9 stallions aged between 9 to 24 years. After thawing, sperm morphology was studied after eosin-nigrosin stain. The percentages of abnormal head, mid piece, flagella, sperm with droplets and the total abnormal sperm were determined. Analysis of variance was carried out using SAS software. The results showed that all sperm morphology features varied among ejaculates within stallion and among stallions (p<0.01). The percentage of abnormal flagella and total abnormal sperm varied between young and old stallions (p<0.01). We concluded that freezing and thawing processes increased abnormal sperm that is due to cell alteration for old and young stallions, and consequently, the decrease of the quality of the thawed semen of Tunisian Arab stallions. PMID:24502174

Najjar, A; Ben Said, S; Benaoun, B; Chetoui, C; Ezzaouia, M; Ben Mrad, M



Identification of Peroxiredoxin-5 in Bovine Cauda Epididymal Sperm  

PubMed Central

Developing spermatozoa require a series of post-testicular modifications within the luminal environment of the epididymis to achieve maturation; this involves several surface modifications including changes in plasma membrane lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and alterations in the outer acrosomal membrane. Epididymal maturation can therefore allow sperm to gain forward motility and fertilization capabilities. The objective of this study was to identify maturation dependent protein(s) and to investigate their role with the production of functionally competent spermatozoa. Lectin blot analyses of caput and cauda sperm plasma membrane fractions identified a 17.5kDa Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) binding polypeptide present in the cauda sperm plasma membrane not in the caput sperm plasma membrane. Among the several WGA stained bands, the presence of a 17.5kDa WGA binding polypeptide band was detected only in cauda epididymal fluid not in caput epididymal fluid suggesting that the 17.5kDa WGA-binding polypeptide is secreted from the cauda epididymis and binds to the cauda sperm plasma membrane during epididymal transit. Proteomic identification of the 17.5kDa polypeptide yielded 13 peptides that matched the sequence of peroxiredoxin-5 (PRDX5) protein (Bos Taurus). We propose that bovine cauda sperm PRDX5 acts as an antioxidant enzyme in the epididymal environment, which is crucial in protecting the viable sperm population against the damage caused by endogeneous or exogeneous peroxide. PMID:24186847

Nagdas, Subir K; Buchanan, Teresa; Raychoudhury, Samir



Single bovine sperm sex typing by amelogenin nested PCR  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sex-sorted bovine semen has become a valuable tool in animal production for sex preselection. Development of novel sperm sexing technologies, or evaluation of the quality of existing methods, often requires a single-sperm, sex-typing method that is reliable and easy to perform. In the present study, we report the development, validation, and application of a simple, reliable, and cost-effective method for

A. Colley; M. Buhr; S. P. Golovan



Aspergillus niger mutants with increased glucose oxidase production  

Microsoft Academic Search

Aspergillus niger NRRL-3, an organism used for the industrial scale production of d-gluconic acid and glucose oxidase (EC, was subjected to mutagenesis and selection for acid production on diagnostic media containing methyl red. The plates contained 0.1 M d-glucose, a concentration that does not produce a color change in the medium surrounding mycelia of the parental strain under the

John Markwell; Laura G. Frakes; Eugene C. Brott; John Osterman; Fred W. Wagner



Germ-cell hub position in a heteropteran testis correlates with the sequence and location of spermatogenesis and production of elaborate sperm bundles.  


In insects, spermatogonial cells undergo several mitotic divisions with incomplete cytokinesis, and then proceed through meiosis and spermatogenesis in synchrony. The cells derived from a single spermatogonial cell are referred to as a cyst. In the water strider Aquarius remigis, spermiogenesis occurs within two bi-lobed testes. In contrast to most insects, in which the germ-cell hub is located apically and sequential stages of spermatogenesis can be seen moving toward the base of the testis, each lobe of the water strider testis contains a single germ-cell hub located medially opposite to the efferent duct of the lobe; the developing cysts are displaced toward the distal ends of the lobe as spermiogenesis proceeds. Water strider sperm have both a long flagellum and an unusually long acrosome. The water strider spermatids elongate most of the flagellum prior to morphogenesis of the acrosome, and exhibit several stages of nuclear remodeling before the final, mature sperm nucleus is formed. The maturing sperm are aligned in register in the cyst, and the flagella fold into a coiled bundle while their acrosomes form a rigid helical process that extends from the cyst toward the efferent duct. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 82: 295-304, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25735541

Ott, George J; Shirkey, Nicholas J; Haimo, Leah T; Cardullo, Richard A; Thaler, Catherine D



Impact of biofuel production and other supply and demand factors on food price increases in 2008  

Microsoft Academic Search

The prices of some grain commodities more than doubled from March 2007 to March 2008. Increased food prices coincided with increasing global biofuel production, leading to speculation that biofuel production was responsible for the increased food prices. However, over the six-month period after March 2008, grain prices declined by 50% while biofuel production continued to increase. It is not possible

Sherry A. Mueller; James E. Anderson; Timothy J. Wallington



Frozen-thawed rhinoceros sperm exhibit DNA damage shortly after thawing when assessed by the sperm chromatin dispersion assay.  


This study reports on the successful validation (via in situ nick translation and neutral comet assay) of the equine Sperm-Halomax kit as an appropriate methodology for the assessment of sperm DNA fragmentation in three species of rhinoceros. Rhinoceros sperm nuclei with fragmented DNA (validated using in situ nick translation) were evident as large halos with dispersed DNA fragments, whereas those with nonfragmented DNA displayed small halos of nondispersed DNA within the microgel. There was a high correlation (r) of 0.974 (R(2) value=0.949; P<0.01; n=16) between the respective assessments of the Sperm Chromatin Dispersion test (SCDt) and the neutral comet assay. Application of the SCDt to determine the DNA fragmentation dynamics of rhinoceros (n=6) sperm frozen in liquid nitrogen vapor and incubated postthaw at 37 degrees C for up to 48 h to mimic in vitro conditions in the female reproductive tract, revealed an increase (P=0.001) in DNA damage, as soon as 4h after the start of incubation. Linear regression equations were calculated for all six rhinoceroses over the first 6h of incubation and revealed individual animal variation. Freshly collected and incubated (37 degrees C) rhinoceros (n=3) sperm had no increase in the basal level of DNA fragmentation for up to 48 h, indicating that the cryopreservation of rhinoceros sperm in liquid nitrogen vapor, as used in this study, appeared to result in freeze-thaw DNA damage. PMID:19560805

Portas, T; Johnston, S D; Hermes, R; Arroyo, F; López-Fernadez, C; Bryant, B; Hildebrandt, T B; Göritz, F; Gosalvez, J



Protective Effect of Ethyl Pyruvate on Epididymal Sperm Characteristics, Oxidative Stress and Testosterone Level in Methotrexate Treated Mice  

PubMed Central

Background Methotrexate (MTX) is an anti-metabolite drug widely used in treatment of neoplastic disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. The ester derivative, ethyl pyruvate (EP) is stable in solution and should function as an antioxidant and energy precursor. This study was conducted to evaluate the protective role of EP on sperm parameters, testosterone level and malondialdehyde (MDA) production in mice treated with MTX. Methods 32 adult male NMRI mice weighing 26±2 g were divided into 4 groups. Group 1 received 0.1 ml/mice/day of distilled water intraperitoneally for 30 days (ip). Group 2 was treated with methotrexate at a dose of 20 mg/kg once a week (ip) for 30 days. Group 3 was treated with ethyl pyruvate at a dose of 40 mg/kg/daily (ip) for 30 days. Group 4 was treated with methotrexate (20 mg/kg) once a week simultaneously with ethyl pyruvate 40 mg/kg for 30 days. The results were analyzed by oneway ANOVA. A p<0.05 was considered to be significant. Results The results showed significant (p<0.05) decrease in sperm count and sperm motility as well as testosterone concentration while sperm with damaged DNA and MDA concentration in mice treated with MTX in comparison with control and MX+EP groups increased significantly (p<0.05). Instead, MTX+EP group caused partial amelioration in all parameters mentioned above. Conclusion Based on the present study, it can be concluded that MTX induced toxicity in sperm parameters and serum level of testosterone and increased MDA level. EP with its antioxidant properties could be administrated during treatment with MTX due to its protective effects on sperm parameters, plasma testosterone levels and lipid peroxidation. PMID:24551573

Atashfaraz, Elham; Farokhi, Farah; Najafi, Gholamreza



Glycolysis and Mitochondrial Respiration in Mouse LDHC-Null Sperm1  

PubMed Central

ABSTRACT We demonstrated previously that a knockout (KO) of the lactate dehydrogenase type C (Ldhc) gene disrupted male fertility and caused a considerable reduction in sperm glucose consumption, ATP production, and motility. While that study used mice with a mixed genetic background, the present study used C57BL/6 (B6) and 129S6 (129) Ldhc KO mice. We found that B6 KO males were subfertile and 129 KO males were infertile. Sperm from 129 wild-type (WT) mice have a lower glycolytic rate than sperm from B6 WT mice, resulting in a greater reduction in ATP production in 129 KO sperm than in B6 KO sperm. The lower glycolytic rate in 129 sperm offered a novel opportunity to examine the role of mitochondrial respiration in sperm ATP production and motility. We observed that in media containing a mitochondrial substrate (pyruvate or lactate) as the sole energy source, ATP levels and progressive motility in 129 KO sperm were similar to those in 129 WT sperm. However, when glucose was added, lactate was unable to maintain ATP levels or progressive motility in 129 KO sperm. The rate of respiration (ZO2) was high when 129 KO or WT sperm were incubated with lactate alone, but addition of glucose caused a reduction in ZO2. These results indicate that in the absence of glucose, 129 sperm can produce ATP via oxidative phosphorylation, but in the presence of glucose, oxidative phosphorylation is suppressed and the sperm utilize aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon known as the Crabtree effect. PMID:23486916

Odet, Fanny; Gabel, Scott; London, Robert E.; Goldberg, Erwin; Eddy, Edward M.



Effects of environment factors on initiation of sperm motility in sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Sperm of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) were quiescent in electrolyte NaCl solution and artificial seawater (ASW) and nonelectrolyte glucose and mannitol solutions when the osmolality was less than 200 mOsm kg-1. The sperm started to be motile as a result of increased osmolality, indicating an osmolality-dependent initiation of sperm motility in sea cucumber. After a brief incubation in hypotonic NaCl and glucose solutions with osmolalities of 200 and 400 mOsm kg-1, sperm lost partial motile ability. Sperm became immobilized when pH was 6.0 in NaCl, glucose and mannitol solutions, suggesting that an H+ release is involved in sperm activation. The decreased pH had no effect on the percentage of motile sperm in ASW, whereas it delayed the time period to reach the maximum motility (motilitymax). Extracellular Ca2+ in electrolyte solutions was not essential for motility stimulation but shortened the time of reaching motilitymax. When Ca2+ was mixed in nonelectrolyte solutions the sperm motility was completely suppressed. The K+ channel blocker, quinine, suppressed the sperm motility in electrolyte solution, showing a possible involvement of K+ transport in the process. High K+ concentration did not affect the sperm motility in NaCl solution, but decreased it in ASW and almost entirely suppressed it in nonelectrolyte solutions. The different effects of pH and K+ in ASW and NaCl solution indicate that external ions may also regulate sperm motility.

Yu, Li; Shao, Mingyu; Bao, Zhenmin; Hu, Jingjie; Zhang, Zhifeng



Impaired swimming behaviour and morphology of sperm from barn swallows Hirundo rustica in Chernobyl.  


We investigated the motility and morphology of live sperm from barn swallows Hirundo rustica breeding in radioactively contaminated areas around Chernobyl and control areas in Ukraine in order to test the hypothesis that swimming behaviour and morphology of sperm was impaired by radioactive contamination. We obtained sperm samples from 98% of sampled birds, thus avoiding sampling bias due to the fraction of males not producing sperm samples. Analyses of within- and between-sample repeatability revealed significant and intermediate to large estimates for all sperm parameters. There were significant differences between the Chernobyl area and the control area for two of 11 sperm behaviour parameters, and significant interactions between area and year for six of these parameters. The proportion of sperm with abnormal morphology was elevated in barn swallows from Chernobyl. A principal component (PC) analysis revealed four significant axes that explained 88% of the variance in sperm behaviour parameters. One of these principal components differed between areas, and three components showed significant year by area interactions. PC2 representing the frequency of slow sperm increased with increasing radiation in one year, but not another. PC3 representing sperm with high linearity, small amplitude of lateral head displacement and low track velocity decreased with increasing background radiation level. PC4 reflecting a large proportion of static sperm with high beat cross frequency increased with increasing background radiation level. Sperm behaviour as reflected by principal components was predictable among years from information on level of radiation, and it was predictable among sites in different years. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that sperm behaviour and morphology have been affected by radiation due to the Chernobyl accident. PMID:18218334

Møller, A P; Mousseau, T A; Lynn, C; Lynnn, C; Ostermiller, S; Rudolfsen, G



GSTM1 genotype influences the susceptibility of men to sperm DNA damage associated with exposure to air pollution  

Microsoft Academic Search

Previous studies have provided evidence for an association between exposure to high levels of air pollution and increased DNA damage in human sperm. In these studies DNA damage was measured using the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) wherein the percentage of sperm with abnormal chromatin\\/fragmented DNA is determined and expressed as % DNA fragmentation index (%DFI). Here we extend these

Jiri Rubes; Sherry G. Selevan; Radim J. Sram; Donald P. Evenson; Sally D. Perreault



Sperm motility-activating complex formed by t-complex distorters.  


Transmission ratio distortion is a dramatic example of non-Mendelian transmission. In mice, t-haplotype males produce dysfunctional +-sperm and normal t-sperm, leading to transmission in favor of t-sperm. Genetic studies have indicated that the t-complex responder locus, Tcr, rescues t-sperm but not +-sperm from defective products of t-complex distorter loci, Tcds. Light chain 1 (LC1) and LC3 from sea urchin sperm outer arm dynein have sequence similarities to Tctex2 and Tctex1, respectively, both of which are wild-type products of Tcds. We show here that LC1 and LC3 are able to make a 1:1 complex. Since Tcr is a member of the Smok (sperm motility kinase) family and LC1 is phosphorylated at the activation of sperm motility in a cAMP-dependent manner, this complex in a dynein motor molecule might be a direct target of Smok/Tcr kinase in a signal cascade that regulates sperm motility. Thus, we designate it as Smoac (sperm motility activating complex). PMID:14559236

Ogawa, Kazuo; Inaba, Kazuo



Alleviating fertilizer policy constraints to increased fertilizer use and increased food production in West Africa  

Microsoft Academic Search

In sub-Saharan Africa, sustainable economic growth and development, food security, and fair income distribution are possible only if there is sustained growth in agricultural production. The influx of commercially imported or donated foodgrains has helped many governments to maintain a policy of low food prices, usually for the benefit of the vocal urban dwellers. Such practices tend to kill the

F. Makken



Effect of different monosaccharides and disaccharides on boar sperm quality after cryopreservation.  


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cryoprotectant effect of different non-permeating sugars for boar sperm. Pooled semen from three boars was used for the experiments. In the first experiment, the sperm quality of boar sperm cryopreserved with an egg-yolk based extender supplemented with different monosaccharides (glucose, galactose or fructose) was compared to a control cryopreserved in lactose-egg yolk extender. In the second experiment, the effect of five disaccharides (lactose, sucrose, lactulose, trehalose or melibiose) on boar sperm cryosurvival was studied. Several sperm quality parameters were assessed by flow cytometry in samples incubated for 30 and 150 min at 37°C after thawing: percentages of sperm with intact plasma membrane (SIPM), sperm presenting high plasma membrane fluidity (HPMF), sperm with intracellular reactive oxygen substances production (IROSP) and apoptotic sperm (AS). In addition, the percentages of total motile (TMS) and progressively motile sperm (PMS) were assessed at the same incubation times with a computer-assisted sperm analysis system. Freezing extenders supplemented with each of the monosaccharide presented smaller cryoprotective effect than the control extender supplemented with lactose (P<0.05). However, from the three monosaccharides tested, glucose provided the best sperm quality after freezing-thawing. With respect to the disaccharides studied, samples frozen with the extender supplemented with lactulose exhibited in general the lowest sperm quality, except for the percentage of capacitated sperm, which was highest (P<0.05) in the samples cryopreserved with the trehalose extender. Our results suggest that disaccharides have higher cryoprotective effect than monosaccharides, although the monosaccharide composition of the disaccharides is also important, since the best results were obtained with those disaccharides presenting glucose in their composition. PMID:22771077

Gómez-Fernández, José; Gómez-Izquierdo, Emilio; Tomás, Cristina; Mocé, Eva; de Mercado, Eduardo



Time to Eat: Household Production under Increasing Income Inequality  

Microsoft Academic Search

Using time diaries and expenditure data for the United States for 1985 and 2003, I examine how income and time prices affect time and goods inputs into eating. Both inputs increase with income, and higher time prices reduce time inputs. Between 1985 and 2003 the goods intensity of eating increased, especially lower in the income distribution, and average time inputs

Daniel S. Hamermesh



Mammalian Sperm Fertility Related Proteins  

PubMed Central

Infertility is an important aspect of human and animal reproduction and still presents with much etiological ambiguity. As fifty percent of infertility is related to the male partner, molecular investigations on sperm and seminal plasma can lead to new knowledge on male infertility. Several comparisons between fertile and infertile human and other species sperm proteome have shown the existence of potential fertility markers. These proteins have been categorized into energy related, structural and other functional proteins which play a major role in sperm motility, capacitation and sperm-oocyte binding. The data from these studies show the impact of sperm proteome studies on identifying different valuable markers for fertility screening. In this article, we review recent development in unraveling sperm fertility related proteins. PMID:24151436

Ashrafzadeh, Ali; Karsani, Saiful Anuar; Nathan, Sheila



Predictive factors of successful microdissection testicular sperm extraction  

PubMed Central

Azoospermia in men requires microsurgical reconstruction or a procedure for sperm retrieval with assisted reproduction to allow fertility. While the chance of successful retrieval of sperm in men with obstructive azoospermia approaches >90%, the chances of sperm retrieval in men with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) are not as high. Conventional procedures such as fine needle aspiration of the testis, testicular biopsy and testicular sperm extraction are successful in 20–45% of men with NOA. With microdissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE), the chance of successful retrieval can be up to 60%. Despite this increased success, the ability to counsel patients preoperatively on their probability of successful sperm retrieval has remained challenging. A combination of variables such as age, serum FSH and inhibin B levels, testicular size, genetic analysis, history of Klinefelter syndrome, history of cryptorchidism or varicocele and histopathology on diagnostic biopsy have provided some insight into the chance of successful sperm retrieval in men with NOA. The goal of this review was to evaluate the preoperative factors that are currently available to predict the outcome for success with micro-TESE.

Bernie, Aaron M.; Ramasamy, Ranjith; Schlegel, Peter N.



Environmental Implications of Increased Bioenergy Production on Midwest Soil Landscapes  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

Prairie soil landscapes encompass over 16 million acres in Missouri and surrounding states. Much of this area has been degraded by erosion but is still used for grain production. Erosion has caused variable topsoil depth within fields which in turn has resulted in greater within-field variability of...



Microsoft Academic Search

The paper describes one way to approach the multidisciplinary task of optimizing a tiltrotor wing structure which is equipped with an active flutter suppression system. Objective function is a productivity index, as a measure for aircraft cost-effectiveness. Short digress is held on the characteristics of the tiltrotor's dynamic system and its aeroelastic behavior. Contributing analyses (CA's) for calculating aircraft performance,

Martin Stettner; Daniel P. Schrage



Germany 2007: Undiminished High Construction Production and Increased Construction Prices  

Microsoft Academic Search

After the high growth of 2006, the first quarter of 2007 also shows undiminished high construction production. Evidence of this is provided by the number of hours worked, which see growth rates in double figures in all fields of civil and structural engineering; yet it is surprising that growth in industrial construction lagged somewhat. It remains to be seen to

Bernd Bartholmai; Martin Gornig



Sustainable Harvests Through Increased Utilization of Salmon By-Products  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

The growing demand for fish meals and oils has produced a steady rise in the market price garnered by these commodities. However, the practice of discarding fish-processing wastes is still widespread. Alaska’s fishing industry generates over one million metric tons of fish by-products each year, muc...


Calnexin Overexpression Increases Manganese Peroxidase Production in Aspergillus niger  

Microsoft Academic Search

Heme-containing peroxidases from white rot basidiomycetes, in contrast to most proteins of fungal origin, are poorly produced in industrial filamentous fungal strains. Factors limiting peroxidase production are believed to operate at the posttranslational level. In particular, insufficient availability of the prosthetic group which is required for peroxidase biosynthesis has been proposed to be an important bottleneck. In this work, we

Ana Conesa; David Jeenes; David B. Archer; Cees A. M. J. J. van den Hondel; Peter J. Punt



Sperm Chromatin and Environmental Factors  

Microsoft Academic Search

\\u000a Available experimental and human data show that a number of lifestyle- and environment-related exposures may have negative\\u000a effects on sperm DNA integrity. The extent of the sperm DNA damage seems to differ between different studies. Such a discrepancy\\u000a may partly be due to the use of ­several methods for assessment of sperm DNA integrity, techniques that do not measure exactly

Aleksander Giwercman


Role of Carbonic Anhydrase IV in the Bicarbonate-Mediated Activation of Murine and Human Sperm  

PubMed Central

HCO3? is the signal for early activation of sperm motility. In vivo, this occurs when sperm come into contact with the HCO3? containing fluids in the reproductive tract. The activated motility enables sperm to travel the long distance to the ovum. In spermatozoa HCO3? stimulates the atypical sperm adenylyl cyclase (sAC) to promote the cAMP-mediated pathway that increases flagellar beat frequency. Stimulation of sAC may occur when HCO3? enters spermatozoa either directly by anion transport or indirectly via diffusion of CO2 with subsequent hydration by intracellular carbonic anhydrase (CA). We here show that murine sperm possess extracellular CA IV that is transferred to the sperm surface as the sperm pass through the epididymis. Comparison of CA IV expression by qRT PCR analysis confirms that the transfer takes place in the corpus epididymidis. We demonstrate murine and human sperm respond to CO2 with an increase in beat frequency, an effect that can be inhibited by ethoxyzolamide. Comparing CA activity in sperm from wild-type and CA IV?/? mice we found a 32.13% reduction in total CA activity in the latter. The CA IV?/? sperm also have a reduced response to CO2. While the beat frequency of wild-type sperm increases from 2.86±0.12 Hz to 6.87±0.34 Hz after CO2 application, beat frequency of CA IV?/? sperm only increases from 3.06±0.20 Hz to 5.29±0.47 Hz. We show, for the first time, a physiological role of CA IV that supplies sperm with HCO3?, which is necessary for stimulation of sAC and hence early activation of spermatozoa. PMID:21124840

Mannowetz, Nadja; Becker, Holger M.; Deitmer, Joachim W.; Sly, William S.; Wennemuth, Gunther



Alleviating fertilizer policy constraints to increased fertilizer use and increased food production in West Africa  

Microsoft Academic Search

\\u000a In sub-Saharan Africa, sustainable economic growth and development, food security, and fair income distribution are possible\\u000a only if there is sustained growth in agricultural production. The influx of commercially imported or donated foodgrains has\\u000a helped many governments to maintain a policy of low food prices, usually for the benefit of the vocal urban dwellers. Such\\u000a practices tend to kill the

F. Makken


Increased Heterologous Protein Production in Aspergillus niger Fermentation through Extracellular Proteases Inhibition by  

E-print Network

Increased Heterologous Protein Production in Aspergillus niger Fermentation through Extracellular in filamentous fungal fermentation and thereby to enhance heterologous protein production. Introduction with efficient heterologous protein production in the fungal fermentation industry (1, 2). Current strategies

Gu, Tingyue


Potential strategies for increasing drug-discovery productivity.  


The productivity challenge facing the pharmaceutical industry is well documented. Strategies to improve productivity have mainly focused on enhancing efficiency, such as the application of Lean Six Sigma process improvement methods and the introduction of modeling and simulation in place of 'wet' experiments. While these strategies have their benefits, the real challenge is to improve effectiveness by reducing clinical failure rates. We advocate redesigning the screening cascade to identify and optimize novel compounds with improved efficacy against disease, not just with improved potency against the target. There should be greater use of disease-relevant phenotypic screens in conjunction with target-based assays to drive medicinal chemistry optimization. An opportunistic approach to polypharmacology is recommended. There should also be more emphasis on optimization of the molecular mechanism of action incorporating understanding of binding kinetics, consideration of covalent drug strategies and targeting allosteric modulators. PMID:24649955

Cumming, John G; Finlay, M Raymond V; Giordanetto, Fabrizio; Hemmerling, Martin; Lister, Troy; Sanganee, Hitesh; Waring, Michael J



Viewing Death on Television Increases the Appeal of Advertised Products  

PubMed Central

References to death abound in many television programs accessible to most people. Terror Management Theory (TMT) postulates that existential anxiety, which death reminders activate, may reinforce materialistic tendencies. The current paper explores the effect of a death reminder in television shows on the desirability of advertised products. Consistent with TMT's predictions, in two studies participants show greater desire for products, which were advertised immediately following clips from programs that featured a death scene, compared with programs that did not. Cognitive accessibility of death predicted the appeal difference while changes in affect or interest in the show did not. The findings are discussed in light on affective and existential theories which make opposite predictions. Implications and future directions are considered. PMID:22468421




Increasing Cropping System Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability and Environmental Health  

PubMed Central

Balancing productivity, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production systems in the United States are characterized by low species and management diversity, high use of fossil energy and agrichemicals, and large negative impacts on the environment. We hypothesized that cropping system diversification would promote ecosystem services that would supplement, and eventually displace, synthetic external inputs used to maintain crop productivity. To test this, we conducted a field study from 2003–2011 in Iowa that included three contrasting systems varying in length of crop sequence and inputs. We compared a conventionally managed 2-yr rotation (maize-soybean) that received fertilizers and herbicides at rates comparable to those used on nearby farms with two more diverse cropping systems: a 3-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + red clover) and a 4-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + alfalfa-alfalfa) managed with lower synthetic N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of cattle manure. Grain yields, mass of harvested products, and profit in the more diverse systems were similar to, or greater than, those in the conventional system, despite reductions of agrichemical inputs. Weeds were suppressed effectively in all systems, but freshwater toxicity of the more diverse systems was two orders of magnitude lower than in the conventional system. Results of our study indicate that more diverse cropping systems can use small amounts of synthetic agrichemical inputs as powerful tools with which to tune, rather than drive, agroecosystem performance, while meeting or exceeding the performance of less diverse systems. PMID:23071739

Davis, Adam S.; Hill, Jason D.; Chase, Craig A.; Johanns, Ann M.; Liebman, Matt



Increasing cropping system diversity balances productivity, profitability and environmental health.  


Balancing productivity, profitability, and environmental health is a key challenge for agricultural sustainability. Most crop production systems in the United States are characterized by low species and management diversity, high use of fossil energy and agrichemicals, and large negative impacts on the environment. We hypothesized that cropping system diversification would promote ecosystem services that would supplement, and eventually displace, synthetic external inputs used to maintain crop productivity. To test this, we conducted a field study from 2003-2011 in Iowa that included three contrasting systems varying in length of crop sequence and inputs. We compared a conventionally managed 2-yr rotation (maize-soybean) that received fertilizers and herbicides at rates comparable to those used on nearby farms with two more diverse cropping systems: a 3-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + red clover) and a 4-yr rotation (maize-soybean-small grain + alfalfa-alfalfa) managed with lower synthetic N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of cattle manure. Grain yields, mass of harvested products, and profit in the more diverse systems were similar to, or greater than, those in the conventional system, despite reductions of agrichemical inputs. Weeds were suppressed effectively in all systems, but freshwater toxicity of the more diverse systems was two orders of magnitude lower than in the conventional system. Results of our study indicate that more diverse cropping systems can use small amounts of synthetic agrichemical inputs as powerful tools with which to tune, rather than drive, agroecosystem performance, while meeting or exceeding the performance of less diverse systems. PMID:23071739

Davis, Adam S; Hill, Jason D; Chase, Craig A; Johanns, Ann M; Liebman, Matt



Sperm ultrastructure, morphometry, and abnormal morphology in American black bears (Ursus americanus).  


The objective of this study was to describe sperm ultrastructure, morphometry, and abnormal morphology in American black bears. Electroejaculation was successful in 53.8% (7/13) of the attempts, but urine contamination was common. Epididymal sperm samples were also obtained from five bears. Sperm had a paddle-like head shape and the ultrastructure was similar to that of most other mammals. The most striking particularity of black bear sperm ultrastructure was a tightening of the nucleus in the equatorial region. Although the differences were not significant in all bears, the overall decrease in sperm nucleus dimensions during transport from the caput epididymis to the cauda suggested increasing compaction of the nucleus during maturation. For ejaculated sperm, nucleus length, width, and base width were 4.9, 3.7, and 1.8 ?m, respectively, whereas sperm head length, width, and base width were 6.6, 4.8, and 2.3 ?m, and midpiece, tail (including midpiece), and total sperm lengths were 9.8, 68.8, and 75.3 ?m. Evaluation of sperm cytoplasmic droplets in the epididymis revealed that proximal droplets start migrating toward a distal position in the caput epididymis and that the process was mostly completed by the time sperm reached the cauda epididymis. The proportion of morphologically normal sperm in the ejaculate was 35.6%; the most prevalent sperm defects were distal cytoplasmic droplets and bent/coiled tails. The morphology of abnormal sperm and the underlying ultrastructural defects were similar to that in other large domestic animals thus suggesting similar underlying pathogenesis of specific sperm defects and similar effects on fertility. PMID:20708230

Brito, L F C; Sertich, P L; Stull, G B; Rives, W; Knobbe, M



Secondary sexual characters and sperm traits in coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch  

Microsoft Academic Search

ABSTRACT The sperm,competition,hypothesis predicts that males likely to occupy,disfavored spawning positions, as indicated by reduced expression of secondary sexual characters, would allocate more,resources to sperm production and velocity to compensate,for relatively poor access to spawning females. To test these predictions, body size metrics and red abdominal spawning colouration were examined,in relation to sperm related metrics in coho salmon,(Oncorhynchus kisutch). Males

T. E. Pitcher; S. M. Doucet; J.-M. J. Beausoleil; D. Hanley



Characterization of Na+K+-ATPase in bovine sperm.  


Existing as a ubiquitous transmembrane protein, Na(+)K(+)-ATPase affects sperm fertility and capacitation through ion transport and a recently identified signaling function. Functional Na(+)K(+)-ATPase is a dimer of ? and ? subunits, each with isoforms (four and three, respectively). Since specific isoform pairings and locations may influence or indicate function, the objective of this study was to identify and localize subunits of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase in fresh bull sperm by immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry using antibodies against ?1 and 3, and all ? isoforms. Relative quantity of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase in head plasma membranes (HPM's) from sperm of different bulls was determined by densitometry of immunoblot bands, and compared to bovine kidney. Sperm and kidney specifically bound all antibodies at kDa equivalent to commercial controls, and to additional lower kDa bands in HPM. Immunofluorescence of intact sperm confirmed that all isoforms were present in the head region of sperm and that ?3 was also uniformly distributed post-equatorially. Permeabilization exposing internal membranes typically resulted in an increase in fluorescence, indicating that some antibody binding sites were present on the inner surface of the HPM or the acrosomal membrane. Deglycosylation of ?1 reduced the kDa of bands in sperm, rat brain and kidney, with the kDa of the deglycosylated bands differing among tissues. Two-dimensional blots of ?1 revealed three distinct spots. Based on the unique quantity, location and structure Na(+)K(+)-ATPase subunits in sperm, we inferred that this protein has unique functions in sperm. PMID:22284223

Hickey, Katie D; Buhr, Mary M



Increase in the productivity of blast-furnace stoves  

SciTech Connect

The Novolipetsk combine proposed sending a cold blast through a special 150-mm-diameter pipe passing through an igniter opening into the combustion chamber. To evaluate the efficiency the stove performance in which some of the cold blast was directed to the combustion chamber was compared against that of unmodified stoves. This blast-delivery system was found to increase consumption of blast-furnace gas during the first stage, reduce time required to bring the dome up to prescribed temperatures, shorten the stove-heating period, and increase blast-heating temperature by 10-15/degree/.

Solomentsev, S.L.; Chernobrivets, B.F.; Sigmund, V.K.; Basukinskii, S.M.; Beremblyum, G.B.; Nakhaev, P.E.; Serpevskii, S.L.



Ways to Increase Milk Production By Pete Erickson, Ph.D.  

E-print Network

Ways to Increase Milk Production By Pete Erickson, Ph.D. Dairy farmers probably get sick of hearing things to consider for increasing milk production: Water a. Provide clean water continuously the age-old advice of "you've got to increase production to be more profitable," but there isn't much

New Hampshire, University of


Total Quality Management: Increasing Productivity and Decreasing Costs.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Increasingly, higher education institutions are using Total Quality Management (TQM) as a vehicle for delivering cost-effective programs and services. The TQM philosophy is that quality can be improved by ceaselessly improving the processes that support the institution's mission. TQM is applicable to institutional research and planning as well as…

Heverly, Mary Ann; Cornesky, Robert A.



Increasing Your Productivity with Web-Based Surveys  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Web-based survey tools such as Survey Monkey can be used in many ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Extension professionals. This article describes how Survey Monkey has been used at the state and county levels to collect community and internal staff information for the purposes of program planning, administration, evaluation and…

Wissmann, Mary; Stone, Brittney; Schuster, Ellen



Increased soldier production in ant colonies exposed to intraspecific competition  

Microsoft Academic Search

THE success of organisms and their increasing complexity throughout the course of evolution are thought to have depended on a small number of important transitions, one of which was the shift from a solitary lifestyle to societies of organisms exhibiting division of labour and having specialized castes1,2. The most familiar examples of the advantages arising from division of labour and

Luc Passera; Eric Roncin; Bernard Kaufmann; Laurent Keller



Use of Emerging Information Technologies to Increase Innovator Productivity  

Microsoft Academic Search

Web 2.0 applications have the potential to make their users more effective at information sharing, information management, collaboration, data manipulation and data analysis. This research addresses how innovators can use these Web 2.0 applications to increase their creativity and innovation capability. In answering this question we also address how institutional mechanisms can facilitate use of these applications, what characteristics of

Steven Gordon; Monideepa Tarafdar



Increased calf production in cattle selected for twin ovulations  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

The effects of increasing fetal numbers and their distribution between the left and right uterine horns on calf survival, calf BW at birth and weaning, gestation length, dystocia, and calf sex ratio were evaluated for single (n = 1,587), twin (n = 2,440), and triplet calves (n = 147) born to primipa...


Optimizing Production of Hydroquinone Achieves Increased Yield and Energy Efficiency  

E-print Network

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Y i e l d ? ( % ) P r o d u c t i o n ? R a t e Week HQ?Production:?2008?and?2009 2008?Prod?Rate 2009?Prod?Rate 2008?Yield 2009?Yield Results ? Basis of comparison ? Yield Improvement: compared... Saved in 2008 (MMBtu/Yr.) Annualized Net CO2 And Other GHG Emissions Reduction (Tons CO2 or CO2 Equiv) Jan 2009 16% 105,758 11,000 ? Control plan ? Strong control plan essential for holding the gain and retaining knowledge. ? Documented...

Gross, S.


Golbal Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increased Bioenergy Production  

SciTech Connect

The project had three main objectives: to build and incorporate an explicit biomass energy sector within the GTAP analytical framework and data base; to provide an analysis of the impact of renewable fuel standards and other policies in the U.S. and E.U, as well as alternative biofuel policies in other parts of the world, on changes in production, prices, consumption, trade and poverty; and to evaluate environmental impacts of alternative policies for bioenergy development. Progress and outputs related to each objective are reported.

Wallace Tyner



Odorant receptors and desensitization proteins colocalize in mammalian sperm.  

PubMed Central

BACKGROUND: The identification of transcripts encoding putative olfactory receptors in mammalian germ cells (1) has generated the hypothesis that olfactory receptors may serve a chemosensory role in sperm chemotaxis during fertilization. We have sought to identify and localize these receptors and their regulatory machinery in rat sperm in order to gain further insight into mammalian sperm chemotaxis and odorant receptor physiology. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using degenerate primers directed against sequences conserved across members of the known odorant receptor family to identify transcripts from testis and round spermatids. Western analysis and immunohistochemistry were performed using antibodies raised against two peptide sequences conserved among odorant receptors and using fusion protein antibodies to G-protein receptor kinase 3 (GRK3/beta ARK2) and beta-arrestin2. RESULTS: We detected transcripts encoding putative odorant receptors in both testis and round spermatids of the adult rat. Restriction digests of the PCR products demonstrated the existence of multiple gene products. Two anti-odorant receptor antibodies specifically recognized a 64 kD band in rat sperm preparations by Western blot. The proteins GRK3 and beta-arrestin2, implicated in olfactory desensitization, were detected in sperm cytosolic extracts using Western analysis. Immunohistochemistry colocalized putative odorant receptors, GRK3 and beta-arrestin2 to elongating spermatids in the testis and to the midpiece of mature sperm. CONCLUSIONS: The specific localization of odorant receptors to the respiratory center of mature sperm is consistent with a role for these proteins in transducing chemotactic signals. Based on the colocalization, it is plausible that GRK3 and beta-arrestin2 function in sperm to regulate putative chemoreceptor responses. Images FIG. 1 FIG. 2 FIG. 3 FIG. 4 FIG. 5 FIG. 6 PMID:8529092

Walensky, L. D.; Roskams, A. J.; Lefkowitz, R. J.; Snyder, S. H.; Ronnett, G. V.



Increasing agricultural water use efficiency to meet future food production  

Microsoft Academic Search

With the world’s population set to increase by 65% (3.7 billion) by ?2050, the additional food required to feed future generations will put further enormous pressure on freshwater resources. This is because agriculture is the largest single user of fresh water, accounting for ?75% of current human water use. At present ?7% of the world’s population live in areas where

J. S Wallace



Cinnamic Acid Increases Lignin Production and Inhibits Soybean Root Growth  

PubMed Central

Cinnamic acid is a known allelochemical that affects seed germination and plant root growth and therefore influences several metabolic processes. In the present work, we evaluated its effects on growth, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) oxidase and cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (C4H) activities and lignin monomer composition in soybean (Glycine max) roots. The results revealed that exogenously applied cinnamic acid inhibited root growth and increased IAA oxidase and C4H activities. The allelochemical increased the total lignin content, thus altering the sum and ratios of the p-hydroxyphenyl (H), guaiacyl (G), and syringyl (S) lignin monomers. When applied alone or with cinnamic acid, piperonylic acid (PIP, a quasi-irreversible inhibitor of C4H) reduced C4H activity, lignin and the H, G, S monomer content compared to the cinnamic acid treatment. Taken together, these results indicate that exogenously applied cinnamic acid can be channeled into the phenylpropanoid pathway via the C4H reaction, resulting in an increase in H lignin. In conjunction with enhanced IAA oxidase activity, these metabolic responses lead to the stiffening of the cell wall and are followed by a reduction in soybean root growth. PMID:23922685

Salvador, Victor Hugo; Lima, Rogério Barbosa; dos Santos, Wanderley Dantas; Soares, Anderson Ricardo; Böhm, Paulo Alfredo Feitoza; Marchiosi, Rogério; Ferrarese, Maria de Lourdes Lucio; Ferrarese-Filho, Osvaldo



Writing Retreat Increases Productivity And Community For Women Geoscientists  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Five, weeklong geoscientist writing retreats have been completed with an NSF ADANCE PAID grant. During the five nights and four and a half days, eight to twenty-four academics have gathered in a rural setting outside of Boston to get to focus on writing papers and proposals while getting to know each other. Participants range in age and experience from graduate students to emeritus professors. Over twenty papers and proposals acknowledge their production, in part to this writing retreat. Impact extends beyond papers as informal mentoring and discussions at meals and in the evenings centers on succeeding in academia. Research and teaching are foremost in the conversation. Post-docs learn strategies for applying for jobs and grants, and senior professors discuss strategies for working with academic administrations, running departments and mentoring students. They also learn new technologies and perspectives from younger participants. Particularly helpful are discussions on work-life balance. Networking opportunities extend beyond the retreat as participants join each other at their home institutions to give seminars, develop research projects and mentor each other's students. All weeks follow the same format. Participants arrive Sunday and meet during an evening welcome reception. Monday is devoted to writing. Tuesday a writing coach is available. In the morning, using examples from the scientific literature, she discusses strategies and techniques for writing clearly at a group session. During the afternoon, participants work with the coach individually or in small groups to improve their own writing projects. Wednesday evening a skill session is offered on a topic of interest. These have included undergraduate research, NSF funding, productive techniques for dealing with conflict, and generational characteristics and attitudes, which can hamper communication. A Thursday evening wrap-up session prepares participants for Friday's departure. We believe that this model is replicable to other regions or to single institutions. All that is really required is space, meals, and a writing coach or a journal editor. Costs are very reasonable, considering the positive lifelong impact on this most necessary skill for the productive scientist.

O'Connell, S.; Holmes, M.



Phospholipase C?4 is required for Ca2+ mobilization essential for acrosome reaction in sperm  

PubMed Central

Zona pellucida (ZP)–induced acrosome reaction in sperm is a required step for mammalian fertilization. However, the precise mechanism of the acrosome reaction remains unclear. We previously reported that PLC?4 is involved in the ZP-induced acrosome reaction in mouse sperm. Here we have monitored Ca2+ responses in single sperm, and we report that the [Ca2+]i increase in response to ZP, which is essential for driving the acrosome reaction in vivo, is absent in PLC?4?/? sperm. Progesterone, another physiological inducer of the acrosome reaction, failed to induce sustained [Ca2+]i increases in PLC?4?/? sperm, and consequently the acrosome reaction was partially inhibited. In addition, we observed oscillatory [Ca2+]i increases in wild-type sperm in response to these acrosome inducers. Calcium imaging studies revealed that the [Ca2+]i increases induced by exposure to ZP and progesterone started at different sites within the sperm head, indicating that these agonists induce the acrosome reaction via different Ca2+ mechanisms. Furthermore, store-operated channel (SOC) activity was severely impaired in PLC?4?/? sperm. These results indicate that PLC?4 is an important enzyme for intracellular [Ca2+]i mobilization in the ZP-induced acrosome reaction and for sustained [Ca2+]i increases through SOC induced by ZP and progesterone in sperm. PMID:12695499

Fukami, Kiyoko; Yoshida, Manabu; Inoue, Takafumi; Kurokawa, Manabu; Fissore, Rafael A.; Yoshida, Nobuaki; Mikoshiba, Katsuhiko; Takenawa, Tadaomi



Science Video Journals to Increase Productivity in Research and Education  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Research in both the physical and biological sciences chronically suffers from the low productivity and reproducibility of experimental studies. This is due in part because the traditional text-based format of science journals cannot provide an adequate description of complex research procedures. This creates a critical 'bottleneck' problem of knowledge transfer for research and education. Addressing this challenge, a new generation of science journals employs online video to provide a systematic visualized publication of experimental studies. This presentation will provide an overview of the growing field of video publication and discuss its technical challenges, implications for scholarly communication and acceptance in the academic and library community. Results and recently conducted case studies will be shown in support of video publications as a valid communication venue in scientific publishing.

Henderson, K. M.



Downhole tools can increase deep drilling rig productivity  

SciTech Connect

Explains how there is much to be gained by better utilization of current drilling equipment, particularly for the much more expensive deep drilling. Optimized mud weight, better hydraulics, and higher rpm offer the best opportunities with increased bit weight as a fourth possibility. Current RandD in such areas as shock absorbers, downhole motors, new materials and designs for bits, and improved instrumentation will decrease drilling costs. Concludes that a reasonable projection is that drilling time for deep wells can be halved within the next decade.

Thiessen, D.A.; Doiron, H.H.



Mutant E. coli strain with increased succinic acid production  


A method for isolating succinic acid producing bacteria is provided comprising increasing the biomass of an organism which lacks the ability to catabolize pyruvate, and then subjecting the biomass to glucose-rich medium in an anaerobic environment to enable pyruvate-catabolizing mutants to grow. The invention also provides for a mutant that produces high amounts of succinic acid, which as been derived from a parent which lacked the genes for pyruvate formate lyase and lactate dehydrogenase, and which belongs to the E.coli Group of Bacteria. 2 figs.

Donnelly, M.; Millard, C.S.; Stols, L.



Mutant E. coli strain with increased succinic acid production  


A method for isolating succinic acid producing bacteria is provided comprising increasing the biomass of an organism which lacks the ability to catabolize pyruvate, and then subjecting the biomass to glucose-rich medium in an anaerobic environment to enable pyruvate-catabolizing mutants to grow. The invention also provides for a mutant that produces high amounts of succinic acid, which has been derived from a parent which lacked the genes for pyruvate formate lyase and lactate dehydrogenase, and which belongs to the E.coli Group of Bacteria.

Donnelly, Mark; Millard, Cynthia S.; Stols, Lucy



Mutant E. coli strain with increased succinic acid production  


A method for isolating succinic acid producing bacteria is provided comprising increasing the biomass of an organism which lacks the ability to catabolize pyruvate, and then subjecting the biomass to glucose-rich medium in an anaerobic environment to enable pyruvate-catabolizing mutants to grow. The invention also provides for a mutant that produces high amounts of succinic acid, which as been derived from a parent which lacked the genes for pyruvate formate lyase and lactate dehydrogenase, and which belongs to the E.coli Group of Bacteria.

Donnelly, Mark (Warrenville, IL); Millard, Cynthia S. (Plainfield, IL); Stols, Lucy (Woodridge, IL)



Mutant E. coli strain with increased succinic acid production  


A method for isolating succinic acid producing bacteria is provided comprising increasing the biomass of an organism which lacks the ability to catabolize pyruvate, and then subjecting the biomass to glucose-rich medium in an anaerobic environment to enable pyruvate-catabolizing mutants to grow. The invention also provides for a mutant that produces high amounts of succinic acid, which has been derived from a parent which lacked the genes for pyruvate formate lyase and lactate dehydrogenase, and which belongs to the E.coli Group of Bacteria.

Donnelly, Mark (Warrenville, IL); Millard, Cynthia S. (Plainfield, IL); Stols, Lucy (Woodridge, IL)



Insect herbivory accelerates nutrient cycling and increases plant production  

PubMed Central

Ecologists hold two views about the role of herbivory in ecosystem dynamics. First, from a food web perspective in population/community ecology, consumption by herbivores reduces plant abundance. Second, from a nutrient cycling perspective in ecosystem ecology, herbivory sometimes slows down cycling, which decreases plant abundance, but at other times speeds up cycling, which possibly increases plant abundance. The nutrient cycling perspective on herbivory has been experimentally addressed more thoroughly in aquatic systems than in terrestrial systems. We experimentally examined how grasshoppers influence nutrient cycling and, thereby, plant abundance and plant species composition over a period of 5 years. We examined how grasshoppers influence nutrient (nitrogen) cycling (i) by their excrement, (ii) by changing the abundance of and the decomposition rate of plant litter, and (iii) by both. Grasshoppers may speed up nitrogen cycling by changing the abundance and decomposition rate of plant litter, which increases total plant abundance (up to 32.9 g/m2 or 18%), especially, the abundance of plants that are better competitors when nitrogen is more available. However, whether grasshoppers enhance plant abundance depends on how much they consume. Consequently, ecosystems and food web perspectives are not mutually exclusive. Finally, under some conditions, grasshoppers may decrease nutrient cycling and plant abundance. PMID:11106378

Belovsky, G. E.; Slade, J. B.



Methods of sperm vitality assessment.  


Sperm vitality is a reflection of the proportion of live, membrane-intact spermatozoa determined by either dye exclusion or osmoregulatory capacity under hypo-osmotic conditions. In this chapter we address the two most common methods of sperm vitality assessment: eosin-nigrosin staining and the hypo-osmotic swelling test, both utilized in clinical Andrology laboratories. PMID:22992899

Moskovtsev, Sergey I; Librach, Clifford L



Sperm mitochondria in reproduction: good or bad and where do they go?  


The mitochondrion is the major energy provider to power sperm motility. In mammals, aside from the nuclear genome, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) also contributes to oxidative phosphorylation to impact production of ATP by coding 13 polypeptides. However, the role of sperm mitochondria in fertilization and its final fate after fertilization are still controversial. The viewpoints that sperm bearing more mtDNA will have a better fertilizing capability and that sperm mtDNA is actively eliminated during early embryogenesis are widely accepted. However, this may be not true for several mammalian species, including mice and humans. Here, we review the sperm mitochondria and their mtDNA in sperm functions, and the mechanisms of maternal mitochondrial inheritance in mammals. PMID:24238608

Luo, Shi-Ming; Schatten, Heide; Sun, Qing-Yuan



Ejaculate Oxidative Stress Is Related with Sperm DNA Fragmentation and Round Cells  

PubMed Central

Oxidative stress (OS) plays an essential role in male infertility aetiology by affecting sperm quality, function, and also the integrity of sperm DNA. The assessment of oxidative stress in semen may be an important tool to improve the evaluation of sperm reproductive capacity. The purpose of this study was the evaluation of any possible relation between the unbalance of oxidative stress caused by superoxide anion in the ejaculate with the presence of sperm DNA fragmentation and high concentration of round cells. 56 semen samples from males from couples suffering from infertility were evaluated according to World Health Organisation (WHO) 2010 guidelines. Oxidative stress levels from N1 (low) to N4 (high) were assessed in ejaculates using oxiSperm; DFI (sperm DNA fragmentation index) as assessed by the SCSA (Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay) was used for evaluation of sperm chromatin integrity. Our data show that high oxidative stress (N3-N4 levels) correlated positively with a DFI ? 30% (P = 0.0379) and round cells ?1.500.000/mL (P = 0.0084). In conclusion, OS increases sperm DNA damage. Thus evaluation of semen OS extent of sperm DNA damage in infertile man could be useful to develop new therapeutic strategies and improve success of assisted reproduction techniques (ART).

Iommiello, Valeria Maria; Albani, Elena; Di Rosa, Alessandra; Marras, Alessandra; Menduni, Francesca; Morreale, Giovanna; Levi, Shanti Lia; Pisano, Benedetta; Levi-Setti, Paolo Emanuele



Addition of cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins to the thawing extender: effects on boar sperm quality.  


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect that the addition of cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins (CLC) to the thawing extender has on the quality of frozen-thawed boar sperm. Pooled semen (n = 5) from three boars was used for the experiments. The semen was cryopreserved with an egg-yolk-based extender, it was diluted after thawing in Beltsville thawing solution (BTS) supplemented with different concentrations of CLC (0, 12.5, 25, 50 or 100 mg/500 × 10(6) sperm), and these samples were incubated at 37°C for 150 min. The following parameters of sperm quality were evaluated 30 and 150 min after incubation: sperm with intact plasma membrane (SIPM; %), sperm with normal acrosomal ridge (NAR; %), total motile sperm (TMS; %), progressively motile sperm (PMS; %) and kinetic parameters. Both SIPM and NAR increased (p < 0.05) when the thawing extender was supplemented with 12.5, 25 and 50 mg CLC/500 × 10(6) sperm. Nevertheless, motility decreased (p < 0.05) when the concentration of CLC exceeded 12.5 mg CLC/500 × 10(6) sperm. In conclusion, our results suggest that the supplementation of thawing extenders with CLC improves sperm viability and reduces acrosome damage after freezing/thawing. PMID:24593058

Tomás, C; Gómez-Fernández, J; Gómez-Izquierdo, E; Mocé, E; de Mercado, E



Fertilization Is Not a New Beginning: The Relationship between Sperm Longevity and Offspring Performance  

PubMed Central

Sperm are the most diverse cell type known: varying not only among- and within- species, but also among- and within-ejaculates of a single male. Recently, the causes and consequences of variability in sperm phenotypes have received much attention, but the importance of within-ejaculate variability remains largely unknown. Correlative evidence suggests that reduced within-ejaculate variation in sperm phenotype increases a male’s fertilization success in competitive conditions; but the transgenerational consequences of within-ejaculate variation in sperm phenotype remain relatively unexplored. Here we examine the relationship between sperm longevity and offspring performance in a marine invertebrate with external fertilization, Styela plicata. Offspring sired by longer-lived sperm had higher performance compared to offspring sired by freshly-extracted sperm of the same ejaculate, both in the laboratory and the field. This indicates that within-ejaculate differences in sperm longevity can influence offspring fitness – a source of variability in offspring phenotypes that has not previously been considered. Links between sperm phenotype and offspring performance may constrain responses to selection on either sperm or offspring traits, with broad ecological and evolutionary implications. PMID:23155458

Crean, Angela J.; Dwyer, John M.; Marshall, Dustin J.



Quantitative evaluation of radiation-induced changes in sperm morphology and chromatin distribution  

SciTech Connect

Sperm head cytometry provides a useful assay for the detection of radiation-induced damage in mouse germ cells. Exposure of the gonads to radiation is known to lead to an increase of diploid and higher polyploid sperm and of sperm with head shape abnormalities. In the pilot studies reported here quantitative analysis of the total DNA content, the morphology, and the chromatin distribution of mouse sperm was performed. The goal was to evaluate the discriminative power of features derived by high resolution image cytometry in distinguishing sperm of control and irradiated mice. Our results suggest that besides the induction of the above mentioned variations in DNA content and shape of sperm head, changes of the nonhomogeneous chromatin distribution within the sperm may also be used to quantify the radiation effect on sperm cells. Whereas the chromatin distribution features show larger variations for sperm 21 days after exposure (dpr), the shape parameters seem to be more important to discriminate sperm 35 dpr. This may be explained by differentiation processes, which take place in different stages during mouse spermatogenesis.

Aubele, M.; Juetting, U.R.; Rodenacker, K.; Gais, P.; Burger, G.; Hacker-Klom, U. (Institut fuer Strahlenschutz, Neuherberg (Germany, F.R.))



Differential Sperm Priming by Male Sailfin Mollies (Poecilia latipinna): Effects of Female and Male Size  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent interest in sperm competition has led to a re-evaluation of the 'cheap sperm' assumption inherent in many studies of sexual selection. In particular, mounting evidence suggests that male sperm availability can be increased by the presence of females. However,there is little information on how this interacts with male traits presumably affected by female mate choice,such as larger size. This

Andrea S. Aspbury; Caitlin R. Gabor



Tamoxifen treatment of oligozoospermia: a re-evaluation of its effects including additional sperm function tests  

Microsoft Academic Search

Summary  Because of previous contradictory results, we reevaluted the effects of tamoxifen on 29 men presenting with idiopathic oligozoospermia.\\u000a To determine whether a possible increase in sperm concentration might be correlated with an improvement of sperm quality,\\u000a the hamster ovum penetration (HOP) test and the hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) test were included as additional tests of sperm\\u000a function. Patients were treated with

K. Sterzik; B. Rosenbusch; J. Mogck; M. Heyden; K. Lichtenberger



A mutant gene that increases gibberellin production in Brassica  

SciTech Connect

A single gene mutant (elongated internode (ein/ein)) with accelerated shoot elongation was identified from a rapid cycling line of Brassica rapa. Relative to normal plants, mutant plants had slightly accelerated floral development, greater stem dry weights, and particularly, increased internode and inflorescence elongation. The application of the triazole plant growth retardant, paclobutrazol, inhibited shoot elongation, returning ein to a more normal phenotype. Conversely, exogenous gibberellin A{sub 3} (GA{sub 3}) can convert normal genotypes to a phenotype resembling ein. The content of endogenous GA{sub 1} and GA{sub 3} were estimated by gas chromatography-selected ion monitoring using ({sup 2}H)GA{sub 1} as a quantitative internal standard and at day 14 were 1.5- and 12.1-fold higher per stem, respectively, in ein than in normal plants, although GA concentrations were more similar. The endogenous levels of GA{sub 20} and GA{sub 1}, and the rate of GA{sub 19} metabolism were simultaneously analyzed. Levels of GA{sub 1} and GA{sub 20} were 4.6- and 12.9-fold higher, respectively, and conversions to GA{sub 20} and GA{sub 1} were 8.3 and 1.3 times faster in ein than normal plants. Confirming the enhanced rate of GA{sub 1} biosynthesis in ein, the conversion of ({sup 3}H)GA{sub 20} to ({sup 3}H) GA{sub 1} was also faster in ein than in the normal genotype. Thus, the ein allele results in accelerated GA{sub 1} biosynthesis and an elevated content of endogenous GAs, including the dihydroxylated GAs A{sub 1} and A{sub 3}.

Rood, S.B. (Univ. of Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada)); Williams, P.H. (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison (USA)); Pearce, D.; Pharis, R.P. (Univ. of Calgary, Alberta (Canada)); Murofushi, Noboru (Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)); Mander, L.N. (Australian National Univ., Canberra (Australia))



Spermatangium formation and sperm discharge in the Japanese pygmy squid Idiosepius paradoxus.  


In cephalopods, sperm discharge is an important event not only for sperm transfer but also influencing sperm storage capacity of attached spermatangia (everted spermatophores). To investigate sperm discharge from spermatangia and the condition of naturally attached spermatangia in Japanese pygmy squid (Idiosepius paradoxus) we (i) investigated the morphology of spermatophores and spermatangia, and the process of spermatophore evagination and sperm discharge from spermatangia obtained in vitro; (ii) observed spermatangia that were naturally attached to female squids at 6, 12, 18, 24 and 48 h after copulation to investigate alterations in naturally attached spermatangia with time. The spermatophore of I. paradoxus is slender and cylindrical and consists of a sperm mass, a cement body and an ejaculatory apparatus, which is similar to those of loliginid squids. The spermatangium is fishhook-shaped, its distal end being open and narrow. After the spermatangium is formed, the sperm mass gradually moves to the open end of the spermatangium, from where sperm are released. Sperm discharge is a rapid process immediately after the beginning of sperm release, but within 5 min changes to an intermittent release of sperm. Although the volume of residual spermatozoa differed among spermatangia that were naturally attached to a single individual, the probability that spermatangia would be empty increased with time. Most naturally attached spermatangia discharged almost all of their spermatozoa within 24h after copulation, and no spermatangia were attached to females 48 h after copulation. These results suggest that sperm transfer from the spermatangium to the seminal receptacle must occur within 24h, and that the spermatangium functions as a transient sperm storage organ in pygmy squids. PMID:24813852

Sato, Noriyosi; Kasugai, Takashi; Munehara, Hiroyuki



Sperm bundle and reproductive organs of carabid beetles tribe Pterostichini (Coleoptera: Carabidae)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The morphological characteristics of sperm and reproductive organs may offer clues as to how reproductive systems have evolved. In this paper, the morphologies of the sperm and male reproductive organs of carabid beetles in the tribe Pterostichini (Coleoptera: Carabidae) are described, and the morphological associations among characters are examined. All species form sperm bundles in which the head of the sperm was embedded in a rod-shaped structure, i.e., spermatodesm. The spermatodesm shape (left-handed spiral, right-handed spiral, or without conspicuous spiral structure) and the condition of the sperm on the spermatodesm surface (with the tail free-moving or forming a thin, sheetlike structure) vary among species. In all species, the spiral directions of the convoluted seminal vesicles and vasa deferentia are the same on both sides of the body; that is, they show an asymmetric structure. The species in which the sperm bundle and the seminal vesicles both have a spiral structure could be classified into two types, with significant differences in sperm-bundle length between the two types. The species with a sperm-bundle spiral and seminal-vesicle spiral of almost the same diameter have longer sperm bundles than the species with a sperm-bundle spiral and seminal-vesicle tube of almost the same diameter. In the former type, the spiral directions of the sperm bundles and seminal vesicles are inevitably the same, whereas they differ in some species with the later type. Therefore, increased sperm bundle length appears to have been facilitated by the concordance of the sperm bundle’s coiling direction with the coiling direction of the seminal vesicle.

Sasakawa, Kôji



The sperm donor programme over 11 years at Newcastle Fertility Centre.  


The UK national sperm donor shortage is well known. We aimed to analyse the trends in various aspects of the sperm donor programme at Newcastle Fertility Centre (NFC) between 2000 and 2010. A retrospective review of the assisted conception treatments with donor sperm was performed. A decline in the numbers of donors recruited alongside a declining trend in the number of patients treated with donor sperm and donor insemination (DI) treatment cycles carried out was apparent. There was an accompanying rising trend in donor IVF cycles and in same-sex couples and single women coming for treatment. The transfer of sperm to local peripheral centres ceased during this time and an increasing number of patients imported sperm from overseas commercial sperm banks. A waiting list for treatment was set up in 2007 with a gradual increase in waiting time to 18 months in 2010. Overall, there was a significant change in the sperm donor programme at NFC with fewer donors recruited, fewer patients receiving treatment, increasing sperm import and longer waiting times for treatment over the study period. PMID:23905905

Gudipati, Madhavi; Pearce, Kim; Prakash, Alka; Redhead, Gillian; Hemingway, Victoria; McEleny, Kevin; Stewart, Jane



Sexual colouration and sperm traits in guppies  

Microsoft Academic Search

The relationships among the area, hue, saturation and brightness of orange colouration and sperm traits in the guppy Poecilia reticulata were investigated. Males with greater areas of orange colouration had significantly larger sperm loads, more motile sperm and longer sperm relative to males with relatively little orange colouration. Males with greater areas of orange colouration did not possess more viable

T. E. Pitcher; F. H. Rodd; L. Rowe



Differential Sperm Priming by Male Sailfin Mollies (Poecilia latipinna): Effects of Female and Male Size  

E-print Network

Differential Sperm Priming by Male Sailfin Mollies (Poecilia latipinna): Effects of Female and Male, and female body size in the sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna. Individual males of variable body sizes were conserve energy associated with sperm production (Liley & Kroon 1995). In guppies (Poecilia reticulata

Gabor, Caitlin - Department of Biology, Texas State University



EPA Science Inventory

Current test strategies for assessing male reproductive toxicity may be inadequate for estimating risk in humans. High levels of sperm production and existence of large epididymal sperm reserves in most test species may impede the detection of spermatoxicity at low doses. The cur...


Production System Techniques to Increase Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Winter Wheat  

Microsoft Academic Search

Most current research on winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) focuses on increasing yields of either grain or plant biomass. Increased production costs and environmental awareness will promote the development of methods to increase the efficiency of applied nutrients. Nitrogen (N) is often the most limiting nutrient for cereal grain production and represents one of the highest input costs in agricultural

W. E. Thomason; W. R. Raun; G. V. Johnson; K. W. Freeman; K. J. Wynn; R. W. Mullen



Chemotactic Motility of Sperm in Shear  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Chemical gradients are utilized by plants and animals in sexual reproduction to guide swimming sperm cells toward the egg. This process (``chemotaxis''), which can greatly increase the success of fertilization, is subject to interference by fluid flow, both in the bodily conduits of internal fertilizers (e.g. mammals) and in the aquatic environment of external fertilizers (e.g. benthic invertebrates). We studied the biomechanics of chemotaxing sea urchin spermatozoa using microfluidic devices, which allow for the precise and independent control of attractant gradients and fluid shear. We captured swimming trajectories and flagellar beat patterns using high-speed video-microscopy, to detect chemotactic responses and measure the effect of fluid forces on swimming. This work will ultimately help us to understand how swimming sperm cells actively navigate natural chemoattractant gradients for successful fertilization.

Guasto, Jeffrey S.; Riffell, Jeffrey A.; Zimmer, Richard K.; Stocker, Roman



Radiation-induced DNA content variability in mouse sperm  

SciTech Connect

Mouse sperm collected from the cauda epididymidis 35 days after acute testicular x-ray exposure and fluorescently stained for DNA show dose-dependent increases in the coefficient of variation (CV) of flow cytometrically obtained fluorescence distributions. By comparing dose-response curves obtained with three protocols which overcome the optical and cytochemical difficulties of sperm measurement in different ways we conclude the response is due to x-ray-induced DNA content variability. Computer modeling of the shapes of the fluorescence distributions show that at 600 rad 30 to 40% of the sperm have abnormal DNA content. Some have errors as large as two whole chromosomes, but it is not clear whether they are due to whole chromosome nondisjunction or a finer fragmentation of the genome. Exposures to benzo(a)pyrene and mitomycin C cause no detectable DNA content variability. We conclude mouse sperm DNA content measurements are not sensitive to small amounts of aneuploidy and as such will only be useful in detecting agents that produce substantial DNA content variability. Another animal with a smaller number of chromosomes might be more favorable. These sperm measurement techniques may find additional application in other areas of reproductive biology, such as the determination of the relative numbers of X and Y chromosome-bearing sperm in semen that may be artifically enriched in one population.

Pinkel, D.; Gledhill, B.L.; van Dilla, M.A.; Lake, S.; Wyrobek, A.J.



Sea urchin sperm antigens mediating the acrosome reaction  

SciTech Connect

The study of sea urchin sperm antigens mediating the acrosome reactions (AR) has been undertaken. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been isolated reacting with a number of sperm surface antigens. These mAbs have been used in functional assays to attempt to infer the roles of these proteins in the induction of the AR. These mAbs have also been used to isolate protein for biochemical characterization and reconstitution studies. mAbs reacting with a 210 kD protein of the sea urchin sperm plasma membrane have been used to identify this protein as playing a role in the regulation of ion fluxes during the induction of the AR. mAbs reacting with certain extracellular regions inhibit the induction of: the AR, the long duration {sup 45}Ca{sup 2+} uptake into the mitochondrion, and H{sup +} efflux. Addition of these same mAbs, however, induces an increase in sperm (Ca{sup 2+}){sub i} to levels much higher than those induced by FSG, as monitored by the fluorescent Ca{sup 2+} indicators fura 2 and indo 1. This (Ca{sup 2+}){sub i} increase occurs without an increase in pH{sub i}, and thus allows for the first time the analysis of the effects of increasing sperm (Ca{sup 2+}){sub i} ion the absence of increased pH{sub i}.

Trimmer, J.S.



Metabolic engineering of Corynebacterium glutamicum for increasing the production of L-ornithine by increasing NADPH availability.  


The experiments presented here were based on the conclusions of our previous proteomic analysis. Increasing the availability of glutamate by overexpression of the genes encoding enzymes in the L-ornithine biosynthesis pathway upstream of glutamate and disruption of speE, which encodes spermidine synthase, improved L-ornithine production by Corynebacterium glutamicum. Production of L-ornithine requires 2 moles of NADPH per mole of L-ornithine. Thus, the effect of NADPH availability on L-ornithine production was also investigated. Expression of Clostridium acetobutylicum gapC, which encodes NADP-dependent glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and Bacillus subtilis rocG, which encodes NAD-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase, led to an increase of L-ornithine concentration caused by greater availability of NADPH. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis demonstrates that the increased levels of NADPH resulted from the expression of the gapC or rocG gene rather than that of genes (gnd, icd, and ppnK) involved in NADPH biosynthesis. The resulting strain, C. glutamicum ?APRE::rocG, produced 14.84 g l?¹ of L-ornithine. This strategy of overexpression of gapC and rocG will be useful for improving production of target compounds using NADPH as reducing equivalent within their synthetic pathways. PMID:23836141

Jiang, Ling-Yan; Zhang, Yuan-Yuan; Li, Zhen; Liu, Jian-Zhong



Membrane phase behavior during cooling of stallion sperm and its correlation with freezability.  


Stallion sperm exhibits great male-to-male variability in survival after cryopreservation. In this study, we have investigated if differences in sperm freezability can be attributed to membrane phase and permeability properties. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to determine supra and subzero membrane phase transitions and characteristic subzero membrane hydraulic permeability parameters. Sperm was obtained from stallions that show differences in sperm viability after cryopreservation. Stallion sperm undergoes a broad and gradual phase transition at suprazero temperatures, from 30-10°C, whereas freezing-induced dehydration of the cells causes a more severe phase transition to a highly ordered gel phase. Sperm from individual stallions showed significant differences in post-thaw progressive motility, percentages of sperm with abnormal cell morphology, and chromatin stability. The biophysical membrane properties evaluated in this study, however, did not show clear differences amongst stallions with differences in sperm freezability. Cyclodextrin treatment to remove cholesterol from the cellular membranes increased the cooperativity of the suprazero phase transition, but had little effects on the subzero membrane phase behavior. In contrast, freezing of sperm in the presence of protective agents decreased the rate of membrane dehydration and increased the total extent of dehydration. Cryoprotective agents such as glycerol decrease the amount of energy needed to transport water across cellular membranes during freezing. PMID:22480267

Oldenhof, Harriëtte; Friedel, Katharina; Akhoondi, Maryam; Gojowsky, Marina; Wolkers, Willem F; Sieme, Harald



Improvement of Ram Sperm Cryopreservation Protocols Assessed by Sperm Quality Parameters and Heterogeneity Analysis  

E-print Network

Improvement of Ram Sperm Cryopreservation Protocols Assessed by Sperm Quality Parameters, Spain Semen cryopreservation processes generally decrease sperm quality and fertility rate by the same volume of glycerol)] was tested, as well as the effect of adding various compounds (bovine

Zaragoza, Universidad de



PubMed Central

The nucleoprotamine of trout sperm can be extracted completely with 1 M sodium chloride. On reducing the salt concentration to 0.14 M, physiological saline, the nucleoprotamine precipitates in long, fibrous strands. When the nucleoprotamine, dissolved in M NaCl, is dialyzed all the protamine diffuses through the membrane leaving behind highly polymerized, protein-free desoxyribose nucleic acid. The nucleoprotamine constitutes 91 per cent of the lipid-free mass of the sperm nucleus. While nucleoprotamine is being extracted by M NaCl a stage is reached at which the sperm chromosomes are clearly visible. PMID:19873480

Pollister, A. W.; Mirsky, A. E.



Sperm aggregations in female Agkistrodon piscivorus (Reptilia:Squamata): a histological and ultrastructural investigation.  


Upon copulation in female Agkistrodon piscivorus, sperm migrate up the oviduct to sperm storage tubules (SSTs) in the posterior infundibulum. The epithelium of the SSTs is composed of ciliated and secretory cells and differs ultrastructurally from that of the epithelium lining the lumen of the posterior infundibulum. Sperm pass through an area composed primarily of ciliated cells at the opening of each gland before aligning themselves in parallel arrays with their nuclei facing an area composed primarily of secretory cells at the base of the tubules. Sperm are also found embedded inter- and intracellularly in the SSTs. The secretory vacuoles in the SSTs become highly electron dense after the start of the fall mating season along with the synthesis of lipid droplets. Histochemical analysis reveals that the alteration in secretory material density is caused by the production of neutral carbohydrates. Some sperm remain in aggregates in the nonglandular section of the posterior uterus until the time of ovulation. However, ultrastructural evidence indicates these sperm degrade before ovulation. Therefore, sperm in posterior aggregates have no role in fertilization of ovulated ova. The data presented here support the hypothesis that infundibular sperm storage is the mode that snakes utilize to sequester viable sperm until ovulation. PMID:17935196

Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M



Sperm competition and the evolution of male reproductive anatomy in rodents  

PubMed Central

Sperm competition is a pervasive selective force in evolution, shaping reproductive anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Here, we present comparative evidence that varying sperm competition levels account for variation in the male reproductive anatomy of rodents, the largest and most diverse mammalian order. We focus on the sperm-producing testes and the accessory reproductive glands, which produce the seminal fluid fraction of the ejaculate. We demonstrate a positive association between relative testis size and the prevalence of within-litter multiple paternity, consistent with previous analyses in which relative testis size has been found to correlate with sperm competition levels inferred from social organization and mating systems. We further demonstrate an association between sperm competition level and the relative size of at least two accessory reproductive glands: the seminal vesicles and anterior prostate. The size of the major product of these glands—the copulatory plug—is also found to vary with sperm competition level. Our findings thus suggest that selection for larger plugs under sperm competition may explain variation in accessory gland size, and highlight the need to consider both sperm and non-sperm components of the male ejaculate in the context of post-copulatory sexual selection. PMID:16024351

Ramm, Steven A; Parker, Geoffrey A; Stockley, Paula



Heat Shock Protein 90 Has Roles in Intracellular Calcium Homeostasis, Protein Tyrosine Phosphorylation Regulation, and Progesterone-Responsive Sperm Function in Human Sperm  

PubMed Central

Heat shock protein 90 plays critical roles in client protein maturation, signal transduction, protein folding and degradation, and morphological evolution; however, its function in human sperm is not fully understood. Therefore, our objective in this study was to elucidate the mechanism by which heat shock protein 90 exerts its effects on human sperm function. By performing indirect immunofluorescence staining, we found that heat shock protein 90 was localized primarily in the neck, midpiece, and tail regions of human sperm, and that its expression increased with increasing incubation time under capacitation conditions. Geldanamycin, a specific inhibitor of heat shock protein 90, was shown to inhibit this increase in heat shock protein 90 expression in western blotting analyses. Using a multifunctional microplate reader to examine Fluo-3 AM-loaded sperm, we observed for the first time that inhibition of heat shock protein 90 by using geldanamycin significantly decreased intracellular calcium concentrations during capacitation. Moreover, western blot analysis showed that geldanamycin enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins, including heat shock protein 90, in a dose-dependent manner. The effects of geldanamycin on human sperm function in the absence or presence of progesterone was evaluated by performing chlortetracycline staining and by using a computer-assisted sperm analyzer. We found that geldanamycin alone did not affect sperm capacitation, hyperactivation, and motility, but did so in the presence of progesterone. Taken together, these data suggest that heat shock protein 90, which increases in expression in human sperm during capacitation, has roles in intracellular calcium homeostasis, protein tyrosine phosphorylation regulation, and progesterone-stimulated sperm function. In this study, we provide new insights into the roles of heat shock protein 90 in sperm function. PMID:25541943

Chen, Aijun; Jiang, Youfang; Xie, Haifeng; Shi, Qixian; Zhang, Songying; Ni, Ya



The relationship between paternal age, sex ratios, and aneuploidy frequencies in human sperm, as assessed by multicolor FISH  

SciTech Connect

We studied the frequencies of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm, diploidy and disomy for chromosomes 1, 12, X, and Y in sperm from 10 normal men aged 21 - 52 years, to determine whether there was any relationship between donor age and any of these variables. Multicolor FISH was used to control for lack of probe hybridization and to distinguish diploid sperm from disomic sperm. A minimum of 10,000 sperm per donor was evaluated for each chromosome, for a total of 225,846 sperm studied. Sperm were considered disomic if two fluorescent signals were separated by a minimal distance of one signal domain. The mean frequencies of X- and Y-bearing sperm were 50.1% and 49.0%, respectively; not significantly different from 50%. There was no correlation between paternal age and {open_quotes}sex ratio {close_quotes} in sperm. Similarly, there was no association between the frequency of diploid sperm (mean, .16%; range, .06%-.42%) and donor age. For disomy frequencies, there was no relationship between donor age and disomy 12 (mean, .16%; range, .10%-.25%), XX (mean, .07%; range, .03%-.17%), and XY sperm (mean, .16%; range, .08%-.24%). There was a significant increase in the frequency of YY sperm (P = .04; mean, .18%; range, .10%-.43%) and disomy 1 sperm (P = .01; mean, .11%; range, .05%-.18%) with donor age. In summary, our results do not support a correlation between paternal age and sex ratio or diploidy. A relationship between paternal age and disomy was observed for disomy 1 and YY sperm but not for disomy 12, XX or XY sperm. 37 refs., 3 tabs.

Martin, R.H.; Spriggs, E. [Univ. of Calgary, Alberta (Canada)]|[Alberta Children`s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta (Canada); Ko, E. [Alberta Children`s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta (Canada)] [and others



Generation of Live Piglets for the First Time Using Sperm Retrieved from Immature Testicular Tissue Cryopreserved and Grafted into Nude Mice  

PubMed Central

Cryopreservation of immature testicular tissues is essential for increasing the possibilities of offspring generation by testicular xenografting for agricultural or medical purposes. However, successful production of offspring from the sperm involved has never been reported previously. In the present study, therefore, using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), we examined whether xenogeneic sperm obtained from immature pig testicular tissue after cryopreservation would have the capacity to produce live piglets. Testicular fragments from 9- to 11-day-old piglets were vitrified after 10- or 20-min immersion in vitrification solution containing ethylene glycol (EG), polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) and trehalose as cryoprotectants, and then stored in liquid nitrogen for more than 140 days. Thirty nude mice were assigned to each immersion-time group. Testicular fragments were transplanted under the back skin of castrated mice immediately after warming and removal of the cryoprotectants. Blood and testicular grafts were then recovered from the recipient mice on days 60, 120, 180 and 230?350 (day 0?=? grafting). Histological assessment of the testicular grafts and analyses of inhibin and testosterone production revealed no significant differences between the two immersion-time groups, indicating equal growth activity of the cryopreserved tissues. A single sperm obtained from a mouse in each group on day 230?350 was injected into an in vitro-matured porcine oocyte, and then the ICSI oocytes were transferred to the oviducts of estrus-synchronized recipient gilts. One out of 4 gilts that had received oocytes fertilized using sperm from the 10-min immersion group delivered 2 live piglets, and one of another 4 gilts from the 20-min group delivered 4 live piglets. Thus, we have successfully generated porcine offspring utilizing sperm from immature testicular tissues after cryopreservation and transplantation into nude mice. The present model using pigs will be applicable to many large animals, since pigs are phylogenetically distant from the murine recipients. PMID:23923039

Nakai, Michiko; Somfai, Tamas; Noguchi, Junko; Tanihara, Fuminori; Ito, Junya; Kashiwazaki, Naomi



Relative testis size and sperm morphometry across mammals: no evidence for an association between sperm competition and sperm length.  

PubMed Central

Understanding why there is extensive variation in sperm form and function across taxa has been a challenge because sperm are specialized cells operating at a microscopic level in a complex environment. This comparative study collates published data to determine whether the evolution of sperm morphometry (sperm total length and separate component dimensions) is associated with sperm competition (when different males' sperm mix and compete for a female's ova) across 83 mammalian species. We use relative testes mass as an indicator of the intensity of sperm competition across taxa: relative investment into testes is widely accepted to predict the level of sperm competition that a species or population endures. Although we found evidence for positive associations between relative testes mass (controlling for allometry) and sperm morphometry across 83 mammalian species, these relationships were phylogenetically dependent. When we appropriately controlled for phylogenetic association using multiple regression within a phylogenetic framework, there was no relationship between relative testes mass and sperm length across mammals. Furthermore, we found no evidence for associations between relative testes mass and sperm head, mid-piece or flagellar lengths, nor was there a relationship with mid-piece or mitochondrial volumes. Results, therefore, indicate that sperm competition does not select for longer or shorter sperm across mammals, and alternative forces selecting on sperm form and function are discussed. PMID:12769463

Gage, Matthew J G; Freckleton, Robert P



Alkaline phosphatase in boar sperm function.  


Alkaline phosphatase (AP) catalyses the detachment of phosphate residues from different substrates. Its activity has been demonstrated in seminal plasma and spermatozoa from porcine and other mammalian species; anyway, the role of AP in male reproduction has not been clarified yet and the aim of this study was to determine AP function in boar sperm capacitation and in vitro fertilization (IVF). AP activity was assayed in seminal plasma and in uncapacitated and in vitro capacitated (IVC) spermatozoa; in addition, capacitation was studied in presence of different doses of AP (1.2 and 2.5 IU/mL). The effect of different doses of AP (1.2 and 2.5 IU/mL) on several sperm parameters after IVC (viability, acrosome integrity with FITC-PSA, capacitation status with CTC staining, tyrosine phosphorylation) and on fertilizing ability during IVF were also evaluated. High AP activity was detected in seminal plasma, in particular in sperm-rich fraction; a lower activity was detected in uncapacitated spermatozoa while a significant decrease was evidenced after IVC. Viability was not changed by AP supplementation of the capacitating medium, whereas acrosome integrity and capacitation status were significantly affected by 1.2 and 2.5 doses, with a dose-dependent decrease in acrosome-reacted cells as well as in CTC B pattern displaying cells. As for sperm head protein phosphorylation, a decrease in relative fluorescence was detected in AP 2.5 group, if compared with capacitated one. After IVF, a dose-dependent decrease in penetrated oocytes was recorded, with an increase in monospermic zygote rate. In conclusion, we demonstrated that AP activity decreases under capacitating condition and that addition of AP to spermatozoa during capacitation results in a depression of the capacitating process and IVF. We can infer that AP plays a role in keeping spermatozoa quiescent until they are ejaculated and in modulating the acquisition of the fertilizing ability. PMID:24249651

Bucci, D; Isani, G; Giaretta, E; Spinaci, M; Tamanini, C; Ferlizza, E; Galeati, G



The Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus  

E-print Network

, implying the presence of a good food supply (Clarke, 1956; Berzin and Rovnin, 1966). Deep-water cephalopods (squids) are the major food of sperm whales. Global cephalopod distribution is in- fluenced


Mechanisms underlying the inhibition of murine sperm capacitation by the seminal protein, SPINKL.  


SPINKL, a serine protease inhibitor kazal-type-like protein initially found in mouse seminal vesicle secretions, possesses structurally conserved six-cysteine residues of the kazal-type serine protease inhibitor family. However, it has no inhibitory activity against serine proteases. Previously, it was found to have the ability to suppress murine sperm capacitation in vitro. Herein, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the suppressive effect of SPINKL on sperm capacitation. Three in vitro capacitation-enhancing agents, including bovine serum albumin (BSA), methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MBCD), and dibutyryl cyclic AMP (dbcAMP), coupled with 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), were used to evaluate the influence of SPINKL on capacitation signaling. Preincubation of sperm with SPINKL suppressed BSA- and MBCD-induced sperm capacitation by blocking three upstream signals of capacitation that is the cholesterol efflux from sperm plasma membranes, extracellular calcium ion influx into sperm, and increases in intracellular cAMP. Moreover, SPINKL also inhibited downstream signal transduction of capacitation since it suppressed dbcAMP/IBMX and N(6) -phenyl cAMP (6-Phe-cAMP)-activated cAMP-dependent protein kinase-associated protein tyrosine phosphorylation. Such inhibition is probably mediated by attenuation of SRC tyrosine kinase activity. Furthermore, SPINKL could not reverse capacitation once sperm had been capacitated by capacitation-enhancing agents or capacitated in vivo in the oviduct. SPINKL bound to sperm existed in the uterus but had disappeared from sperm in the oviduct during the sperm's transit through the female reproductive tract. Therefore, SPINKL may serve as an uncapacitation factor in the uterus to prevent sperm from precocious capacitation and the subsequent acrosome reaction and thus preserve the fertilization ability of sperm. PMID:23097296

Tseng, Huan-Chin; Lee, Robert Kuo-Kuang; Hwu, Yuh-Ming; Lu, Chung-Hao; Lin, Ming-Huei; Li, Sheng-Hsiang



No Experimental Evidence for Sneaking in a West African Cichlid Fish with Extremely Long Sperm  

PubMed Central

Alternative reproductive tactics are widespread in fishes, increasing the potential for sperm competition. Sperm competition has enormous impact on both variation in sperm numbers and sperm size. In cichlids, the sperm competition risk is very divergent and longer sperm are usually interpreted as adaptation to sperm competition. Here we examined whether sneaking tactics exist in Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a socially monogamous cichlid with biparental brood care from West Africa. The small testis indicates low gonadal investment which is typical for genetically monogamous species. In contrast, sperm length with up to 85??m is extraordinarily long. We examined the reproductive behaviour of ten groups with a male-biased sex ratio under semi-natural conditions via continuous video recording. We recorded spawning site preferences and correlates of reproductive success and conducted paternity tests using microsatellites. Safe breeding sites that could be successfully defended were preferred. All offspring could be assigned to their parents and no multiple paternities were detected. Body size of spawning pairs predicted their spawning probability and offspring hatching rate suggesting benefits from mating with large individuals. Our study suggests low risk of sperm competition under the given conditions in P. taeniatus and thus first evidence for genetic monogamy in a substrate breeding cichlid. PMID:24386589

Langen, Kathrin; Thünken, Timo; Bakker, Theo C. M.



Mating systems and protein–protein interactions determine evolutionary rates of primate sperm proteins  

PubMed Central

To assess the relative impact of functional constraint and post-mating sexual selection on sequence evolution of reproductive proteins, we examined 169 primate sperm proteins. In order to recognize potential genome-wide trends, we additionally analysed a sample of altogether 318 non-reproductive (brain and postsynaptic) proteins. Based on cDNAs of eight primate species (Anthropoidea), we observed that pre-mating sperm proteins engaged in sperm composition and assembly show significantly lower incidence of site-specific positive selection and overall lower non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rates (dN/dS) across sites as compared with post-mating sperm proteins involved in capacitation, hyperactivation, acrosome reaction and fertilization. Moreover, database screening revealed overall more intracellular protein interaction partners in pre-mating than in post-mating sperm proteins. Finally, post-mating sperm proteins evolved at significantly higher evolutionary rates than pre-mating sperm and non-reproductive proteins on the branches to multi-male breeding species, while no such increase was observed on the branches to unimale and monogamous species. We conclude that less protein–protein interactions of post-mating sperm proteins account for lowered functional constraint, allowing for stronger impact of post-mating sexual selection, while the opposite holds true for pre-mating sperm proteins. This pattern is particularly strong in multi-male breeding species showing high female promiscuity. PMID:24307672

Schumacher, Julia; Rosenkranz, David; Herlyn, Holger



Sperm swimming velocity predicts competitive fertilization success in the green swordtail Xiphophorus helleri.  


Sperm competition is expected to favour the evolution of traits that influence the performance of sperm when they compete to fertilize a female's eggs. While there is considerable evidence that selection favours increases in sperm numbers, much less is known about how sperm quality contributes towards competitive fertilization success. Here, we determine whether variation in sperm quality influences competitive fertilization success in the green swordtail Xiphophorus helleri, a highly promiscuous livebearing fish. We use artificial insemination as a method of controlled sperm delivery and show that sperm swimming velocity is the primary determinant of fertilization success when ejaculates from two males compete to fertilize a female's eggs. By contrast, we found no evidence that sperm length had any effect on siring success. We also found no evidence that pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits were phenotypically integrated in this species, suggesting that the previous observation that reproductive skew favours males with high mating rates is unlikely to be due to any direct association between sperm quality and male sexual ornamentation. PMID:20730092

Gasparini, Clelia; Simmons, Leigh W; Beveridge, Maxine; Evans, Jonathan P



Sperm Competition in Humans: Mate Guarding Behavior Negatively Correlates with Ejaculate Quality  

PubMed Central

In species where females mate with multiple males, the sperm from these males must compete to fertilise available ova. Sexual selection from sperm competition is expected to favor opposing adaptations in males that function either in the avoidance of sperm competition (by guarding females from rival males) or in the engagement in sperm competition (by increased expenditure on the ejaculate). The extent to which males may adjust the relative use of these opposing tactics has been relatively neglected. Where males can successfully avoid sperm competition from rivals, one might expect a decrease in their expenditure on tactics for the engagement in sperm competition and vice versa. In this study, we examine the relationship between mate guarding and ejaculate quality using humans as an empirical model. We found that men who performed fewer mate guarding behaviors produced higher quality ejaculates, having a greater concentration of sperm, a higher percentage of motile sperm and sperm that swam faster and less erratically. These effects were found independent of lifestyle factors or factors related to male quality. Our findings suggest that male expenditure on mate guarding and on the ejaculate may represent alternative routes to paternity assurance in humans. PMID:25250582

Leivers, Samantha; Rhodes, Gillian; Simmons, Leigh W.



Sperm Bundles in the Seminal Vesicles of Sexually Mature Lasius Ant Males  

PubMed Central

In many insects, sperm cells are produced in bundles with their heads being held together by a glycoprotein matrix secreted by a cyst cell. Mature sperm cells in the seminal vesicles are usually free, but in sawflies and several other insects, such structures (spermatodesmata) remain intact and sperm cells may be ejaculated as bundles. Here we report the occurrence of spermatodesmata in mature males of the ant Lasius pallitarsis. Microscopic investigations of the abdominal contents of males immediately prior to their nuptial flights showed that the anterior ends of numerous sperm cells were embedded in an oval-shaped 20 by 30 micrometer extracellular fibrous cap. Individual sperm ranged in length from 55 to 75 micrometers with an average overall length of 65 micrometers. The bulb-shaped heads of the sperm were relatively small, only about 1.5 micrometers in length and about 1.1 micrometers in diameter. The diameter of the sperm tails was approximately 1 micrometer. Observations of live preparations of the spermatodesmata showed increasingly active undulating wave-like movement of the sperm tails as the slide preparations aged. This appears to be the first case of sperm bundles being present in the seminal vesicles of mature ant males – males that are immediately poised to complete their nuptial mating flight. PMID:24671307

Burnett, William E.; Heinze, Jürgen



Surgical sperm retrieval: Techniques and their indications.  


Men with azoospermia can father a child through intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection if sperm can be retrieved from their epididymis or testis. Several percutaneous and open surgical procedures have been described to retrieve sperm. The various techniques and their merits are discussed in this review. In men with obstructive azoospermia, epididymal sperm can usually be retrieved by percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA). If PESA fails then testicular sperm are obtained by needle aspiration biopsy (NAB). In men with non-obstructive azoospermia, there will be no sperm in the epididymis and testicular sperm retrieval is required. Percutaneous retrieval by NAB can be tried first. If that fails then testicular sperm extraction (TESE) from open microsurgical biopsies is performed using the single seminiferous tubule (SST) or the microdissection TESE techniques. The simplest, least invasive procedure should be tried first. PMID:21716933

Shah, Rupin



OIKOS 96: 507515, 2002 Role of litter decomposition for the increased primary production  

E-print Network

OIKOS 96: 507­515, 2002 Role of litter decomposition for the increased primary production in areas. and Oksanen, L. 2002. Role of litter decomposition for the increased primary production in areas heavily tundra. One way in which herbivores can affect nutrient cycling is through changing the litter

Oksanen, Lauri


Coupling landscape water storage and supplemental irrigation to increase productivity and improve environmental stewardship  

E-print Network

] Agriculture must increase production for a growing population while simultaneously reducing its environmental irrigation while also reducing flood risks. Primary productivity is proportional to transpiration, and analysis shows that in the U.S. Midwest both can be sustainably increased with supplemental irrigation

Minnesota, University of


Field water management to save water and increase its productivity in irrigated lowland rice  

Microsoft Academic Search

Rice production in Asia needs to increase to feed a growing population whereas water for irrigation is getting scarcer. Major challenges are to (i) save water; (ii) increase water productivity and (iii) produce more rice with less water. This study analyzes the ways in which water-saving irrigation can help to meet these challenges at the field level. The analyses are

B. A. M. Bouman; T. P. Tuong



Effect of cryopreservation on apoptotic-like events and its relationship with cryocapacitation of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) sperm.  


This study investigated the apoptosis-like events associated with cryopreservation process and their relationship with cryocapacitation in buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) sperm. A total of 49 semen ejaculates from seven bulls were studied for structural changes in sperm following cryopreservation. Apoptotic changes were detected by assays specific for translocation of phosphatidylserine (PS) to the cell surface, alterations in membrane permeability and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and DNA integrity. A significant (p < 0.01) percentage of cryopreserved sperm showed externalization of PS and early apoptotic changes and lowered MMP when compared with the fresh sperm. Freezing and thawing of sperm increased permeability to YOPRO-1, an impermeant fluorescent dye. However, on TUNEL staining, cryopreserved sperm showed no breach in DNA integrity. The sperm capacitation status was evaluated by chlortetracycline (CTC) fluorescence pattern, in which a significant (p < 0.01) percentage of cryopreserved sperm were found to be capacitated. The capacitated sperm (Pattern B) was positively correlated with the aforementioned apoptotic events. In conclusion, cryopreservation process induced early apoptosis-like changes in buffalo sperm, and a close link exists between cryocapacitation and apoptosis during cryopreservation of sperm. PMID:21676035

Kadirvel, G; Periasamy, S; Kumar, S



The spectrum of DNA damage in human sperm assessed by single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet assay) and its relationship to fertilization and embryo development  

Microsoft Academic Search

BACKGROUND: The integrity of sperm DNA is important for the success of natural or assisted fertilization, as well as normal development of the embryo, fetus and child. ICSI, by bypassing sperm selection mechanisms, increases the risk of transmitting damaged DNA and the significance of this requires investigation. METHODS: DNA damage in sperm from an unselected group of 60 men undergoing

I. D. Morris; S. Ilott; L. Dixon; D. R. Brison



Oxytocin increases extrapancreatic glucagon secretion and glucose production in pancreatectomized dogs  

SciTech Connect

Infusion of oxytocin into normal dogs increases plasma levels of insulin and glucagon and glucose production and uptake. To determine whether infused oxytocin also increases glucagon secretion from extrapancreatic sites, pancreatectomized dogs, off insulin of 18 hr, were infused with oxytocin and plasma glucagon, and glucose production and uptake were measured using the (6-/sup 3/H)glucose primer-infusion technique. The diabetic dogs, in the control period, had elevated plasma glucose and glucagon levels, an increased rate of glucose production, and a relative decrease in glucose uptake (decreased clearance). Infusion of oxytocin (500 caused a rise in plasma glucagon and glucose levels, increased glucose production, and further decreased glucose clearance. it is concluded that oxytocin can stimulate secretion of extrapancreatic glucagon, which contributes to the increased glucose production.

Altszuler, N.; Puma, F.; Winkler, B.; Fontan, N.; Saudek, C.D.



S-allyl cysteine ameliorates the quality of sperm and provides protection from age-related sperm dysfunction and oxidative stress in rats  

PubMed Central

Reactive oxygen species play a central role in the pathophysiology of the age-related decrease in male fertility. It has been reported that the total protein of DJ-1 was decreased in a proteomic analysis of seminal plasma from asthenozoospermia patients and a DJ-1 protein acts as a sensor of cellular redox homeostasis. Therefore, we evaluated the age-related changes in the ratio of the oxidized/reduced forms of the DJ-1 protein in the epididymis. In addition, the protective effects of S-allyl cysteine (SAC), a potent antioxidant, were evaluated against sperm dysfunction. Male rats aged 15–75 weeks were used to assess age-associated sperm function and oxidative stress. Sperm count increased until 25 weeks, but then decreased at 50 and 75 weeks. The rate of sperm movement at 75 weeks was decreased to approximately 60% of the rate observed at 25 weeks. Expression of DJ-1 decreased, but oxidized-DJ-1 increased with age. In addition, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal modified proteins in the epididymis increased until 50 weeks of age. The total number and DNA synthetic potential of the sperm increased until 25 weeks, and then decreased. In rats 75 weeks of age, SAC (0.45% diet) attenuated the decrease in the number, motility, and DNA synthesis of sperm and inhibited the oxidized proteins. These results suggest that SAC ameliorates the quality of sperm subjected to age-associated oxidative stress. PMID:25411519

Takemura, Shigekazu; Ichikawa, Hiroshi; Naito, Yuji; Takagi, Tomohisa; Yoshikawa, Toshikazu; Minamiyama, Yukiko



Sperm cleanup and centrifugation processing for cryopreservation.  


Fertility rates with artificial insemination are highest with good-quality sperm samples. Therefore, nonviable sperm, cellular debris, and seminal plasma are preferably removed from semen samples prior to use or for preservation. Such compounds are sources where reactive oxygen species are generated during storage or upon cryopreservation, impairing sperm function. In this chapter we describe methods to remove seminal plasma and cellular debris from sperm samples, and for selecting morphologically normal motile sperm. The methods that are described here include: ordinary centrifugation, sperm swim-up, glass wool and Sephadex filtration/adherence, and single-layer as well as discontinuous two-layer iodixanol density gradient centrifugation. PMID:25428016

Sieme, Harald; Oldenhof, Harriëtte



Calcium Signaling in Sperm: Help from Prostasomes  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Mammalian sperm cells are equipped with sophisticated Ca2+ signaling mechanisms that are fundamental to sperm’s success in fertilization. Unlike most other cells, however, mature sperm generally do not have the luxury of synthesizing new proteins. New evidence indicates that human sperm have a very clever way to solve the conflict between the critical demand for Ca2+ signaling tools and the silence of protein translation. Just before encountering the female reproductive tract, sperm acquire some of the key molecules for Ca2+ signaling from the male reproductive tract itself: prostasomes secreted by the prostate gland.

Dejian Ren (University of Pennsylvania; Department of Biology REV)



Effect of proctodeal gland foam on sperm kinetics in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica).  


The proctodeal gland of the male Japanese quail produces thick foam that accompanies semen when it is transferred to the female. It is thought that this foam enhances fertilization by improving the motility of the sperm, but reports are conflicting because the effect of foam on sperm motility has only been assessed subjectively The velocity of individual sperm was not able to be measured accurately, variations were large, and small changes in motility could not be accurately evaluated. So, we tested the hypothesis that foam affects the motility of spermatozoa of Japanese quail by analyzing motility objectively using computer-assisted semen analysis and determining changes in sperm kinetics in the presence of different concentrations of proctodeal gland foam. The addition of 5% or 10% foam to the sperm suspension increased (P < 0.05) all sperm kinetic parameters (the curvilinear velocity, straight line velocity, the velocity of the average path, linearity, straightness, and beat cross frequency). As a result, the percentage of motile and progressive motile sperm also increased. All these parameters declined (P < 0.05) with a further increase in the concentration of foam to 15% and 20%. Furthermore, this effect was similar in males that were 8, 16, or 26 weeks of age. We conclude that sperm motility is enhanced by proctodeal gland foam, and this enhancement depends on its concentration. PMID:25301249

Farooq, U; Cho, S; Rybnik-Trzaskowska, P K; Singh, R P; Malecki, I A



Column Separation of Motile Sperm from Stallion Semen  

Microsoft Academic Search

Subfertility in stallions is common, and methodologies are needed to increase the fertility in these animals. In other species, removal of the dead sperm from semen increases the quality and fertility of semen. With horse semen we evaluated 48 combinations of column separation techniques using micro-spin chromatography columns. The greatest im ro men in ? ? bserved with gsswool,w ereas



Environmental toxicants cause sperm DNA fragmentation as detected by the Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA[reg])  

SciTech Connect

Studies over the past two decades have clearly shown that reproductive toxicants cause sperm DNA fragmentation. This DNA fragmentation can usually be detected prior to observing alterations of metaphase chromosomes in embryos. Thus, Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA)-detected DNA damage is viewed as the molecular precursor to later gross chromosome damage observed under the light microscope. SCSA measurements of animal or human sperm consist of first obtaining a fresh or flash frozen neat semen sample in LN2 or dry ice. Samples are then sent to a SCSA diagnostic laboratory where the samples are thawed, diluted to {approx}1-2 x 106 sperm/ml, treated for 30 s with a pH 1.2 detergent buffer and then stained with acridine orange (AO). The low pH partially denatures DNA at the sites of DNA strand breaks and the AO-ssDNA fluoresces red while the AO-dsDNA fluoresces green. Flow cytometry measurements of 5000 sperm/sample provide statistically robust data on the ratio of red to green sperm, the extent of the DNA fragmentation and the standard deviations of measures. Numerous experiments on rodents treated with reproductive toxicants clearly showed that SCSA measures are highly dose responsive and have a very low CV. Different agents that act on germ cells at various stages of development usually showed sperm DNA fragmentation when that germ cell fraction arrived in the epididymis or ejaculate. Some of these treated samples were capable of successful in vitro fertilization but with frequent embryo failure. A 2-year longitudinal study of men living a valley town with a reported abnormal level of infertility and spontaneous miscarriages and also a seasonal atmospheric smog pollution, showed, for the first time, that SCSA measurements of human sperm DNA fragmentation were detectable and correlated with dosage of air pollution while the classical semen measures were not correlated. Also, young men spraying pesticides without protective gear are at an increased risk for elevated sperm DNA fragmentation. Extensive DNA fragmentation probably cannot be repaired by the egg and the spontaneous abortion rate is {approx}2x higher if a man has more than 30% of sperm showing DNA fragmentation. DNA fragmentation is an excellent marker for exposure to potential reproductive toxicants and a diagnostic/prognostic tool for potential male infertility.

Evenson, Donald P. [HCLD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States) and SCSA Diagnostics, 807 32nd Avenue, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States)]. E-mail:; Wixon, Regina [SCSA Diagnostics, 807 32nd Avenue, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States)



Sperm characteristics and androgens in Acipenser ruthenus after induction of spermiation by carp pituitary extract or GnRHa implants.  


Spermiation and changes in androgen (testosterone, T and 11-ketotestosterone, 11-KT) levels were studied in sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) treated with GnRH agonist implants (DAla(6)-Pro(9)-LHRHa) at 25 and 75 ?g kg(-1) b.w. and compared with those males treated with 4 mg kg(-1) b.w. of carp pituitary extract (CPE) and 3 pellets of Ovopel kg(-1) b.w., which contains DAla(6)-Pro(9)NEt-mGnRH and metoclopramide. Sperm quality (sperm mass, spermatozoa concentration and sperm motility and velocity) was evaluated 24, 48 and 72 h after hormonal treatments. Males did not release sperm in the control group injected with physiological solution, while sperm could not be collected 7 days after treatments in all hormonally treated groups. Spermiation rates were 100 % in the CPE and Ovopel groups and 25-50 % in the GnRHa-treated groups. Sperm production was significantly lower in the GnRHa-treated groups than in the CPE and Ovopel groups and decreased 72 h after hormonal treatment. Sperm motility and velocity were higher in the Ovopel and GnRHa (75 ?g) groups compared to the CPE and GnRHa (25 ?g) groups and decreased 72 h after hormonal treatment. Androgens were only affected in spermiating males and changed in the Ovopel and GnRHa (75 ?g) after hormonal treatment. Significant correlations were observed between sperm production, sperm motility and sperm velocity, but not androgens. The present study suggests involvement of dopamine in sturgeon spawning. Additionally, better sperm quality observed in the Ovopel group and particularly sperm motility in the GnRHa (75 ?g) suggests enhancement of sperm quality in sturgeon treated with GnRHa. Therefore, further study is needed to induce fully spermiation using GnRHa implants in combination with a dopamine inhibitor. PMID:22665160

Alavi, Sayyed Mohammad Hadi; Hatef, Azadeh; Mylonas, Constantinos C; Gela, David; Papadaki, Maria; Rodina, Marek; Kašpar, Vojtech; Pšeni?ka, Martin; Podhorec, Peter; Linhart, Otomar



Sperm shape abnormalities in mice exposed to californium-252 radiation.  


Male mice of the B6C3F1 hybrid strain were whole-body irradiated with different doses of 252Cf/60Co. They were killed 35 days later and spermatozoa from cauda epididymides were stained with eosin-Y. The air-dried smears were examined under light microscope for sperm shape abnormalities. There was an increase in the frequency of abnormal sperm in all the treated groups compared to controls. The RBE for the mixed neutron and gamma radiation of 252Cf was 2.6. The RBE for the neutron component was 3.4. The increased frequency of abnormal sperm was associated with a concomitant decrease in testis weight in the irradiated animals. PMID:3316079

Goud, S N; Feola, J M; Maruyama, Y



Increasing the productivity of the nation's urban transportation infrastructure: Measures to increase transit use and carpooling. Final report  

SciTech Connect

The report surveys the growing use of bus and carpool priority measures to increase the productivity of the nation's transportation infrastructure. While it identifies a wide variety of priority measures, the report principally focuses on the planning and operation of exclusive and shared busways and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) facilities. It presents a variety of case studies describing the implementation of busways and transitways. The document also compares the cost effectiveness of exclusive busways and bus-HOV facilities with the cost effectiveness of recently completed light and heavy rail lines. It also explores the options and problems in serving large downtown areas.

Kain, J.F.; Gittell, R.; Daniere, A.; Daniel, S.; Somerville, T.



Identifying X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm by DNA content: retrospective perspectives and prospective opinions  

SciTech Connect

Theoretically, since DNA should be the most constant component, quantitatively, of normal sperm, then genotoxic agents arising from energy production and consumption, and chemical and physical mutagens, could be identified by measuring variability in the DNA content of individual sperm from exposed men or test animals. The difference between the DNA content of X and Y sperm seemed a biologically significant benchmark for the measurement technology. Several methods are available for determining the genetic activity of agents in male germ cells, but these tests are generally laborious. Sperm-based methods provide an attractive alternate since they are not invasive, and are directly applicable to the study of human exposure. Slide-based assay of DNA content suggests that human sperm with X, Y, or YY chromosome constitutions can be distinguished by their fluorescence with quinacrine. Subsequent measurement of the dry mass of human sperm heads is performed. Dry mass is proportional to DNA content. While the study showed that human sperm with none and one quinacrine-fluorescent spot are X- and Y-bearing, respectively, the dry mass measurements indicated that many of the sperm with two quinacrine-fluorescent spots are not YY-bearing. While several reports on the initial application of flow cytometry of sperm to the investigation of mammalian infertility have appeared recently, emphasis here has been on the development of an in vivo sperm-based flow cytometric bioassay for mutations, and has not centered on andrological applications. In this review, the ability to differentiate between two equally sized populations of sperm, one bearing X and the other Y chromosomes with mean DNA content differing by about 3 to 4% is described. It has direct application to the preselection of sex of offspring, and could likely have a profound impact on animal improvement. (ERB)

Gledhill, B.L.; Pinkel, D.; Garner, D.L.



The Kid's Times: Volume II, Issue 8 Sperm Whale  

E-print Network

The Kid's Times: Volume II, Issue 8 Sperm Whale How did the sperm whale get its name? Sperm whales they look like? Sperm whales are the largest of the odonto- cetes. The large head is the primary feature of a Sperm whale. Up to one-third of the sperm whale's total body length and more than one-third of its mass


Is sperm hyaluronic acid binding ability predictive for clinical success of intracytoplasmic sperm injection: PICSI vs. ICSI?  


Although intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is now a widely-used technique, it is still of interest to improve our knowledge as to which is the best spermatozoon to be selected for ICSI. Infertile men have increased risks of producing aneuploid spermatozoa. Using hyaluronic acid (HA)-binding sperm selection may reduce the genetic risks such as chromosomal aberrations of offspring. In the present study we examined the clinical success of ICSI with HA-selected sperm ('physiologic' ICSI, PICSI) compared to conventional ICSI, as well as the necessity to differentiate patients according to the initial HA-binding assay result (HBA score) and whether the sperm concentration or HBA score can provide additional information. We observed a significantly higher fertilization rate (FR) of the PICSI group with >60% HBA, implantation rate (IR) of the PICSI group with ? 60% HBA, and clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) in every PICSI group compared to the ICSI groups (p < 0.01). We also observed a significantly higher life birth rate (LBR) in the PICSI group with ? 60% HBA compared to ICSI patients with ? 60% HBA (p < 0.001). The pregnancy loss rate (PLR) was significantly lower in PICSI patients compared to the ICSI group (p < 0.0001). The FR, IR, CPR, and LBR of the PICSI group with <50% HBA were significantly higher and the PLR was lower than in the ICSI group with <50% HBA (p < 0.01). A statistically significant correlation was found between the sperm concentration and the HA-binding capacity (r = 0.62, p < 0.001). We found a closer relationship between HBA score and FR (r = 0.53, NS) than between sperm concentration and FR (r = 0.14, NS). HBA could be considered for sperm selection prior to ICSI because of its success and apparent ability to reduce genetic complications. However, this must be extended to a larger study. PMID:25119820

Mokánszki, Attila; Tóthné, Emese Varga; Bodnár, Béla; Tándor, Zoltán; Molnár, Zsuzsanna; Jakab, Attila; Ujfalusi, Anikó; Oláh, Éva



No evidence of sperm conjugate formation in an Australian mouse bearing sperm with three hooks  

PubMed Central

Sperm conjugation occurs when two or more sperm physically unite for motility or transport through the female reproductive tract. In many muroid rodent species, sperm conjugates have been shown to form by a single, conspicuous apical hook located on the sperm head. These sperm “trains” have been reported to be highly variable in size and, despite all the heads pointing in roughly the same direction, exhibit a relatively disordered arrangement. In some species, sperm “trains” have been shown to enhance sperm swimming speed, and thus have been suggested to be advantageous in sperm competition. Here, we assessed the behavior of sperm in the sandy inland mouse (Pseudomys hermannsburgensis), a muroid rodent that bears sperm with three apical hooks. First, we accrued genetic evidence of multiple paternity within “wild” litters to unequivocally show that sperm competition does occur in this species. Following this we utilized both in vitro and in vivo methodologies to determine whether sandy inland mouse sperm conjugate to form motile trains. Our observations of in vitro preparations of active sperm revealed that sandy inland mouse sperm exhibit rapid, progressive motility as individual cells only. Similarly, histological sections of the reproductive tracts of mated females revealed no in vivo evidence of sperm conjugate formation. We conclude that the unique, three-hooked morphology of the sandy inland mouse sperm does not facilitate the formation of motile conjugates, and discuss our findings in relation to the different hypotheses for the evolution of the muroid rodent hook/s. PMID:23919134

Firman, Renée C; Bentley, Blair; Bowman, Faye; Marchant, Fernando García-Solís; Parthenay, Jahmila; Sawyer, Jessica; Stewart, Tom; O'Shea, James E



Analysis of 232 total fertilization failure cycles during intracytoplasmic sperm injection  

PubMed Central

Background: The intracytoplasmic sperm injection procedure ending with total fertilization failure is very distressfull event for both the clinician and the patient. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify independent factors which could be used to identify total fertilization failure before the day of intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study of 232 patients who were admitted to a tertiary-care hospital IVF Unit and showed total fertilization failure during intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles. To sort out the interwined effects of female age, basal FSH, sperm quality, antral follicle count, starting dose of gonadotrophine, sperm extraction technique, cycle length, >14 mm follicle number, oocyte number after oocyte pick up, estradiol and progesterone level on the day of hCG and the MI, MII and GV oocyte number on the fertilization, multiple logistic regression analysis was used. Results: The total fertilization failure rate was 6% and the recurrance rate was 23%. The original model illustrated that the presence of GV oocytes, total oocyte number less than six, <2000 pg/mL E2 concentration on the day of hCG and testicular sperm extraction increases the total fertilization failure risk. Conclusion: It is very difficult to predict total fertilization failure. Sometimes even with one good quality oocyte and sperm and in the case of globozoospermia fertilization can be achieved. Not only azoospermia but also low oocyte numbers increase the chance of total fertilization failure even after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. PMID:25587256

Sarikaya, Esma; Eryilmaz, Ozlem Gun; Deveer, Ruya; Dogan, Muammer; Mollamahmutoglu, Leyla



Sorbitol Can Fuel Mouse Sperm Motility and Protein Tyrosine Phosphorylation via Sorbitol Dehydrogenase1  

PubMed Central

Energy sources that can be metabolized to yield ATP are essential for normal sperm functions such as motility. Two major monosaccharides, sorbitol and fructose, are present in semen. Furthermore, sorbitol dehydrogenase (SORD) can convert sorbitol to fructose, which can then be metabolized via the glycolytic pathway in sperm to make ATP. Here we characterize Sord mRNA and SORD expression during mouse spermatogenesis and examine the ability of sorbitol to support epididymal sperm motility and tyrosine phosphorylation. Sord mRNA levels increased during the course of spermatogenic differentiation. SORD protein, however, was first detected at the condensing spermatid stage. By indirect immunofluorescence, SORD was present along the length of the flagella of caudal epididymal sperm. Furthermore, immunoelectron microscopy showed that SORD was associated with mitochondria and the plasma membranes of sperm. Sperm incubated with sorbitol maintained motility, indicating that sorbitol was utilized as an energy source. Sorbitol, as well as glucose and fructose, were not essential to induce hyperactive motility. Protein tyrosine phosphorylation increased in a similar manner when sorbitol was substituted for glucose in the incubation medium used for sperm capacitation. These results indicate that sorbitol can serve as an alternative energy source for sperm motility and protein tyrosine phosphorylation. PMID:18799757

Cao, Wenlei; Aghajanian, Haig K.; Haig-Ladewig, Lisa A.; Gerton, George L.




EPA Science Inventory

While glycolysis is highly conserved, it is remarkable that several novel isozymes in this central metabolic pathway are found in mammalian sperm. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase-S (GAPDS) is the product of a mouse gene expressed only during spermatogenesis and, like it...


Photobiomodulation with light-emitting diodes improves sperm motility in men with asthenozoospermia.  


Sperm motility is an important parameter of male fertility and depends on energy consumption. Photobiomodulation with light-emitting diode (LED) is known to stimulate respiratory chain in mitochondria of different mammalian cells. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of photobiomodulation with LED on sperm motility in infertile men with impaired sperm motility-asthenozoospermia. Thirty consecutive men with asthenozoospermia and normal sperm count who visited the infertility clinic of University Medial Centre Ljubljana between September 2011 and February 2012 were included in the study. Semen sample of each man was divided into five parts: one served as a non-treated (native) control and four parts were irradiated with LED of different wavelengths: (1) 850 nm, (2) 625, 660 and 850 nm, (3) 470 nm and (4) 625, 660 and 470 nm. The percentage of motile sperm and kinematic parameters were measured using a Sperm Class Analyser system following the WHO recommendations. In the non-treated semen samples, the average ratio of rapidly progressive sperms was 12% and of immotile sperm 73%. Treating with LED significantly increased the proportion of rapidly progressive sperm (mean differences were as follows: 2.83 (1.39-4.28), 3.33 (1.61-5.05), 4.50 (3.00-5.99) and 3.83 (2.31-5.36) for groups 1-4, respectively) and significantly decreased the ratio of immotile sperm (the mean differences and 95% CI were as follows: 3.50 (1.30-5.70), 4.33 (2.15-6.51), 5.83 (3.81-7.86) and 5.50 (2.98-8.02) for groups 1-4, respectively). All differences were highly statistically significant. This finding confirmed that photobiomodulation using LED improved the sperm motility in asthenozoospermia regardless of the wavelength. PMID:25204851

Ban Frangez, Helena; Frangez, Igor; Verdenik, Ivan; Jansa, Vid; Virant Klun, Irma



Effect of Cryopreservation on the Sperm DNA Fragmentation Dynamics of the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).  


Sperm DNA fragmentation is one of the major causes of infertility; the sperm chromatin dispersion test (SCDt) evaluates this parameter and offers the advantage of species-specific validated protocol and ease of use under field conditions. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics in both fresh and post-thaw bottlenose dolphin sperm using the SCDt following different cryopreservation protocols to gain new information about the post-thaw differential sperm DNA longevity in this species. Fresh and cryopreserved semen samples from five bottlenose dolphins were examined for sperm DNA fragmentation dynamics using the SCDt (Halomax(®) ). Sperm DNA fragmentation was assessed immediately at collection and following cryopreservation (T0) and then after 0.5, 1, 4, 8, 24, 48 and 72 h incubation at 37°C. Serially collected ejaculates from four dolphins were frozen using different cryopreservation protocols in a TES-TRIS-fructose buffer (TTF), an egg-yolk-free vegetable lipid LP1 buffer (LP1) and human sperm preservation medium (HSPM). Fresh ejaculated spermatozoa initially showed low levels of DNA fragmentation for up to 48 h. Lower Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) was found in the second fresh ejaculate compared to the first when more than one sample was collected on the same day (p < 0.05); this difference was not apparent in any other seminal characteristic. While there was no difference observed in SDF between fresh and frozen-thawed sperm using the different cryopreservation protocols immediately after thawing (T0), frozen-thawed spermatozoa incubated at 37°C showed an increase in the rate of SDF after 24 h. Sperm frozen in the LP1(?) buffer had higher levels (p < 0.05) of DNA fragmentation after 24- and 48-h incubation than those frozen in TTF or HSPM. No correlation was found between any seminal characteristic and DNA fragmentation in either fresh and/or frozen-thawed samples. PMID:25604784

Sánchez-Calabuig, M J; López-Fernández, C; Johnston, S D; Blyde, D; Cooper, J; Harrison, K; de la Fuente, J; Gosálvez, J



Reduced heterozygosity impairs sperm quality in endangered mammals.  


Inbreeding causes increases in homozygosity and is commonly associated with reductions in fertility and embryogenesis. Although the mechanisms underlying such effects are unknown, recent work has suggested that inbred males may suffer impaired ejaculate quality, thus providing a functional explanation for reductions in reproductive function in inbred populations. However, the relationship between inbreeding and sperm quality remains controversial, particularly in wild populations where the level of inbreeding is typically estimated using neutral molecular markers. Such markers are thought to reflect genome-wide levels of heterozygosity only under restricted conditions, and rarely in outbred populations. Here we employ a comparative approach that takes account of these criticisms and evaluates the evidence linking inbreeding to reductions in sperm quality in 20 mammal species. We focus on sperm abnormalities and sperm motility, which are key determinants of male fertility in many species. We show that species with reduced mean heterozygosity have impaired ejaculated quality, although subsequent analyses revealed that these effects were confined to endangered populations. Our findings therefore support the notion that inbreeding can severely impair sperm quality while concomitantly addressing criticisms surrounding the use of heterozygosity estimates to estimate the level of inbreeding. PMID:19324650

Fitzpatrick, John L; Evans, Jonathan P



Rescue of germline transmission from chimeras by IVF after sperm analysis.  


Successful production of genetically modified mouse lines is dependent on germline transmission (GLT) of mutant alleles from chimeras. When natural mating fails to achieve GLT due to male infertility, sickness, or other problems, sperm can be harvested from chimeras and used for assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) to attempt to "rescue" GLT. However, a rational, evidence-based approach to determine if such extraordinary efforts should be attempted on a chimera has not been established. Therefore, in the present study we assessed the production, quality and genotype of epididymal sperm harvested from male chimeras generated by blastocyst or morula microinjection of gene targeted embryonic stem (ES) cell clones containing a LacZ expression cassette and that failed to achieve GLT. Results of this analysis enabled us to determine the cause of GLT failure, correlate coat color chimerism with the proportion of LacZ-positive sperm, and test the likelihood of achieving GLT by IVF. In 415 chimeras, 332 (80%) produced no offspring by natural mating ("infertile"), while 83 (20%) produced only wildtype offspring ("fertile"). Of the 332 infertile chimeras, 209 (63%) failed to produce any sperm whatsoever, 48 (15%) had extremely poor quality sperm, and 75 (23%) had good quality sperm. These results indicate that most chimeras that do not achieve GLT by natural mating are infertile, and the primary cause of infertility is failed spermatogenesis. Genotyping of sperm from 519 chimeras revealed a significant positive linear correlation between coat color chimerism and mean percentage of LacZ-positive sperm (R(2) = 0.95). Finally, IVF using good quality, LacZ-positive sperm from fertile and infertile chimeras "rescued" GLT for 19 out of 56 genes. We conclude that an assessment of coat color chimerism together with sperm quality and genotype can better inform the selection of chimeras for IVF to rescue GLT than coat color chimerism alone. PMID:25080098

Li, Ming-Wen; Willis, Brandon J; Evans, Kristin D; Araiza, Renee S; Lee, Angus Yiu-Fai; Lloyd, K C Kent



[Semenogelin and sperm motility inhibition: an update].  


Semen liquefaction and sperm capacitation are the key processes for sperm to acquire forward movement ability. In these processes, semenogelin plays a vital role by directly participating in the formation of semen coagulation, collaborating with other protease and metal ions from the male reproductive tract, and then reacting with the surface of sperm cells, finally involved in the regulation of these processes and ensuring sperm's acquisition of forward movement ability. PMID:21218648

Yi, Cheng; He, Ren-Song; Zhao, Hui; Hao, Li-Na



Active Hypothermic Growth: A Novel Means For Increasing Total Interferon-? Production by Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells  

E-print Network

When grown under hypothermic conditions, Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells become growth arrested in the G?/G? phase of the cell cycle and also often exhibit increased recombinant protein production. In this study, we ...

Stephen R., Fox


Increased heterologous protein production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae growing on ethanol as sole carbon source.  


Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a widely used host organism for the production of heterologous proteins, often cultivated in glucose-based fed-batch processes. This production system however has many factors limiting the productivity, mainly towards the end of the fermentation. For the optimised production of a Camelid antibody fragment this process was evaluated. In shake flask cultivations, it was found that ethanol has a strong effect on productivity increase and therefore glucose and ethanol fed-batch fermentations were compared. It appeared that specific heterologous protein production was up to five times higher in the ethanol cultivation and could be further optimised. Then the key characteristics of ethanol fed-batch fermentations such as growth rate and specific production were determined under ethanol limitation and accumulation and growth limiting conditions in the final phase of the process. It appeared that an optimal production process should have an ethanol accumulation throughout the feed phase of approximately 1% v/v in the broth and that production remains very efficient even in the last phase of the process. This productivity increase on ethanol versus glucose was also proven for several other Camelid antibody fragments some of which were heavily impaired in secretion on glucose, but very well produced on ethanol. This leads to the suggestion that the ethanol effect on improved heterologous protein production is linked to a stress response and folding and secretion efficiency. PMID:16948170

van de Laar, Teun; Visser, Chris; Holster, Marianne; López, Cristina García; Kreuning, Dennes; Sierkstra, Laurens; Lindner, Nigel; Verrips, Theo



Increasing nitrogen deposition enhances post-drought recovery of grassland productivity in the Mongolian steppe.  


Arid regions are prone to drought because annual rainfall accumulation depends on a few rainfall events. Natural plant communities are damaged by drought, but atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition may enhance the recovery of plant productivity after drought. Here, we investigated the effect of increasing N deposition on post-drought recovery of grassland productivity in the Mongolian steppe, and we examined the influence of grazing in this recovery. We added different amounts of N to a Mongolian grassland during two sequential drought years (2006 and 2007) and the subsequent 3 years of normal rainfall (2008-2010) under grazed and nongrazed conditions. Aboveground biomass and number of shoots were surveyed annually for each species. Nitrogen addition increased grassland productivity after drought irrespective of the grazing regime. The increase in grassland productivity was associated with an increase in the size of an annual, Salsola collina, under grazed conditions, and with an increase in shoot emergence of a perennial, Artemisia adamsii, under nongrazed conditions. The addition of low N content simulating N deposition around the study area by the year 2050 did not significantly increase grassland productivity. Our results suggest that increasing N deposition can enhance grassland recovery after a drought even in arid environments, such as the Mongolian steppe. This enhancement may be accompanied by a loss of grassland quality caused by an increase in the unpalatable species A. adamsii and largely depends on future human activities and the consequent deposition of N in Mongolia. PMID:22584584

Kinugasa, Toshihiko; Tsunekawa, Atsushi; Shinoda, Masato



Sperm precedence in a novel context: mating in a sessile marine invertebrate with dispersing sperm.  

PubMed Central

The compound ascidian Diplosoma listerianum releases aquatic sperm which are dispersed passively to potential mates as individual gametes prior to storage of sperm, internal fertilization and brooding of embryos. The storage of exogenous sperm enables D. listerianum to produce a lengthy series of progeny following a brief period of mating. Molecular paternity analysis following sequential mating of colonies in laboratory culture revealed a consistent pattern with a clear initial bias in paternity towards the first of two acting males. The sites of sperm storage and fertilization and the morphology of the ovary in D. listerianum suggest that this bias reflects first-in-first-out use of individual stored gametes. The proportion of second-male paternity subsequently increased with time within the progeny arrays. This may have reflected the ageing or passive loss of first-male sperm. It is also possible that the modular nature of the organism contributed to this temporal trend: any recently budded colony modules maturing in the interval between matings would have been available exclusively to second-male sperm as virgin zooids. Two sets of mating trials were run. In the first, the collection of progeny suffered an interruption of 13 days and each male gained a larger proportion of recorded paternity within the progeny analysed when mating first rather than when mating second. In one mating combination, the first male obtained almost 100% of recorded paternity. In the second set of trials, with different clonal combinations, the complete sequence of progeny was collected and the estimated overall proportion of second-male paternity (P2) was consistently > 0.5. Taken as a whole, the results suggest that the overall P2-value can vary widely within the population studied. Proposed mechanisms of mating-order effects in species with copulatory mating include several which can have no counterpart in indirect aquatic mating since they involve the active removal, sealing off, volumetric displacement or incapacitation of first-male ejaculates. It is nevertheless clear that mating-order effects can be pronounced during the type of non-copulatory mating examined here, which is widespread in marine invertebrates. PMID:10885515

Bishop, J D; Pemberton, A J; Noble, L R



By Patricia A. Plunkert Domestic primary aluminum production increased slightly in  

E-print Network

metal came from new (manufacturing) scrap and 47% from old scrap (discarded aluminum products1 ALUMINUM By Patricia A. Plunkert Domestic primary aluminum production increased slightly in 1995, to 3.4 million metric tons. Thirteen companies operated 22 primary aluminum reduction plants and 1


By Robert G. Reese, Jr. In 1995, total domestic mine production of silver increased  

E-print Network

1 SILVER By Robert G. Reese, Jr. In 1995, total domestic mine production of silver increased for the first time since 1990. About 83 mines in 17 States produced silver during the year. In descending order-fourths of the production. The 13 largest mines each produced more than 30 metric tons of silver and accounted for 79


Influences of Government Interventions on Increasing Value-Added Wood Product Exports from Ghana  

E-print Network

Influences of Government Interventions on Increasing Value-Added Wood Product Exports from Ghana University Agricultural Center July 13, 2006 1 Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation (Industry), Ghana Forestry Commission, Accra, Ghana 2 Professor and Director, Louisiana Forest Products Development Center, School


A multi-display viewing station that increases productivity and saves space  

E-print Network

A multi-display viewing station that increases productivity and saves space Conserve desk space) per monitor · Low-profile base saves desk space · Durable aluminum and steel construction creates that are VESA® MIS-D, 100/75, C compliant · Five-year warranty Product Sheet Space-saving desk stands Ergotron

Saskatchewan, University of


The land potential knowledge system (LandPKS): Increasing land productivity and resilience  

Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

Africa must significantly increase agricultural production to meet the needs of a growing population. Current efforts focus on intensifying production on currently used lands and expanding to un- or under-utilized lands. The success of both strategies requires understanding the land’s potential prod...


Increasing Forest Conservation in Norway: Consequences for Timber and Forest Products Markets  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper analyses the impacts on timber and forest products markets of increasing forest conservation in Norway. A partial equilibrium forest sector model is applied to analyse effects on roundwood and forest products prices, quantities and trade of four alternative conservation extents. These alternatives are based on a recent biological analysis of the conservation needs in order to protect biodiversity

Torjus Folsland Bolkesjø; Erik Trømborg; Birger Solberg



Increasing Academic Productivity of Severely Multi-Handicapped Children with Self-Management: Idiosyncratic Effects.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Productivity of four severely multiply disabled elementary students on a paper-and-pencil task was increased with an externally managed token economy. Ss were then instructed to self-manage the token economy. Two of the four subjects accurately self-managed the token economy, although all subjects maintained productivity levels. (Author/CL)

Shapiro, Edward S.; And Others



Membrane proteins associated with sperm-oocyte interaction: A proteomic comparison between Kedah Kelantan (Bos indicus) and Mafriwal (Bos taurus × Bos indicus) sperm  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Production performance of European cattle breeds has significantly improved through various breeding programs. However, European breeds are more susceptible to heat stress compared to zebu cattle (Bos indicus) as their conception rate can range between 20 to 30% in hot seasons compared to winter. To identify cattle sperm proteins associated with zebu cattle higher fertility and heat tolerance in tropical environments, we utilised a proteomics-based approach to compare sperm from the highly fertile Malaysian indigenous breed, Kedah Kelantan (Bos indicus), with sperm from the sub-fertile crossbreed, Mafriwal (Bos taurus × Bos indicus). Frozen semen of three high performance bulls from each breed was processed to obtain live and pure sperm. Proteins were separated and gel bands were processed by in-gel tryptic digestion. For each breed, mass spectrometry data was acquired over 11 replicates. The analyzed data identified peptides with different expression levels (99% confidence level) and protein identification was determined by targeted MS/MS. Among the identified proteins associated with sperm-oocyte interaction, two proteins were up-regulated in Kedah Kelantan sperm and 7 proteins were up-regulated in or specific to Mafriwal. Our results suggest that the higher fertility of zebu cattle in tropical areas may not be related to more efficient sperm-oocyte interaction. Further analysis of the other regulated proteins in these two breeds may contribute further knowledge on the physiological reason/s for higher fertility and heat tolerance of Zebu cattle in tropical areas.

Ashrafzadeh, Ali; Nathan, Sheila; Othman, Iekhsan; Yee, Tee Ting; Karsani, Saiful Anuar



Psychological adaptation to human sperm competition (2002)  

Microsoft Academic Search

Sperm competition occurs when the sperm of two or more males simultaneously occupy the reproductive tract of a female and compete to fertilize an egg. We used a questionnaire to investigate psychological responses to the risk of sperm competition for 194 men in committed, sexual relationships in the United States and in Germany. As predicted, a man who spends a

Todd K. Shackelford; Gregory J. LeBlanc; Viviana Weekes-Shackelford; April L. Bleske-Rechek; Harald A. Euler; Sabine Hoier


Airborne sperm of Conocephalum conicum (Conocephalaceae).  


We have obtained the first momentary photographs of sperms just as they are discharged from the antheridium of a liverwort, Conocephalum conicum, and have succeeded in monitoring the airborne sperms of bryophytes under field conditions. Airborne sperm of liverworts seems to be an effective strategy for raising the efficiency of fertilization between male and female plants separated in a drought environment. PMID:18058191

Shimamura, Masaki; Yamaguchi, Tomio; Deguchi, Hironori



DNA-fluorometry of mammalian sperm  

Microsoft Academic Search

The DNA-content of sperm and testicular cells was measured by pulse-cytophotometry with high resolution. From flat sperm symmetric and narrow fluorescence distributions were obtained. Enzymatic treatment with papain or pronase and staining with an ethidiumbromide-mithramycin dye solution generate stoichiometric DNA-staining including that of mature sperm with a coefficient of variation below 2%.

Jtirgen Zante; Johannes Schumann; Wolfgang Göhde; Ursula Hacker



Issues affecting commercialization of sexed sperm  

Microsoft Academic Search

A decision tree for genetics or sperm-sexing entities considering sales of sexed sperm is discussed in terms of: (a) how best to avoid harm; (b) how best to do good; (c) needed synergy with other assisted reproductive technologies; (d) constraints on biotechnology; and (e) costs with current and likely technologies versus potential benefits to producers. The sexed-sperm industry might wish

R. P. Amann