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Influence of season and climatic variables on testicular cytology, semen quality and melatonin concentrations in crossbred bucks reared under subtropical climate

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Abstract

Seasonality in reproduction and effects of climatic variables on testicular cytology and semen quality in bucks reared under subtropical climatic conditions were not well understood. In the present study, using testicular cytology, semen evaluation and melatonin concentrations assessed over a period of 1 year, we report that bucks reared under subtropical climatic conditions did not show seasonality in reproduction. Climatic variables including temperature, relative humidity, temperature-humidity index (THI), sunshine hours and day length were recorded daily during the whole period of experimentation (one complete year). Ejaculates were collected from crossbred (Alpine X Beetal) males (n = 6) biweekly using artificial vagina, and semen quality (volume, mass activity, sperm concentration, motility, viability, membrane integrity and protamine deficiency) was assessed. To understand the seasonal influence at testicular level, using fine needle aspiration biopsy method, testicular cells were aspirated and different types of cells and testicular cytology indices were quantified. Blood was collected biweekly for estimation of melatonin concentrations. Mass activity was higher (P < 0.05) during rainy season while individual sperm motility and sperm concentration were higher (P < 0.05) during rainy and autumn seasons as compared to other seasons. Sperm functional parameters did not show any differences during different seasons. Sertoli cell count, spermatogenic cell count and testicular indices did not differ among the seasons. Melatonin concentrations also did not differ significantly among the four seasons studied. Among the climatic parameters, THI had significant (P < 0.05) influence on sperm quality. The proportion of Sertoli cell in the testicular cytology had a significant and positive relationship with RH, THI and day length. It was concluded that seasonal variations are less evident in terms of spermatogenesis and semen quality in Alpine X Beetal crossbred bucks reared under subtropical climatic conditions.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the in-charge and staff of Artificial Breeding Research Centre, the Director, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal for providing facilities to conduct the research.

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Correspondence to Arumugam Kumaresan.

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All the experimental procedures were approved by the Institute Animal Ethics Committee (IAEC No. 91/16).

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Golher, D.M., Kumaresan, A., Saraf, K.K. et al. Influence of season and climatic variables on testicular cytology, semen quality and melatonin concentrations in crossbred bucks reared under subtropical climate. Int J Biometeorol 62, 1709–1719 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-018-1571-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-018-1571-x

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