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Reprod Domest Anim. 2011 Sep;46 Suppl 2:55-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2011.01837.x.

Biological markers of boar fertility.

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  • 1Swine Reproduction-Development Program, Swine Research & Technology Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


The semen evaluation techniques used in most commercial artificial insemination centers, which includes sperm motility and morphology measurements, provides a very conservative estimate of the relative fertility of individual boars. As well, differences in relative boar fertility are masked by the widespread use of pooled semen for commercial artificial insemination (AI) in many countries. Furthermore, the relatively high sperm numbers used in commercial AI practice usually compensate for reduced fertility, as can be seen in some boars when lower numbers of sperm are used for AI. The increased efficiency of pork production should involve enhanced use of boars with strong reproductive efficiency and the highest genetic merit for important production traits. Given that the current measures of semen quality are not always indicative of fertility and reproductive performance in boars, accurate and predictive genetic and protein markers are still needed. Recently, significant efforts have been made to identify reliable markers that allow for the identification and exclusion of sires with reduced reproductive efficiency. This paper reviews the current status of proteomic and genomic markers of fertility in boars in relation to other livestock species.

© 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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