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Theriogenology. 2006 May;65(8):1587-604. Epub 2005 Oct 17.

Quantitative characteristics of Atlantic halibut, Hippoglossus hippoglossus L., semen throughout the reproductive season.

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1
Bodø University College, Department of Fisheries and Natural Sciences, 8049 Bodø, Norway. Igor.Babiak@hibo.gr

Abstract

The overall objective of the study was to investigate changes in quantitative parameters of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.) semen throughout the reproductive season in order to systematize the knowledge about biology of Atlantic halibut spermatozoa. Semen samples were collected from February to May from broodstock males kept under either a natural or 3-month advanced photoperiod regime. Spermatozoa concentration, semen pH and osmolality, as well as spermatozoa motility parameters were investigated. The use of catheterization of sperm was examined. Also, fertilization tests were performed. We found that spermatozoa concentration increases in a linear-like mode towards the end of the spawning season, which correlated with a decrease in a number of spermatozoa motility parameters, including actual percentage of motile spermatozoa (MOT), curvilinear velocity (VCL) and straight-line velocity (VSL) of spermatozoa. A breakpoint in MOT occurred when spermatozoa reached a concentration in the range of 17-20 x 10(9) spermatozoa/mL. The fertilization ability of sperm from males kept under natural photoperiod decreased in April. Survival of embryos at 80 degrees days produced by fertilizing eggs of single female with sperm from natural photoperiod males was 88, 76 and 41% on April 09 and 17, and May 01, respectively, whereas using sperm from 3-month delayed photoperiod males for fertilizing eggs from the same female on April 27 resulted in 80% of surviving embryos, not differing significantly from the data from April 09. Physical decomposition of spermatozoa was observed towards the end of the season and it was related to an increase in the whole semen osmolality. Catheterization of semen did not improve spermatozoa motility parameters, however, it reduced the variation in recorded values, especially in the case of pH, caused by contamination with feces or urine. Post-seasonal decrease in spermatozoa concentration was likely related to intensive ageing processes. Based on the present study and available data by other researchers, a model of changes of quantitative parameters in Atlantic halibut semen throughout the reproductive season is proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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