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Theriogenology. 1994 Sep;42(4):715-26.

The relationship between scrotal circumference and quantitative testicular traits in yearling beef bulls.

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Department of Herd Medicine and Theriogenology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


A study was designed to investigate relationships between testicle size and histological, sperm production and endocrinological traits in yearling beef bulls at the end of performance test. Twenty-five beef bulls, (Hereford, n=16; Angus, n=4; and Charolais, n=5), with scrotal circumference (SC) measurements ranging from 28.5 to 36.0 cm, were used. Just prior to slaughter at 15 mo of age, SC measurements were taken, semen was collected, and a GnRH response test was conducted. Testicles were processed for daily sperm production (DSP), epididymal sperm reserves (ESR), seminiferous epithelial area (SEA), and degree of germinal epithelial loss (DGEL). There were significant positive correlations between SC and testicular weight (P<0.05), DSP/g (P<0.02), and DSP/bull (P<0.01) and ESR (P<0.01); however, the correlation between SC and SEA was not significant (P=0.4). Scrotal circumference was negatively correlated with DGEL (P<0.05). Degree of germinal epithelial loss was also negatively correlated with DSP/g, DSP/bull and ESR (P<0.01). Morphological characteristics of spermatozoa were diversely related to sperm production traits, and the percentage of normal spermatozoa was positively related to SC (P<0.02) and negatively related to DGEL (P<0.001). Gonadotropin releasing hormone stimulation did not reveal evidence of gonadotropin deficiency in any of the bulls. However, peak testosterone levels were lower in bulls with SC below 31 cm (P<0.05) than those with SC measurements above 31 cm.


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