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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2011;132(1-2):124-8. doi: 10.1159/000320421. Epub 2010 Oct 5.

Meiotic studies in infertile domestic pig-babirusa hybrids.

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Departments of Basic Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Groennegaardsvej 7, Frederiksberg, Denmark.


Mating of a babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) boar and a domestic sow (Sus scrofa) resulted in the birth of 5 live domestic pig-babirusa hybrid piglets. Chromosome analysis of one of the surviving males confirmed that they were domestic pig-babirusa hybrids by revealing the presence of a complete haploid set of 19 porcine chromosomes as well as a complete haploid set of 19 babirusa chromosomes in the karyotype. None of the surviving piglets, two males and one female, had shown signs of sexual maturity at age 27 months. Histological examination of gonadal biopsies from the 2 males revealed that both were azoospermatic. Immunostaining revealed SCP3-positive axial elements in the nuclei of primary spermatocytes, indicating that they were progressing through leptotene and zygotene of meiotic prophase. However, the presence of multiple short stretches of axial elements in pachytene nuclei indicated that this phase was blocked, probably due to aberrant chromosome pairing. Histological examination of the ovaries revealed follicular structures, but oocytes within them were generally degenerated. We conclude that both male and female pig-babirusa hybrids were infertile, most likely due to germ cell death resulting from abnormalities of chromosome pairing during meiotic prophase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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