Translator Disclaimer
2 June 2010 Effects of Genetic Captive-Breeding Protocols on Sperm Quality and Fertility in the White-Footed Mouse
Author Affiliations +

Mice (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis) from a captive-breeding program were used to test the effects of three genetic breeding protocols (minimizing mean kinship [MK], random breeding, and selection for docility [DOC]) and inbreeding levels on sperm traits and fertility. Earlier, in generation 8, one DOC replicate went extinct because of poor reproductive success. By generation 10, spermatozoa from DOC mice had more acrosome and midpiece abnormalities, which were shown to be strong determinants of fertility, as well as lower sperm production and resistance to osmotic stress. In addition, determinants of fertility, including male and female components, were assessed in a comprehensive manner. Results showed that the probability (P) of siring litters is determined by sperm number, sperm viability, and midpiece and acrosome abnormalities; that the P of siring one versus two litters is determined by tail abnormalities; and that the total number of offspring is influenced by female size and proportion of normal sperm, showing the relative importance of different sperm traits on fertility. On average, males with 20% normal sperm sired one pup per litter, and males with 70% normal sperm sired eight pups per litter. Interestingly, the proportion of normal sperm was affected by docility but not by relatively low inbreeding. However, inbreeding depression in sperm motility was detected. In the MK group, inbreeding depression not only affected sperm motility but also fertility: An increase in the coefficient of inbreeding (f) of 0.03 reduced sperm motility by 30% and translated into an offspring reduction of three pups in second litters. A genetic load of 48 fecundity equivalents was calculated.

Aurelio F. Malo, Felipe Martinez-Pastor, Glen Alaks, Jean Dubach, and Robert C. Lacy "Effects of Genetic Captive-Breeding Protocols on Sperm Quality and Fertility in the White-Footed Mouse," Biology of Reproduction 83(4), 540-548, (2 June 2010).
Received: 13 April 2010; Accepted: 1 May 2010; Published: 2 June 2010

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.

Get copyright permission
Back to Top