Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Animal Physiology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Diehl, John R


Differences between manual and machine motility analysis was determined for total motility (MOT) of bull semen samples (N=117) three ways: manual analysis on a microscope and on computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) systems: Hamilton-Thorne IVOS and Minitube SpermVision (SV). CASA analysis includes progressive motility (PRO) and related kinematic parameters. Analysis indicated differences between MOT: 83.06 (IVOS), 75.84 (manual), 65.48 (SV), and PRO: 44.25 (IVOS) and 60.07(SV). Relationships existed between manual MOT and both IVOS MOT (r=0.32) and SV MOT (r=0.59). The relationships between IVOS and SV MOT and PRO was notable (r=0.70 for both MOT and PRO).
The ability of platelet-activating factor (PAF) to improve gilt productivity was assessed by adding PAF (1x10-7M/mL) to extended high/low fertility boar semen prior to artificial insemination of gilts which either farrowed or were slaughtered at day 30 of gestation. PAF treatment of boar semen did not improve litter productivity. Gilt weight at time of insemination and boar fertility were the primary factors influencing productivity. Semen motility and season was not associated with litter parameters; although the use of low fertility semen in the spring resulted in lower litter sizes. Treatment of boar semen with PAF did not impact gilt productivity, but future work needs to evaluate treatment concentrations and interaction of PAF with extender components.
Two cellular features associated with fertility, PAF receptor (PAFr) and ubiquitin (UBI), were quantitatively measured on a flow cytometer in washed and unwashed, fixed bull and boar semen samples to evaluate relationships with motility and pig litter parameters. Boar semen motility was measured on an IVOS. Analysis showed that UBI was inversely related to CASA MOT and PRO of bull but not pig samples. PAFr was associated with reductions in bull but not pig PRO. There was no relationship between UBI and boar fertility, but there was a relationship between UBI in unwashed samples and litter parameters: number born total (r=0.55), number born alive (r=0.59), average litter weight (r=0.62), and average wean weight (r=0.60). Washing boar samples increased measurable levels of PAFr and UBI fluorescence. The data indicate that UBI may be related to features associated with fertility.



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