Abstract #24

# 24
M. B. Matabane*1,4, P. Nethenzheni1,5, R. Thomas1, D. Norris4, K. Nephawe2, M. Tsatsimpe6, T. L. Nedambale2,3, 1Agricultural Research Council, Germplasm Conservation and Reproductive Biotechnologies, Irene, South Africa, 2Department of Animal Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa, 3Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences, Bloemfontein, South AfricaUniversity of the Free State, 4Department of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa, 5School of Agriculture, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa, 6Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Research and Technology Development Services, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The prediction of sperm fertility has a great economic importance to the pig breeding industry. The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between boar sperm quality and fertility following artificial insemination (AI) under smallholder production systems. A total of 18 ejaculates were collected from 3 breeding boars using a hand-gloved technique. Aliquots of diluted semen were assessed for sperm motility using a computer aided sperm analysis before AI. Sperm viability was evaluated using Synthetic Binding CD-14 (SYBR-14+)/propidium iodide (PI−), whereas sperm morphology was evaluated using Eosin Nigrosin staining. Fluorescent microscope was used at 100× magnification to count 200 sperm per slide. The semen was extended with Beltsville Thawing Solution and contained 3 × 109 sperm/dose. A total of 73 multiparous sows were inseminated twice. Fertility was measured by conception rate, farrowing rate, litter size and number of piglets born alive following AI. Sperm quality and fertility data were analysed using one-way ANOVA. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to determine the relationship between sperm quality and fertility traits. The mean values for total sperm motility ranged from 93.5 to 96.8%. Progressive and rapid sperm motility differed significantly (P < 0.05) among the boars. However, no significant differences were found for sperm velocity traits. The mean values for morphologically normal sperm ranged from 47.8 to 60.9% and live sperm ranged from 71.8 to 77.2%, but did not differ significantly among the boars (P > 0.05). Conception rate from different boars varied (P < 0.05) from 63.6 to 93.3%. Of all fertility traits studied, conception rate was significantly related to total sperm motility rate (r = 0.34, P < 0.0029), progressive motility (r = 0.29, P < 0.0141) and rapid motility (r = 0.34, P < 0.0032), although relatively low. There was a low positive relationship between morphologically normal sperm and fertility traits (P > 0.05). In conclusion, total, progressive, and rapid sperm motility rate were the only sperm traits significantly related to conception rate. Conversely, litter size and number born alive were not correlated with sperm motility, viability, or morphology traits.