WorldWideScience

Sample records for enhancing sperm competitiveness

  1. Seminal fluid enhances competitiveness of territorial males' sperm in a fish with alternative male reproductive tactics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poli, Federica; Locatello, Lisa; Rasotto, Maria B

    2018-05-29

    The most common adaptation to sperm competition in males is represented by an increase in the sperm number and/or quality released at mating, to raise their probability of egg fertilization. However, rapidly mounting evidence highlights that seminal fluid may directly influence the competitive fertilization success of a male by affecting either own and/or rival sperm performances. In the black goby, Gobius niger , an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics and high sperm competition level, sneaker males' ejaculates contain less seminal fluid and more sperm, that are also of better quality, than those of territorial males. However, territorial males, gain a higher paternity success inside natural nests. Here, we ask whether the seminal fluid can contribute to territorial males' reproductive success by enhancing their sperm performances and/or by decreasing those of sneaker males. Using sperm and seminal fluid manipulation and in vitro fertilization tests, we found that own seminal fluid influences the velocity and fertilization ability of sperm only in territorial males, making them as faster as those of sneakers and with similar fertilization rate. Moreover, both sneaker and territorial males' sperm remain unaffected by the seminal fluid of rival males. Thus, black goby males respond to the different level of sperm competition faced by differently allocating in sperm and non-sperm components of the ejaculate, with sneakers primarily investing in sperm of intrinsic high quality and territorial males relying on the effect of seminal fluid to increase the lower intrinsic quality of their sperm. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. Sperm competition in bats.

    OpenAIRE

    Hosken, D J

    1997-01-01

    Sperm competition is a widespread phenomenon influencing the evolution of male anatomy, physiology and behaviour. Bats are an ideal group for studying sperm competition. Females store fertile sperm for up to 200 days and the size of social groups varies from single animals to groups of hundreds of thousands. This study examines the relationship between social group size and investment in spermatogenesis across 31 species of microchiropteran bat using new and published data on testis mass and ...

  3. Sperm competition, sperm numbers and sperm quality in muroid rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez Montoto, Laura; Magaña, Concepción; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Martín-Coello, Juan; Crespo, Cristina; Luque-Larena, Juan José; Gomendio, Montserrat; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2011-03-25

    Sperm competition favors increases in relative testes mass and production efficiency, and changes in sperm phenotype that result in faster swimming speeds. However, little is known about its effects on traits that contribute to determine the quality of a whole ejaculate (i.e., proportion of motile, viable, morphologically normal and acrosome intact sperm) and that are key determinants of fertilization success. Two competing hypotheses lead to alternative predictions: (a) sperm quantity and quality traits co-evolve under sperm competition because they play complementary roles in determining ejaculate's competitive ability, or (b) energetic constraints force trade-offs between traits depending on their relevance in providing a competitive advantage. We examined relationships between sperm competition levels, sperm quantity, and traits that determine ejaculate quality, in a comparative study of 18 rodent species using phylogenetically controlled analyses. Total sperm numbers were positively correlated to proportions of normal sperm, acrosome integrity and motile sperm; the latter three were also significantly related among themselves, suggesting no trade-offs between traits. In addition, testes mass corrected for body mass (i.e., relative testes mass), showed a strong association with sperm numbers, and positive significant associations with all sperm traits that determine ejaculate quality with the exception of live sperm. An "overall sperm quality" parameter obtained by principal component analysis (which explained 85% of the variance) was more strongly associated with relative testes mass than any individual quality trait. Overall sperm quality was as strongly associated with relative testes mass as sperm numbers. Thus, sperm quality traits improve under sperm competition in an integrated manner suggesting that a combination of all traits is what makes ejaculates more competitive. In evolutionary terms this implies that a complex network of genetic and

  4. Sperm competition selects for sperm quantity and quality in the Australian Maluridae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Melissah; Pruett-Jones, Stephen

    2011-01-25

    When ejaculates from rival males compete for fertilization, there is strong selection for sperm traits that enhance fertilization success. Sperm quantity is one such trait, and numerous studies have demonstrated a positive association between sperm competition and both testes size and the number of sperm available for copulations. Sperm competition is also thought to favor increases in sperm quality and changes in testicular morphology that lead to increased sperm production. However, in contrast to sperm quantity, these hypotheses have received considerably less empirical support and remain somewhat controversial. In a comparative study using the Australian Maluridae (fairy-wrens, emu-wrens, grasswrens), we tested whether increasing levels of sperm competition were associated with increases in both sperm quantity and quality, as well as an increase in the relative amount of seminiferous tubule tissue contained within the testes. After controlling for phylogeny, we found positive associations between sperm competition and sperm numbers, both in sperm reserves and in ejaculate samples. Additionally, as sperm competition level increased, the proportion of testicular spermatogenic tissue also increased, suggesting that sperm competition selects for greater sperm production per unit of testicular tissue. Finally, we also found that sperm competition level was positively associated with multiple sperm quality traits, including the proportion of motile sperm in ejaculates and the proportion of both viable and morphologically normal sperm in sperm reserves. These results suggest multiple ejaculate traits, as well as aspects of testicular morphology, have evolved in response to sperm competition in the Australian Maluridae. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the importance of post-copulatory sexual selection as an evolutionary force shaping macroevolutionary differences in sperm phenotype.

  5. Experimental evolution of sperm competitiveness in a mammal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simmons Leigh W

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When females mate with multiple partners, sperm from rival males compete to fertilise the ova. Studies of experimental evolution have proven the selective action of sperm competition on male reproductive traits. However, while reproductive traits may evolve in response to sperm competition, this does not necessarily provide evidence that sperm competitive ability responds to selection. Indeed, a study of Drosophila failed to observe divergence in sperm competitive ability of males in lines selected for enhanced sperm offence and defence. Results Adopting the naturally polygamous house mouse (Mus domesticus as our vertebrate model, we performed an experimental evolution study and observed genetic divergence in sperm quality; males from the polygamous selection lines produced ejaculates with increased sperm numbers and greater sperm motility compared to males from the monogamous lines. Here, after 12 generations of experimental evolution, we conducted competitive matings between males from lineages evolving under sperm competition and males from lineages subject to relaxed selection. We reduced variation in paternity arising from embryo mortality by genotyping embryos in utero at 14 days gestation. Our microsatellite data revealed a significant paternity bias toward males that evolved under the selective regime of sperm competition. Conclusion We provide evidence that the sperm competitiveness phenotype can respond to selection, and show that improved sperm quality translates to greater competitive fertilisation success in house mice.

  6. Individual adjustment of sperm expenditure accords with sperm competition theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilastro, Andrea; Scaggiante, Marta; Rasotto, Maria B

    2002-07-23

    Sperm competition theory predicts that males should strategically allocate their sperm reserves according to the level of sperm competition, defined as the probability that the sperm of two males compete for fertilizing a given set of ova. Substantial evidence from numerous animal taxa suggests that, at the individual level, sperm expenditure increases when the risk of sperm competition is greater. In contrast, according to the "intensity model" of sperm competition [Parker, G. A., Ball, M. A., Stockley, P. & Gage, M. J. G. (1996) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 263, 1291-1297], when more than two ejaculates compete during a given mating event, sperm expenditure should decrease as the number of competing males increases. Empirical evidence supporting this prediction, however, is still lacking. Here we measured sperm expenditure in two gobiid fishes, the grass (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) and black goby (Gobius niger), in which up to six sneakers can congregate around the nest of territorial males and release their sperm when females spawn. We show that, in accordance with theory, sneaker males of both species release fewer sperm as the number of competitors increases.

  7. Sperm competition, immunity, selfish genes and cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Z; Price, T A R; Wedell, N

    2008-10-01

    Sperm competition is widespread and has played an important role in shaping male reproductive characters such as testis size and numbers of sperm produced, and this is reflected in the rapid evolution of many reproductive genes. Additionally, sperm competition has been implicated in the rapid evolution of seminal fluids. However, our understanding of the molecular basis of many traits thought to be important in sperm competition is rudimentary. Furthermore, links between sperm competition and a range of issues not directly related to reproduction are only just beginning to be explored. These include associations between sperm competition and selfish genes, immunity and diseases such as cancer.We briefly review these topics and suggest areas we consider worthy of additional research.

  8. Differences in the fatty-acid composition of rodent spermatozoa are associated to levels of sperm competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Mateo, Rafael; Roldan, Eduardo R. S.

    2015-01-01

    Sperm competition is a prevalent phenomenon that drives the evolution of sperm function. High levels of sperm competition lead to increased metabolism to fuel higher sperm velocities. This enhanced metabolism can result in oxidative damage (including lipid peroxidation) and damage to the membrane. We hypothesized that in those species experiencing high levels of sperm competition there are changes in the fatty-acid composition of the sperm membrane that makes the membrane more resistant to oxidative damage. Given that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are the most prone to lipid peroxidation, we predicted that higher sperm competition leads to a reduction in the proportion of sperm PUFAs. In contrast, we predicted that levels of sperm competition should not affect the proportion of PUFAs in somatic cells. To test these predictions, we quantified the fatty-acid composition of sperm, testis and liver cells in four mouse species (genus Mus) that differ in their levels of sperm competition. Fatty-acid composition in testis and liver cells was not associated to sperm competition levels. However, in sperm cells, as predicted, an increase in sperm competition levels was associated with an increase in the proportion of saturated fatty-acids (the most resistant to lipid peroxidation) and by a concomitant decrease in the proportion of PUFAs. Two particular fatty acids were most responsible for this pattern (arachidonic acid and palmitic acid). Our findings thus indicate that sperm competition has a pervasive influence in the composition of sperm cells that ultimately may have important effects in sperm function. PMID:25795911

  9. Sperm competition and reproductive mode influence sperm dimensions and structure among snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourmente, Maximiliano; Gomendio, Montserrat; Roldan, Eduardo R S; Giojalas, Laura C; Chiaraviglio, Margarita

    2009-10-01

    The role of sperm competition in increasing sperm length is a controversial issue, because findings from different taxa seem contradictory. We present a comparative study of 25 species of snakes with different levels of sperm competition to test whether it influences the size and structure of different sperm components. We show that, as levels of sperm competition increase, so does sperm length, and that this elongation is largely explained by increases in midpiece length. In snakes, the midpiece is comparatively large and it contains structures, which in other taxa are present in the rest of the flagellum, suggesting that it may integrate some of its functions. Thus, increases in sperm midpiece size would result in more energy as well as greater propulsion force. Sperm competition also increases the area occupied by the fibrous sheath and outer dense fibers within the sperm midpiece, revealing for the first time an effect upon structural elements within the sperm. Finally, differences in male-male encounter rates between oviparous and viviparous species seem to lead to differences in levels of sperm competition. We conclude that the influence of sperm competition upon different sperm components varies between taxa, because their structure and function is different.

  10. COMP-1 promotes competitive advantage of nematode sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Jody M; Chavez, Daniela R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2015-03-19

    Competition among sperm to fertilize oocytes is a ubiquitous feature of sexual reproduction as well as a profoundly important aspect of sexual selection. However, little is known about the cellular mechanisms sperm use to gain competitive advantage or how these mechanisms are regulated genetically. In this study, we utilize a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify a gene, comp-1, whose function is specifically required in competitive contexts. We show that comp-1 functions in sperm to modulate their migration through and localization within the reproductive tract, thereby promoting their access to oocytes. Contrary to previously described models, comp-1 mutant sperm show no defects in size or velocity, thereby defining a novel pathway for preferential usage. Our results indicate not only that sperm functional traits can influence the outcome of sperm competition, but also that these traits can be modulated in a context-dependent manner depending on the presence of competing sperm.

  11. Differences in the fatty-acid composition of rodent spermatozoa are associated to levels of sperm competition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier delBarco-Trillo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Sperm competition is a prevalent phenomenon that drives the evolution of sperm function. High levels of sperm competition lead to increased metabolism to fuel higher sperm velocities. This enhanced metabolism can result in oxidative damage (including lipid peroxidation and damage to the membrane. We hypothesized that in those species experiencing high levels of sperm competition there are changes in the fatty-acid composition of the sperm membrane that makes the membrane more resistant to oxidative damage. Given that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs are the most prone to lipid peroxidation, we predicted that higher sperm competition leads to a reduction in the proportion of sperm PUFAs. In contrast, we predicted that levels of sperm competition should not affect the proportion of PUFAs in somatic cells. To test these predictions, we quantified the fatty-acid composition of sperm, testis and liver cells in four mouse species (genus Mus that differ in their levels of sperm competition. Fatty-acid composition in testis and liver cells was not associated to sperm competition levels. However, in sperm cells, as predicted, an increase in sperm competition levels was associated with an increase in the proportion of saturated fatty-acids (the most resistant to lipid peroxidation and by a concomitant decrease in the proportion of PUFAs. Two particular fatty acids were most responsible for this pattern (arachidonic acid and palmitic acid. Our findings thus indicate that sperm competition has a pervasive influence in the composition of sperm cells that ultimately may have important effects in sperm function.

  12. Sperm competition leads to functional adaptations in avian testes to maximize sperm quantity and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüpold, Stefan; Wistuba, Joachim; Damm, Oliver S; Rivers, James W; Birkhead, Tim R

    2011-05-01

    The outcome of sperm competition (i.e. competition for fertilization between ejaculates from different males) is primarily determined by the relative number and quality of rival sperm. Therefore, the testes are under strong selection to maximize both sperm number and quality, which are likely to result in trade-offs in the process of spermatogenesis (e.g. between the rate of spermatogenesis and sperm length or sperm energetics). Comparative studies have shown positive associations between the level of sperm competition and both relative testis size and the proportion of seminiferous (sperm-producing) tissue within the testes. However, it is unknown how the seminiferous tissue itself or the process of spermatogenesis might evolve in response to sperm competition. Therefore, we quantified the different germ cell types and Sertoli cells (SC) in testes to assess the efficiency of sperm production and its associations with sperm length and mating system across 10 species of New World Blackbirds (Icteridae) that show marked variation in sperm length and sperm competition level. We found that species under strong sperm competition generate more round spermatids (RS)/spermatogonium and have SC that support a greater number of germ cells, both of which are likely to increase the maximum sperm output. However, fewer of the RS appeared to elongate to mature spermatozoa in these species, which might be the result of selection for discarding spermatids with undesirable characteristics as they develop. Our results suggest that, in addition to overall size and gross morphology, testes have also evolved functional adaptations to maximize sperm quantity and quality.

  13. Sperm competition promotes diversity of sperm bundles in Ohomopterus ground beetles

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    Takami, Yasuoki; Sota, Teiji

    2007-07-01

    Diversification of sperm morphology has been investigated in the context of sperm competition, but the adaptive significance of sperm bundles is still unclear. In analyzing 10 taxa of the genus Carabus subgenus Ohomopterus and one related Carabus ground beetles, we found that dimorphic sperm bundles occurred in most species with varied degrees of bimodality, whereas sperm were generally monomorphic. Comparative analyses with phylogenetically independent contrasts revealed that the sizes of large and small sperm bundles evolved more rapidly than, and were not correlated with, the length of sperm, suggesting more intense selection on sperm bundle sizes and their independent responses to different evolutionary forces. The size of large sperm bundles was positively correlated with male genital morphology (pertinent to displacement of rival spermatophores) and postcopulatory guarding duration as well as male body length, suggesting that larger sperm bundles have been favored when the risk of spermatophore displacement is high. Larger sperm bundles may be advantageous because of their ability to migrate more rapidly into the spermatheca. In contrast, no clear association was detected between the small sperm bundle size and mating traits despite its rapid diversification. The present study provides the first record of heteromorphic sperm bundles, the diversity of which may be promoted by sperm competition.

  14. A sperm competition model for the European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smith, Carl; Reichard, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 150, č. 14 (2013), s. 1709-1730 ISSN 0005-7959 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1163 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Acheilognathinae * alternative mating tactics * mating system * sneaking * sperm competition * sperm motility Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.401, year: 2013

  15. Sperm depletion as a consequence of increased sperm competition risk in the European bitterling, Rhodeus amarus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smith, C.; Pateman-Jones, C.; Zieba, G.; Przybylski, M.; Reichard, Martin

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 77, č. 5 (2009), s. 1227-1233 ISSN 0003-3472 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : alternative mating tactics * European bitterling * mating system * sexual conflict * sexual selection * sneaking * sperm competition * sperm economy Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.890, year: 2009

  16. Variation in sperm morphometry and sperm competition among barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) populations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laskemoen, T.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bonisoli-Alquati, A.; Cepák, J.; De Lope, F.; Hermosell, I. G.; Johannessen, L. E.; Kleven, O.; Marzal, A.; Mousseau, T. A.; Moller, A. P.; Robertson, R. J.; Rudolfsen, G.; Saino, N.; Vortman, Y.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 67, č. 2 (2013), s. 301-309 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Barn swallow * Extrapair paternity * Hirundo rustica * Sperm competition * Sperm size Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.049, year: 2013

  17. COMP-1 promotes competitive advantage of nematode sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Jody M; Chavez, Daniela R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2015-01-01

    Competition among sperm to fertilize oocytes is a ubiquitous feature of sexual reproduction as well as a profoundly important aspect of sexual selection. However, little is known about the cellular mechanisms sperm use to gain competitive advantage or how these mechanisms are regulated genetically. In this study, we utilize a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify a gene, comp-1, whose function is specifically required in competitive contexts. We show that comp-1 functions in sperm to modulate their migration through and localization within the reproductive tract, thereby promoting their access to oocytes. Contrary to previously described models, comp-1 mutant sperm show no defects in size or velocity, thereby defining a novel pathway for preferential usage. Our results indicate not only that sperm functional traits can influence the outcome of sperm competition, but also that these traits can be modulated in a context-dependent manner depending on the presence of competing sperm. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05423.001 PMID:25789512

  18. Male crickets adjust ejaculate quality with both risk and intensity of sperm competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Leigh W; Denholm, Amy; Jackson, Chantelle; Levy, Esther; Madon, Ewa

    2007-10-22

    Sperm competition theory predicts that males should increase their expenditure on the ejaculate with increasing risk of sperm competition, but decrease their expenditure with increasing intensity. There is accumulating evidence for sperm competition theory, based on examinations of testes size and/or the numbers of sperm ejaculated. However, recent studies suggest that ejaculate quality can also be subject to selection by sperm competition. We used experimental manipulations of the risk and intensity of sperm competition in the cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus. We found that males produced ejaculates with a greater percentage of live sperm when they had encountered a rival male prior to mating. However, when mating with a female that presented a high intensity of sperm competition, males did not respond to risk, but produced ejaculates with a reduced percentage of live sperm. Our data suggest that males exhibit a fine-tuned hierarchy of responses to these cues of sperm competition.

  19. Sperm quality but not relatedness predicts sperm competition success in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehlis, Marion; Rahn, Anna K; Bakker, Theo C M

    2015-04-26

    Mating between close relatives often leads to a reduction of an individual's fitness, due to an increased expression of deleterious alleles. Thus, in many animal taxa pre- as well as postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms have evolved. An increased risk of inbreeding and hence a loss of genetic variation may occur during founder events as in most cases only few individuals establish a new population. The threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is a small externally fertilizing fish species subject to strong sperm competition. Sticklebacks inhabit both marine and freshwater environments and anadromous populations have repeatedly established new genetically less diverse freshwater populations. Previous studies showed that anadromous sticklebacks strongly suffer from inbreeding depression and when given the choice females prefer to mate with unrelated males. The present study aimed to address whether there exists a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism solely based on sperm-egg interactions in sperm competition experiments. We used F1 individuals that originated either from a large, genetically heterogeneous anadromous population or from a small, genetically less diverse freshwater population. For each population, eggs of two different females were in vitro fertilized by the same two males' sperm in a paired study design. In the main experiment one male was the female's full-sib brother and in the control experiment all individuals were unrelated. The results revealed that fertilization success was independent of relatedness in both populations suggesting a general lack of a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism. Instead, male quality (i.e. sperm morphology) predicted paternity success during competitive fertilization trials. In sticklebacks, there is no evidence for postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance. Sperm morphology predicted paternity instead, thus sperm quality traits are under strong sexual selection, presumably driven by the

  20. Competition between the sperm of a single male can increase the evolutionary rate of haploid expressed genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezawa, Kiyoshi; Innan, Hideki

    2013-07-01

    The population genetic behavior of mutations in sperm genes is theoretically investigated. We modeled the processes at two levels. One is the standard population genetic process, in which the population allele frequencies change generation by generation, depending on the difference in selective advantages. The other is the sperm competition during each genetic transmission from one generation to the next generation. For the sperm competition process, we formulate the situation where a huge number of sperm with alleles A and B, produced by a single heterozygous male, compete to fertilize a single egg. This "minimal model" demonstrates that a very slight difference in sperm performance amounts to quite a large difference between the alleles' winning probabilities. By incorporating this effect of paternity-sharing sperm competition into the standard population genetic process, we show that fierce sperm competition can enhance the fixation probability of a mutation with a very small phenotypic effect at the single-sperm level, suggesting a contribution of sperm competition to rapid amino acid substitutions in haploid-expressed sperm genes. Considering recent genome-wide demonstrations that a substantial fraction of the mammalian sperm genes are haploid expressed, our model could provide a potential explanation of rapid evolution of sperm genes with a wide variety of functions (as long as they are expressed in the haploid phase). Another advantage of our model is that it is applicable to a wide range of species, irrespective of whether the species is externally fertilizing, polygamous, or monogamous. The theoretical result was applied to mammalian data to estimate the selection intensity on nonsynonymous mutations in sperm genes.

  1. Sperm competition games when males invest in paternal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Requena, Gustavo S; Alonzo, Suzanne H

    2017-08-16

    Sperm competition games investigate how males partition limited resources between pre- and post-copulatory competition. Although extensive research has explored how various aspects of mating systems affect this allocation, male allocation between mating, fertilization and parental effort has not previously been considered. Yet, paternal care can be energetically expensive and males are generally predicted to adjust their parental effort in response to expected paternity. Here, we incorporate parental effort into sperm competition games, particularly exploring how the relationship between paternal care and offspring survival affects sperm competition and the relationship between paternity and paternal care. Our results support existing expectations that (i) fertilization effort should increase with female promiscuity and (ii) paternal care should increase with expected paternity. However, our analyses also reveal that the cost of male care can drive the strength of these patterns. When paternal behaviour is energetically costly, increased allocation to parental effort constrains allocation to fertilization effort. As paternal care becomes less costly, the association between paternity and paternal care weakens and may even be absent. By explicitly considering variation in sperm competition and the cost of male care, our model provides an integrative framework for predicting the interaction between paternal care and patterns of paternity. © 2017 The Author(s).

  2. Sperm competition risk drives rapid ejaculate adjustments mediated by seminal fluid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Michael J; Steeves, Tammy E; Gemmell, Neil J; Rosengrave, Patrice C

    2017-10-31

    In many species, males can make rapid adjustments to ejaculate performance in response to sperm competition risk; however, the mechanisms behind these changes are not understood. Here, we manipulate male social status in an externally fertilising fish, chinook salmon ( Oncorhynchus tshawytscha ), and find that in less than 48 hr, males can upregulate sperm velocity when faced with an increased risk of sperm competition. Using a series of in vitro sperm manipulation and competition experiments, we show that rapid changes in sperm velocity are mediated by seminal fluid and the effect of seminal fluid on sperm velocity directly impacts paternity share and therefore reproductive success. These combined findings, completely consistent with sperm competition theory, provide unequivocal evidence that sperm competition risk drives plastic adjustment of ejaculate quality, that seminal fluid harbours the mechanism for the rapid adjustment of sperm velocity and that fitness benefits accrue to males from such adjustment.

  3. Evolutionary Modeling Predicts a Decrease in Postcopulatory Sperm Viability as a Response to Increasing Levels of Sperm Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engqvist, Leif

    Sperm competition has been found to have a strong influence on the evolution of many male and female reproductive traits. Theoretical models have shown that, with increasing levels of sperm competition, males are predicted to increase ejaculate investment, and there is ample empirical evidence

  4. On sperm competition games: raffles and roles revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesterton-Gibbons, M

    1999-08-01

    In principle there are two approaches to modelling a trade-off between the positive and negative outcomes of a behavior: after suitably defining a value for the behavior in the absence of any trade-off, one can either multiply that value by an appropriate discount or subtract an appropriate cost. In a prospective analysis of sperm competition, Parker (Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B (1990) 242, 120-126) adopted the multiplicative approach to model the trade-off between the value of a mating and the cost of its acquisition. He obtained two paradoxical results. First, if two males 'know' whether they are first or second to mate, but these roles are assigned randomly, then sperm numbers should be the same for both males whether the 'raffle' for fertilization is fair or unfair. Second, if mating order is constant, then a favored male should expend less on sperm. His results are puzzling not only in terms of intuition about nature, but also in terms of his model's consistency. In other words, they present both an external and an internal paradox. Parker assumed the fairness of the raffle to a disfavored male to be independent of how much sperm a favored male deposits. This article both generalizes Parker's analysis by allowing fairness to decrease with sperm expenditure by the favored male and compares Parker's results to those obtained by the additive approach. In many respects, results are similar. Nevertheless, if the costs of mating are assumed to increase with sperm expenditure but not to depend on the role in which sperm is expended, as Parker assumed, then the additive approach is more fundamentally correct. In particular, Parker's constant-role paradox is an artifact of his approach. His random-role paradox is internally rationalized in terms of standard microeconomic theory. When fairness decreases, however slightly, with sperm expenditure by the favored male, both models demonstrate that the evolutionarily stable strategy is for more sperm to be deposited during a

  5. Sexual selection, germline mutation rate and sperm competition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Møller AP

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An important component of sexual selection arises because females obtain viability benefits for their offspring from their mate choice. Females choosing extra-pair fertilization generally favor males with exaggerated secondary sexual characters, and extra-pair paternity increases the variance in male reproductive success. Furthermore, females are assumed to benefit from 'good genes' from extra-pair sires. How additive genetic variance in such viability genes is maintained despite strong directional selection remains an evolutionary enigma. We propose that sexual selection is associated with elevated mutation rates, changing the balance between mutation and selection, thereby increasing variance in fitness and hence the benefits to be obtained from good genes sexual selection. Two hypotheses may account for such elevated mutation: (1 Increased sperm production associated with sperm competition may increase mutation rate. (2 Mutator alleles increase mutation rates that are revealed by the expression of condition-dependent secondary sexual characters used by choosy females during their mate choice. M Petrie has independently developed the idea that mutator alleles may account for the maintenance of genetic variation in viability despite strong directional selection. Results A comparative study of birds revealed a positive correlation between mutation rate at minisatellite loci and extra-pair paternity, but not between mutation rate and relative testes mass which is a measure of relative sperm production. Minisatellite mutation rates were not related to longevity, suggesting a meiotic rather than a mitotic origin of mutations. Conclusion We found evidence of increased mutation rate in species with more intense sexual selection. Increased mutation was not associated with increased sperm production, and we suggest that species with intense sexual selection may maintain elevated mutation rates because sexual selection continuously

  6. On the relative effect of spawning asynchrony, sperm quantity and sperm quality on paternity under sperm competition in an external fertilizer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torvald Blikra Egeland

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available How much of a fitness benefit is obtained by dominant males of external fertilizers from releasing ejaculates in synchrony with female egg-release when engaging in sperm competition, and what is the most important sperm trait for paternity in these situations? The Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus is an external fertilizer experiencing intense male-male competition over reproductive opportunities including sperm competition. To compensate for their disadvantage the sneaker males, which often spawn out of synchrony with the female, produce more and faster sperm than the guarding males. We used controlled in vitro fertilization trials with experimentally produced dominant and subordinate, sneaker males to test what effect relative synchrony in gamete release, sperm quality (i.e., motility and velocity and sperm quantity have on a male’s fertilization success in pair-wise sperm competitions. When the sneaker males released ejaculates after the guarding male there was no overall difference in fertilization success. The quality (i.e., motility and velocity of a male’s sperm relative to that of the competing male was the best predictor of male fertilization success regardless of their mating tactic and spawning synchrony. The relative number of sperm cells also had an effect on fertilization success, but mainly when the dominant and sneaker male ejaculated synchronously. Our close imitation of natural sperm competition in charr shows that the sneaker males of external fertilizing species may fully compensate for their disadvantaged mating role by producing ejaculates of higher quality - an adjustment strangely not met by dominants.

  7. Maternal effects, but no good or compatible genes for sperm competitiveness in Australian crickets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Damian K; Nystrand, Magdalena; Simmons, Leigh W

    2010-05-01

    Explanations for the evolution of polyandry often center on the idea that females garner genetic benefits for their offspring by mating multiply. Furthermore, postcopulatory processes are thought to be fundamental to enabling polyandrous females to screen for genetic quality. Much attention has focused on the potential for polyandrous females to accrue such benefits via a sexy- or good-sperm mechanism, whereby additive variation exists among males in sperm competitiveness. Likewise, attention has focused on an alternative model, in which offspring quality (in this context, the sperm competitiveness of sons) hinges on an interaction between parental haplotypes (genetic compatibility). Sperm competitiveness that is contingent on parental compatibility will exhibit nonadditive genetic variation. We tested these models in the Australian cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus, using a design that allowed us to partition additive, nonadditive genetic, and parental variance for sperm competitiveness. We found an absence of additive and nonadditive genetic variance in this species, challenging the direct relevance of either model to the evolution of sperm competitiveness in particular, and polyandry in general. Instead, we found maternal effects that were possibly sex-linked or cytoplasmically linked. We also found effects of focal male age on sperm competitiveness, with small increments in age conferring more competitive sperm.

  8. Sperm competition in humans: mate guarding behavior negatively correlates with ejaculate quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leivers, Samantha; Rhodes, Gillian; Simmons, Leigh W

    2014-01-01

    In species where females mate with multiple males, the sperm from these males must compete to fertilise available ova. Sexual selection from sperm competition is expected to favor opposing adaptations in males that function either in the avoidance of sperm competition (by guarding females from rival males) or in the engagement in sperm competition (by increased expenditure on the ejaculate). The extent to which males may adjust the relative use of these opposing tactics has been relatively neglected. Where males can successfully avoid sperm competition from rivals, one might expect a decrease in their expenditure on tactics for the engagement in sperm competition and vice versa. In this study, we examine the relationship between mate guarding and ejaculate quality using humans as an empirical model. We found that men who performed fewer mate guarding behaviors produced higher quality ejaculates, having a greater concentration of sperm, a higher percentage of motile sperm and sperm that swam faster and less erratically. These effects were found independent of lifestyle factors or factors related to male quality. Our findings suggest that male expenditure on mate guarding and on the ejaculate may represent alternative routes to paternity assurance in humans.

  9. Sperm competition, but not major histocompatibility divergence, drives differential fertilization success between alternative reproductive tactics in Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, S J; Helou, L; Pitcher, T E; Heath, J W; Heath, D D

    2018-01-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection processes, including sperm competition and cryptic female choice (CFC), can operate based on major histocompatibility (MH) genes. We investigated sperm competition between male alternative reproductive tactics [jack (sneaker) and hooknose (guard)] of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Using a full factorial design, we examined in vitro competitive fertilization success of paired jack and hooknose males at three time points after sperm activation (0, 15 and 60 s) to test for male competition, CFC and time effects on male fertilization success. We also examined egg-mediated CFC at two MH genes by examining both the relationship between competitive fertilization success and MH divergence as well as inheritance patterns of MH alleles in resulting offspring. We found that jacks sired more offspring than hooknose males at 0 s post-activation; however, jack fertilization success declined over time post-activation, suggesting a trade-off between sperm speed and longevity. Enhanced fertilization success of jacks (presumably via higher sperm quality) may serve to increase sneaker tactic competitiveness relative to dominant hooknose males. We also found evidence of egg-mediated CFC (i.e. female × male interaction) influencing competitive fertilization success; however, CFC was not acting on the MH genes as we found no relationship between fertilization success and MH II β 1 or MH I α 1 divergence and we found no deviations from Mendelian inheritance of MH alleles in the offspring. Our study provides insight into evolutionary mechanisms influencing variation in male mating success within alternative reproductive tactics, thus underscoring different strategies that males can adopt to attain success. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. Sperm swimming velocity predicts competitive fertilization success in the green swordtail Xiphophorus helleri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clelia Gasparini

    Full Text Available Sperm competition is expected to favour the evolution of traits that influence the performance of sperm when they compete to fertilize a female's eggs. While there is considerable evidence that selection favours increases in sperm numbers, much less is known about how sperm quality contributes towards competitive fertilization success. Here, we determine whether variation in sperm quality influences competitive fertilization success in the green swordtail Xiphophorus helleri, a highly promiscuous livebearing fish. We use artificial insemination as a method of controlled sperm delivery and show that sperm swimming velocity is the primary determinant of fertilization success when ejaculates from two males compete to fertilize a female's eggs. By contrast, we found no evidence that sperm length had any effect on siring success. We also found no evidence that pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits were phenotypically integrated in this species, suggesting that the previous observation that reproductive skew favours males with high mating rates is unlikely to be due to any direct association between sperm quality and male sexual ornamentation.

  11. Sperm competition and sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites : A new look at Charnov's invariance principle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pen, I.R.; Weissing, F.J.

    Recently, Charnov (1996) investigated the consequences of sperm competition for optimal sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites. Charnov argued that the optimal sex allocation strategy can be derived on the basis of the 'sperm displacement rule'; that is, the function describing the

  12. Feed-backs among inbreeding, inbreeding depression in sperm traits, and sperm competition can drive evolution of costly polyandry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocedi, Greta; Reid, Jane M

    2017-12-01

    Ongoing ambitions are to understand the evolution of costly polyandry and its consequences for species ecology and evolution. Emerging patterns could stem from feed-back dynamics between the evolving mating system and its genetic environment, defined by interactions among kin including inbreeding. However, such feed-backs are rarely considered in nonselfing systems. We use a genetically explicit model to demonstrate a mechanism by which inbreeding depression can select for polyandry to mitigate the negative consequences of mating with inbred males, rather than to avoid inbreeding, and to elucidate underlying feed-backs. Specifically, given inbreeding depression in sperm traits, costly polyandry evolved to ensure female fertility, without requiring explicit inbreeding avoidance. Resulting sperm competition caused evolution of sperm traits and further mitigated the negative effect of inbreeding depression on female fertility. The evolving mating system fed back to decrease population-wide homozygosity, and hence inbreeding. However, the net overall decrease was small due to compound effects on the variances in sex-specific reproductive success and paternity skew. Purging of deleterious mutations did not eliminate inbreeding depression in sperm traits or hence selection for polyandry. Overall, our model illustrates that polyandry evolution, both directly and through sperm competition, might facilitate evolutionary rescue for populations experiencing sudden increases in inbreeding. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Linear models for assessing mechanisms of sperm competition: the trouble with transformations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggert, Anne-Katrin; Reinhardt, Klaus; Sakaluk, Scott K

    2003-01-01

    Although sperm competition is a pervasive selective force shaping the reproductive tactics of males, the mechanisms underlying different patterns of sperm precedence remain obscure. Parker et al. (1990) developed a series of linear models designed to identify two of the more basic mechanisms: sperm lotteries and sperm displacement; the models can be tested experimentally by manipulating the relative numbers of sperm transferred by rival males and determining the paternity of offspring. Here we show that tests of the model derived for sperm lotteries can result in misleading inferences about the underlying mechanism of sperm precedence because the required inverse transformations may lead to a violation of fundamental assumptions of linear regression. We show that this problem can be remedied by reformulating the model using the actual numbers of offspring sired by each male, and log-transforming both sides of the resultant equation. Reassessment of data from a previous study (Sakaluk and Eggert 1996) using the corrected version of the model revealed that we should not have excluded a simple sperm lottery as a possible mechanism of sperm competition in decorated crickets, Gryllodes sigillatus.

  14. Socially cued seminal fluid gene expression mediates responses in ejaculate quality to sperm competition risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Leigh W; Lovegrove, Maxine

    2017-08-30

    There is considerable evidence that males will increase the number of sperm ejaculated in response to sperm competition risk. However, whether they have the capacity to adjust seminal fluid components of the ejaculate has received less attention. Male crickets ( Teleogryllus oceanicus ) have been shown to adjust the viability of sperm in their ejaculate in response to sperm competition risk. Here we show that socially mediated plasticity in sperm viability is probably due, at least in part, to male adjustments in the protein composition of the seminal fluid. Seven seminal fluid protein genes were found to have an increased expression in males exposed to rival calls. Increased expression of these genes was correlated with increased sperm viability in whole ejaculates, and gene knockdown confirmed that at least one of these proteins promotes sperm viability. Our results lend support for recent theoretical models that predict complex responses in male allocation to seminal fluid composition in response to sperm competition risk. © 2017 The Author(s).

  15. Ejaculate quality and constraints in relation to sperm competition levels among eutherian mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüpold, Stefan

    2013-10-01

    The outcome of sperm competition is influenced by the relative quantity and quality of sperm among competing ejaculates. Whereas it is well established that individual ejaculate traits evolve rapidly under postcopulatory sexual selection, little is known about other factors that might influence the evolution of ejaculates. For example, the metabolic rate is likely to affect the sperm production rate and the cellular activity or metabolism of sperm, and it has recently been suggested to constrain the evolution of sperm length in large but not small mammals. I thus examined in eutherian mammals how ejaculate quality traits vary with one another and with testis mass, body size, and metabolism. I found all ejaculate traits to covary positively with one another and to increase with relative testis mass. When controlling for testis mass, small-bodied species showed superior sperm quality (but not sperm number). Furthermore, sperm motility and viability were positively associated with the mass-corrected metabolic rate, but the percentage of morphologically normal and acrosome-intact sperm were not. These results indicate that body size and the energy budget may also influence the evolution of ejaculate quality, although these influences appear to vary among traits. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Inbreeding depresses sperm competitiveness, but not fertilization or mating success in male Tribolium castaneum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalczyk, Łukasz; Martin, Oliver Y.; Millard, Anna L.; Emerson, Brent C.; Gage, Matthew J. G.

    2010-01-01

    As populations decline to levels where reproduction among close genetic relatives becomes more probable, subsequent increases in homozygous recessive deleterious expression and/or loss of heterozygote advantage can lead to inbreeding depression. Here, we measure how inbreeding across replicate lines of the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum impacts on male reproductive fitness in the absence or presence of male–male competition. Effects on male evolution from mating pattern were removed by enforcing monogamous mating throughout. After inbreeding across eight generations, we found that male fertility in the absence of competition was unaffected. However, we found significant inbreeding depression of sperm competitiveness: non-inbred males won 57 per cent of fertilizations in competition, while inbred equivalents only sired 42 per cent. We also found that the P2 ‘offence’ role in sperm competition was significantly more depressed under inbreeding than sperm ‘defence’ (P1). Mating behaviour did not explain these differences, and there was no difference in the viability of offspring sired by inbred or non-inbred males. Sperm length variation was significantly greater in the ejaculates of inbred males. Our results show that male ability to achieve normal fertilization success was not depressed under strong inbreeding, but that inbreeding depression in these traits occurred when conditions of sperm competition were generated. PMID:20554548

  17. Enhancement of mouse sperm motility by trophinin-binding peptide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Park Seong

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trophinin is an intrinsic membrane protein that forms a complex in the cytoplasm with bystin and tastin, linking it microtubule-associated motor dynein (ATPase in some cell types. Previously, we found that human sperm tails contain trophinin, bystin and tastin proteins, and that trophinin-binding GWRQ (glycine, tryptophan, arginine, glutamine peptide enhanced motility of human sperm. Methods Immunohistochemistry was employed to determine trophinin protein in mouse spermatozoa from wild type mouse, by using spermatozoa from trophinin null mutant mice as a negative control. Multivalent 8-branched GWRQ (glycine, tryptophan, arginine, glutamine peptide or GWRQ-MAPS, was chemically synthesized, purified by HPLC and its structure was confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Effect of GWRQ-MAPS on mouse spermatozoa from wild type and trophinin null mutant was assessed by a computer-assisted semen analyzer (CASA. Results Anti-trophinin antibody stained the principal (central piece of the tail of wild type mouse sperm, whereas the antibody showed no staining on trophinin null sperm. Phage particles displaying GWRQ bound to the principal piece of sperm tail from wild type but not trophinin null mice. GWRQ-MAPS enhanced motility of spermatozoa from wild type but not trophinin null mice. CASA showed that GWRQ-MAPS enhanced both progressive motility and rapid motility in wild type mouse sperm. Conclusions Present study established the expression of trophinin in the mouse sperm tail and trophinin-dependent effect of GWRQ-MAPS on sperm motility. GWRQ causes a significant increase in sperm motility.

  18. Sneaker "jack" males outcompete dominant "hooknose" males under sperm competition in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Brent; Conti, David V; Dean, Matthew D

    2013-12-01

    In a variety of taxa, males deploy alternative reproductive tactics to secure fertilizations. In many species, small "sneaker" males attempt to steal fertilizations while avoiding encounters with larger, more aggressive, dominant males. Sneaker males usually face a number of disadvantages, including reduced access to females and the higher likelihood that upon ejaculation, their sperm face competition from other males. Nevertheless, sneaker males represent an evolutionarily stable strategy under a wide range of conditions. Game theory suggests that sneaker males compensate for these disadvantages by investing disproportionately in spermatogenesis, by producing more sperm per unit body mass (the "fair raffle") and/or by producing higher quality sperm (the "loaded raffle"). Here, we test these models by competing sperm from sneaker "jack" males against sperm from dominant "hooknose" males in Chinook salmon. Using two complementary approaches, we reject the fair raffle in favor of the loaded raffle and estimate that jack males were ∼1.35 times as likely as hooknose males to fertilize eggs under controlled competitive conditions. Interestingly, the direction and magnitude of this skew in paternity shifted according to individual female egg donors, suggesting cryptic female choice could moderate the outcomes of sperm competition in this externally fertilizing species.

  19. The genetic basis of traits regulating sperm competition and polyandry: can selection favour the evolution of good- and sexy-sperm?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jonathan P; Simmons, Leigh W

    2008-09-01

    The good-sperm and sexy-sperm (GS-SS) hypotheses predict that female multiple mating (polyandry) can fuel sexual selection for heritable male traits that promote success in sperm competition. A major prediction generated by these models, therefore, is that polyandry will benefit females indirectly via their sons' enhanced fertilization success. Furthermore, like classic 'good genes' and 'sexy son' models for the evolution of female preferences, GS-SS processes predict a genetic correlation between genes for female mating frequency (analogous to the female preference) and those for traits influencing fertilization success (the sexually selected traits). We examine the premise for these predictions by exploring the genetic basis of traits thought to influence fertilization success and female mating frequency. We also highlight recent debates that stress the possible genetic constraints to evolution of traits influencing fertilization success via GS-SS processes, including sex-linked inheritance, nonadditive effects, interacting parental genotypes, and trade-offs between integrated ejaculate components. Despite these possible constraints, the available data suggest that male traits involved in sperm competition typically exhibit substantial additive genetic variance and rapid evolutionary responses to selection. Nevertheless, the limited data on the genetic variation in female mating frequency implicate strong genetic maternal effects, including X-linkage, which is inconsistent with GS-SS processes. Although the relative paucity of studies on the genetic basis of polyandry does not allow us to draw firm conclusions about the evolutionary origins of this trait, the emerging pattern of sex linkage in genes for polyandry is more consistent with an evolutionary history of antagonistic selection over mating frequency. We advocate further development of GS-SS theory to take account of the complex evolutionary dynamics imposed by sexual conflict over mating frequency.

  20. Rival male relatedness does not affect ejaculate allocation as predicted by sperm competition theory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa L Thomas

    Full Text Available When females are sexually promiscuous, the intensity of sperm competition for males depends on how many partners females mate with. To maximize fitness, males should adjust their copulatory investment in relation to this intensity. However, fitness costs associated with sperm competition may not only depend on how many males a female has mated with, but also how related rival males are. According to theoretical predictions, males should adjust their copulatory investment in response to the relatedness of their male rival, and transfer more sperm to females that have first mated with a non-sibling male than females that have mated to a related male. Here, for the first time, we empirically test this theory using the Australian field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus. We expose male crickets to sperm competition from either a full sibling or non-sibling male, by using both the presence of a rival male and the rival male's actual competing ejaculate as cues. Contrary to predictions, we find that males do not adjust ejaculates in response to the relatedness of their male rival. Instead, males with both full-sibling and non-sibling rivals allocate sperm of similar quality to females. This lack of kin biased behaviour is independent of any potentially confounding effect of strong competition between close relatives; kin biased behaviour was absent irrespective of whether males were raised in full sibling or mixed relatedness groups.

  1. Semen Displacement as a Sperm Competition Strategy in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon G. Gallup

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available We examine some of the implications of the possibility that the human penis may have evolved to compete with sperm from other males by displacing rival semen from the cervical end of the vagina prior to ejaculation. The semen displacement hypothesis integrates considerable information about genital morphology and human reproductive behavior, and can be used to generate a number of interesting predictions.

  2. Female Remating, Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection in Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Dr. Shree Ram; Singh, Dr. B N; Hoenigsberg, Dr. H F

    2002-01-01

    Female remating is the fundamental to evolutionary biology as it determines the pattern of sexual selection and sexual conflict. Remating in females is an important component of Drosophila mating systems because it is associated with pattern of sperm usage and sexual selection. Remating is common in females of many species of Drosophila in both natural and laboratory populations. It is reported in many insect species and vertebrates also. Female remating is prerequisite for the ...

  3. Sperm competition in tropical versus temperate zone birds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Albrecht, Tomáš; Kleven, O.; Kreisinger, J.; Laskemoen, T.; Omotoriogun, T. C.; Ottosson, U.; Reif, J.; Sedláček, O.; Hořák, D.; Robertson, R. J.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 280, č. 1752 (2013), s. 20122434 ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/1617; GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : clutch size * extra-pair paternity * life history * post-copulatory sexual selection * sperm phenotype Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 5.292, year: 2013

  4. Sperm Competition Risk and Sexual Coercion Predict Copulatory Duration in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Barbaro

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A man whose romantic partner is sexually unfaithful is at risk of sperm competition and cuckoldry—unwitting investment in offspring to whom he is genetically unrelated. Men, therefore, may have evolved mechanisms to solve the adaptive problems of sperm competition and cuckoldry. The current research investigates another potential anti-cuckoldry tactic: reducing in-pair copulation (IPC duration, thereby more quickly placing his sperm into competition. We hypothesize that IPC duration will be negatively correlated with female infidelity (Hypothesis 1. We further hypothesize that IPC duration will be negatively correlated with sexual coercion (Hypothesis 2. Results of Study 1 (men’s reports, n = 410 indicate that both men’s perceptions of female infidelity and men’s sexual coercion predict shorter IPC duration. Results of Study 2 (women’s reports, n = 455 did not provide statistical support for the study hypotheses. The current research provides an initial investigation of men’s adjustment of copulatory duration and suggests that men reduce IPC duration and ejaculate more quickly at the couple’s most recent copulation, in response to greater risk of sperm competition and in the context of sexual coercion.

  5. Polyandrous females provide sons with more competitive sperm: Support for the sexy-sperm hypothesis in the rattlebox moth (Utetheisa ornatrix).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Andrea L; Hook, Kristin A; Reeve, H Kern; Iyengar, Vikram K

    2016-01-01

    Given the costs of multiple mating, why has female polyandry evolved? Utetheisa ornatrix moths are well suited for studying multiple mating in females because females are highly polyandrous over their life span, with each male mate transferring a substantial spermatophore with both genetic and nongenetic material. The accumulation of resources might explain the prevalence of polyandry in this species, but another, not mutually exclusive, possibility is that females mate multiply to increase the probability that their sons will inherit more-competitive sperm. This latter "sexy-sperm" hypothesis posits that female multiple mating and male sperm competitiveness coevolve via a Fisherian runaway process. We tested the sexy-sperm hypothesis by using competitive double matings to compare the sperm competition success of sons of polyandrous versus monandrous females. In accordance with sexy-sperm theory, we found that in 511 offspring across 17 families, the male whose polyandrous mother mated once with each of three different males sired significantly more of all total offspring (81%) than did the male whose monandrous mother was mated thrice to a single male. Interestingly, sons of polyandrous mothers had a significantly biased sex ratio of their brood toward sons, also in support of the hypothesis. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  6. Bigger testes increase paternity in a simultaneous hermaphrodite, independently of the sperm competition level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vellnow, N; Marie-Orleach, L; Zadesenets, K S; Schärer, L

    2018-02-01

    Hermaphroditic animals face the fundamental evolutionary optimization problem of allocating their resources to their male vs. female reproductive function (e.g. testes and sperm vs. ovaries and eggs), and this optimal sex allocation can be affected by both pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. For example, local sperm competition (LSC) - the competition between related sperm for the fertilization of a partner's ova - occurs in small mating groups and can favour a female-biased sex allocation, because, under LSC, investment into sperm production is predicted to show diminishing fitness returns. Here, we test whether higher testis investment increases an individual's paternity success under sperm competition, and whether the strength of this effect diminishes when LSC is stronger, as predicted by sex allocation theory. We created two subsets of individuals of the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum lignano - by sampling worms from either the highest or lowest quartile of the testis investment distribution - and estimated their paternity success in group sizes of either three (strong LSC) or eight individuals (weak LSC). Specifically, using transgenic focal individuals expressing a dominant green-fluorescent protein marker, we showed that worms with high testis investment sired 22% more offspring relative to those with low investment, corroborating previous findings in M. lignano and other species. However, the strength of this effect was not significantly modulated by the experienced group size, contrasting theoretical expectations of more strongly diminishing fitness returns under strong LSC. We discuss the possible implications for the evolutionary maintenance of hermaphroditism in M. lignano. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  7. Sperm Precedence in Zebra Finches Does Not Require Special Mechanisms of Sperm Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colegrave, N.; Birkhead, T.R.; Lessells, C.M.

    1995-01-01

    Competition between the spermatozoa of different males to fertilize the eggs of a single female acts as a selection pressure on the behaviour of males and females. However, quantitative predictions about behaviour fan only be made if the paternity consequences of different patterns of copulation are

  8. Sperm competitive ability and genetic relatedness in Drosophila melanogaster: similarity breeds contempt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Paul D; Hammock, Brian A; Promislow, Daniel E L

    2002-09-01

    Offspring of close relatives often suffer severe fitness consequences. Previous studies have demonstrated that females, when given a choice, will choose to avoid mating with closely related males. But where opportunities for mate choice are limited or kin recognition is absent, precopulatory mechanisms may not work. In this case, either sex could reduce the risks of inbreeding through mechanisms that occur during or after copulation. During mating, males or females could commit fewer gametes when mating with a close relative. After mating, females could offset the effects of mating with a closely related male through cryptic choice. Few prior studies of sperm competition have examined the effect of genetic similarity, however, and what studies do exist have yielded equivocal results. In an effort to resolve this issue, we measured the outcome of sperm competition when female Drosophila melanogaster were mated to males of four different degrees of genetic relatedness and then to a standardized competitor. We provide the strongest evidence to date that sperm competitive ability is negatively correlated with relatedness, even after controlling for inbreeding depression.

  9. Sperm structure and motility in the eusocial naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber: a case of degenerative orthogenesis in the absence of sperm competition?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van der Horst Gerhard

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have studied sperm structure and motility in a eusocial rodent where reproduction is typically restricted to a single male and behaviourally dominant queen. Males rarely compete for access to the queen during her estrus cycle, suggesting little or no role for sperm competition. Results Our results revealed an atypical mammalian sperm structure with spermatozoa from breeding, subordinate and disperser males being degenerate and almost completely lacking a "mammalian phylogenetic stamp". Sperm structure is characterized by extreme polymorphism with most spermatozoa classified as abnormal. Sperm head shapes include round, oval, elongated, lobed, asymmetrical and amorphous. At the ultrastructural level, the sperm head contains condensed to granular chromatin with large open spaces between the chromatin. Nuclear chromatin seems disorganized since chromatin condensation is irregular and extremely inconsistent. The acrosome forms a cap (ca 35% over the anterior part of the head. A well defined nuclear fossa and neck with five minor sets of banded protein structures are present. The midpiece is poorly organized and contains only 5 to 7 round to oval mitochondria. The flagellar pattern is 9+9+2. A distinct degenerative feature of the tail principal piece is the absence of the fibrous sheath. Only 7% motile spermatozoa were observed which had exceptionally slow swimming speeds. Conclusion In this species, sperm form has simplified and degenerated in many aspects and represents a specialised form of degenerative orthogenesis at the cellular level.

  10. Trigonellae Semen Enhances Sperm Motility and the Expression of the Cation Sperm Channel Proteins in Mouse Testes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Do Rim Kim

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetic defects during spermatogenesis can lead to a reduction in sperm motility and cause male infertility. The cation channels of sperm (CatSper play a role in the regulation of hyperactivated sperm motility in mouse testes. The effect of Trigonellae Semen (TS on the male reproductive system and CatSper protein in mouse testes during spermatogenesis was examined. C57BL/c mice were divided into the following five groups: normal, cyclophosphamide- (CP- only treated (control group, and three groups treated with varying concentrations of TS with CP (100, 500, and 1000 mg/kg TS and 100 mg/kg CP. Real-time PCR, western blot analysis, and a testosterone immunoassay were performed to assess CatSper protein levels in the five groups. Additionally, sperm cell counts and motility were examined. Results indicate that sperm motility and sperm counts increased in the TS treated groups in a dose-dependent manner (p<0.01. CatSper levels were also significantly higher in the TS treated groups compared to that of the control group (p<0.001. Therefore, TS treatment could enhance sperm function by promoting spermatogenesis and the expression of CatSper proteins in mouse testes.

  11. Seminal fluid enhances sperm viability in the leafcutter ant Atta colombica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Baer, Boris

    2008-01-01

    The seminal fluid that accompanies sperm in ejaculates has been shown or suggested to affect sperm competition and paternity success of insects by preventing female remating, inducing oviposition, and forming mating plugs. In Atta leafcutter ants, queens have multiple mates but never remate later...

  12. A general description of additive and nonadditive elements of sperm competitiveness and their relation to male fertilization success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engqvist, Leif

    2013-05-01

    A complete understanding of male reproductive success, and thus sexual selection, often requires an insight into male success in sperm competition. Genuine conclusions on male sperm competitiveness can only be made in real competitive situations. However, statistical analyses of sperm competitiveness from fertilization success data have been shown to be problematic. Here, I first outline a comprehensive general description of the different additive and nonadditive elements relevant for the outcome of sperm competition staged between two males. Based on this description, I will highlight two main problems that are frequently encountered in experiments aiming at estimating sperm competitiveness. First, I focus on potential problems when using standardized competitors versus random mating trials, because trials with standardized competitors do not allow generalization if male-male interactions are important. Second, I illustrate the necessity to analyze data on the logit scale rather than on raw proportions, because only the logit scale allows a clean separation of additive and nonadditive effects (i.e., male × male and female × male interactions). © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution © 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Sneaker “jack” males outcompete dominant “hooknose” males under sperm competition in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Brent; Conti, David V; Dean, Matthew D

    2013-01-01

    In a variety of taxa, males deploy alternative reproductive tactics to secure fertilizations. In many species, small “sneaker” males attempt to steal fertilizations while avoiding encounters with larger, more aggressive, dominant males. Sneaker males usually face a number of disadvantages, including reduced access to females and the higher likelihood that upon ejaculation, their sperm face competition from other males. Nevertheless, sneaker males represent an evolutionarily stable strategy under a wide range of conditions. Game theory suggests that sneaker males compensate for these disadvantages by investing disproportionately in spermatogenesis, by producing more sperm per unit body mass (the “fair raffle”) and/or by producing higher quality sperm (the “loaded raffle”). Here, we test these models by competing sperm from sneaker “jack” males against sperm from dominant “hooknose” males in Chinook salmon. Using two complementary approaches, we reject the fair raffle in favor of the loaded raffle and estimate that jack males were ∼1.35 times as likely as hooknose males to fertilize eggs under controlled competitive conditions. Interestingly, the direction and magnitude of this skew in paternity shifted according to individual female egg donors, suggesting cryptic female choice could moderate the outcomes of sperm competition in this externally fertilizing species. PMID:24455130

  14. Postmating-prezygotic isolation between two allopatric populations of Drosophila montana: fertilisation success differs under sperm competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ala-Honkola, Outi; Ritchie, Michael G; Veltsos, Paris

    2016-03-01

    Postmating but prezygotic (PMPZ) interactions are increasingly recognized as a potentially important early-stage barrier in the evolution of reproductive isolation. A recent study described a potential example between populations of the same species: single matings between Drosophila montana populations resulted in differential fertilisation success because of the inability of sperm from one population (Vancouver) to penetrate the eggs of the other population (Colorado). As the natural mating system of D. montana is polyandrous (females remate rapidly), we set up double matings of all possible crosses between the same populations to test whether competitive effects between ejaculates influence this PMPZ isolation. We measured premating isolation in no-choice tests, female fecundity, fertility and egg-to-adult viability after single and double matings as well as second-male paternity success (P2). Surprisingly, we found no PMPZ reproductive isolation between the two populations under a competitive setting, indicating no difficulty of sperm from Vancouver males to fertilize Colorado eggs after double matings. While there were subtle differences in how P2 changed over time, suggesting that Vancouver males' sperm are somewhat less competitive in a first-male role within Colorado females, these effects did not translate into differences in overall P2. Fertilisation success can thus differ dramatically between competitive and noncompetitive conditions, perhaps because the males that mate second produce higher quality ejaculates in response to sperm competition. We suggest that unlike in more divergent species comparisons, where sperm competition typically increases reproductive isolation, ejaculate tailoring can reduce the potential for PMPZ isolation when recently diverged populations interbreed.

  15. Sneaker “jack” males outcompete dominant “hooknose” males under sperm competition in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    OpenAIRE

    Young, Brent; Conti, David V; Dean, Matthew D

    2013-01-01

    In a variety of taxa, males deploy alternative reproductive tactics to secure fertilizations. In many species, small “sneaker” males attempt to steal fertilizations while avoiding encounters with larger, more aggressive, dominant males. Sneaker males usually face a number of disadvantages, including reduced access to females and the higher likelihood that upon ejaculation, their sperm face competition from other males. Nevertheless, sneaker males represent an evolutionarily stable strategy un...

  16. Does the risk of sperm competition help explain cooperation between reproductive competitors? A study in the ocellated wrasse (Symphodus ocellatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiver, Kelly A; Alonzo, Suzanne H

    2013-03-01

    Although cooperating individuals may gain benefits, they risk being cheated by their allies. Therefore, to understand the persistence of cooperation by mutual benefits, it is important to document both the potential benefits of cooperation and the risks of cheating. We experimentally examined evidence of cooperation in the ocellated wrasse (Symphodus ocellatus), a fish species with males that exercise three reproductive strategies: satellite and sneaker males attempt to parasitically spawn in the nests of nesting males. Nesting males have been hypothesized to tolerate satellites as a result of satellite aid in defense against sneaker males and help in courting females. Here, we provide evidence that cooperation between reproductive competitors may arise in response to sperm competition from other males. After we experimentally removed satellites, nesting males had more sneakers at their nest and experienced a higher rate of sneaking when they spawned (increased sperm competition risk). When we experimentally distracted nesting males to prevent their acting aggressively toward satellites, satellites spawned with females and ate eggs in the nest. Our results suggest that nesting males and satellites gain fitness benefits of reduced direct reproductive and sperm competition through cooperation. However, nesting males risk losing paternity, while satellites experience increased aggression and must invest in aggression themselves (i.e., they act aggressively toward sneakers).

  17. Alfalfa weevil male: effect of γ-radiation and weevil age on mating competitiveness and sperm transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wollam, J.D.; Hower, A.A. Jr.

    1977-01-01

    Virgin male Hypera postica (Gyllenhal) were irradiated at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks of age. Alfalfa weevils from each age group were subjected to γ-radiation doses of 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 krads. Mating competitiveness was reduced by the 5 to 6 krad doses in all age groups except those 4 weeks old. Weevils irradiated at 1 week of age showed a reduction in competitiveness at doses above 2 krad. Radiation dose and age at irradiation had little noticeable effect on sperm transfer

  18. Enhancement of sperm motility and viability by turmeric by-product dietary supplementation in roosters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Wenjing; Kanno, Chihiro; Oshima, Eiki; Kuzuma, Yukiko; Kim, Sung Woo; Bai, Hanako; Takahashi, Masashi; Yanagawa, Yojiro; Nagano, Masashi; Wakamatsu, Jun-Ichi; Kawahara, Manabu

    2017-10-01

    Improving sperm motility and viability are major goals to improve efficiency in the poultry industry. In this study, the effects of supplemental dietary turmeric by-product (TBP) from commercial turmeric production on sperm motility, viability, and antioxidative status were examined in domestic fowl. Mature Rhode Island Red roosters were divided into two groups - controls (groupC) without TBP administration and test subjects (groupT) fed a basal diet supplemented with 0.8g of TBP/day in a temperature-controlled rearing facility (Experiment 1) and 1.6g/day under heat stress (Experiment 2) for 4 weeks. In Experiment 1, TBP dietary supplementation increased the sperm motility variables straight-line velocity, curvilinear velocity, and linearity based on a computer-assisted semen analysis, 2 weeks following TBP supplementation. In Experiment 2, using flow cytometry, sperm viability at 3 and 4 weeks following TBP supplementation was greater in Group T than C, and this increase was consistent with a reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production at 2 and 4 weeks. The results of both experiments clearly demonstrate that dietary supplementation with TBP enhanced sperm motility in the controlled-temperature conditions as well as sperm viability, and reduced ROS generation when heat stress prevailed. Considering its potential application in a range of environments, TBP may serve as an economical and potent antioxidant to improve rooster fertility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Effect of gamma irradiation on sperm activity, sperm viability and adult competitiveness of the pulse beetle Collosobruchus Chinensis L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roushdy, H.M.; Ahmed, M.Y.Y.; Abdel-Nasr, A.E.; Abdel-Rahman, A.M.; Haiba, I.M.H.

    1984-01-01

    When mature pupae of callosobruchus chinensis L. were treated with 7 krad, the resulting adults were sterile. Replacing normal males by irradiate ones in the normal population, decreases the egg hatchability. Hatchability decreased from 88.23% in the 1st 3 days to 32.44% after replacing normal males by sterile ones (in the 2nd 3 days). Insemination by normal males could approximately nullify insemination by irradiated males, as the egg hatchability increased from zero to 37.79% even after replacing the irradiated males by normal ones. Percent egg infertility of the eggs produced from newly emerged virgin females mated with sterile males was 100%. When males irradiated (1) with 7 krad as fully grown pupae were confined with unirradiated (U) males and females (1:1:1 ratio), infertility of the resulting eggs were 44.98%. The competitiveness value of irradiated males was 0.54. Males and females both treated as fully grown pupae with a sterilizing dose (7 krad) and confined with U males and U females at a 1 male :1 female :U male : female ratio caused 55.77% infertility in the resulting eggs. When the ratio of sterile males and females was increased to 5:5:1:1 or 10:10:1:1, the infertility reached 91.27% and 100.0% respectively. The percentage of actual infertility was less than expected for the ratios 1:1:1:1 and 5:5:1:1, but it was exceeded with the highest ratio used (10:10:1:1). The competitiveness value for this flooding ratio was 1.00 i.e., the sterile adults were fully competitive with the normal ones. These results indicated that irradiation with 7 krad, a sterilizing dose, did not decrease sexual competitiveness of adults. Also, the release of 1 males together with 1 female could give good results in controlling a population of the pulse beetle in an autocidal control program; and therefore, separation of the sexes prior to release is probably unnecessary

  20. Aviation Competition: Challenges in Enhancing Competition in Dominated Markets

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hecker, Jayetta

    2001-01-01

    ... reductions in fares and expansion of service. These benefits are largely attributable to increased competition--by the entry of both new airlines into the industry and established airlines into new markets...

  1. Male spiders reduce pre- and postmating sexual investment in response to sperm competition risk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuni, Cristina; Weber, Sabrina; Bilde, Trine

    2017-01-01

    food donations (i.e., nuptial gifts), pre- and postmating responses may be aligned, as nuptial gifts have the dual function of facilitating both mate acquisition and sperm transfer. In the spider Pisaura mirabilis, nuptial gifts consist of silk-wrapped prey. We tested whether males respond...

  2. The fate of received sperm in the reproductive tract of a hermaphroditic snail and its implications for fertilisation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koene, J.M.; Montagne-Wajer, K; Roelofs, D.; ter Maat, A.

    2009-01-01

    Multiple mating, sperm storage and internal fertilisation enhance sperm competition. The great pond snail can use stored sperm for over three months, and frequently mates with different partners. This hermaphrodite, Lymnaea stagnalis, can also self-fertilise and often produces egg masses containing

  3. Increased Expression of the Na,K-ATPase alpha4 Isoform Enhances Sperm Motility in Transgenic Mice1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, Tamara; Sanchez, Gladis; McDermott, Jeffrey P.; Nguyen, Anh-Nguyet; Kumar, T. Rajendra; Blanco, Gustavo

    2010-01-01

    The Na,K-ATPase alpha4 (ATP1A4) isoform is specifically expressed in male germ cells and is highly prevalent in spermatozoa. Although selective inhibition of alpha4 activity with ouabain has been shown to affect sperm motility, a more direct analysis of the role of this isoform in sperm movement has not yet been demonstrated. To establish this, we engineered transgenic mice that express the rat alpha4 isoform fused to green fluorescent protein in male germ cells, under the control of the mouse protamine 1 promoter. We showed that the rat Atp1a4 transgene is expressed in mouse spermatozoa and that it is localized to the sperm flagellum. In agreement with increased expression of the alpha4 isoform, sperm from transgenic mice displayed higher alpha4-specific Na,K-ATPase activity and binding of fluorescently labeled ouabain than wild-type mice. In contrast, expression and activity of ATP1A1 (alpha1), the other Na,K-ATPase alpha isoform present in sperm, remained unchanged. Similar to wild-type mice, mice expressing the alpha4 transgene exhibited normal testis and sperm morphology and no differences in fertility. However, compared to wild-type mice, sperm from transgenic mice displayed plasma membrane hyperpolarization and higher total and progressive motility. Other parameters of motility also increased, including straight-line, curvilinear, and average path velocities and amplitude of lateral head displacement. In addition, sperm from the transgenic mice showed enhanced sperm hyperactive motility, but no changes in progesterone-induced acrosome reaction. Altogether, these results provide new genetic evidence for the role of the ATP1A4 isoform in sperm motility, under both noncapacitating and capacitating conditions. PMID:20826726

  4. Competitive intelligence: An instrument to enhance South Africa’s competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilma Viviers

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The case for Competitive Intelligence (CI as an instrument that can enhance the competitiveness of South African companies and South Africa as a country is strong. Various global competitive rankings measurements have indicated over a number of years the areas in which competitiveness is lacking. Moreover, these rankings have indicated that South Africa has failed to improve its position year on year. The fact that the world is becoming increasingly competitive for South African entities is undisputed. Coupled with a fluctuating exchange rate and the country’s geographical proximity, this poses unique challenges facing South African managers who have to deal with various regulations and legislative matters. In order to create and sustain an effective knowledge economy and to enhance global competitiveness, South Africa however has to put appropriate strategies/measures in place to stimulate, encourage and grow knowledge practices. Competitive Intelligence (CI as a means of making more sense of the competitive business environment and to identify opportunities and risks in time to act upon can be effectively used as a means to enhance competitiveness. Valuable lessons from successful CI practices in the business sector and government can be learnt from elsewhere in the world. CI should be investigated and adapted for South Africa’s business environment. It is therefore the aim of this article to first attempt to describe the role of CI in enhancing competitiveness, specifically in South Africa and secondly, to stimulate thought on how to secure momentum in enhancing CI as an academic field by developing relevant CI courses as well as demonstrating the value of CI to companies in South Africa through research and collaboration between academics and the private and public sectors.

  5. An analysis of the proposed Airline Competition Enhancement Act

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Janice S.

    1990-01-01

    Approved for public release, distribution is unlimited This analysis examines problem issues in the passenger airline industry and determines how the proposed Airline Competition Enhancement Act would impact these issues. A summarization of the history of airline deregulation is followed by an assessment of the factors that are contributing to the call for re-regulation. From this assessment, recommendations for changes to the proposed Airline Competition Enhancement Act are made. Lieut...

  6. Honey bee males and queens use glandular secretions to enhance sperm viability before and after storage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Baer, Boris

    2009-01-01

    Internal fertilization requires live sperm to be transferred from male to female before egg fertilization. Both males and females assist the insemination process by providing sperm with glandular secretions, which have been inferred to contain subsets of proteins that maintain sperm viability. He...

  7. Promuovere la competitività europea (Enhancing European competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.A. CIAMPI

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Europe's bid to improve its competitive advantage is hampered by underutilization of its productive potential, as gleaned from its high unemployment rate, and the dissociation of economic growth and employment, where economic development is no longer accompanied by rise in employment. The Competitiveness Advisory Group addresses these issues in its work program and identifies sectors showing the greatest potential for enhancing competitive edge, among which are infrastructure, trade and investment. It also urges the implementation of key policy programs. The Group's proceedings and the main themes of its first two semi-annual reports (June and December 1995 are discussed.JEL: F00

  8. Sex allocation and investment into pre- and post-copulatory traits in simultaneous hermaphrodites: the role of polyandry and local sperm competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schärer, Lukas; Pen, Ido

    2013-03-05

    Sex allocation theory predicts the optimal allocation to male and female reproduction in sexual organisms. In animals, most work on sex allocation has focused on species with separate sexes and our understanding of simultaneous hermaphrodites is patchier. Recent theory predicts that sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites should strongly be affected by post-copulatory sexual selection, while the role of pre-copulatory sexual selection is much less clear. Here, we review sex allocation and sexual selection theory for simultaneous hermaphrodites, and identify several strong and potentially unwarranted assumptions. We then present a model that treats allocation to sexually selected traits as components of sex allocation and explore patterns of allocation when some of these assumptions are relaxed. For example, when investment into a male sexually selected trait leads to skews in sperm competition, causing local sperm competition, this is expected to lead to a reduced allocation to sperm production. We conclude that understanding the evolution of sex allocation in simultaneous hermaphrodites requires detailed knowledge of the different sexual selection processes and their relative importance. However, little is currently known quantitatively about sexual selection in simultaneous hermaphrodites, about what the underlying traits are, and about what drives and constrains their evolution. Future work should therefore aim at quantifying sexual selection and identifying the underlying traits along the pre- to post-copulatory axis.

  9. Domestic Wood Products Manufacturing Trends and Factors to Enhance Competitiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urs Buehlmann; Matthew Bumgardner; Albert Schuler; Rich Christianson; Rich Christianson

    2003-01-01

    There is little question that imports have captured a substantial portion of the domestic furniture market. However, there is much speculation and concern as to the future of this and related industries. This study sought to obtain industry perspectives of trends in domestic manufacturing and importing, and to identify factors that can enhance domestic competitiveness...

  10. Strategic Mergers of Strong Institutions to Enhance Competitive Advantage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harman, Grant; Harman, Kay

    2008-01-01

    Strategic mergers are formal combinations or amalgamations of higher education institutions with the aim of enhancing competitive advantage, or merging for "mutual growth". Recently, in a number of countries, there has been a decided shift from mergers initiated by governments, and dealing mainly with "problem" cases, towards…

  11. No evidence of trade-offs in the evolution of sperm numbers and sperm size in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourmente, M; Delbarco Trillo, J; Roldan, E R S

    2015-10-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection, in the form sperm competition, has influenced the evolution of several male reproductive traits. However, theory predicts that sperm competition would lead to trade-offs between numbers and size of spermatozoa because increased costs per cell would result in a reduction of sperm number if both traits share the same energetic budget. Theoretical models have proposed that, in large animals, increased sperm size would have minimal fitness advantage compared with increased sperm numbers. Thus, sperm numbers would evolve more rapidly than sperm size under sperm competition pressure. We tested in mammals whether sperm competition maximizes sperm numbers and size, and whether there is a trade-off between these traits. Our results showed that sperm competition maximizes sperm numbers in eutherian and metatherian mammals. There was no evidence of a trade-off between sperm numbers and sperm size in any of the two mammalian clades as we did not observe any significant relationship between sperm numbers and sperm size once the effect of sperm competition was taken into account. Maximization of both numbers and size in mammals may occur because each trait is crucial at different stages in sperm's life; for example size-determined sperm velocity is a key determinant of fertilization success. In addition, numbers and size may also be influenced by diverse energetic budgets required at different stages of sperm formation. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Unravelling anisogamy: egg size and ejaculate size mediate selection on morphology in free-swimming sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monro, Keyne; Marshall, Dustin J

    2016-07-13

    Gamete dimorphism (anisogamy) defines the sexes in most multicellular organisms. Theoretical explanations for its maintenance usually emphasize the size-related selection pressures of sperm competition and zygote survival, assuming that fertilization of all eggs precludes selection for phenotypes that enhance fertility. In external fertilizers, however, fertilization is often incomplete due to sperm limitation, and the risk of polyspermy weakens the advantage of high sperm numbers that is predicted to limit sperm size, allowing alternative selection pressures to target free-swimming sperm. We asked whether egg size and ejaculate size mediate selection on the free-swimming sperm of Galeolaria caespitosa, a marine tubeworm with external fertilization, by comparing relationships between sperm morphology and male fertility across manipulations of egg size and sperm density. Our results suggest that selection pressures exerted by these factors may aid the maintenance of anisogamy in external fertilizers by limiting the adaptive value of larger sperm in the absence of competition. In doing so, our study offers a more complete explanation for the stability of anisogamy across the range of sperm environments typical of this mating system and identifies new potential for the sexes to coevolve via mutual selection pressures exerted by gametes at fertilization. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE: THE ENHANCING ROLE OF ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING CAPABILITY

    OpenAIRE

    HAMAD, Zaina Mustafa Mahmoud; YOZGAT, Ugur

    2017-01-01

    Performinga strong intelligence grants an organization a guaranteeof long-term success. This paper investigates the enhancing effect of organizational learning capabilities on competitive intelligence atthe commercial banks in Jordan. A sample within top and middle managements was used.Measurement instrument validity and model fit were assessed before testinghypotheses. This study emphasizes the role learning capability plays inenhancing intelligence. Key findings support importance of organi...

  14. Variation in sperm morphology among Afrotropical sunbirds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Omotoriogun, T. C.; Laskemoen, T.; Rowe, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bowie, R. C. K.; Sedláček, O.; Hořák, D.; Ottosson, U.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 158, č. 1 (2016), s. 155-166 ISSN 0019-1019 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : comparative analysis * Nectariniidae * phylogenetic signal * sperm competition * sperm size Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.279, year: 2016

  15. Ethanol extract of the leaves of Psidium guajava Linn enhances sperm output in healthy Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akinola, O B; Oladosu, O S; Dosumu, O O

    2007-06-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS), among other factors, have been implicated in the aetiology of male infertility. Thus, the roles of antioxidants at improving sperm production and quality are being investigated. The present study was designed to assess the effect of the ethanol extract of fresh leaves of Psidium guajava Linn. on the sperm parameters of healthy male Wistar rats. A total of 18 rats, weighing between 108-124 g, were divided into 3 groups of 6 animals each. Animals in groups 1 and 2 were administered 250 mg/kg/d and 500 mg/kg/d of guava leaf extract (GLE) orally for 53 days respectively. Group 3 animals received normal saline. Sperm count increased from 56.2+/-0.3 (x10(6)) in the control to 57.1+/-0.2 (x10(6)) in group 1 animals, and from 56.2+/-0.3 (x10(6)) in the control to 72.3+/-0.4 (x10(6)) in group 2 animals. Similarly, dose-dependent increases in the percentages of motile spermatozoa were observed in GLE-treated animals compared to the control group. These findings suggest that the extracts of the leaves of Psidium guajava Linn. possess beneficial effects on sperm production and quality, and may thus improve the sperm parameters of infertile males with oligospermia and nonobstructive azoospermia.

  16. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Yoko; Shaw, Paul; Fujiwara, Eiji; Shiba, Kogiku; Kakiuchi, Yasutaka; Hirohashi, Noritaka

    2011-08-10

    Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm). Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm) sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm) sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external), whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size.

  17. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiba Kogiku

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm. Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Results Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Conclusions Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external, whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size.

  18. Social facilitation in virtual reality-enhanced exercise: competitiveness moderates exercise effort of older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Hanley, Cay; Snyder, Amanda L; Nimon, Joseph P; Arciero, Paul J

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the effect of virtual social facilitation and competitiveness on exercise effort in exergaming older adults. Fourteen exergaming older adults participated. Competitiveness was assessed prior to the start of exercise. Participants were trained to ride a "cybercycle;" a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike with interactive competition. After establishing a cybercycling baseline, competitive avatars were introduced. Pedaling effort (watts) was assessed. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant group (high vs low competitiveness) × time (pre- to post-avatar) interaction (F[1,12] = 13.1, P = 0.003). Virtual social facilitation increased exercise effort among more competitive exercisers. Exercise programs that match competitiveness may maximize exercise effort.

  19. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management.

  20. Bovine serum albumin and skim-milk improve boar sperm motility by enhancing energy metabolism and protein modifications during liquid storage at 17 °C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Jieli; Li, Yuhua; Wang, Lirui; Zhen, Linqing; Yang, Qiangzhen; Li, Peifei; Li, Xinhong

    2017-10-15

    Both bovine serum albumin (BSA) and skim-milk have been reported to improve sperm quality, primarily by enhancing sperm motility, but the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. In this study, boar semen samples were collected and diluted with Androstar ® Plus extender containing different concentrations (0, 2, 4 g/l) of BSA and skim-milk. On days 0, 3, 5 and 7, the sperm motility parameters were determined using computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA), and the ATP concentrations, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) activity and mitochondrial membrane potential were evaluated using commercial kits. The levels of protein phosphorylation, acylation and ubiquitination were analyzed by western blot. The results showed that supplementation with BSA and skim-milk provided higher sperm motility parameters, ATP levels, GAPDH activity and mitochondrial membrane potential than the control group (P levels of protein phosphorylation, acetylation and succinylation of the spermatozoa in the treated groups were dramatically higher than those in the control group (P level had a decreasing trend, the change in ubiquitination modification was not significantly different between the control group and treated groups. Moreover, the changes in protein modifications between the BSA treated group and skim-milk treated group were not distinctly dissimilar. Taken together, these results suggest that BSA and skim-milk had a positive role in the regulation of boar sperm motility by influencing sperm protein modifications changes as well as increasing the GAPDH activity, mitochondrial membrane potential, and intracellular ATP content. This research provides novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying BSA and skim-milk protective effects on boar sperm in the male reproductive system and suggests the feasibility of using skim-milk instead of BSA as a boar semen extender supplement. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Tactic-specific differences in seminal fluid influence sperm performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locatello, Lisa; Poli, Federica; Rasotto, Maria B

    2013-03-22

    Seminal fluid often makes up a large part of an ejaculate, yet most empirical and theoretical studies on sperm competition have focused on how sperm characteristics (number and quality) affect fertilization success. However, seminal fluid influences own sperm performance and may potentially influence the outcome of sperm competition, by also affecting that of rivals. As a consequence males may be expected to allocate their investment in both sperm and seminal fluid in relation to the potential level of competition. Grass goby (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) is an external fertilizer with guard-sneaker mating tactics, where sperm competition risk varies according to the tactic adopted. Here, we experimentally manipulated grass goby ejaculates by separately combining sperm and seminal fluid from territorial and sneaker males. While sperm of sneaker and territorial males did not differ in their performance when they interacted with their own seminal fluid only, sperm of sneakers increased their velocity and fertilization rate in the presence of territorial males' seminal fluid. By contrast, sneaker males' seminal fluid had a detrimental effect on the performance of territorial males' sperm. Sperm velocity was unaffected by the seminal fluid of males employing the same tactic, suggesting that seminal fluid's effect on rival-tactic sperm is not based on a self/non-self recognition mechanism. Our findings show that cross interactions of sperm and seminal fluid may influence the fertilization success of competing ejaculates with males investing in both sperm and seminal fluid in response to sperm competition risk.

  2. The price effects of enhancing services sector competition in a large open economy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.A.D. Cavelaars

    2003-01-01

    textabstractThis paper studies the price e?ects of shocks to the degree of competition. It is motivated by initiatives to enhance competition in services in the European Union. The paper shows that a higher degree of competition in the nontradable goods sector may have adverse implications for

  3. Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bridoux, F.; Vodosek, M.; Den Hartog, D.N.; McNett, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Competition traditionally refers to the actions that firms take in a product market to outperform rivals in attracting customers and generating revenues. Yet, competition extends beyond product markets to other arenas such as factor markets, where firms compete for resources, and the political

  4. Industrial restructuring as an instrument for enhancing national competitiveness

    OpenAIRE

    Muradov, Shahbaz; Yuzbashieva, Gulshen

    2008-01-01

    This article considers matters of fostering national economic competitiveness in the context of industrial restructuring. The authors show the dependence of dynamic and sustainable economic and social development on the frequency and depth of structural transformations in the economy.

  5. The heritability of mating behaviour in a fly and its plasticity in response to the threat of sperm competition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Bretman

    Full Text Available Phenotypic plasticity is a key mechanism by which animals can cope with rapidly changeable environments, but the evolutionary lability of such plasticity remains unclear. The socio-sexual environment can fluctuate very rapidly, affecting both the frequency of mating opportunities and the level of competition males may face. Males of many species show plastic behavioural responses to changes in social environment, in particular the presence of rival males. For example, Drosophila pseudoobscura males respond to rivals by extending mating duration and increasing ejaculate size. Whilst such responses are predicted to be adaptive, the extent to which the magnitude of response is heritable, and hence selectable, is unknown. We investigated this using isofemale lines of the fruit fly D. pseudoobscura, estimating heritability of mating duration in males exposed or not to a rival, and any genetic basis to the change in this trait between these environments (i.e. degree of plasticity. The two populations differed in population sex ratio, and the presence of a sex ratio distorting selfish chromosome. We find that mating duration is heritable, but no evidence of population differences. We find no significant heritability of plasticity in mating duration in one population, but borderline significant heritability of plasticity in the second. This difference between populations might be related to the presence of the sex ratio distorting selfish gene in the latter population, but this will require investigation in additional populations to draw any conclusions. We suggest that there is scope for selection to produce an evolutionary response in the plasticity of mating duration in response to rivals in D. pseudoobscura, at least in some populations.

  6. Sperm dynamics in spiders (Araneae): ultrastructural analysis of the sperm activation process in the garden spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process.

  7. Enhancing the Teaching of Introductory Economics with a Team-Based, Multi-Section Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudin, Laura; Berdiev, Aziz N.; Kaminaga, Allison Shwachman; Mirmirani, Sam; Tebaldi, Edinaldo

    2017-01-01

    The authors describe a unique approach to enhancing student learning at the introductory economics level that utilizes a multi-section, team-based competition. The competition is structured to supplement learning throughout the entire introductory course. Student teams are presented with current economic issues, trends, or events, and use economic…

  8. Casanovas are liars: behavioral syndromes, sperm competition risk, and the evolution of deceptive male mating behavior in live-bearing fishes [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/1ko

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Bierbach

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Male reproductive biology can by characterized through competition over mates as well as mate choice. Multiple mating and male mate choice copying, especially in internally fertilizing species, set the stage for increased sperm competition, i.e., sperm of two or more males can compete for fertilization of the female’s ova. In the internally fertilizing fish Poecilia mexicana, males respond to the presence of rivals with reduced expression of mating preferences (audience effect, thereby lowering the risk of by-standing rivals copying their mate choice. Also, males interact initially more with a non-preferred female when observed by a rival, which has been interpreted in previous studies as a strategy to mislead rivals, again reducing sperm competition risk (SCR. Nevertheless, species might differ consistently in their expression of aggressive and reproductive behaviors, possibly due to varying levels of SCR. In the current study, we present a unique data set comprising ten poeciliid species (in two cases including multiple populations and ask whether species can be characterized through consistent differences in the expression of aggression, sexual activity and changes in mate choice under increased SCR. We found consistent species-specific differences in aggressive behavior, sexual activity as well as in the level of misleading behavior, while decreased preference expression under increased SCR was a general feature of all but one species examined. Furthermore, mean sexual activity correlated positively with the occurrence of potentially misleading behavior. An alternative explanation for audience effects would be that males attempt to avoid aggressive encounters, which would predict stronger audience effects in more aggressive species. We demonstrate a positive correlation between mean aggressiveness and sexual activity (suggesting a hormonal link as a mechanistic explanation, but did not detect a correlation between aggressiveness and

  9. Casanovas are liars: behavioral syndromes, sperm competition risk, and the evolution of deceptive male mating behavior in live-bearing fishes [v3; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/1zi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Bierbach

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Male reproductive biology can by characterized through competition over mates as well as mate choice. Multiple mating and male mate choice copying, especially in internally fertilizing species, set the stage for increased sperm competition, i.e., sperm of two or more males can compete for fertilization of the female’s ova. In the internally fertilizing fish Poecilia mexicana, males respond to the presence of rivals with reduced expression of mating preferences (audience effect, thereby lowering the risk of by-standing rivals copying their mate choice. Also, males interact initially more with a non-preferred female when observed by a rival, which has been interpreted in previous studies as a strategy to mislead rivals, again reducing sperm competition risk (SCR. Nevertheless, species might differ consistently in their expression of aggressive and reproductive behaviors, possibly due to varying levels of SCR. In the current study, we present a unique data set comprising ten poeciliid species (in two cases including multiple populations and ask whether species can be characterized through consistent differences in the expression of aggression, sexual activity and changes in mate choice under increased SCR. We found consistent species-specific differences in aggressive behavior, sexual activity as well as in the level of misleading behavior, while decreased preference expression under increased SCR was a general feature of all but one species examined. Furthermore, mean sexual activity correlated positively with the occurrence of potentially misleading behavior. An alternative explanation for audience effects would be that males attempt to avoid aggressive encounters, which would predict stronger audience effects in more aggressive species. We demonstrate a positive correlation between mean aggressiveness and sexual activity (suggesting a hormonal link as a mechanistic explanation, but did not detect a correlation between aggressiveness and

  10. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2017-01-01

    Get ready for the Easter Egg Hunt! The Staff Association is organising a competition from 10 to 21 April 2017. There are several Go Sport gift vouchers to win, with a value of 50 € each. Try your luck! Count the number of different eggs that we have hidden on our website. Then indicate your answer in the online form. To participate, you just need to be a member of the Staff Association. Winners will be randomly drawn among the correct answers.

  11. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2016-01-01

      The Staff Association is organising a competition from 13 to 21 December 2016. There are several Go Sport vouchers to win with a value of 50 € each. Try your luck! To participate, you just have to be a member of the Staff Association and take the online quiz: https://ap-vote.web.cern.ch/content/jeu-concours-de-noel. The winners will be drawn among the correct answers.

  12. Competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2016-01-01

      The Staff Association is organising a competition from April 11 to 20. There are several Go Sport gift vouchers with a value of 50 € each to win. Try your luck! To participate, you just have to be a member of the Staff Association and take the online quiz: https://ap-vote.web.cern.ch/content/jeu-concours. The winners will be drawn among the correct answers.

  13. Enhancing the economic competitiveness of the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paavola, M.

    1996-01-01

    The two 710 MWe BWRs at Olkiluoto in Finland have been running for the past ten years with a capacity factor of over 90%. The success of these reactors in being competitive with various forms of fossil fuel power production is attributed to a number of key factors. Of these, the most important is that the staff of the utility and contractors and suppliers personnel are well trained, committed and able to learn new things. Strict safety regulations contribute to competitiveness because the good practice required and the need to keep the plant in mint condition lead to fewer production interruptions and to lower operational costs in the long run. Continuous investment in updating the plant is necessary to maintain high productivity throughout its lifetime. A long-term operational plan coupled with carefully prepared maintenance outages and high quality workmanship also helps to ensure good performance. Better fuel designs and high quality have enabled the plant output to be increased while stabilising or reducing fuel costs. Money for waste management has been reserved since the start of plant operation so that economic production can be ensured during the latter part of the plant lifetime. (UK)

  14. Use of competitive intelligence in curriculum enhancement through ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Therefore, academic libraries which play a pivotal role in curriculum enhancement should engage in strategic planning and collection of useful intelligence required to improve institutional operations. Challenges encountered during collection development process in academic libraries were identified. They include ...

  15. The Development of KHI'S Business Model to Enhance Sustainable Competitive Advantage

    OpenAIRE

    Firdaus, Anton; Hamsal, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    This research about how PT KHI make an improvement in Business model by offering EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) services to costumer to gain a better profit margin. Research result suggests PT KHI to improve its Business Model in order to enhance sustainable competitive advantage. Many competitors have the same business model in industry. PT KHI should offer different business model to stay ahead and winning the competition. The research result indicate based on current con...

  16. Social facilitation in virtual reality-enhanced exercise: competitiveness moderates exercise effort of older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anderson-Hanley C

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Cay Anderson-Hanley1,2, Amanda L Snyder1, Joseph P Nimon1, Paul J Arciero1,21Healthy Aging and Neuropsychology Lab, Department of Psychology, Union College, Schenectady, NY, USA; 2Health and Exercise Sciences Department, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, USAAbstract: This study examined the effect of virtual social facilitation and competitiveness on exercise effort in exergaming older adults. Fourteen exergaming older adults participated. Competitiveness was assessed prior to the start of exercise. Participants were trained to ride a “cybercycle;” a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike with interactive competition. After establishing a cybercycling baseline, competitive avatars were introduced. Pedaling effort (watts was assessed. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant group (high vs low competitiveness X time (pre- to post-avatar interaction (F[1,12] = 13.1, P = 0.003. Virtual social facilitation increased exercise effort among more competitive exercisers. Exercise programs that match competitiveness may maximize exercise effort.Keywords: exercise, aging, virtual reality, competitiveness, social facilitation, exercise intensity

  17. Evolution of sperm quality but not quantity in the internally fertilized fish Xiphophorus nigrensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, C C; Ryan, M J

    2010-08-01

    Species with alternative reproductive strategies are characterized by discrete differences among males in suites of traits related to competition for fertilizations. Models predict sneaker males should allocate more resources to their ejaculates because they experience sperm competition more frequently and often occupy a disfavoured 'role' owing to subordinance in intramale competition and female preferences for larger males. We examined whether sperm number and quality differed between male strategies in the internally fertilized fish Xiphophorus nigrensis and explored the relationship between sperm morphology and performance. We found sneaker males had similar testes sizes compared to courting males but ejaculates with both more viable and longer lived sperm. Sneaker sperm also had longer midpieces, which was positively correlated with both velocity and longevity. Our study suggests that the evolution of sperm quantity and quality can be decoupled and that the sperm morphology is likely to play an important role in mediating sperm competition through its effects on sperm performance.

  18. Reproductive-tactic-specific variation in sperm swimming speeds in a shell-brooding cichlid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, J L; Desjardins, J K; Milligan, N; Montgomerie, R; Balshine, S

    2007-08-01

    Theory predicts that males experiencing elevated levels of sperm competition will invest more in gonads and produce faster-swimming sperm. Although there is ample evidence in support of the first prediction, few studies have examined sperm swimming speed in relation to sperm competition. In this study, we tested these predictions from sperm competition theory by examining sperm characteristics in Telmatochromis vittatus, a small shell-brooding cichlid fish endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Males exhibit four different reproductive tactics: pirate, territorial, satellite, and sneaker. Pirate males temporarily displace all other competing males from a shell nest, whereas sneaker males always release sperm in the presence of territorial and satellite males. Due to the fact that sneakers spawn in the presence of another male, sneakers face the highest levels of sperm competition and pirates the lowest, whereas satellites and territorials experience intermediate levels. In accordance with predictions, sperm from sneakers swam faster than sperm from males adopting the other reproductive tactics, whereas sperm from pirates was slowest. Interestingly, we were unable to detect any variation in sperm tail length among these reproductive tactics. Thus, sperm competition appears to have influenced sperm energetics in this species without having any influence on sperm size.

  19. Methyl eugenol aromatherapy enhances the mating competitiveness of male Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haq, Ihsan; Vreysen, Marc J B; Cacéres, Carlos; Shelly, Todd E; Hendrichs, Jorge

    2014-09-01

    Males of Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock (Diptera: Tephritidae) are strongly attracted to methyl eugenol (ME) (1,2-dimethoxy-4-(2-propenyl)benzene), a natural compound occurring in variety of plant species. ME-feeding is known to enhance male B. carambolae mating competitiveness 3 days after feeding. Enhanced male mating competitiveness due to ME-feeding can increase the effectiveness of sterile insect technique (SIT) manifolds. However, the common methods for emergence and holding fruit flies prior to field releases do not allow the inclusion of any ME feeding treatment after fly emergence. Therefore this study was planned to assess the effects of ME-aromatherapy in comparison with ME feeding on male B. carambolae mating competitiveness as aromatherapy is pragmatic for fruit flies emergence and holding facilities. Effects of ME application by feeding or by aromatherapy for enhanced mating competitiveness were evaluated 3d after treatments in field cages. ME feeding and ME aromatherapy enhanced male mating competitiveness as compared to untreated males. Males treated with ME either by feeding or by aromatherapy showed similar mating success but mating success was significantly higher than that of untreated males. The results are discussed in the context of application of ME by aromatherapy as a pragmatic approach in a mass-rearing facility and its implications for effectiveness of SIT. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. Sperm Production Rate, Gonadal and Extragonadal Sperm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Five healthy West African Dwarf (WAD) rams, 1.5 to 2.5 years of age and weighing between 15 kg to 20 kg were used to determine daily sperm production, gonadal and exragonadal sperm reserves. Gonadal and extragonadal sperm reserves were estimated by the haemocytometric method, while the daily sperm production ...

  1. Does certificate of need law enhance competition in inpatient care market? An empirical analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Jomon A; Ni, Huan; Bagchi, Aniruddha

    2017-06-29

    This article investigates the impact of Certificate of Need (CON) laws on competition in the inpatient care market. One of the major criticisms of these laws is that it may hinder competition in the health care market, which can lead to higher prices. However, from a theoretical standpoint, CON laws could also promote competition by limiting excessive expansion from incumbents. Our main conclusion is that CON laws by and large enhanced competition in the inpatient market during the period of our study. This indicates that the effects of CON laws to hinder predatory behavior could dominate its effects of preventing new entrants into the inpatient care market. We do not find statistically significant evidence to reject the exogeneity assumption of either CON laws or their stringency in our study. We also find factors such as proportion of population aged 18-44, proportion of Asian American population, obesity rate, political environment, etc., in a state significantly impact competition. Our findings could shed some light to public policy makers when deciding the appropriate health programs or legislative framework to promote health care market competition and thereby facilitate quality health care.

  2. Sperm preparation for fertilization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gadella, B.M.

    2014-01-01

    Description This book contains 19 chapters that discuss theoretical and applied andrology for domestic, zoo and wild animals. Topics include semen and its constituents; sperm production and harvest; determinants of sperm morphology; sperm preparation for fertilization; practical aspects of semen

  3. Competitive marketing strategies: tools for enhancing value in the dynamic world of business

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ph. D. Kehinde Oladele Joseph

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Developing solid competitive marketing strategies in order to contribute towards long-term sustainable success, has become imperative today for every success driven organization. The paper examines a number of Competitive Strategies, whitch have become string tools for enhancing value in the Nigerian Telecommunication industry.Thr objectives of the paper among others are to (iExamine whether there is any relationship between the use ao competitive marketing strategies and business success and(ii Find out whether the various competitive marketing strategies used by Nigerian telecommunication firms have effects on rival companies, among others.The paper uses survey method with two hypotheses stated in the null form, with structured questionnaire,which were,distributed among the sampled respondents who are secondary school teachers in Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states of Nigeria.Results were analyzed with the aid of correlation test statistics.Findings show that there is significant positive relationship between the use of competitive Marketing Strategies and Business Success.Finding also reveals that the various Competitive Strategiea used by players have effects on other competitors. The paper makesvarious policy recommendtions,which operators in the Nigerian Telecomunication Industry will find useful, if faithfully implemented. These include the need for firms to constantly engage in research to meet the changing needs of their esteemed Customers. Companies must identify where they could have competitive advantage over their Competitors and that Companies must render quality Service and try to constantly improve their offers in the face of changing market Dynamics, amongst others.

  4. Strategies to enhance price and quality competition in health care: lessons learned from tracking local markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesser, Cara S; Ginsburg, Paul B

    2006-06-01

    Drawing on observations from tracking changes in local health care markets over the past ten years, this article critiques two Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice recommendations to enhance price and quality competition. First, we take issue with the notion that consumers, acting independently, will drive greater competition in health care markets. Rather we suggest an important role remains for trusted agents who can analyze inherently complex price and quality information and negotiate on consumers' behalf. With aggregated information identifying providers who deliver cost-effective care, consumers would be better positioned to respond to financial incentives about where to seek care and thereby drive more meaningful competition among providers to reduce costs and improve quality. Second, we take issue with the FTC/DOJ recommendation to provide more direct subsidies to prevent distortions in competition. In the current political environment, it is not practical to provide direct subsidies for all of the unfunded care that exists in health care markets today; instead, some interference with competition may be necessary to protect cross subsidies. Barriers can be reduced, though, by revising pricing policies that have resulted in marked disparities in the relative profitability of different services.

  5. Ascorbic acid treatment elevates follicle stimulating hormone and testosterone plasma levels and enhances sperm quality in albino Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okon, Uduak Akpan; Utuk, Ikponoabasi Ibanga

    2016-01-01

    Infertility issues have been linked to the effect of oxidative reaction in the reproductive system. This study evaluated the effect of ascorbic acid, on fertility parameters of male albino Wistar rats was studied. Eighteen albino Wistar rats weighed between 178 g and 241 g were used, randomly assigned into three groups. Group 1 was the control group; oral gavaged 5 ml of distilled water; Groups 2 and 3 were administered medium dose (250 mg/kg) and high dose of ascorbic acid (400 mg/kg), respectively; twice daily for 21 days. Blood samples were obtained by cardiac puncture, and blood serum was obtained for hormonal assay, and the testes were harvested for sperm analysis. Follicle stimulating hormone levels significantly increased in the high-dose group as compared to both the control and medium dose groups. Luteinizing hormone levels in the medium dose group decreased significantly as compared to the control group. Testosterone significantly increased in both the medium- and high-dose groups as compared to the control group. Sperm motility increased significantly in the high-dose group as compared to both control and medium-dose groups. Percentage sperm concentration decreased significantly in the medium-dose group when compared to the control and increased significantly in the high-dose group as compared to the medium-dose group. For percentage normal morphology, there was a dose-dependent increase in the test groups when compared to control group. These results are indicative of a positive influence of ascorbic acid on male fertility modulators and may therefore, serve as a potential adjuvant treatment for male infertility cases.

  6. Cytometry of mammalian sperm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-10-11

    Male germ cells respond dramatically to a variety of insults and are important reproductive dosimeters. Semen analyses are very useful in studies on the effects of drugs, chemicals, and environmental hazards on testicular function, male fertility and heritable germinal mutations. The accessibility of male cells makes them well suited for analytical cytology. We might automate the process of determining sperm morphology but should not do so solely for increased speed. Rather, richer tangible benefits will derive from cytometric evaluation through increased sensitivity, reduced subjectivity, standardization between investigators and laboratories, enhanced archival systems, and the benefits of easily exchanged standardized data. Inroads on the standardization of assays for motility and functional integrity are being made. Flow cytometric analysis of total DNA content of individual sperm is an insensitive means to detect exposure to reproductive toxins because of the small size and low frequency of the DNA content errors. Flow cytometry can be applied to determine the proportions of X- and Y-sperm in semen samples.

  7. Cytometry of mammalian sperm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-01-01

    Male germ cells respond dramatically to a variety of insults and are important reproductive dosimeters. Semen analyses are very useful in studies on the effects of drugs, chemicals, and environmental hazards on testicular function, male fertility and heritable germinal mutations. The accessibility of male cells makes them well suited for analytical cytology. We might automate the process of determining sperm morphology but should not do so solely for increased speed. Rather, richer tangible benefits will derive from cytometric evaluation through increased sensitivity, reduced subjectivity, standardization between investigators and laboratories, enhanced archival systems, and the benefits of easily exchanged standardized data. Inroads on the standardization of assays for motility and functional integrity are being made. Flow cytometric analysis of total DNA content of individual sperm is an insensitive means to detect exposure to reproductive toxins because of the small size and low frequency of the DNA content errors. Flow cytometry can be applied to determine the proportions of X- and Y-sperm in semen samples

  8. Optimizing methyl-eugenol aromatherapy to maximize posttreatment effects to enhance mating competitiveness of male Bactrocera carambolae (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haq, Ihsan ul; Vreysen, Marc J B; Cacéres, Carlos; Shelly, Todd E; Hendrichs, Jorge

    2015-10-01

    Methyl-eugenol (ME) (1,2-dimethoxy-4-(2-propenyl)benzene), a natural phytochemical, did enhance male Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock (Diptera: Tephritidae) mating competitiveness 3 d after ingestion. Enhanced male mating competitiveness can significantly increase the effectiveness of the sterile insect technique (SIT). ME application to mass reared sterile flies by feeding is infeasible. ME application by aromatherapy however, would be a very practical way of ME application in fly emergence and release facilities. This approach was shown to enhance mating competitiveness of B. carambolae 3 d posttreatment (DPT). Despite this added benefit, every additional day of delaying release will reduce sterile fly quality and will add cost to SIT application. The present study was planned to assess the effects of ME-aromatherapy on male B. carambolae mating competitiveness 1DPT and 2DPT. ME aromatherapy 1DPT or 2DPT did enhance mating competitiveness of B. carambolae males whereas ME feeding 1DPT and 2DPT did not. Male mating competitiveness was enhanced by the ME aromatherapy irrespective if they received 1DPT, 2DPT or 3DPT. ME aromatherapy, being a viable approach for its application, did enhance mating competitiveness of male B. carambolae 1 d posttreatment as ME feeding did 3 d after ingestion. ©2014 The Authors Journal compliation © Insititute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science.

  9. Economical assessment of competitive enhanced limestones for CO2 capture cycles in power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Romeo, Luis M.; Lara, Yolanda; Lisbona, Pilar; Martinez, Ana

    2009-01-01

    CO 2 capture systems based on the carbonation/calcination loop have gained rapid interest due to promising carbonator CO 2 capture efficiency, low sorbent cost and no flue gases treatment is required before entering the system. These features together result in a competitively low cost CO 2 capture system. Among the key variables that influence the performance of these systems and their integration with power plants, the carbonation conversion of the sorbent and the heat requirement at calciner are the most relevant. Both variables are mainly influenced by CaO/CO 2 ratio and make-up flow of solids. New sorbents are under development to reduce the decay of their carbonation conversion with cycles. The aim of this study is to assess the competitiveness of new limestones with enhanced sorption behaviour applied to carbonation/calcination cycle integrated with a power plant, compared to raw limestone. The existence of an upper limit for the maximum average capture capacity of CaO has been considered. Above this limit, improving sorbent capture capacity does not lead to the corresponding increase in capture efficiency and, thus, reduction of CO 2 avoided cost is not observed. Simulations calculate the maximum price for enhanced sorbents to achieve a reduction in CO 2 removal cost under different process conditions (solid circulation and make-up flow). The present study may be used as an assessment tool of new sorbents to understand what prices would be competitive compare with raw limestone in the CO 2 looping capture systems. (author)

  10. Attitudes and Motivations of Competitive Cyclists Regarding Use of Banned and Legal Performance Enhancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nkaku R. Kisaalita

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Drug ‘doping’ and the use of banned performance enhancing products (PEPs remains an issue in virtually all competitive sports despite penal consequences and known health risks. The lines distinguishing “fair” and “unfair” performance enhancement have become increasingly blurred. Few studies have explored how attitudes towards legal performance enhancers (drugs/substances, diet, and equipment modifications may influence motivations to use banned PEPs. In the present study, 68 competitive cyclists completed a survey examining the importance of choosing banned and non-banned PEPs using World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI criteria. Results showed that over 60 percent of cyclists used non-banned PEPs while 8 percent used banned PEPs. Health was overall the most important factor in choosing a PEP while apprehension by a doping agency was least important. Mixed- model ANOVA analyses revealed that motivations to use banned PEPs were complex, as the importance of health, violating the sprit of the sport, performance improvement, and getting caught were differentially influenced by PEP legality (p 0.05. Our findings illustrate the multifactorial nature of PEP use/doping attitudes and highlight the unique role that “legal” performance enhancement may plays in influencing banned and/or unethical sports behaviors.

  11. Enhancing Global Competitiveness: Benchmarking Airline Operational Performance in Highly Regulated Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Brent D.; Headley, Dean E.; Kane, Karisa D.

    1998-01-01

    Enhancing competitiveness in the global airline industry is at the forefront of attention with airlines, government, and the flying public. The seemingly unchecked growth of major airline alliances is heralded as an enhancement to global competition. However, like many mega-conglomerates, mega-airlines will face complications driven by size regardless of the many recitations of enhanced efficiency. Outlined herein is a conceptual model to serve as a decision tool for policy-makers, managers, and consumers of airline services. This model is developed using public data for the United States (U.S.) major airline industry available from the U/S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and other public and private sector sources. Data points include number of accidents, pilot deviations, operational performance indicators, flight problems, and other factors. Data from these sources provide opportunity to develop a model based on a complex dot product equation of two vectors. A row vector is weighted for importance by a key informant panel of government, industry, and consumer experts, while a column vector is established with the factor value. The resulting equation, known as the national Airline Quality Rating (AQR), where Q is quality, C is weight, and V is the value of the variables, is stated Q=C[i1-19] x V[i1-19]. Looking at historical patterns of AQR results provides the basis for establishment of an industry benchmark for the purpose of enhancing airline operational performance. A 7 year average of overall operational performance provides the resulting benchmark indicator. Applications from this example can be applied to the many competitive environments of the global industry and assist policy-makers faced with rapidly changing regulatory challenges.

  12. Competition triggers plasmid-mediated enhancement of substrate utilisation in Pseudomonas putida.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiren Joshi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Competition between species plays a central role in the activity and structure of communities. Stable co-existence of diverse organisms in communities is thought to be fostered by individual tradeoffs and optimization of competitive strategies along resource gradients. Outside the laboratory, microbes exist as multispecies consortia, continuously interacting with one another and the environment. Survival and proliferation of a particular species is governed by its competitive fitness. Therefore, bacteria must be able to continuously sense their immediate environs for presence of competitors and prevailing conditions. Here we present results of our investigations on a novel competition sensing mechanism in the rhizosphere-inhabiting Pseudomonas putida KT2440, harbouring gfpmut3b-modified Kan(R TOL plasmid. We monitored benzyl alcohol (BA degradation rate, along with GFP expression profiling in mono species and dual species cultures. Interestingly, enhanced plasmid expression (monitored using GFP expression and consequent BA degradation were observed in dual species consortia, irrespective of whether the competitor was a BA degrader (Pseudomonas aeruginosa or a non-degrader (E. coli. Attempts at elucidation of the mechanistic aspects of induction indicated the role of physical interaction, but not of any diffusible compounds emanating from the competitors. This contention is supported by the observation that greater induction took place in presence of increasing number of competitors. Inert microspheres mimicking competitor cell size and concentration did not elicit any significant induction, further suggesting the role of physical cell-cell interaction. Furthermore, it was also established that cell wall compromised competitor had minimal induction capability. We conclude that P. putida harbouring pWW0 experience a competitive stress when grown as dual-species consortium, irrespective of the counterpart being BA degrader or not. The immediate

  13. Mating duration and sperm precedence in the spider Linyphia triangularis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weldingh, Ditte L.; Toft, Søren; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2011-01-01

    , especially the males, are able to influence the outcome of mating for their own benefit. We studied the linyphiid spider Linyphia triangularis in which mating follows a strict sequence during which the male inducts two droplets of sperm and transfers them to the female. We performed sperm competition...

  14. Factors on Enhancing the Competitive Edge and Attributes of Graduates as Inputs to the Development of Teacher Education Enhancement Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan S. Janer

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In response to the CHED’s Higher Education Development Project and the need to track the status of Sorsogon State College (SSC teacher education graduates, this research was conceptualized. The study aims to gauge the teacher education program’s thrust of providing a quality and relevant education that could ensure worthwhile and appropriate employment opportunity to its graduates. Descriptive research design was employed in this study. Surveys, unstructured interviews, and documentary analysis were undertaken to gather pertinent data among the respondents. The study consists of 427 teacher education graduates who were selected through stratified random technique. This tracer study determined the employability of Teacher Education graduates in SSC, Sorsogon Campus from 2009 to 2013 with an end-view of proposing a Teacher Education Enhancement Program (TEEP to enhance the competitive edge of SSC Teacher Education graduates in all teaching job opportunities. The intellectual, social and linguistic attributes of the SSC graduates were likewise identified in this study. Some of the factors identified by the respondents that could help improve their competitive edge are the pre-service trainings, job placement program, teacher education curriculum enrichment, and Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET review program.

  15. Low Sperm Count

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... that the fluid (semen) you ejaculate during an orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal. A low sperm ... ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out of the tip of ...

  16. Ascidian Sperm Lysin System

    OpenAIRE

    Hitoshi, Sawada; Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University

    2002-01-01

    Fertilization is a precisely controlled process involving many gamete molecules in sperm binding to and penetration through the extracellular matrix of the egg. After sperm bind to the extracellular matrix (vitelline coat), they undergo the acrosome reaction which exposes and partially releases a lytic agent called "lysin" to digest the vitelline coat for the sperm penetration. The vitelline coat sperm lysin is generally a protease in deuterostomes. The molecular mechanism of the actual degra...

  17. Developing an economic performance system to enhance nuclear power plant competitiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    In 1999 about 16% of the world's electricity was produced by nuclear power, and the total worldwide operating experience of nuclear power plants was over 9200 reactor-years. Some 16 countries are dependent on nuclear power for more than 25% of their electricity generation. In some countries deregulation of the electricity market has either happened or is currently ongoing, while in others it is planned for the future. Nevertheless, many countries are already facing open electricity markets and operating costs are under unprecedented pressure, with competition expected to come soon to the nuclear industry worldwide. To a certain extent, however, the industry has already prepared or is currently preparing to face competition. This report is primarily intended for nuclear power plant and utility managers. It discusses the means and principal issues for the development of the nuclear economic performance international system (NEPIS), which should enhance nuclear power plant competitiveness. The following issues are addressed: The major transformations occurring in the electricity generation industry that require reductions in operations and maintenance costs at nuclear utilities; The methods that nuclear plant management use to identify and justify the economic optimum level of a plant and its use of resources; The value of collecting cost and performance data and the analysis techniques that use that data; The cost data required to be collected; The difficulty of collecting data with existing cost accounting systems; The new cost accounting and collection systems that will be required, The cost effectiveness of the overall process. This report also presents the preliminary results of a pilot project that was established to collect cost data on a few nuclear power plants and was used to verify the adequacy of the definitions and terminology set for NEPIS

  18. Use of sperm plasmid DNA lipofection combined with REMI (restriction enzyme-mediated insertion) for production of transgenic chickens expressing eGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) or human follicle-stimulating hormone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harel-Markowitz, Eliane; Gurevich, Michael; Shore, Laurence S; Katz, Adi; Stram, Yehuda; Shemesh, Mordechai

    2009-05-01

    Linearized p-eGFP (plasmid-enhanced green fluorescent protein) or p-hFSH (plasmid human FSH) sequences with the corresponding restriction enzyme were lipofected into sperm genomic DNA. Sperm transfected with p-eGFP were used for artificial insemination in hens, and in 17 out of 19 of the resultant chicks, the exogenous DNA was detected in their lymphocytes as determined by PCR and expressed in tissues as determined by (a) PCR, (b) specific emission of green fluorescence by the eGFP, and (c) Southern blot analysis. A complete homology was found between the Aequorea Victoria eGFP DNA and a 313-bp PCR product of extracted DNA from chick blood cells. Following insemination with sperm lipofected with p-hFSH, transgenic offspring were obtained for two generations as determined by detection of the transgene for human FSH (PCR) and expression of the gene (RT-PCR and quantitative real-time PCR) and the presence of the protein in blood (radioimmunoassay). Data demonstrate that lipofection of plasmid DNA with restriction enzyme is a highly efficient method for the production of transfected sperm to produce transgenic offspring by direct artificial insemination.

  19. The Staff Development as a Means of Enhancing the Enterprise Competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zajtzeva Lyudmila O.

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The article is aimed at substantiating the importance of continuous development of staff as a means of enhancing the competitiveness of enterprise. A study on the current experience and issues of dissemination of the standard for HR management at the enterprises in Ukraine and abroad has been provided. The role of HR management in the system of competitive factors has been defined. The staff development strategies that are dependent on analysis of the internal environment and the personnel forecast of enterprise have been outlined. The need to apply both material and moral motivation to employees has been determined. The necessity to match the external conditions and the objectives of enterprise with the methods of labor incentives has been substantiated. Features of employee incentive on the basis of wage have been disclosed. There is a need to assess the quantitative and qualitative results of each employee’s individual work through the additional salaries, including in the form of various fringes, increments, lump sum remunerations, which are of a compensatory nature and allow for a significant individualization.

  20. The Formation of a Positive International Image of Country as a Means of Enhancing Competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Novikova Ludmyla V.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The article is aimed at studying the essence of the concept of «image of the state» and substantiating the conceptual model of forming a positive international image of country as a means of enhancing competitiveness in the international market. The essence of the concept of «image of the State» has been defined. The factors influencing the formation of the international image of country have been distributed and systematized. The principles on which the process of formation of country image of modern format, receiving public recognition and adequate international estimation, have been allocated. A conceptual model of formation of positive international image of country, based on the hypothesis of influence of positive image on creation of significant competitive advantages in the international market of goods and services, has been proposed. The key features of the model are defined as: clear distribution of the roles of the stakeholders of national image – subjects of the global economic system, level of their involvement in the process of formation and integration of the State economy into the system of international institutions.

  1. A Systematic Cycle Time Reduction Procedure for Enhancing the Competitiveness and Sustainability of a Semiconductor Manufacturer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toly Chen

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Cycle time reduction plays an important role in improving the competitiveness and sustainability of a semiconductor manufacturer. However, in the past, cycle time reduction was usually unplanned owing to the lack of a systematic and quantitative procedure. To tackle this problem, a systematic procedure was established in this study for planning cycle time reduction actions to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of a semiconductor manufacturer. First, some controllable factors that are influential to the job cycle time are identified. Subsequently, the relationship between the controllable factors and the job cycle time is fitted with a back propagation network. Based on this relationship, actions to shorten the job cycle time can be planned. The feasibility and effectiveness of an action have to be assessed before it can be taken in practice. An example containing the real data of hundreds of jobs has been used to illustrate the applicability of the proposed methodology. In addition, the financial benefits of the cycle time reduction action were analyzed, which provided the evidence that the proposed methodology enabled the sustainable development of the semiconductor manufacturer, since capital adequacy is very important in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

  2. Exogenous testosterone in women enhances and inhibits competitive decision-making depending on victory-defeat experience and trait dominance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pranjal H; van Son, Veerle; Welker, Keith M; Prasad, Smrithi; Sanfey, Alan G; Smidts, Ale; Roelofs, Karin

    2015-10-01

    The present experiment tested the causal impact of testosterone on human competitive decision-making. According to prevailing theories about testosterone's role in social behavior, testosterone should directly boost competitive decisions. But recent correlational evidence suggests that testosterone's behavioral effects may depend on specific aspects of the context and person relevant to social status (win-lose context and trait dominance). We tested the causal influence of testosterone on competitive decisions by combining hormone administration with measures of trait dominance and a newly developed social competition task in which the victory-defeat context was experimentally manipulated, in a sample of 54 female participants. Consistent with the hypothesis that testosterone has context- and person-dependent effects on competitive behavior, testosterone increased competitive decisions after victory only among high-dominant individuals but testosterone decreased competitive decisions after defeat across all participants. These results suggest that testosterone flexibly modulates competitive decision-making depending on prior social experience and dominance motivation in the service of enhancing social status. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Gamma irradiation effects on the adult stage, mating competitiveness and sperm activity of the lesser grain borer beetle, Rhizopertha Dominica F

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed, M.Y.Y.; Salem, Y.S.; El-Kady, E.A.; Gharib, O.H.

    1985-01-01

    Effects of gamma radiation dosages between 4 and 22 Krad on the adult stage of the lesser grain borer beetle, Rhizopertha Dominica F. were studied. Adult females were more sensitive to the sterilizing effects of gamma radiation than were males. Males of R. Dominica irradiated (I) as full grown pupae with 20 Krad were sterile. Males treated similarly and confined with unirradiated (U) males and females at a ratio of 1:1:1 caused 42.2% of the eggs produced to be infertile; increasing the ratio 20:1:1 caused 97.1% infertile eggs. Males and females both treated with a sterilizing dose (20 Krad) as pupae and confined with U adults at a ratio of 1:1:1 caused 43.3% infertility in the resulting eggs. When the ratio of sterile males and females was increased to 5:5:1:1, 10:10:1:1 or 15:15:1 (I:U:U), the percentage infertility reached 83.8, 93.9 and 100.0% respectively. The percentage of actual infertility was less than the expected infertility for the ratios 1:1:1:1, 5:5:1:1 and 10:10:1:1 but was exceeded with the highest ratio used (15:15:1:1). The competitiveness value for this flooding ratio was 1.00. Replacing U male by I male decreased the egg hatchability, which indicates that I male were able to negate previous insemination by U male. Insemination by U female could nullify insemination by I males

  4. Rogue sperm indicate sexually antagonistic coevolution in nematodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald E Ellis

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Intense reproductive competition often continues long after animals finish mating. In many species, sperm from one male compete with those from others to find and fertilize oocytes. Since this competition occurs inside the female reproductive tract, she often influences the outcome through physical or chemical factors, leading to cryptic female choice. Finally, traits that help males compete with each other are sometimes harmful to females, and female countermeasures may thwart the interests of males, which can lead to an arms race between the sexes known as sexually antagonistic coevolution. New studies from Caenorhabditis nematodes suggest that males compete with each other by producing sperm that migrate aggressively and that these sperm may be more likely to win access to oocytes. However, one byproduct of this competition appears to be an increased probability that these sperm will go astray, invading the ovary, prematurely activating oocytes, and sometimes crossing basement membranes and leaving the gonad altogether. These harmful effects are sometimes observed in crosses between animals of the same species but are most easily detected in interspecies crosses, leading to dramatically lowered fitness, presumably because the competitiveness of the sperm and the associated female countermeasures are not precisely matched. This mismatch is most obvious in crosses involving individuals from androdioecious species (which have both hermaphrodites and males, as predicted by the lower levels of sperm competition these species experience. These results suggest a striking example of sexually antagonistic coevolution and dramatically expand the value of nematodes as a laboratory system for studying postcopulatory interactions.

  5. Enhancing Efficiency of Water Supply – Product Market Competition versus Trade

    OpenAIRE

    Reto Foellmi; Urs Meister

    2004-01-01

    This paper analyses and compares potential efficiency gains induced by the introduction of product market competition and cross boarder trade in the piped water market. We argue that due to the specific circumstances in the water sector product market competition, i.e. competition by common carriage is not expected to be very intensive. The connection of networks could alternatively be used for cross boarder trade between neighboured water utilities. We show that competition by common carriag...

  6. Morphology and evolutionary implications of the annual cycle of secretion and sperm storage in spermathecae of the salamander Ambystoma opacum (Amphibia: Ambystomatidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sever, David M; Krenz, John D; Johnson, Kristin M; Rania, Lisa C

    1995-01-01

    Females of the marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum, store sperm in exocrine glands called spermathecae in the roof of the cloaca. Eggs are fertilized by sperm released from the spermathecae during oviposition. Some sperm remain in the spermathecae following oviposition, but these sperm degenerate within a month and none persists more than 6 mo after oviposition. Thus, sperm storage between successive breeding seasons does not occur. Apical secretory vaculoes are abundant during the fall mating season and contain a substance that is alcian blue+ at pH 2.5. Production of secretory vacuoles decreases markedly after oviposition, and the glands are inactive by the summer months. Ambystoma opacum is a terrestrial breeder, and some mating occurs prior to arrival at pond basins where oviposition occurs. Mating prior to arrival at the ovipository site may prolong the breeding season, leading to fitness implications for both males and females. Females have opportunities for more matings, and the possibilities for sperm competition in the spermathecae are enhanced. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Copyright © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Seminal fluid mediates ejaculate competition in social insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Baer, Boris; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2010-01-01

    Queens of ants and bees normally obtain a lifetime supply of sperm on a single day of sexual activity, and sperm competition is expected to occur in lineages where queens receive sperm from multiple males. We compared singly mated (monandrous) and multiply mated (polyandrous) sister groups of ants...

  8. Amino Sugars Enhance the Competitiveness of Beneficial Commensals with Streptococcus mutans through Multiple Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Lin; Farivar, Tanaz; Burne, Robert A

    2016-06-15

    greater capacity to utilize amino sugars than the dental pathogen Streptococcus mutans and that the ability of the model commensal Streptococcus gordonii to compete against S. mutans is substantively enhanced by the presence of amino sugars commonly found in the oral cavity. The mechanisms underlying the greater capacity and competitive enhancements of the commensal are shown to depend on how the genes for the catabolic enzymes are regulated, the role of the allosteric modulators affecting such regulation, and the ability of amino sugars to enhance certain activities of the commensal that are antagonistic to S. mutans. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  9. Myocardial Fibrosis in Competitive Triathletes Detected by Contrast-Enhanced CMR Correlates With Exercise-Induced Hypertension and Competition History.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahir, Enver; Starekova, Jitka; Muellerleile, Kai; von Stritzky, Alexandra; Münch, Julia; Avanesov, Maxim; Weinrich, Julius M; Stehning, Christian; Bohnen, Sebastian; Radunski, Ulf K; Freiwald, Eric; Blankenberg, Stefan; Adam, Gerhard; Pressler, Axel; Patten, Monica; Lund, Gunnar K

    2017-12-08

    This study analyzed the presence of myocardial fibrosis detected by late gadolinium-enhancement (LGE) cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) in correlation with the performance of competitive triathletes objectified by an exercise test and individual competition history. Myocardial fibrosis detected by LGE CMR has been reported to occur in 0% to 50% of asymptomatic athletes. However, the cause and mechanisms of myocardial fibrosis are unclear. Eighty-three asymptomatic triathletes undergoing >10 training h per week (43 ± 10 years of age; 65% male) and 36 sedentary controls were studied by using LGE and extracellular volume (ECV) CMR. Parameters of physical fitness were measured by spiroergometry. Triathletes reported their lifetime competition results. LGE CMR revealed focal nonischemic myocardial fibrosis in 9 of 54 (17%) male triathletes (LGE + ) but in none of the female triathletes (p pressure (213 ± 24 mm Hg) than LGE - triathletes (194 ± 26 mm Hg; p 1,880 km completed during competition had the highest accuracy to predict LGE, with an area under the curve value of 0.876 (p pressure (p < 0.05) and the swimming race distance (p < 0.01) as independent predictors of LGE presence. Myocardial fibrosis in asymptomatic triathletes seems to be associated with exercise-induced hypertension and the race distances. There appears to be a safe upper limit, beyond which exercise may result in myocardial fibrosis. Copyright © 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Rheotaxis guides mammalian sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miki, Kiyoshi; Clapham, David E

    2013-01-01

    Background In sea urchins, spermatozoan motility is altered by chemotactic peptides, giving rise to the assumption that mammalian eggs also emit chemotactic agents that guide spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract to the mature oocyte. Mammalian spermatozoa indeed undergo complex adaptations within the female (the process of capacitation) that are initiated by agents ranging from pH to progesterone, but these factors are not necessarily taxic. Currently, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, and rheotaxis have not been definitively established in mammals. Results Here, we show that positive rheotaxis, the ability of organisms to orient and swim against the flow of surrounding fluid, is a major taxic factor for mouse and human sperm. This flow is generated within 4 hours of sexual stimulation and coitus in female mice; prolactin-triggered oviductal fluid secretion clears the oviduct of debris, lowers viscosity, and generates the stream that guides sperm migration in the oviduct. Rheotaxic movement is demonstrated in capacitated and uncapacitated spermatozoa in low and high viscosity medium. Finally, we show that a unique sperm motion we quantify using the sperm head's rolling rate reflects sperm rotation that generates essential force for positioning the sperm in the stream. Rotation requires CatSper channels, presumably by enabling Ca2+ influx. Conclusions We propose that rheotaxis is a major determinant of sperm guidance over long distances in the mammalian female reproductive tract. Coitus induces fluid flow to guide sperm in the oviduct. Sperm rheotaxis requires rotational motion during CatSper channel-dependent hyperactivated motility. PMID:23453951

  11. Enhancing social media competitiveness of small businesses: insights from small pizzerias

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Wu; Wang, Feng-Kwei; Zha, Shenghua

    2014-07-01

    Social media provide an online platform for enterprises to engage existing customers and attract new customers. Although social media can be easily set up at no cost, however, due to limited human and financial resources, many small businesses find it challenging to compete against large enterprises in social media use. While more and more small businesses have jumped on the bandwagon of social media in recent years, few studies investigated the social media strategies that can help small businesses to survive and even thrive against large competitors in the social media arena. Therefore, we studied 32 small pizzerias in a mid-size U.S. city in terms of their social media use for business. Our study found that small pizzerias emphasizing social media use on community relations and social responsibility tend to be more successful in attracting and engaging local customers. This study also sheds light on both effective strategies and successful practices of social media use by small pizzerias. The insights and recommendations identified from this study can help small businesses to enhance their social media competitiveness against large enterprises.

  12. Littermate presence enhances motor development, weight gain and competitive ability in newborn and juvenile domestic rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolás, Leticia; Martínez-Gómez, Margarita; Hudson, Robyn; Bautista, Amando

    2011-01-01

    Interest has been growing in the influence siblings may have on individual development. While mammalian research has tended to emphasize competition among siblings for essential but often limited resources such as the mother's milk, there is also evidence of mutual benefits to be had from sibling presence, most notably for altricial young in enhanced thermoregulatory efficiency. In the present study we asked whether littermates of an altricial mammal, the domestic rabbit, might gain other developmental benefits from sibling presence. From postnatal days 1 to 25 we raised rabbit pups either together with their littermates or alone except for the brief, once daily nursing characteristic of this species, while controlling for litter size and ambient nest box temperature. At weaning on Day 25 the young were then transferred to individual cages. Before weaning, we found that pups raised separately from their littermates obtained less milk, and showed lower weight gain and slower development of the ability to maintain body equilibrium than their litter-raised sibs. This was the case even though the two groups did not differ in birth weight or in the ratio of converting milk into body mass in their temperature-controlled nest boxes. Postweaning, the isolation-raised animals were also less successful in competing for food and water when tested after deprivation than their litter-raised sibs. The present study adds to the growing evidence of the influence, in this case positive, that sibs (or half sibs) may have in shaping one another's development. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Sperm as microswimmers - navigation and sensing at the physical limit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaupp, Ulrich B.; Alvarez, Luis

    2016-11-01

    Many cells and microorganisms have evolved a motility apparatus to explore their surroundings. For guidance, these biological microswimmers rely on physical and chemical cues that are transduced by cellular pathways into directed movement - a process called taxis. Only few biological microswimmers have been studied as detailed as sperm from sea urchins. Sperm and eggs are released into the seawater. To enhance the chances of fertilization, eggs release chemical factors - called chemoattractants - that establish a chemical gradient and, thereby, guide sperm to the egg. Sea urchin sperm constitute a unique model system for understanding cell navigation at every level: from molecules to cell behaviours. We will outline the chemotactic signalling pathway of sperm from the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata and discuss how signalling controls navigation in a chemical gradient. Finally, we discuss recent insights into sperm chemotaxis in three dimensions (3D).

  14. 78 FR 35826 - Unfair Competitive Advantages; Enhancement of the Formal Complaint Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-14

    ... Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov . Those who cannot submit comments electronically... at a competitive advantage or put another party at a competitive disadvantage.'' Id. at 28. [[Page... provide AT&T with access to live coverage of San Diego Padres baseball games. See AT&T Services, Inc. v...

  15. No Evidence for Pre-Copulatory Sexual Selection on Sperm Length in a Passerine Bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lifjeld, Jan T.; Laskemoen, Terje; Kleven, Oddmund; Pedersen, A. Tiril M.; Lampe, Helene M.; Rudolfsen, Geir; Schmoll, Tim; Slagsvold, Tore

    2012-01-01

    There is growing evidence that post-copulatory sexual selection, mediated by sperm competition, influences the evolution of sperm phenotypes. Evidence for pre-copulatory sexual selection effects on sperm traits, on the other hand, is rather scarce. A recent paper on the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, reported phenotypic associations between sperm length and two sexually selected male traits, i.e. plumage colour and arrival date, thus invoking pre-copulatory sexual selection for longer sperm. We were unable to replicate these associations with a larger data set from the same and two additional study populations; sperm length was not significantly related to either male plumage colour or arrival date. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in sperm length between populations despite marked differences in male plumage colour. We also found some evidence against the previously held assumption of longer sperm being qualitatively superior; longer sperm swam at the same speed as shorter sperm, but were less able to maintain speed over time. We argue that both empirical evidence and theoretical considerations suggest that the evolution of sperm morphology is not primarily associated with pre-copulatory sexual selection on male secondary sexual traits in this or other passerine bird species. The relatively large between-male variation in sperm length in this species is probably due to relaxed post-copulatory sexual selection. PMID:22384277

  16. Sperm traits differ between winged and wingless males of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrempf, Alexandra; Moser, Astrid; Delabie, Jacques; Heinze, Jürgen

    2016-11-01

    Size and shape of sperm cells vary tremendously throughout the animal kingdom. The adaptive significance of this variation is not fully understood. In addition to sperm-female interactions and the environmental conditions, the risk of sperm competition might affect number, morphology and other "quality" traits of sperm. In the male-diphenic ant Cardiocondyla obscurior, winged sneaker males have limited sperm number, because their testes degenerate shortly after adult emergence, as is typical for males of social Hymenoptera. In contrast, wingless fighter males continuously replenish their sperm supply due to their exceptional lifelong spermatogenesis. While winged males usually have to compete with several other winged males for virgin queens, wingless males are able to monopolize queens by killing all other rivals. Hence, this presents a unique system to investigate how alternative reproductive tactics and associated physiology affect sperm morphology and viability. We found that sperm-limited males invest into sperm number instead of sperm size. Variance in sperm length is smaller in winged males, probably reflecting that they have to compete with several other males. Finally, sperm viability is equally high in both male phenotypes. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  17. No evidence for pre-copulatory sexual selection on sperm length in a passerine bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan T Lifjeld

    Full Text Available There is growing evidence that post-copulatory sexual selection, mediated by sperm competition, influences the evolution of sperm phenotypes. Evidence for pre-copulatory sexual selection effects on sperm traits, on the other hand, is rather scarce. A recent paper on the pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, reported phenotypic associations between sperm length and two sexually selected male traits, i.e. plumage colour and arrival date, thus invoking pre-copulatory sexual selection for longer sperm. We were unable to replicate these associations with a larger data set from the same and two additional study populations; sperm length was not significantly related to either male plumage colour or arrival date. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in sperm length between populations despite marked differences in male plumage colour. We also found some evidence against the previously held assumption of longer sperm being qualitatively superior; longer sperm swam at the same speed as shorter sperm, but were less able to maintain speed over time. We argue that both empirical evidence and theoretical considerations suggest that the evolution of sperm morphology is not primarily associated with pre-copulatory sexual selection on male secondary sexual traits in this or other passerine bird species. The relatively large between-male variation in sperm length in this species is probably due to relaxed post-copulatory sexual selection.

  18. Prostaglandin E2 enhances long-term repopulation but does not permanently alter inherent stem cell competitiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoggatt, Jonathan; Mohammad, Khalid S; Singh, Pratibha; Pelus, Louis M

    2013-10-24

    Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation is a lifesaving therapy for malignant and nonmalignant hematologic diseases and metabolic disorders. Although successful, hematopoietic transplantation can be hindered by inadequate stem cell number or poor engrafting efficiency. To overcome these deficits, we and others have previously reported the HSC-enhancing ability of a short-term exposure of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2); this strategy has now progressed to phase 1 clinical trials in double cord blood transplantation. To further analyze the short- and long-term effects of HSC exposure to PGE2, we followed the repopulation kinetics of PGE2-treated hematopoietic grafts through 5 serial transplantations and compared inherent long-term competitiveness in a HSC head-to-head secondary transplantation model. Treatment with PGE2 did not result in a long-term increase in HSC competitiveness, lineage bias, or enhanced proliferative potential, demonstrating that pulse exposure to PGE2 results in transient increases in HSC homing and engraftment potential.

  19. A sex-chromosome inversion causes strong overdominance for sperm traits that affect siring success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Ulrich; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Pei, Yifan; Ihle, Malika; Wang, Daiping; Martin, Katrin; Opatová, Pavlína; Albrechtová, Jana; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Albrecht, Tomáš; Kempenaers, Bart

    2017-08-01

    Male reproductive success depends on the competitive ability of sperm to fertilize the ova, which should lead to strong selection on sperm characteristics. This raises the question of how heritable variation in sperm traits is maintained. Here we show that in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) nearly half of the variance in sperm morphology is explained by an inversion on the Z chromosome with a 40% allele frequency in the wild. The sperm of males that are heterozygous for the inversion had the longest midpieces and the highest velocity. Furthermore, such males achieved the highest fertility and the highest siring success, both within-pair and extra-pair. Males homozygous for the derived allele show detrimental sperm characteristics and the lowest siring success. Our results suggest heterozygote advantage as the mechanism that maintains the inversion polymorphism and hence variance in sperm design and in fitness.

  20. Drosophila melanogaster seminal fluid can protect the sperm of other males

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke

    2009-01-01

    a different male. This study therefore provides strong evidence that seminal fluid does not kill rival sperm, and instead can actually protect them. This study also tested whether chemicals in the female reproductive tract harm sperm as in another Drosophila species, but found no evidence of this. # 3...... physiology. # 2. Seminal fluid is well-studied in Drosophila melanogaster, a species in which it has been suggested to 'incapacitate' the sperm of rival males (e.g. by killing them) and thereby provide an advantage in sperm competition. This hypothesis has been tested several times over many years......, but different studies have yielded conflicting conclusions. Here, I use fluorescent staining to directly measure the effects of D. melanogaster seminal fluid on the survival of sperm from the same male or from a rival. The results suggest that seminal fluid improves sperm survival, even if the sperm are from...

  1. Percoll gradient-centrifuged capacitated mouse sperm have increased fertilizing ability and higher contents of sulfogalactosylglycerolipid and docosahexaenoic acid-containing phosphatidylcholine compared to washed capacitated mouse sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furimsky, Anna; Vuong, Ngoc; Xu, Hongbin; Kumarathasan, Premkumari; Xu, Min; Weerachatyanukul, Wattana; Bou Khalil, Maroun; Kates, Morris; Tanphaichitr, Nongnuj

    2005-03-01

    Although Percoll gradient centrifugation has been used routinely to prepare motile human sperm, its use in preparing motile mouse sperm has been limited. Here, we showed that Percoll gradient-centrifuged (PGC) capacitated mouse sperm had markedly higher fertilizing ability (sperm-zona pellucida [ZP] binding and in vitro fertilization) than washed capacitated mouse sperm. We also showed that the lipid profiles of PGC capacitated sperm and washed capacitated sperm differed significantly. The PGC sperm had much lower contents of cholesterol and phospholipids. This resulted in relative enrichment of male germ cell-specific sulfogalactosylglycerolipid (SGG), a ZP-binding ligand, in PGC capacitated sperm, and this would explain, in part, their increased ZP-binding ability compared with that of washed capacitated sperm. Analyses of phospholipid fatty acyl chains revealed that PGC capacitated sperm were enriched in phosphatidylcholine (PC) molecular species containing highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; C22: 6n-3) being the predominant HUFA (42% of total hydrocarbon chains of PC). In contrast, the level of PC-HUFAs comprising arachidonic acid (20:4n-6), docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5n-6), and DHA in washed capacitated sperm was only 27%. Having the highest unsaturation degree among all HUFAs in PC, DHA would enhance membrane fluidity to the uppermost. Therefore, membranes of PGC capacitated sperm would undergo fertilization-related fusion events at higher rates than washed capacitated sperm. These results suggested that PGC mouse sperm should be used in fertilization experiments and that SGG and DHA should be considered to be important biomarkers for sperm fertilizing ability.

  2. Sperm quality after swim up and density gradient centrifugation sperm preparation with supplementation of alpha lipoic acid (ALA): A preliminary study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestari, Silvia W.; Lestari, Sarah H.; Pujianto, Dwi A.

    2018-02-01

    Intra uterine insemination (IUI) as one of the treatment for infertility, persists low success rate. A factor that contributes to the unsuccessful of IUI is sperm preparation, performed through Swim-up (SU) and Density Gradient Centrifugation (DGC) methods. Furthermore, studies have shown that Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant that could enhance the sperm motility and protect the DNA integrity of the sperm [1]. This study is aimed to re-evaluate the efficiency of the DGC and SU methods in selecting sperm before being transferred for IUI by the supplementation of ALA based on the sperm DNA integrity. Semen samples were obtained from 13 men from partners of women who are infertile (normozoospermia) and underwent IUI. Semen analysis based on the guideline of World Health Organization (WHO) 2010 was performed to measure the sperm motility and velocity, before and after sperm preparation. Then, samples were incubated with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) in 0.625 mg (ALA 1), 1.25 mg (ALA 2) and 2.5 mg (ALA 3). The Sperm Chromatin Dispersion (SCD) test was performed to evaluate the sperm DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI). The percentage of motile sperm was higher in prepared sperm (post-DGC and post-SU) than in whole semen. Furthermore, the percentage of motile sperm was higher in post-DGC compared to post-SU. The level of DFI after the supplementation of ALA was decreased in prepared sperm compared to the whole semen. ALA was proved capable to select the better sperm quality with decreased sperm DNA fragmentation of prepared sperm in the all of DFI category.

  3. Enhancing competitiveness of small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs through forming of clusters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitrović Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Clusters, as a form of self-organization of enterprises and associated institutions, help increase levels of competitiveness of its members by inspiring competition and cooperation. The question of increasing the popularity of clusters is especially important at the present moment when creators of economical politics are focused on finding the leading multinational companies, who's involvement on Serbia's market and starting of production, with a possibility to export it, would create opportunities to take over some of their suppliers by Serbia's SMEs. The analysis of selected European clusters has shown that joining of SMEs into clusters increases their productivity, competitiveness and export capability. Dynamic development of SMEs in Serbia will not be possible without intensified efforts in overcoming the main limitations and impediments, perhaps most importantly insufficient competitiveness and quality of products, poor organization on territorial and branch levels and prolonged amounting of unpaid bills. That is why the government has a defining role to play in creating a healthy competitive ambient, because of all the factors involved on the market, often non-economical factors, as well, and often many elements and institutions, and if the government does not take proper measures it'll create a bad business ambient in which SMEs can't use their full potential.

  4. Pronounced within-individual plasticity in sperm morphometry across social environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immler, Simone; Pryke, Sarah R; Birkhead, Tim R; Griffith, Simon C

    2010-06-01

    Sperm morphometry (i.e., size and shape) and function are important determinants of male reproductive success and are thought to be under stabilizing selection. However, recent studies suggest that sperm morphometry can be a phenotypically plastic trait, which can be adjusted to varying conditions. We tested whether different behavioral strategies in aggression between aggressive red and nonaggressive black males of the color polymorphic Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) can influence sperm morphometry. We show pronounced within-individual phenotypic plasticity in sperm morphometry of male Gouldian finches in three different social environments. Both red and black males placed in intermediate to high competitive environments (high frequency of red males) increased the relative length of their sperm midpiece. By contrast, red males placed in low to intermediate competitive environments (higher frequency of black males) increased the length of the sperm flagellum. Significant changes in stress and sex steroid hormone levels (in response to the competitive environment) appear to influence sperm traits in red but not in black males, suggesting that changes in hormonal levels are not solely responsible for the observed changes in sperm morphometry. These findings imply that males can adjust sperm morphometry across social environments.

  5. Sperm cryopreservation in fish and shellfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiersch, Terrence R; Yang, Huiping; Jenkins, Jill A; Dong, Qiaoxiang

    2007-01-01

    Initial success in sperm cryopreservation came at about the same time for aquatic species and livestock. However, in the 50-plus years since then cryopreserved sperm of livestock has grown into a billion-dollar global industry, while despite work in some 200 species with well over 200 published reports, cryopreservation of aquatic species sperm remains essentially a research activity with little commercial application. Most research has focused on large-bodied culture and sport fishes, such as salmonids, carps, and catfishes, and mollusks such as commercially important oyster and abalone species. However, only a handful of studies have addressed sperm cryopreservation in small fishes, such as zebrafish, and in endangered species. Overall, this work has yielded techniques that are being applied with varying levels of success around the world. Barriers to expanded application include a diverse and widely distributed literature base, technical problems, small sperm volumes, variable results, a general lack of access to the technology, and most importantly, the lack of standardization in practices and reporting. The benefits of cryopreservation include at least five levels of improvements for existing industries and for creation of new industries. First, cryopreservation can be used to improve existing hatchery operations by providing sperm on demand and simplifying the timing of induced spawning. Second, frozen sperm can enhance efficient use of facilities and create new opportunities in the hatchery by eliminating the need to maintain live males, potentially freeing resources for use with females and larvae. Third, valuable genetic lineages such as endangered species, research models, or improved farmed strains can be protected by storage of frozen sperm. Fourth, cryopreservation opens the door for rapid genetic improvement. Frozen sperm can be used in breeding programs to create improved lines and shape the genetic resources available for aquaculture. Finally

  6. New genetic tools for improving SIT in Ceratitis capitata: embryonic lethality and sperm marking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schetelig, Marc F.; Wimmer, Ernst A.; Scolari, Francesca; Gasperi, Giuliano; Handler, Ernst A.

    2006-01-01

    Environment friendly sterile insect technique (SIT) is being applied effectively as a component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) for Ceratitis capitata since 1970s. Nevertheless improved biological strategies are needed to increase the efficacy of AW-IPM. Transgenic approaches should increase and widen the applicability of such programmes to different pest species. In this respect two major strategies are followed: First an approach to cause sterility was designed without interfering with spermatogenesis to maintain males and their sperm as competitive as possible. We followed a strategy, which is based on the expression of a lethal factor under the control of a promoter that is active at early blastoderm stages. The system employs the ectopic expression of a hyperactive pro apoptotic gene that causes embryo-specific lethality when driven by the tetracycline-controlled trans activator tTA under the regulation of a cellularization gene enhancer/promoter. The system has been tested successfully in Drosophila melanogaster (Horn and Wimmer 2003). We tried the direct transfer of the Drosophila system to Ceratitis capitata by injecting the respective constructs that carry Drosophila-derived promoters. Unfortunately, the cellularization specific promoters from Drosophila seem not functional in Ceratitis. Therefore, the corresponding enhancers/promoters from Ceratitis were isolated and subsequently the tTA was brought independently under the control of each enhancer/promoter region. These constructs were injected in Ceratitis for further evaluation. Second, we have engineered a medfly strain carrying a sperm marking system. This strain carries two fluorescent markers. One (turboGFP) marker is under the control of the spermatogenesis specific b2-tubulin promoter from Ceratitis and is therefore sperm specifically expressed. The second (DsRed) is under the control of the poly ubiquitin promoter of Drosophila. Released males from this strain could be

  7. New genetic tools for improving SIT in Ceratitis capitata: embryonic lethality and sperm marking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schetelig, Marc F; Wimmer, Ernst A [Georg-August-University, Gottingen (Germany). Johann-Friedrich Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology. Gottingen Center for Molecular Biosciences; Scolari, Francesca; Gasperi, Giuliano [Universita di Pavia (Italy). Dipt. di Biologia Animale; Handler, Ernst A [U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA/ARS), Gainesville, FL (United States). Agricultural Research Service. Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology

    2006-07-01

    Environment friendly sterile insect technique (SIT) is being applied effectively as a component of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) for Ceratitis capitata since 1970s. Nevertheless improved biological strategies are needed to increase the efficacy of AW-IPM. Transgenic approaches should increase and widen the applicability of such programmes to different pest species. In this respect two major strategies are followed: First an approach to cause sterility was designed without interfering with spermatogenesis to maintain males and their sperm as competitive as possible. We followed a strategy, which is based on the expression of a lethal factor under the control of a promoter that is active at early blastoderm stages. The system employs the ectopic expression of a hyperactive pro apoptotic gene that causes embryo-specific lethality when driven by the tetracycline-controlled trans activator tTA under the regulation of a cellularization gene enhancer/promoter. The system has been tested successfully in Drosophila melanogaster (Horn and Wimmer 2003). We tried the direct transfer of the Drosophila system to Ceratitis capitata by injecting the respective constructs that carry Drosophila-derived promoters. Unfortunately, the cellularization specific promoters from Drosophila seem not functional in Ceratitis. Therefore, the corresponding enhancers/promoters from Ceratitis were isolated and subsequently the tTA was brought independently under the control of each enhancer/promoter region. These constructs were injected in Ceratitis for further evaluation. Second, we have engineered a medfly strain carrying a sperm marking system. This strain carries two fluorescent markers. One (turboGFP) marker is under the control of the spermatogenesis specific b2-tubulin promoter from Ceratitis and is therefore sperm specifically expressed. The second (DsRed) is under the control of the poly ubiquitin promoter of Drosophila. Released males from this strain could be

  8. Does egg competition occur in marine broadcast-spawners?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, D J; Evans, J P

    2005-09-01

    When the availability of sperm limits female reproductive success, competition for sperm, may be an important broker of sexual selection. This is because sperm limitation can increase the variance in female reproductive success, resulting in strong selection on females to compete for limited fertilization opportunities. Sperm limitation is probably common in broadcast-spawning marine invertebrates, making these excellent candidates for investigating scramble competition between broods of eggs and its consequences for female reproductive success. Here, we report our findings from a series of experiments that investigate egg competition in the sessile, broadcast-spawning polychaete Galeolaria caespitosa. We initially tested whether the order in which eggs encounter sperm affects their fertilization success at two ecologically relevant current regimes. We used a split-clutch-split--ejaculate technique to compare the fertilization success of eggs from individual females that had either first access (competition-free treatment) or second access (egg competition treatment) to a batch of sperm. We found that fertilization success depended on the order in which eggs accessed sperm; eggs that were assigned to the competition-free treatment exhibited significantly higher fertilization rates than those assigned to the egg competition treatment at both current speeds. In subsequent experiments we found that prior exposure of sperm to eggs significantly reduced both the quantity and quality of sperm available to fertilize a second clutch of eggs, resulting in reductions in fertilization success at high and low sperm concentrations. These findings suggest that female traits that increase the likelihood of sperm-egg interactions (e.g. egg size) will respond to selection imposed by egg competition.

  9. Last mated male sperm precedence in doubly mated females is not ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 92; Issue 2. Last mated male sperm precedence in doubly mated females is not ubiquitous: evidence from sperm competition in laboratory populations of Drosophila nasuta nasuta and Drosophila nasuta albomicans. B. Shruthi S. R. Ramesh. Research Note Volume 92 Issue 2 ...

  10. Random sperm use and genetic effects on worker caste fate in Atta colombica leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Stürup, Marlene; Trontti, Kalevi

    2011-01-01

    Sperm competition can produce fascinating adaptations with far-reaching evolutionary consequences. Social taxa make particularly interesting models, because the outcome of sexual selection determines the genetic composition of groups, with attendant sociobiological consequences. Here, we use...... molecular tools to uncover some of the mechanisms and consequences of sperm competition in the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica, a species with extreme worker size polymorphism. Competitive PCR allowed quantification of the relative numbers of sperm stored by queens from different males, and offspring...... genotyping revealed how sperm number translated into paternity of eggs and adult workers. We demonstrate that fertilization success is directly related to sperm numbers, that stored sperm are well-mixed and that egg paternity is constant over time. Moreover, worker size was found to have a considerable...

  11. The application of quality management (TQM to enhance the competitiveness of agricultural entities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelena Kristić

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years quality management has become a new management segment and the most important factor in the market survival as well as in the growth and the development of business entities in most European and other countries worldwide. In order to determine characteristics of an efficient quality management system in agricultural entities and their impact on financial, economic and business performance and competitiveness, primary research was carried out on a sample of 248 respondents, i.e. the representatives of Croatian agricultural entities. The results of the research indicate there is a statistically significant relationship between a high level of TQM application and the horizontal and flexible organization structure, defined mission and vision, systematic observation of changes in the market, stable top management support, employee empowerment and their involvement in quality management activities, creating business environment that supports employee initiatives, education and training, measurable quality objectives, clear understanding of quality concept, business process evaluation and improvement, by using a proactive approach, and finally, orientation towards consumers. The study has found that TQM improves the financial, economic and business performance, i.e. increases market share, price competitiveness, competitive advantage, total sales, the introduction of new products, profitability, input use efficiency, exports, as well as employee and consumer satisfaction. Cost reduction is another advantage. Understanding the role of TQM is essential for gaining competitive advantage, which agricultural entities can achieve only through the synergy of all these elements.

  12. Framework for Educational Robotics: A Multiphase Approach to Enhance User Learning in a Competitive Arena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lye, Ngit Chan; Wong, Kok Wai; Chiou, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Educational robotics involves using robots as an educational tool to provide a long term, and progressive learning activity, to cater to different age group. The current concern is that, using robots in education should not be an instance of a one-off project for the sole purpose of participating in a competitive event. Instead, it should be a…

  13. Enhancing Undergraduates' Capabilities through Team-Based Competitions: The Edward Jones Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umble, Elisabeth J.; Umble, Michael; Artz, Kendall

    2008-01-01

    The Edward Jones Company recently initiated financial sponsorship of team-based competitions in six undergraduate business core classes at Baylor University. The challenges were chosen to take place in an introductory freshman business class, Managerial Accounting, Principles of Marketing, Corporate Finance, Operations Management, and Strategic…

  14. Burkina Faso - Promoting Growth, Competitiveness and Diversification : Country Economic Memorandum, Volume 3. Enhancing Growth Factors

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank

    2010-01-01

    The main conclusion of Country Economic Memorandum is that the previous model of extensive growth has now exhausted its potential and must be renewed. Given the existing population dynamics, low environmental tolerance due to its Sahelian climate and competition forces imposed due to its open economy, Burkina Faso is heavily investing in growth based on increased productivity to overcome i...

  15. Selective loads periodization attenuates biochemical disturbances and enhances performance in female futsal players during competitive season

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricelli Endrigo Ruppel da Rocha

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the effect of selective loads periodization on physical performance and biochemical parameters in professional female futsal players during competitive season. Twelve elite female futsal players from Kindermann team (Brazil participated in the study. Variables of physical performance and erythrogram, leukogram, plasma cortisol, plasma immunoglobulin A (IgA in the beginning of the preparatory period (PP, in the competitive period (CP and in the final competitive period (FCP were evaluated. Using selective loads periodization, all variables of physical performance increased (p < .01 during CP and were maintained during FCP (p < .05. White blood cells did not modify during CP and the increase of FCP in 28% remained within normal ranges. Plasma cortisol also increased during CP (p < .01 and was within the normal ranges during FCP. Plasma IgA also was within the normal ranges during CP and FCP. Selective loads periodization is adequate and attends the requirements of the sport during competitive season in female futsal players.

  16. Exploring Market and Competitive Intelligence Research as a Source for Enhancing Innovation Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajaj, Deepak

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the role of Competitive and Market Intelligence (CI/MI) Research as a potential source for improving the innovation capability of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) leading to successful new product/services/processes/capabilities development (Cooper & Edgett, 2002). This report highlights the…

  17. Human sperm steer with second harmonics of the flagellar beat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggiorato, Guglielmo; Alvarez, Luis; Jikeli, Jan F; Kaupp, U Benjamin; Gompper, Gerhard; Elgeti, Jens

    2017-11-10

    Sperm are propelled by bending waves traveling along their flagellum. For steering in gradients of sensory cues, sperm adjust the flagellar waveform. Symmetric and asymmetric waveforms result in straight and curved swimming paths, respectively. Two mechanisms causing spatially asymmetric waveforms have been proposed: an average flagellar curvature and buckling. We image flagella of human sperm tethered with the head to a surface. The waveform is characterized by a fundamental beat frequency and its second harmonic. The superposition of harmonics breaks the beat symmetry temporally rather than spatially. As a result, sperm rotate around the tethering point. The rotation velocity is determined by the second-harmonic amplitude and phase. Stimulation with the female sex hormone progesterone enhances the second-harmonic contribution and, thereby, modulates sperm rotation. Higher beat frequency components exist in other flagellated cells; therefore, this steering mechanism might be widespread and could inspire the design of synthetic microswimmers.

  18. Daily Sperm Production, Gonadal and Extra-Gonadal Sperm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SH

    animals fed diets 2 and 3 were similar to the control animals but they were significantly (P<0.05) lower than those fed ... Keywords: Prebiotics, probiotics, rabbits, sperm reserves, sperm production. ... Materials and methods .... In: Handbook of.

  19. Sperm-macrophage interaction in the mouse: a quantitative assay in vitro using 111indium oxine-labeled sperm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olive, D.L.; Weinberg, J.B.; Haney, A.F.

    1987-01-01

    The role of reproductive tract macrophages in contraception and reproductive failure has become widely recognized. However, in vitro analysis of sperm phagocytosis by macrophages has relied upon a semi-quantitative method of sperm counting that is of limited accuracy and reproducibility. We have developed an assay using murine sperm labeled with 111 indium oxine, and results indicate the labeling to be rapid and efficient. Incorporation of 111 indium into sperm increased the dose and sperm concentration and reached 90% maximal uptake after 15 min incubation, with maximal uptake occurring at 30 min. No decrease in sperm motility was noted with levels of oxine in excess of those required for significant labeling. Maximal labeling efficiency occurred in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), with Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM) + 10% adult bovine serum (ABS) producing significantly less uptake. Label dissociation was detectable in PBS at room temperature, but at 37 degrees C in DMEM + 10% ABS, loss of label occurred at a rate of 23.5%/h. Addition of labeled sperm to murine macrophage monolayers under optimal conditions resulted in uptake of 111 indium by macrophages, while free label was unincorporated. Results indicated assay specificity for macrophage-limited uptake, with insignificant label uptake by nonphagocytic murine fibroblasts and better sensitivity than sperm counting. Macrophages from Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG)-infected mice resulted in a decrease in sperm uptake. Female macrophages showed greater capacity for sperm uptake than those of the male mouse. These initial studies demonstrated the utility of this model system in enhancing the understanding of sperm-macrophage interaction in the female reproductive tract

  20. Organic and Low-Input Dairy Farming: Avenues to Enhance Sustainability and Competitiveness in the EU

    OpenAIRE

    Scollan, Nigel; Padel, Susanne; Halberg, Niels; Hermansen, J.E.; Nicholas, Pip; Rinne, Marketta; Zanoli, Raffaele; Zollitsch, Werner; Lauwers, Ludwig

    2017-01-01

    Whether farming strategies built on continuing input intensification or relying on integrated natural resource management are more sustainable and competitive is at the core of the agricultural development debate. The five-year (2011–16) Sustainable Organic and Low Input Dairying (SOLID) project, funded by the European Commission, involved 25 partners across 10 European countries and was designed to support innovation in European organic and low-input dairy farming. Results show that such sys...

  1. In-planta Sporulation Capacity Enhances Infectivity and Rhizospheric Competitiveness of Frankia Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotin-Galvan, Laetitia; Pozzi, Adrien C; Schwob, Guillaume; Fournier, Pascale; Fernandez, Maria P; Herrera-Belaroussi, Aude

    2016-01-01

    Frankia Sp+ strains maintain their ability to sporulate in symbiosis with actinorhizal plants, producing abundant sporangia inside host plant cells, in contrast to Sp- strains, which are unable to perform in-planta sporulation. We herein examined the role of in-planta sporulation in Frankia infectivity and competitiveness for root infection. Fifteen strains belonging to different Sp+ and Sp- phylogenetic lineages were inoculated on seedlings of Alnus glutinosa (Ag) and A. incana (Ai). Strain competitiveness was investigated by performing Sp-/Sp+ co-inoculations. Plant inoculations were standardized using crushed nodules obtained under laboratory-controlled conditions (same plant species, age, and environmental factors). Specific oligonucleotide primers were developed to identify Frankia Sp+ and/or Sp- strains in the resulting nodules. Single inoculation experiments showed that (i) infectivity by Sp+ strains was significantly greater than that by Sp- strains, (ii) genetically divergent Sp+ strains exhibited different infective abilities, and (iii) Sp+ and Sp- strains showed different host preferences according to the origin (host species) of the inocula. Co-inoculations of Sp+ and Sp- strains revealed the greater competitiveness of Sp+ strains (98.3 to 100% of Sp+ nodules, with up to 15.6% nodules containing both Sp+ and Sp- strains). The results of the present study highlight differences in Sp+/Sp- strain ecological behaviors and provide new insights to strengthen the obligate symbiont hypothesis for Sp+ strains.

  2. Sperm length, sperm storage and mating system characteristics in bumblebees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Høeg, Jens Thorvald

    2003-01-01

    -term storage of sperm, using three bumblebee species with different mating systems as models. We show that individual males produce only one size-class of sperm, but that sperm length is highly variable among brothers, among unrelated conspecific males, and among males of different species. Males of Bombus...

  3. Postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with reduced variation in sperm morphology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Calhim

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary role of postcopulatory sexual selection in shaping male reproductive traits, including sperm morphology, is well documented in several taxa. However, previous studies have focused almost exclusively on the influence of sperm competition on variation among species. In this study we tested the hypothesis that intraspecific variation in sperm morphology is driven by the level of postcopulatory sexual selection in passerine birds.Using two proxy measures of sperm competition level, (i relative testes size and (ii extrapair paternity level, we found strong evidence that intermale variation in sperm morphology is negatively associated with the degree of postcopulatory sexual selection, independently of phylogeny.Our results show that the role of postcopulatory sexual selection in the evolution of sperm morphology extends to an intraspecific level, reducing the variation towards what might be a species-specific 'optimum' sperm phenotype. This finding suggests that while postcopulatory selection is generally directional (e.g., favouring longer sperm across avian species, it also acts as a stabilising evolutionary force within species under intense selection, resulting in reduced variation in sperm morphology traits. We discuss some potential evolutionary mechanisms for this pattern.

  4. No evidence of conpopulation sperm precedence between allopatric populations of house mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renée C Firman

    Full Text Available Investigations into the evolution of reproductive barriers have traditionally focused on closely related species, and the prevalence of conspecific sperm precedence. The effectiveness of conspecific sperm precedence at limiting gene exchange between species suggests that gametic isolation is an important component of reproductive isolation. However, there is a paucity of tests for evidence of sperm precedence during the earlier stages of divergence, for example among isolated populations. Here, we sourced individuals from two allopatric populations of house mice (Mus domesticus and performed competitive in vitro fertilisation assays to test for conpopulation sperm precedence specifically at the gametic level. We found that ova population origin did not influence the outcome of the sperm competitions, and thus provide no evidence of conpopulation or heteropopulation sperm precedence. Instead, we found that males from a population that had evolved under a high level of postcopulatory sexual selection consistently outcompeted males from a population that had evolved under a relatively lower level of postcopulatory sexual selection. We standardised the number of motile sperm of each competitor across the replicate assays. Our data therefore show that competitive fertilizing success was directly attributable to differences in sperm fertilizing competence.

  5. No evidence of conpopulation sperm precedence between allopatric populations of house mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firman, Renée C; Simmons, Leigh W

    2014-01-01

    Investigations into the evolution of reproductive barriers have traditionally focused on closely related species, and the prevalence of conspecific sperm precedence. The effectiveness of conspecific sperm precedence at limiting gene exchange between species suggests that gametic isolation is an important component of reproductive isolation. However, there is a paucity of tests for evidence of sperm precedence during the earlier stages of divergence, for example among isolated populations. Here, we sourced individuals from two allopatric populations of house mice (Mus domesticus) and performed competitive in vitro fertilisation assays to test for conpopulation sperm precedence specifically at the gametic level. We found that ova population origin did not influence the outcome of the sperm competitions, and thus provide no evidence of conpopulation or heteropopulation sperm precedence. Instead, we found that males from a population that had evolved under a high level of postcopulatory sexual selection consistently outcompeted males from a population that had evolved under a relatively lower level of postcopulatory sexual selection. We standardised the number of motile sperm of each competitor across the replicate assays. Our data therefore show that competitive fertilizing success was directly attributable to differences in sperm fertilizing competence.

  6. Analysis of the impact of cryopreservation and theophylline on motility of sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaheh Gorji

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Sperm parameters, particularly motility, decrease during cryopreservation. Theophylline generally enhances sperm motility. We analyzed effects of theophylline and freezing on sperm motility.Design: Experimental study.Setting: Private IVF lab.Setting: IVF lab of Mehrgan Hospital. Method: 22–55 year-old men participated in this study (30 fresh ejaculation and 8 TESE samples. After sperm analysis, we added theophylline (40 mM to half of our samples as case group to compare motility with the remaining samples as control group. Cryopreservation was performed in two groups. After thawing, motility of both groups was recorded. Furthermore, theophylline (40 mM was applied to both groups after thawing again. Result: After adding theophylline, sperm motility improved significantly in all samples. Sperm motility reduced in control group more than the study group after freeze-thaw procedure (P < 0.002, normal morphology <5%. Sperm motility was not enhanced significantly by re-adding of theophylline to the two groups. Interactions between stages and groups were statistically significant in semen and biopsy samples (p < 0.001. Conclusion: Adding theophylline before freezing can preserve motility of sperms in samples with different parameters and even sperms extracted in testicular biopsy. Theophylline may have protective impact on sperms in freezing procedure. Keywords: Sperm motility, Theophylline, Freezing, Morphology, Biopsy

  7. Enhancing Competitiveness Business Strategy of Organic Vegetables Using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pristiana Widyastuti

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Public awareness about healthy lifestyles leads people to want to understand more about the food they consume. Choosing organic vegetables is one alternative choices when seeking to have a healthy body and healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, not a lot of organic vegetable farmers in Indonesia succeed in seizing the organic vegetable market rather than the non-organic and the competition with imported organic vegetables into Indonesia prevents farmers from thriving. This study aims to: 1 Analyze the factors affecting the competitiveness of the organic vegetables market; 2 Analyze the appropriate strategy for increasing the competitiveness of the organic vegetables market; 3 Analyze the factors priority strategies for improving the competitiveness of the organic vegetables market. Porter's Generic Model and Analysis Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP is used to determine the best strategy. The research found that organic vegetables marketing channels are still dominated by conventional market; the higher cost for intensive cultivation of organic vegetables. The main strategies are derived from the analysis is focusing on market delivery. There needs to be retailers of organic vegetables either modern or traditional to display these products. The establishment of organic vegetable outlets and online marketing that are not dependent on large retail (hypermarket become recommendations in this study. Bahasa Indonesia Abstrak: Kesadaran masyarakat tentang gaya hidup sehat memberi pilihan kepada masyarakat untuk memahami makanan yang mereka konsumsi. Pilihan sayuran organik merupakan salah satu alternatif untuk memiliki tubuh sehat dan gaya hidup sehat bagi masyarakat. Sayangnya, tidak banyak petani sayuran organik di Indonesia yang berhasil merebut pasar sayuran organik daripada non organic. Persaingan produk impor sayuran organik ke Indonesia membuat petani tidak bisa berkembang. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk: 1 Menganalisis faktor-faktor yang

  8. Additive genetic variance in polyandry enables its evolution, but polyandry is unlikely to evolve through sexy or good sperm processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travers, L M; Simmons, L W; Garcia-Gonzalez, F

    2016-05-01

    Polyandry is widespread despite its costs. The sexually selected sperm hypotheses ('sexy' and 'good' sperm) posit that sperm competition plays a role in the evolution of polyandry. Two poorly studied assumptions of these hypotheses are the presence of additive genetic variance in polyandry and sperm competitiveness. Using a quantitative genetic breeding design in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, we first established the potential for polyandry to respond to selection. We then investigated whether polyandry can evolve through sexually selected sperm processes. We measured lifetime polyandry and offensive sperm competitiveness (P2 ) while controlling for sampling variance due to male × male × female interactions. We also measured additive genetic variance in egg-to-adult viability and controlled for its effect on P2 estimates. Female lifetime polyandry showed significant and substantial additive genetic variance and evolvability. In contrast, we found little genetic variance or evolvability in P2 or egg-to-adult viability. Additive genetic variance in polyandry highlights its potential to respond to selection. However, the low levels of genetic variance in sperm competitiveness suggest that the evolution of polyandry may not be driven by sexy sperm or good sperm processes. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. Enhancement of faba bean competitive ability by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi is highly correlated with dynamic nutrient acquisition by competing wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Xu; Bei, Shuikuan; Li, Chunjie; Dong, Yan; Li, Haigang; Christie, Peter; Zhang, Fusuo; Zhang, Junling

    2015-01-29

    The mechanistic understanding of the dynamic processes linking nutrient acquisition and biomass production of competing individuals can be instructive in optimizing intercropping systems. Here, we examine the effect of inoculation with Funneliformis mosseae on competitive dynamics between wheat and faba bean. Wheat is less responsive to mycorrhizal inoculation. Both inoculated and uninoculated wheat attained the maximum instantaneous N and P capture approximately five days before it attained the maximum instantaneous biomass production, indicating that wheat detected the competitor and responded physiologically to resource limitation prior to the biomass response. By contrast, the instantaneous N and P capture by uninoculated faba bean remained low throughout the growth period, and plant growth was not significantly affected by competing wheat. However, inoculation substantially enhanced biomass production and N and P acquisition of faba bean. The exudation of citrate and malate acids and acid phosphatase activity were greater in mycorrhizal than in uninoculated faba bean, and rhizosphere pH tended to decrease. We conclude that under N and P limiting conditions, temporal separation of N and P acquisition by competing plant species and enhancement of complementary resource use in the presence of AMF might be attributable to the competitive co-existence of faba bean and wheat.

  10. Competition and enhancement effect in coremoval of atenolol and copper by an easily regenerative magnetic cation exchange resin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qimeng; Wang, Zheng; Li, Qiang; Shuang, Chendong; Zhou, Qing; Li, Aimin; Gao, Canzhu

    2017-07-01

    This paper aimed to investigate the removal of combined Cu 2+ and atenolol (ATL) in aqueous solution by using a newly synthesized magnetic cation exchange resin (MCER) as the adsorbent. The MCER exhibited efficient removal performance in sole, binary, pre-loading and saline systems. The adsorption kinetics of Cu 2+ and ATL fitted both pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second order model, while better described by pseudo-second order model in binary system. In mixed Cu 2+ and ATL solution, the adsorption of ATL was suppressed due to direct competition of carboxylic groups, while Cu 2+ adsorption was enhanced because of the formation of surface complexes. This increasing in heterogeneity was demonstrated by adsorption isotherms, which were more suitable for Freundlich model in binary system, while better described by Langmuir model in sole system. As proved by FTIR and XPS spectra, both amino and hydroxyl groups of ATL could form complexes with Cu 2+ . Decomplexing-bridging interaction was elucidated as the leading mechanism in coremoval of Cu 2+ and ATL, which involved [Cu-ATL] decomplexing and newly created Cu- or ATL sites for additional bridging. For saline system, the resulting competition and enhancement effects in mixed solution were amplified with the addition of co-existing cations. Moreover, the MCER could be effectively regenerated by 0.01 M HCl solution and maintain high stability over 5 adsorption-desorption cycles, which render it great potential for practical applications. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Enhanced competitive adsorption of CO2 and H2 on graphyne: A density functional theory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyuk Jae Kwon

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Adsorption using carbon-based materials has been established to be a feasible method for separating carbon dioxide and hydrogen to mitigate the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and for the collection of fuel for energy sources, simultaneously. We carried out density functional theory calculation with dispersion correction to investigate the physisorption characteristics of carbon allotropes such as graphene and graphyne for the competitive adsorption of CO2 and H2. It is worth noting that the graphyne represented preferable adsorption energies, short bond lengths and energy charges for both gases, compared with the characteristics observed with graphene. We found that in graphyne, both the affinitive adsorption of CO2, and the competitive adsorption of CO2 and H2, took place at the hollow site between acetylene links, which do not exist in graphene. We demonstrate that in the presence of H2, the CO2 adsorption selectivity of graphyne is higher than that of graphene, because of the improved electronic properties resulting from the acetylene links.

  12. Sperm motility in fish: technical applications and perspectives through CASA-Mot systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallego, V; Asturiano, J F

    2018-03-09

    Although a relatively high number of sperm quality biomarkers have been reported over the years in several fish species, sperm motility is nowadays considered the best biomarker for fish spermatozoa. The first scientific reports focusing on fish sperm motility date from a century ago, but the objective assessment allowed by computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA-Mot) systems was not applied to fish species until the mid-1980s. Since then, a high number of sperm kinetic parameters from more than 170 fish species have been reported in more than 700 scientific articles, covering a wide range of topics, such as sperm physiology, sperm storage, broodstock management, the phenomenon of sperm competition, ecotoxicology and understanding the life cycle of the species. The sperm kinetic parameters provided by CASA-Mot systems can serve as powerful and useful tools for aquaculture and ecological purposes, and this review provides an overview of the major research areas in which fish sperm motility assessment by a CASA-Mot system has been used successfully.

  13. The different types of sperm morphology and behavior within a single species: Why do sperm of squid sneaker males form a cluster?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirohashi, Noritaka; Iwata, Yoko

    2013-11-01

    Some coastal squids exhibit male dimorphism (large and small body size) that is linked to mating behaviors. Large "consort" males compete with other, rival males to copulate with a female, and thereby transfer their spermatophores to her internal site around the oviduct. Small "sneaker" males rush to a single female or copulating pair and transfer spermatophores to her external body surface around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. We previously found that in Loligo bleekeri, sneaker sperm are ~50% longer than consort sperm, and only the sneaker sperm, once ejaculated from the spermatophore (sperm mass), form a cluster because of chemoattraction toward their own respiratory CO2. Here, we report that sperm clusters are able to move en masse. Because a fraction of ejaculated sperm from a sneaker's spermatophore are eventually located in the female's seminal receptacle, we hypothesize that sperm clustering facilitates collective migration to the seminal receptacle or an egg micropyle. Sperm clustering is regarded as a cooperative behavior that may have evolved by sperm competition and/or physical and physiological constraints imposed by male mating tactics.

  14. Modification of sperm quality after sexual abstinence in Seba's short-tailed bat, Carollia perspicillata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesseling, Charlotte; Fasel, Nicolas; Richner, Heinz; Helfenstein, Fabrice

    2016-05-01

    In polygynous mating systems, few males have stable access to sexual mates. With an expected higher copulation rate, harem males may deplete seminal fluids or increase epididymal sperm maturation, generating poor sperm quality. In a first study, we reported a higher sperm quality in sneaker males of Carollia perspicillata To test whether the lower sperm quality observed in harem males was generated by an elevated copulation rate, we temporarily removed males of both social statuses from the colony. We thus assessed status-related changes of sperm quality resulting from sexual abstinence. Moreover, released from territory and female guarding, harem males were expected to show a reduction in somatic costs. On the basis of sperm competition models, we predicted a higher resource investment in the ejaculate with the reduction of pre-copulatory efforts. In line with our predictions, sperm quality of harem males improved significantly in contrast to sneaker males, whose sperm quality did not change. Without an increase in ejaculate lipid peroxidation, our results also provide evidence that the duration of sexual abstinence was not sufficient to generate sperm oxidative damage through senescence. Harem males did not show a reduction in blood lipid peroxidation or in the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione. In line with the maintenance of these somatic costs, harem males did not invest more superoxide dismutase to the ejaculate to maintain sperm quality. Our results suggest that a difference in copulation rate rather than an adaptation to sperm competition provides sneaker males with higher sperm quality in C. perspicillata. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Defense Acquisition Policy and Defense Industrial Base Reinforcement Strategy - Enhancing the International Competitiveness of the Korean National Defense Industry

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lee, Dae O

    2008-01-01

    ...) through competitiveness analysis is required. Thus, it is necessary to develop appropriate models for analyzing the Korean NDI and to conduct competitiveness analysis by using the developed model...

  16. A harmonized and efficient clinical research environment would benefit patients and enhance European competitiveness. Commentary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, Antonino; Aringhieri, Eugenio; Boccia, Stefania; Buccella, Filippo; Gorini, Barbara; Gramaglia, Donatella; Masetti, Riccardo; Rossi, Paolo; Pelicci, Pier Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    The forthcoming implementation of the European Clinical Trial Regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 536/2014), which is expected to facilitate the conduct of clinical trials across the European Union, will require National Authorities to create the best conditions for the implementation of the new Regulation through national guidelines, so that sponsors may reconsider Europe as a prime location for planning clinical trials. During a meeting titled "Innovation in Clinical Research", an expert panel discussed potential local advances fostering competitiveness of European clinical research with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, patient organisations and Italian regulatory agency in view of the forthcoming implementation of (EU) No. 536/2014 on clinical trials of medicinal products. In this article we summarise the findings of the meeting, describe features characterising clinical research patterns and offer some suggestions on the possible involvement of all stakeholders in order to foster research innovation and allow the timely access to novel medicines for patients.

  17. Testosterone is associated with cooperation during intergroup competition by enhancing parochial altruism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luise eReimers

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The steroid hormone testosterone is widely associated with negative behavioral effects, such as aggression or dominance. However, recent studies applying economic exchange tasks revealed conflicting results. While some point to a prosocial effect of testosterone by increasing altruistic behavior, others report that testosterone promotes antisocial tendencies. Taking into account additional factors such as parochial altruism (i.e., ingroup favoritism and outgroup hostility might help to explain this contradiction. First evidence for a link between testosterone and parochial altruism comes from recently reported data of male soccer fans playing the ultimatum game. In this study high levels of endogenous testosterone predicted increased altruistic punishment during outgroup interactions and at the same time heightened ingroup generosity. Here, we report findings of another experimental task, the prisoner’s dilemma, applied in the same context to examine the role of testosterone on parochial tendencies in terms of cooperation. In this task, fifty male soccer fans were asked to decide whether or not they wanted to cooperate with partners marked as either fans of the subject’s own favorite team (ingroup or fans of other teams (outgroups. Our results show that high testosterone levels were associated with increased ingroup cooperation during intergroup competition. In addition, subjects displaying a high degree of parochialism during intergroup competition had significantly higher levels of testosterone than subjects who did not differentiate much between the different groups. In sum, the present data demonstrate that the behavioral effects of testosterone are not limited to aggressive and selfish tendencies but may imply prosocial aspects depending on the context. By this means, our results support the previously reported findings on testosterone-dependent intergroup bias and indicate that this social hormone might be an important factor driving

  18. Testosterone is associated with cooperation during intergroup competition by enhancing parochial altruism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimers, Luise; Diekhof, Esther K

    2015-01-01

    The steroid hormone testosterone is widely associated with negative behavioral effects, such as aggression or dominance. However, recent studies applying economic exchange tasks revealed conflicting results. While some point to a prosocial effect of testosterone by increasing altruistic behavior, others report that testosterone promotes antisocial tendencies. Taking into account additional factors such as parochial altruism (i.e., ingroup favoritism and outgroup hostility) might help to explain this contradiction. First evidence for a link between testosterone and parochial altruism comes from recently reported data of male soccer fans playing the ultimatum game. In this study high levels of endogenous testosterone predicted increased altruistic punishment during outgroup interactions and at the same time heightened ingroup generosity. Here, we report findings of another experimental task, the prisoner's dilemma, applied in the same context to examine the role of testosterone on parochial tendencies in terms of cooperation. In this task, 50 male soccer fans were asked to decide whether or not they wanted to cooperate with partners marked as either fans of the subject's own favorite team (ingroup) or fans of other teams (outgroups). Our results show that high testosterone levels were associated with increased ingroup cooperation during intergroup competition. In addition, subjects displaying a high degree of parochialism during intergroup competition had significantly higher levels of testosterone than subjects who did not differentiate much between the different groups. In sum, the present data demonstrate that the behavioral effects of testosterone are not limited to aggressive and selfish tendencies but may imply prosocial aspects depending on the context. By this means, our results support the previously reported findings on testosterone-dependent intergroup bias and indicate that this social hormone might be an important factor driving parochial altruism.

  19. Mutation of praR in Rhizobium leguminosarum enhances root biofilms, improving nodulation competitiveness by increased expression of attachment proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederix, Marijke; Edwards, Anne; Swiderska, Anna; Stanger, Andrew; Karunakaran, Ramakrishnan; Williams, Alan; Abbruscato, Pamela; Sanchez-Contreras, Maria; Poole, Philip S; Downie, J Allan

    2014-08-01

    In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, quorum-sensing is regulated by CinR, which induces the cinIS operon. CinI synthesizes an AHL, whereas CinS inactivates PraR, a repressor. Mutation of praR enhanced biofilms in vitro. We developed a light (lux)-dependent assay of rhizobial attachment to roots and demonstrated that mutation of praR increased biofilms on pea roots. The praR mutant out-competed wild-type for infection of pea nodules in mixed inoculations. Analysis of gene expression by microarrays and promoter fusions revealed that PraR represses its own transcription and mutation of praR increased expression of several genes including those encoding secreted proteins (the adhesins RapA2, RapB and RapC, two cadherins and the glycanase PlyB), the polysaccharide regulator RosR, and another protein similar to PraR. PraR bound to the promoters of several of these genes indicating direct repression. Mutations in rapA2, rapB, rapC, plyB, the cadherins or rosR did not affect the enhanced root attachment or nodule competitiveness of the praR mutant. However combinations of mutations in rapA, rapB and rapC abolished the enhanced attachment and nodule competitiveness. We conclude that relief of PraR-mediated repression determines a lifestyle switch allowing the expression of genes that are important for biofilm formation on roots and the subsequent initiation of infection of legume roots. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Microbiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Sperm head's birefringence: a new criterion for sperm selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianaroli, Luca; Magli, M Cristina; Collodel, Giulia; Moretti, Elena; Ferraretti, Anna P; Baccetti, Baccio

    2008-07-01

    To investigate the characteristics of birefringence in human sperm heads and apply polarization microscopy for sperm selection at intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Prospective randomized study. Reproductive Medicine Unit, Società Italiana Studi Medicina della Riproduzione, Bologna, Italy. A total of 112 male patients had birefringent sperm selected for ICSI (study group). The clinical outcome was compared with that obtained in 119 couples who underwent a conventional ICSI cycle (control group). The proportion of birefringent spermatozoa was evaluated before and after treatment in relation to the sperm sample quality. Embryo development and clinical outcome in the study group were compared with those in the controls. Proportion of birefringent sperm heads, rates of fertilization, cleavage, pregnancy, implantation, and ongoing implantation. The proportion of birefringent spermatozoa was significantly higher in normospermic samples when compared with oligoasthenoteratospermic samples with no progressive motility and testicular sperm extraction samples. Although fertilization and cleavage rates did not differ between the study and control groups, in the most severe male factor condition (oligoasthenoteratospermic with no progressive motility and testicular sperm extraction), the rates of clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and implantation were significantly higher in the study group versus the controls. The analysis of birefringence in the sperm head could represent both a diagnostic tool and a novel method for sperm selection.

  1. The Current Status of E-learning and Strategies to Enhance Educational Competitiveness in Korean Higher Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junghoon Leem

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to examine the current status of e-Learning in Korean higher education and find ways to encourage the further use and development of e-Learning systems that aim to enhance Korea's academic competitiveness. A total of 201 universities in Korea (27 national and public, 163 private, and 11 national universities of education were examined in this study. At the time of the study, 85 percent of the universities and colleges had investigated implementing e-Learning. There were special e-Learning teams in most national and public universities, as well as private universities and colleges. Findings from this study found that both teachers and learners alike, lacked meaningful support systems and opportunities to actively participate in e-Learning programs. Although such lack of support was found to be endemic, such lack of support and opportunity was found to be more accute in private universities, private colleges, universities of education, than mid-sized, small-sized, and provincial universities and colleges. Except for a few mid- and small-sized universities and colleges, most large universities and colleges were equipped with technical support such as infrastructure and operational platforms. These same schools, however, did not provide institutional support, nor did they employ appropriate policies needed to further the quality and enhancement of e-Learning offerings. Also, there was no meaningful link found between schools and industry, nor was there adequate financial support in place for the implementation of e-Learning systems, simply because many universities failed to allocate sufficient funding for e-Learning.In conclusion, the strategies for enhancing university competitiveness through e-Learning are as follows: 1 establishing support strategies according to the types of universities; 2 developing quality assurance systems for e-Learning; 3 enhancing support systems for professors and learners; 4 developing

  2. Substrate-mediated delivery of gene complex nanoparticles via polydopamine coating for enhancing competitiveness of endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo-Chao; Chang, Hao; Ren, Ke-Feng; Ji, Jian

    2016-11-01

    Substrate-mediated delivery of functional plasmid DNA (pDNA) has been proven to be a promising strategy to promote competitiveness of endothelial cells (ECs) over smooth muscle cells (SMCs), which is beneficial to inducing fast endothelialization of implanted vascular devices. Thus, it is of great importance to develop universal approaches with simplicity and easiness to immobilize DNA complex nanoparticles on substrates. In this study, the bioinspired polydopamine (PDA) coating was employed in immobilization of DNA complex nanoparticles, which were composed of protamine (PrS) and plasmid DNA encoding with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF-pDNA) gene. We demonstrated that the DNA complex nanoparticles can be successfully immobilized onto the PDA surface. Consequently, the HGF expression of both ECs and SMCs were significantly improved when they cultured on the DNA complex nanoparticles-immobilized substrates. Furthermore, EC proliferation was specifically promoted due to bioactivity of HGF, leading to an enhancement of EC competitiveness over SMCs. Our findings demonstrated the substrate-mediated functional gene nanoparticle delivery through PDA coating as a simple and efficient approach. It may hold great potential in the field of interventional cardiovascular implants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Aggregation of human sperm at higher temperature is due to hyperactivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keppler, E L; Chan, P J; Patton, W C; King, A

    1999-01-01

    Chemotaxis of sperm cells to chemicals and hormones, such as progesterone, helps us to understand the concept of sperm transport. Here, the hypothesis was that heat increased sperm hyperactive motility, which caused the sperm to aggregate at the higher temperature. The objectives were (1) to determine the concentration of sperm at both halves of an artificial female reproductive tract made from a hermetically sealed cryopreservation straw filled with culture medium and placed with each end at different temperatures, and (2) to analyze the motility or kinematic parameters and hyperactivation of sperm found at the different temperatures. Cryopreserved-thawed human donor sperm (N = 6) were pooled and processed through 2-layer colloid solution. Analyses of the motile sperm were carried out and the washed sperm were homogeneously mixed and pipetted into several 0.5-mL French cryopreservation straws and heat-sealed. The control substance, consisting of acid-treated sperm, was also placed in several straws. The plastic straws of sperm were placed half at 23 degrees C and half was at either 37 or 40 degrees C. After 4 h, sperm at different sections of the straws were analyzed using the Hamilton Thorn motility analyzer (HTM-C). After 4 h of incubation, the concentration of sperm was doubled at the 40 degrees C heated half of the straw when compared with the other half of the straw at 23 degrees C. There were no differences in sperm concentration in the straw kept half at 37 degrees C and half at 23 degrees C. There were significantly higher percent motility, mean average path velocity, straight line velocity, lateral head displacement, and percent hyperactivation in sperm at the 40 degrees C temperature. The aggregation of sperm at the higher temperature of 40 degrees C may be due to enhanced motility, increased sperm velocities, and a 10-fold increase in hyperactivation at that temperature. The 37 degrees C temperature was not sufficient to attract sperm. Sperm cells

  4. Customerizing the clinical laboratory. Repositioning for enhanced service and a competitive advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuler, R S

    1989-01-01

    The call for excellence has never been louder, especially in the health-care industry. This call typically means increased service, i.e., faster, more accurate and, of course, friendlier service--all easier said than done, but qualities that make enhanced customer service so powerful. The excellent companies are learning that because it is so difficult to customerize, few competitors do so. Therefore, by devoting the time and effort necessary for customerization, they can move ahead of their competitors. But surpassing competitors by excellent service can be done inside of companies as well as outside. All units and departments have customers. The key to customerization inside is finding out what your customers want and behaving accordingly. The results go beyond enhanced customer satisfaction. They also include enhanced energy levels, reduced turnover, increased pride, and greater creativity for the newly customerized department. All it takes is an understanding of and dedication to customerization. Repositioning the existing department is critical to the success of any attempt to customerize. This article thoroughly describes customerization and the entire process of repositioning the clinical laboratory. One will not occur without the other.

  5. Enhancing the competitiveness of skilled construction workers through collaborative education and training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dardiri, Ahmad; Sutrisno, Kuncoro, Tri; Ichwanto, Muhamad Aris; Suparji

    2017-09-01

    Professionalism of construction workers is one of the keys to the success of infrastructure development projects. The professionalism of the workforce is demonstrated through the possession of expertise competence certificate (SKA) and/or certificates of skills (SKT) issued formally through competency tests by the National Construction Cervices Development Agency (LPJKN). The magnitude of the national skilled manpower needs has not been able to meet the availability of professional workforce. Strategies to develop the quality of resources require sufficient information on the characteristics of the resources themselves, facilities, constraints, stakeholder support, regulations, and socioeconomic as well as cultural conditions. The problems faced by Indonesia in improving the competitiveness of skilled construction workers are (1) how the level of professionalism of skill workers in construction field, (2) what the constrains on improving the quality of skilled construction workers,and(3) how the appropriate model of education and training skillfull construction work. The study was designed with quantitative and qualitative approaches. Quantitative methods were used to describe the profile of sklill constructions worker. Qualitative methods were used toidentify constraintsin improving the qualityof skilled labor, as well as formulate a viable collaborative education and training model for improving the quality of skill labor. Data were collected by documentation, observation, and interview. The result of the study indicate theat (1) the professionalism knowledge of skilled constructions worker are in still low condition, (2) the constrain faced in developing the quality of skilled construction labor cover economic and structural constrains, and (3) collaborative eduction and training model can improve the quality ods skilld labor contructions.

  6. Do Loyalty Programs Enhance Behavioral Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Accounting for Program Design and Competitive Effects

    OpenAIRE

    Leenheer, J.; Bijmolt, T.H.A.; van Heerde, H.J.; Smidts, A.

    2002-01-01

    This paper studies the effects of loyalty programs on share-of-wallet using market-wide household panel data on supermarket purchases.We find that loyalty programs relate positively to share-of-wallet, but the programs differ in effectiveness and some are ineffective.Both a saving component and a multi-vendor structure enhance the effectiveness of a loyalty program, but high discounts do not lead to higher share-of-wallets.Further, if households have multiple loyalty cards, the effectiveness ...

  7. Dimorphic ejaculates and sperm release strategies associated with alternative mating behaviors in the squid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apostólico, Lígia H; Marian, José E A R

    2017-11-01

    Sperm competition is a powerful postcopulatory selective force influencing male adaptations associated with increasing fertilization success, and it is usually related to the evolution of different strategies of ejaculate expenditure between individuals. Ejaculates may also be influenced by additional selective pressures associated with sperm competition, such as timing between insemination and fertilization, female reproductive tract morphology, and fertilization environment. Also, males that adopt alternative mating tactics may face distinct sperm competition pressures, which may lead to the evolution of intraspecific diversity in ejaculates. In loliginid squids, males with alternative reproductive tactics (sneakers and consorts) differ not only in mating behavior, but also transfer spermatophores into two distinct sites within the female. Here, we compared structure and functioning of spermatophores between sneakers and consorts in the squid Doryteuthis plei applying microscopy techniques and in vitro experiments. Sneakers and consorts exhibit differences in spermatophore structure that lead to distinct spermatophoric reactions and spermatangium morphologies. Moreover, in sneakers, sperm release lasts longer and their sperm show an aggregative behavior not detected in consorts. Slow sperm release may be a strategy to guarantee longer sperm provision, given the wide interval between sneaker mating and egg release. For consorts, in turn, intense and quick sperm discharge may be advantageous, as timing between mating and egg-laying is relatively short. Within the complex squid mating system, factors such as (i) different fertilization sites and (ii) interval between mating and egg release may also influence sperm competition, and ultimately shape the evolution of divergent ejaculates between dimorphic males. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Modelling a tethered mammalian sperm cell undergoing hyperactivation

    KAUST Repository

    Curtis, M.P.

    2012-09-01

    The beat patterns of mammalian sperm flagella can be categorised into two different types. The first involves symmetric waves propagating down the flagellum with a net linear propulsion of the sperm cell. The second, hyperactive, waveform is classified by vigorous asymmetric waves of higher amplitude, lower wavenumber and frequency propagating down the flagellum resulting in highly curved trajectories. The latter beat pattern is part of the capacitation process whereby sperm prepare for the prospective penetration of the zona pellucida and fusion with the egg. Hyperactivation is often observed to initiate as sperm escape from epithelial and ciliary bindings formed within the isthmic regions of the female oviducts, leading to a conjecture in the literature that this waveform is mechanically important for sperm escape. Hence, we explore the mechanical effects of hyperactivation on a tethered sperm, focussing on a Newtonian fluid. Using a resistive force theory model we demonstrate that hyperactivation can indeed generate forces that pull the sperm away from a tethering point and consequently a hyperactivated sperm cell bound to an epithelial surface need not always be pushed by its flagellum. More generally, directions of the forces generated by tethered flagella are insensitive to reductions in beat frequency and the detailed flagellar responses depend on the nature of the binding at the tethering point. Furthermore, waveform asymmetry and amplitude increases enhance the tendency for a tethered flagellum to start tugging on its binding. The same is generally predicted to be true for reductions in the wavenumber of the flagellum beat, but not universally so, emphasising the dynamical complexity of flagellar force generation. Finally, qualitative observations drawn from experimental data of human sperm bound to excised female reproductive tract are also presented and are found to be consistent with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Modelling a tethered mammalian sperm cell undergoing hyperactivation

    KAUST Repository

    Curtis, M.P.; Kirkman-Brown, J.C.; Connolly, T.J.; Gaffney, E.A.

    2012-01-01

    The beat patterns of mammalian sperm flagella can be categorised into two different types. The first involves symmetric waves propagating down the flagellum with a net linear propulsion of the sperm cell. The second, hyperactive, waveform is classified by vigorous asymmetric waves of higher amplitude, lower wavenumber and frequency propagating down the flagellum resulting in highly curved trajectories. The latter beat pattern is part of the capacitation process whereby sperm prepare for the prospective penetration of the zona pellucida and fusion with the egg. Hyperactivation is often observed to initiate as sperm escape from epithelial and ciliary bindings formed within the isthmic regions of the female oviducts, leading to a conjecture in the literature that this waveform is mechanically important for sperm escape. Hence, we explore the mechanical effects of hyperactivation on a tethered sperm, focussing on a Newtonian fluid. Using a resistive force theory model we demonstrate that hyperactivation can indeed generate forces that pull the sperm away from a tethering point and consequently a hyperactivated sperm cell bound to an epithelial surface need not always be pushed by its flagellum. More generally, directions of the forces generated by tethered flagella are insensitive to reductions in beat frequency and the detailed flagellar responses depend on the nature of the binding at the tethering point. Furthermore, waveform asymmetry and amplitude increases enhance the tendency for a tethered flagellum to start tugging on its binding. The same is generally predicted to be true for reductions in the wavenumber of the flagellum beat, but not universally so, emphasising the dynamical complexity of flagellar force generation. Finally, qualitative observations drawn from experimental data of human sperm bound to excised female reproductive tract are also presented and are found to be consistent with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

  10. The different types of sperm morphology and behavior within a single species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirohashi, Noritaka; Iwata, Yoko

    2013-01-01

    Some coastal squids exhibit male dimorphism (large and small body size) that is linked to mating behaviors. Large “consort” males compete with other, rival males to copulate with a female, and thereby transfer their spermatophores to her internal site around the oviduct. Small “sneaker” males rush to a single female or copulating pair and transfer spermatophores to her external body surface around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. We previously found that in Loligo bleekeri, sneaker sperm are ~50% longer than consort sperm, and only the sneaker sperm, once ejaculated from the spermatophore (sperm mass), form a cluster because of chemoattraction toward their own respiratory CO2. Here, we report that sperm clusters are able to move en masse. Because a fraction of ejaculated sperm from a sneaker’s spermatophore are eventually located in the female’s seminal receptacle, we hypothesize that sperm clustering facilitates collective migration to the seminal receptacle or an egg micropyle. Sperm clustering is regarded as a cooperative behavior that may have evolved by sperm competition and/or physical and physiological constraints imposed by male mating tactics. PMID:24567779

  11. How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüpold, Stefan; Manier, Mollie K.; Puniamoorthy, Nalini; Schoff, Christopher; Starmer, William T.; Luepold, Shannon H. Buckley; Belote, John M.; Pitnick, Scott

    2016-05-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection (PSS), fuelled by female promiscuity, is credited with the rapid evolution of sperm quality traits across diverse taxa. Yet, our understanding of the adaptive significance of sperm ornaments and the cryptic female preferences driving their evolution is extremely limited. Here we review the evolutionary allometry of exaggerated sexual traits (for example, antlers, horns, tail feathers, mandibles and dewlaps), show that the giant sperm of some Drosophila species are possibly the most extreme ornaments in all of nature and demonstrate how their existence challenges theories explaining the intensity of sexual selection, mating-system evolution and the fundamental nature of sex differences. We also combine quantitative genetic analyses of interacting sex-specific traits in D. melanogaster with comparative analyses of the condition dependence of male and female reproductive potential across species with varying ornament size to reveal complex dynamics that may underlie sperm-length evolution. Our results suggest that producing few gigantic sperm evolved by (1) Fisherian runaway selection mediated by genetic correlations between sperm length, the female preference for long sperm and female mating frequency, and (2) longer sperm increasing the indirect benefits to females. Our results also suggest that the developmental integration of sperm quality and quantity renders post-copulatory sexual selection on ejaculates unlikely to treat male-male competition and female choice as discrete processes.

  12. Subversive practices of sperm donation - globalizing Danish sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    as the use of donated sperm continuously has been debated as an ethical issue, and increasingly been regulated. In this presentation I will discuss how Denmark became a destination for fertility travelling (sperm donation) as a result of various subversive strategies of family making. The article inquires......-sited ethnography drawing on ethnographic research including observations and interviews from fertility clinics and sperm banks in Denmark during 2002/2003 and 2011- 2013, legislative documents and websites of fertility clinics and sperm banks. The presentation is methodologically inspired by Adele Clarke...

  13. Recent advances in bird sperm morphometric analysis and its role in male gamete characterization and reproduction technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Santiago-Moreno

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Postcopulatory sexual selection through sperm competition may be an important evolutionary force affecting many reproductive traits, including sperm morphometrics. Environmental factors such as pollutants, pesticides, and climate change may affect different sperm traits, and thus reproduction, in sensitive bird species. Many sperm-handling processes used in assisted reproductive techniques may also affect the size of sperm cells. The accurately measured dimensions of sperm cell structures (especially the head can thus be used as indicators of environmental influences, in improving our understanding of reproductive and evolutionary strategies, and for optimizing assisted reproductive techniques (e.g., sperm cryopreservation for use with birds. Computer-assisted sperm morphometry analysis (CASA-Morph provides an accurate and reliable method for assessing sperm morphometry, reducing the problem of subjectivity associated with human visual assessment. Computerized systems have been standardized for use with semen from different mammalian species. Avian spermatozoa, however, are filiform, limiting their analysis with such systems, which were developed to examine the approximately spherical heads of mammalian sperm cells. To help overcome this, the standardization of staining techniques to be used in computer-assessed light microscopical methods is a priority. The present review discusses these points and describes the sperm morphometric characteristics of several wild and domestic bird species.

  14. Exploratory studies into strategies to enhance innovation-driven international competitiveness in a port context : Toward ambidextrous ports

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.M.A. Hollen (Rick)

    2015-01-01

    markdownabstractResearch has highlighted that firms competing in dynamic environments have to balance exploitative (efficiency-directed) activities with explorative (innovation-directed) ones in order to remain internationally competitive. In economically advanced countries, whose competitiveness is

  15. Enhancement of fermentable sugar yield by competitive adsorption of non-enzymatic substances from yeast and cellulase on lignin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yong; Lei, Fuhou; Cristhian, Carrasco; Liu, Zuguang; Yu, Hailong; Jiang, Jianxin

    2014-03-20

    Enhancement of enzymatic digestibility by some supplementations could reduce enzyme loading and cost, which is still too high to realize economical production of lignocellulosic biofuels. A recent study indicates that yeast hydrolysates (YH) have improved the efficiency of cellulases on digestibility of furfural residues (FR). In the current work, the components of YH were separated by centrifugation and size exclusion chromatography and finally characterized in order to better understand this positive effect. A 60.8% of nitrogen of yeast cells was remained in the slurry (YHS) after hydrothermal treatment. In the supernatant of YH (YHL), substances of high molecular weight were identified as proteins and other UV-absorbing compounds, which showed close molecular weight to components of cellulases. Those substances attributed to a synergetic positive effect on enzymatic hydrolysis of FR. The fraction of YHL ranged from 1.19 to 2.19 mL (elution volume) contained over 50% of proteins in YHL and had the best performance in stimulating the release of glucose. Experiment results proved the adsorption of proteins in YHL on lignin. Supplementation of cellulases with YH enhances enzymatic digestibility of FR mainly by a competitive adsorption of non-enzymatic substances on lignin. The molecular weight of these substances has a significant impact on their performance. Different strategies can be used for a good utilization of yeast cells in terms of biorefinery concept.

  16. Cryopreservation of microencapsulated canine sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Shambhu; Otsuki, Tsubasa; Fujimura, Chika; Yamamoto, Naoki; Yamashita, Yasuhisa; Higaki, Shogo; Hishinuma, Mitsugu

    2011-03-01

    The objective was to develop a method for cryopreserving microencapsulated canine sperm. Pooled ejaculates from three beagle dogs were extended in egg yolk tris extender and encapsulated using alginate and poly-L-lysine at room temperature. The microcapsules were cooled at 4 °C, immersed in pre-cooled extender (equivalent in volume to the microcapsules) to reach final concentration of 7% (v/v) glycerol and 0.75% (v/v) Equex STM paste, and equilibrated for 5, 30 and 60 min at 4 °C. Thereafter, microcapsules were loaded into 0.5 mL plastic straws and frozen in liquid nitrogen. In Experiment 1, characteristics of microencapsulated canine sperm were evaluated after glycerol addition at 4 °C. Glycerol exposure for 5, 30 and 60 min did not significantly affect progressive motility, viability, or acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm compared with pre-cooled unencapsulated sperm (control). In Experiment 2, characteristics of frozen-thawed canine microencapsulated sperm were evaluated at 0, 3, 6, and 9 h of culture at 38.5 °C. Pre-freeze glycerol exposure for 5, 30, and 60 min at 4 °C did not influence post-thaw quality in unencapsulated sperm. Post-thaw motility and acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm decreased more than those of unencapsulated sperm (P < 0.05) following glycerol exposure for 5 min. However, motility, viability and acrosomal integrity of microencapsulated sperm after 30 and 60 min glycerol exposure were higher than unencapsulated sperm cultured for 6 or 9 h (P < 0.05). In conclusion, since microencapsulated canine sperm were successfully cryopreserved, this could be a viable alternative to convention sperm cryopreservation in this species. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Testes mass, but not sperm length, increases with higher levels of polyandry in an ancient sex model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Vrech

    Full Text Available There is strong evidence that polyandrous taxa have evolved relatively larger testes than monogamous relatives. Sperm size may either increase or decrease across species with the risk or intensity of sperm competition. Scorpions represent an ancient direct mode with spermatophore-mediated sperm transfer and are particularly well suited for studies in sperm competition. This work aims to analyze for the first time the variables affecting testes mass, ejaculate volume and sperm length, according with their levels of polyandry, in species belonging to the Neotropical family Bothriuridae. Variables influencing testes mass and sperm length were obtained by model selection analysis using corrected Akaike Information Criterion. Testes mass varied greatly among the seven species analyzed, ranging from 1.6 ± 1.1 mg in Timogenes dorbignyi to 16.3 ± 4.5 mg in Brachistosternus pentheri with an average of 8.4 ± 5.0 mg in all the species. The relationship between testes mass and body mass was not significant. Body allocation in testes mass, taken as Gonadosomatic Index, was high in Bothriurus cordubensis and Brachistosternus ferrugineus and low in Timogenes species. The best-fitting model for testes mass considered only polyandry as predictor with a positive influence. Model selection showed that body mass influenced sperm length negatively but after correcting for body mass, none of the variables analyzed explained sperm length. Both body mass and testes mass influenced spermatophore volume positively. There was a strong phylogenetic effect on the model containing testes mass. As predicted by the sperm competition theory and according to what happens in other arthropods, testes mass increased in species with higher levels of sperm competition, and influenced positively spermatophore volume, but data was not conclusive for sperm length.

  18. The effects of rival seminal plasma on sperm velocity in the alternative reproductive tactics of Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Jason A; Pitcher, Trevor E

    2017-04-01

    Sperm competition is prevalent and intense in many animal mating systems, and is a major force driving evolution of such mating systems. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of seminal plasma on sperm velocity of male Chinook salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha), which possesses a mating system with male alternative reproductive tactics and intense sperm competition. Male Chinook salmon either adopt a small, precocious sneaking tactic (jack) or a large, dominant tactic (hooknose). To test whether the seminal plasma can effect sperm velocity amongst sperm competitors, two experiments were done whereby males were paired based upon the alternative tactic each male adopted, with the first experiment consisting of jack-hooknose pairs (N = 16) and the second experiment consisting of jack-jack and hooknose-hooknose pairs (N = 12 and 14, respectively). Within each pair, milt of each male was manipulated such that seminal plasma was removed and swapped between the males in each pair and sperm velocity was measured. Jack seminal plasma caused a significant decrease (∼11.9%) in hooknose sperm velocity while causing a significant increase in jack sperm velocity (∼7%), while alternatively, hooknose seminal plasma had no affect on sperm velocity of jack or other hooknose males. This study shows that rival seminal plasma may affect the outcome of sperm competition between males; males adopting a sneaking tactic, that spawn in a disadvantageous mating position, may be able to compensate for this deficit by being more competitive through the effects of their seminal plasma on their competitor's sperm velocity. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. First production of larvae using cryopreserved sperm: Effects of preservation temperature and cryopreservation on European eel sperm fertilization capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Asturiano, J.F.; Sørensen, Sune Riis; Perez, L.

    2016-01-01

    Sperm cryopreservation is a useful tool in captive fish reproduction management, that is to synchronize gamete production, especially in the case of species as the European eel, where the time of female spawning readiness is unpredictable. Several protocols to cryopreserve sperm of this species....... Fertilization of two egg batches was attempted. Diluted sperm caused a similar percentage of fertilized eggs and a similar number of embryos and larvae, independently of storage temperature (4 or 20°C). The cryopreserved sperm resulted in a lower percentage of fertilized eggs, but embryos developed and a few...... larvae ('cryolarvae') were obtained 55 h after fertilization in one of the two egg batches. This result evidences that the tested cryopreservation protocol is applicable for eel reproduction management, although improvements will be required to enhance fertilization success...

  20. Ovarian fluid impacts flagellar beating and biomechanical metrics of sperm between alternative reproductive tactics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Butts, I. A. E.; Prokopchuk, Galina; Kašpar, V.; Cosson, J.; Pitcher, T. E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 220, č. 12 (2017), s. 2210-2217 ISSN 0022-0949 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : competition * salmon * Oncorhynchus tshawytscha * spawning * reproductive strategy * sperm competition * cryptic female choice Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 3.320, year: 2016

  1. Oral antioxidant treatment partly improves integrity of human sperm DNA in infertile grade I varicocele patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gual-Frau, Josep; Abad, Carlos; Amengual, María J; Hannaoui, Naim; Checa, Miguel A; Ribas-Maynou, Jordi; Lozano, Iris; Nikolaou, Alexandros; Benet, Jordi; García-Peiró, Agustín; Prats, Juan

    2015-09-01

    Infertile males with varicocele have the highest percentage of sperm cells with damaged DNA, compared to other infertile groups. Antioxidant treatment is known to enhance the integrity of sperm DNA; however, there are no data on the effects in varicocele patients. We thus investigated the potential benefits of antioxidant treatment specifically in grade I varicocele males. Twenty infertile patients with grade I varicocele were given multivitamins (1500 mg L-Carnitine, 60 mg vitamin C, 20 mg coenzyme Q10, 10 mg vitamin E, 200 μg vitamin B9, 1 μg vitamin B12, 10 mg zinc, 50 μg selenium) daily for three months. Semen parameters including total sperm count, concentration, progressive motility, vitality, and morphology were determined before and after treatment. In addition, sperm DNA fragmentation and the amount of highly degraded sperm cells were analyzed by Sperm Chromatin Dispersion. After treatment, patients showed an average relative reduction of 22.1% in sperm DNA fragmentation (p = 0.02) and had 31.3% fewer highly degraded sperm cells (p = 0.07). Total numbers of sperm cells were increased (p = 0.04), but other semen parameters were unaffected. These data suggest that sperm DNA integrity in grade I varicocele patients may be improved by oral antioxidant treatment.

  2. Factors influencing boar sperm cryosurvival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roca, J; Hernández, M; Carvajal, G; Vázquez, J M; Martínez, E A

    2006-10-01

    Optimal sperm cryopreservation is a prerequisite for the sustainable commercial application of frozen-thawed boar semen for AI. Three experiments were performed to identify factors influencing variability of postthaw sperm survival among 464 boar ejaculates. Sperm-rich ejaculate fractions were cryopre-served using a standard freezing-thawing procedure for 0.5-mL plastic straws and computer-controlled freezing equipment. Postthaw sperm motility (assessed with a computer-assisted semen analysis system) and viability (simultaneously probed by flow cytometry analysis after triple-fluorescent stain), evaluated 30 and 150 min postthaw, were used to estimate the success of cryopreservation. In the first experiment, 168 unselected ejaculates (1 ejaculate/boar), from boars of 6 breeds with a wide age range (8 to 48 mo), were cryopreserved over a 12-mo period to evaluate the predictive value of boar (breed and age), semen collection, transport variables (season of ejaculate collection, interval between collections, and ejaculate temperature exposure), initial semen traits, and sperm quality before freezing on sperm survival after freezing-thawing. In Exp. 2, 4 ejaculates from each of 29 boars, preselected according to their initial semen traits and sperm quality before freezing, were collected and frozen over a 6-mo period to evaluate the influence of interboar and intraboar ejaculate variability in the survival of sperm after cryopreservation. In Exp. 3, 12 ejaculates preselected as for Exp. 2, from each of 15 boars with known good sperm cryosurvival, were collected and frozen over a 12-mo period to estimate the sustainability of sperm cryosurvival between ejaculates over time. Boar and semen collection and transport variables were not predictive of sperm cryosurvival among ejaculates. Initial semen traits and sperm quality variables observed before freezing explained 23.2 and 10.9%, respectively, of the variation in postthaw sperm motility and viability. However, more that

  3. Hyaluronic acid binding ability of human sperm reflects cellular maturity and fertilizing potential: selection of sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huszar, Gabor; Ozkavukcu, Sinan; Jakab, Attila; Celik-Ozenci, Ciler; Sati, G Leyla; Cayli, Sevil

    2006-06-01

    The current concepts of sperm biochemical markers and the central role of the HspA2 chaperone protein, a measure of sperm cellular maturity and fertilizing potential, are reviewed. Because HspA2 is a component of the synaptonemal complex, low HspA2 levels and increased frequency of chromosomal aneuploidies are related in diminished maturity sperm. We also suggest a relationship between HspA2 expression in elongating spermatids and events of late spermiogenesis, such as cytoplasmic extrusion and plasma membrane remodeling that aid the formation of the zona pellucida binding and hyaluronic acid binding sites. The presence of hyaluronic acid receptor on the plasma membrane of mature sperm, coupled with hyaluronic acid coated glass or plastic surfaces, facilitates testing of sperm function and selection of single mature sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The frequencies of sperm with chromosomal disomy are reduced approximately fourfold to fivefold in hyaluronic acid selected sperm compared with semen sperm, comparable to the increase in such abnormalities in intracytoplasmic sperm injection offspring. Hyaluronic acid binding also excludes immature sperm with cytoplasmic extrusion, persistent histones, and DNA chain breaks. Hyaluronic acid mediated sperm selection is a novel technique that is comparable to sperm zona pellucida binding. Hyaluronic acid selected sperm will also alleviate the risks related to intracytoplasmic sperm injection fertilization with sperm of diminished maturity that currently cause worldwide concern.

  4. Attractive males have faster sperm in three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion MEHLIS, Lukas K. HILKE, Theo C. M. BAKKER

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have revealed that sexually selected traits may signal sperm quality and hence male fertilisation ability. There is also evidence that the expression of male sexual ornamentation and associated sperm characteristics depend on an individual’s ability to cope with oxidative stress. Carotenoids are known for their antioxidant properties and carotenoid-based ornaments might represent honest signals as these pigments can be traded off between the investment in sexual ornamentation, sperm function as well as immune response. In this study, we examined the relationship between sexual ornamentation (breeding coloration and sperm characteristics (e.g., velocity and morphology in the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, an externally fertilising fish species, in which sperm competition commonly occurs. During the breeding season males are sperm limited and develop a conspicuous carotenoid-based coloration, which is under strong pre-copulatory sexual selection due to female mate choice and male-male competition. The results of the present study show that the expression of stickleback male breeding coloration is significantly positively associated with the linearity of sperm movement, whereas sperm morphology (head length to tail length ratio is significantly negatively related to the trajectory of sperm movement. Moreover, there is some support for the phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis as the intensity of male red breeding coloration is significantly positively correlated with sperm velocity, which is supposed to be an important determinant of fertilisation success in external fertilisers, indicating the honesty of the sexually selected nuptial red coloration [Current Zoology 59 (6: 761-768, 2013].

  5. Methods of sperm vitality assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovtsev, Sergey I; Librach, Clifford L

    2013-01-01

    Sperm vitality is a reflection of the proportion of live, membrane-intact spermatozoa determined by either dye exclusion or osmoregulatory capacity under hypo-osmotic conditions. In this chapter we address the two most common methods of sperm vitality assessment: eosin-nigrosin staining and the hypo-osmotic swelling test, both utilized in clinical Andrology laboratories.

  6. Diversifying evolution of competitiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldauf, Sebastian A; Engqvist, Leif; Weissing, Franz J

    2014-10-29

    In many species, individuals express phenotypic characteristics that enhance their competitiveness, that is, the ability to acquire resources in competition with others. Moreover, the degree of competitiveness varies considerably across individuals and in time. By means of an evolutionary model, we provide an explanation for this finding. We make the assumption that investment into competitiveness enhances the probability to acquire a high-quality resource, but at the same time reduces the ability of exploiting acquired resources with maximal efficiency. The model reveals that under a broad range of conditions competitiveness either converges to a polymorphic state, where individuals differing in competitive ability stably coexist, or is subject to perpetual transitions between periods of high and low competitiveness. The dynamics becomes even more complex if females can evolve preferences for (or against) competitive males. In extreme cases, such preferences can even drive the population to extinction.

  7. Application of surface enhanced Raman scattering and competitive adaptive reweighted sampling on detecting furfural dissolved in transformer oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weigen Chen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Detecting the dissolving furfural in mineral oil is an essential technical method to evaluate the ageing condition of oil-paper insulation and the degradation of mechanical properties. Compared with the traditional detection method, Raman spectroscopy is obviously convenient and timesaving in operation. This study explored the method of applying surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS on quantitative analysis of the furfural dissolved in oil. Oil solution with different concentration of furfural were prepared and calibrated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Confocal laser Raman spectroscopy (CLRS and SERS technology were employed to acquire Raman spectral data. Monte Carlo cross validation (MCCV was used to eliminate the outliers in sample set, then competitive adaptive reweighted sampling (CARS was developed to select an optimal combination of informative variables that most reflect the chemical properties of concern. Based on selected Raman spectral features, support vector machine (SVM combined with particle swarm algorithm (PSO was used to set up a furfural quantitative analysis model. Finally, the generalization ability and prediction precision of the established method were verified by the samples made in lab. In summary, a new spectral method is proposed to quickly detect furfural in oil, which lays a foundation for evaluating the ageing of oil-paper insulation in oil immersed electrical equipment.

  8. Application of surface enhanced Raman scattering and competitive adaptive reweighted sampling on detecting furfural dissolved in transformer oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Weigen; Zou, Jingxin; Wan, Fu; Fan, Zhou; Yang, Dingkun

    2018-03-01

    Detecting the dissolving furfural in mineral oil is an essential technical method to evaluate the ageing condition of oil-paper insulation and the degradation of mechanical properties. Compared with the traditional detection method, Raman spectroscopy is obviously convenient and timesaving in operation. This study explored the method of applying surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) on quantitative analysis of the furfural dissolved in oil. Oil solution with different concentration of furfural were prepared and calibrated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Confocal laser Raman spectroscopy (CLRS) and SERS technology were employed to acquire Raman spectral data. Monte Carlo cross validation (MCCV) was used to eliminate the outliers in sample set, then competitive adaptive reweighted sampling (CARS) was developed to select an optimal combination of informative variables that most reflect the chemical properties of concern. Based on selected Raman spectral features, support vector machine (SVM) combined with particle swarm algorithm (PSO) was used to set up a furfural quantitative analysis model. Finally, the generalization ability and prediction precision of the established method were verified by the samples made in lab. In summary, a new spectral method is proposed to quickly detect furfural in oil, which lays a foundation for evaluating the ageing of oil-paper insulation in oil immersed electrical equipment.

  9. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy competitive binding biosensor development utilizing surface modification of silver nanocubes and a citrulline aptamer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, Brian M.; Jackson, George W.; Deutz, Nicolaas; Cote, Gerard

    2017-07-01

    A point-of-care (PoC) device with the ability to detect biomarkers at low concentrations in bodily fluids would have an enormous potential for medical diagnostics outside the central laboratory. One method to monitor analytes at low concentrations is by using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). In this preliminary study toward using SERS for PoC biosensing, the surface of colloidal silver (Ag) nanocubes has been modified to test the feasibility of a competitive binding SERS assay utilizing aptamers against citrulline. Specifically, Ag nanocubes were functionalized with mercaptobenzoic acid, as well as a heterobifunctional polyethylene glycol linker that forms an amide bond with the amino acid citrulline. After the functionalization, the nanocubes were characterized by zeta-potential, transmission electron microscopy images, ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, and by SERS. The citrulline aptamers were developed and tested using backscattering interferometry. The data show that our surface modification method does work and that the functionalized nanoparticles can be detected using SERS down to a 24.5 picomolar level. Last, we used microscale thermophoresis to show that the aptamers bind to citrulline with at least a 50 times stronger affinity than other amino acids.

  10. New Hybrid Multiple Attribute Decision-Making Model for Improving Competence Sets: Enhancing a Company’s Core Competitiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuan-Wei Huang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available A company’s core competitiveness depends on the strategic allocation of its human resources in alignment with employee capabilities. Competency models can identify the range of capabilities at a company’s disposal, and this information can be used to develop internal or external education training policies for sustainable development. Such models can ensure the importation of a strategic orientation reflecting the growth of its employee competence set and enhancing human resource sustainably. This approach ensures that the most appropriate people are assigned to the most appropriate positions. In this study, we proposed a new hybrid multiple attributed decision-making model by using the Decision-making trial and Evaluation Laboratory Technique (DEMATEL to construct an influential network relation map (INRM and determined the influential weights by using the basic concept of the analytic network process (called DEMATEL-based ANP, DANP; the influential weights were then adopted with a modified Vise Kriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR method. A simple forecasting technique as an iteration function was also proposed. The proposed model was effective. We expect that the proposed model can facilitate making timely revisions, reflecting the growth of employee competence sets, reducing the performance gap toward the aspiration level, and ensuring the sustainability of a company.

  11. Ireland's Competitiveness Challenge 2011

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The NCC publishes two annual competitiveness reports. Ireland's Competitiveness Challenge focuses on the national competitiveness issues of most importance to the enterprise sector and identifies policy recommendations required to address these issues. The report focuses on pursuing policies to improve competitiveness, particularly those to reduce the cost base for enterprise, to enhance the performance of the entire education system, and to deliver meaningful public sector reform. Ireland's ...

  12. Experience of mating rivals causes males to modulate sperm transfer in the fly Drosophila pseudoobscura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Tom A R; Lizé, Anne; Marcello, Marco; Bretman, Amanda

    2012-12-01

    Male responses to risk of sperm competition play an important role in sexual selection, sexual conflict, and the evolution of mating systems. Such responses can combine behavioural and physiological processes, and can be mediated through different components of the ejaculate such as sperm numbers and seminal proteins. An additional level of ejaculate complexity is sperm heteromorphism, with the inclusion of non-fertilising parasperm in the ejaculate. We now test the response to rivals in a sperm heteromorphic species, Drosophila pseudoobscura, measuring the behavioural response and sperm transfer and, crucially, relating these to short-term fitness. Males respond to exposure to conspecific rivals by increasing mating duration, but do not respond to heterospecific rivals. In addition, after exposure to a conspecific rival, males increased the transfer of fertilising eusperm, but not non-fertilising parasperm. Males exposed to a conspecific rival also achieve higher offspring production. This suggests that the evolution of parasperm in flies was not driven by sperm competition and adds to the increasing evidence that males can make extremely sophisticated responses to mating competition. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Relationship between sperm parameters and intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahla Chaichian

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: With the adventure of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI technique, great progresses have developed in the treatment of infertility. Concentration on the properties of male’s gamete has been encouraged by the increasing concerns about the causes of ICSI failure. We hence conducted this study to investigate the probable association of sperm parameters with ISCI outcome. Methods: A total of 523 couples referred to Isfahan Fertility and Sterility Center from January 2007 to June 2008 for ICSI. Semen analysis was performed before ICSI procedure according to the WHO criteria. Patients were assigned into successful ICSI (case and failed ICSI (control groups. Sperm parameters were then compared between the 2 groups. Results: One hundred and six patients (20% had successful ICSI results (case group compared with 417 couples (80% with undesirable ICSI outcomes (control group. Among evaluated factors, sperm agglutination (p = 0.007, sperm concentration (p = 0.043, leukocytospermia (p = 0.026 and head abnormality of sperm (p = 0.019 showed statistically significant differences between two groups with differing ICSI results. None of the other semen parameters revealed significant differences between these two groups. Conclusion: Our study showed that some sperm parameters are associated with desirable ICSI outcome. However, it is unclear whether these associations are causal.

  14. Sperm whale clicks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møhl, Bertel; Wahlberg, Magnus; Madsen, Peter T.

    2000-01-01

    . A sound generator weighing upward of 10 tons and with a cross-section of 1 m is expected to generate high-intensity, directional sounds. This prediction from the Norris and Harvey theory is not supported by published data for sperm whale clicks ~source levels of 180 dB re 1 mPa and little, if any......In sperm whales ~Physeter catodon L. 1758! the nose is vastly hypertrophied, accounting for about one-third of the length or weight of an adult male. Norris and Harvey @in Animal Orientation and Navigation, NASA SP-262 ~1972!, pp. 397–417# ascribed a sound-generating function to this organ complex......, directionality!. Either the theory is not borne out or the data is not representative for the capabilities of the sound-generating mechanism. To increase the amount of relevant data, a five-hydrophone array, suspended from three platforms separated by 1 km and linked by radio, was deployed at the slope...

  15. Sexing mammalian sperm for production of offspring: the state-of-the-art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, L A

    2000-07-02

    numbers in the pig would be advantageous to the utilization of sexed sperm for some type of deep artificial insemination. Such a development would also enhance the economy of using lower sperm numbers with conventional artificial insemination (AI) and aid the swine industry worldwide. The use of sexed sperm for non-ordinary applications such as endangered species, laboratory animals, hobby or pet species is also of interest and will become a part of the move to be more reproductively efficient in the next millennium. Sexed sperm on demand over the next several years will provide livestock producers with many options in seeking to improve efficiency of production and improve quality of products to enhance consumer acceptability.

  16. Testis size variation within sneaker males of the dusky frillgoby Bathygobius fuscus (Gobiidae): effects of within-tactic competition

    OpenAIRE

    Kawase, Shoma; Hayashi, Takahiro; Matsumoto, Yukio; Takegaki, Takeshi

    2017-01-01

    A ‘sneaking tactic’ is an alternative reproductive strategy that usually results in sperm competition among males with different tactics. Relatively large testes are a sneaker-specific trait that has generally been thought to have evolved due to sperm competition between sneaker males and bourgeois (guarding) males. However, here we show that competition among sneaker males can also affect testis enlargement in the dusky frillgoby (Bathygobius fuscus) sneaker males. The competitive advantage ...

  17. Association of sperm apoptosis and DNA ploidy with sperm chromatin quality in human spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahfouz, Reda Z; Sharma, Rakesh K; Said, Tamer M; Erenpreiss, Juris; Agarwal, Ashok

    2009-04-01

    To examine the relationship among sperm apoptosis, sperm chromatin status, and DNA ploidy in different sperm fractions. Prospective study. Reproductive research center in a tertiary care hospital. Sperm prepared by density gradient were evaluated for sperm count, motility, apoptosis, and sperm chromatin assessment. Sperm count, sperm motility, toluidine blue (TB) results, DNA fragmentation index (%DFI), high DNA stainability, DNA cytometry, and early and late apoptosis. Sperm motility was related to late apoptotic and subhaploid apoptotic sperm (r = -0.56 and -0.53, respectively). The sperm %DFI showed significant correlation with late apoptotic and subhaploid sperm (r = 0.62 and 0.68). TB-stained sperm were significantly correlated with late apoptotic sperm (r = 0.51). Significantly higher proportions of haploid sperm and light blue TB-stained sperm were seen in mature compared with immature fractions. Even in semen samples with low %DFI, semen processing results in a lower incidence of nuclear immaturity and subhaploidy, but the incidence of late apoptotic sperm remains unchanged. Therefore, simultaneous evaluation of apoptosis and sperm chromatin status is important for processing sperm in assisted reproductive procedures.

  18. Sperm fractions obtained following density gradient centrifugation in human ejaculates show differences in sperm DNA longevity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Gosálvez

    2014-06-01

    Conclusion: 1 Unnecessary incubation of spermatozoa prior to artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization, should be avoided, since sperm DNA longevity is significantly reduced after ex vivo sperm handling and 2 Although sperm selection by DCG significantly reduces the baseline levels of SDF of sperm in Fraction 3, sperm DNA longevity in this fraction was ultimately lower following 24 h incubation when compared to sperm recovered from non-centrifuged NSS.

  19. Antioxidant allocation modulates sperm quality across changing social environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas Mora, Alfonso; Meniri, Magali; Gning, Ophélie; Glauser, Gaëtan; Vallat, Armelle; Helfenstein, Fabrice

    2017-01-01

    In promiscuous species, male reproductive success depends on their ability to mate with fertile females and on the fertilizing ability of their sperm. In such species, theory predicts that, owing to a trade-off between pre- and post-copulatory reproductive traits, males with lesser access to females should increase resource investment into those sperm traits that enhance fertilization success-usually referred to as ejaculate quality. This prediction has been validated in several taxa, yet studies on the physiological mechanisms modulating ejaculate quality are lacking. Sperm cells are highly vulnerable to oxidative stress, which impairs male fertility. Therefore, males that better protect their sperm from oxidative stress are expected to achieve higher ejaculate quality. Based on theoretical expectations, and since social dominance is a major determinant of mating opportunity, we predicted that subordinate males should invest more into the antioxidant protection of their sperm in order to achieve higher ejaculate quality. We maintained 60 male and 60 female wild-caught house sparrows Passer domesticus in outdoor aviaries, where we experimentally manipulated male social status to test our predictions. We measured cellular oxidative stress and enzymatic antioxidant activity in blood and sperm both before and after manipulating social ranks. Before manipulating the social status, we found that ejaculate viability correlated with oxidative stress level in sperm, with dominant males producing more oxidized and less viable ejaculates. Further, males at the lower end of the hierarchy produced ejaculates of similar quality to those of dominant males, suggesting that restricted access to resources might limit male reproductive strategies. After experimentally manipulating the social status, males matched their ejaculate quality to their new rank, while increases in antioxidant investment into ejaculates paralleled increases in ejaculate viability. Oxidative stress has been

  20. Energy Utilization for Survival and Fertilization-Parsimonious Quiescent Sperm Turn Extravagant on Motility Activation in Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Lokesh; Yadav, Santosh K; Kushwaha, Bhavana; Pandey, Aastha; Sharma, Vikas; Verma, Vikas; Maikhuri, Jagdamba P; Rajender, Singh; Sharma, Vishnu L; Gupta, Gopal

    2016-04-01

    Quiescent sperm survive in cauda epididymis for long periods of time under extreme crowding conditions and with a very limited energy substrate, while after ejaculation, motile sperm live for a much shorter period with an unlimited energy resource and without crowding. Thus, the energy metabolism in relation to the energy requirement of the two may be quite different. A simple physiological technique was evolved to collect viable quiescent sperm from rat cauda epididymis to compare its energy metabolism with motile sperm. Quiescent sperm exhibited 40%-60% higher activities of mitochondrial electron transport chain complexes I-IV and ATP synthase in comparison to motile sperm and accumulated Ca(2+) in the midpiece mitochondria to enhance oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos). In contrast, motile sperm displayed up to 75% higher activities of key glycolytic enzymes and secreted more than two times the lactate than quiescent sperm. Quiescent sperm phosphorylated AMPK and MAPK-p38, while motile sperm phosphorylated AKT and MAPK/ERK. Glycolytic inhibitor iodoacetamide prevented motility activation of quiescent rat sperm and inhibited conception in rabbits more effectively than OxPhos uncoupler 2,4-dinitrophenol. Apparently, quiescent sperm employ the most energy efficient OxPhos to survive for extended periods of time under extreme conditions of nutrition and crowding. However, on motility initiation, sperm switch predominantly to glycolysis to cater to their high- and quick-energy requirement of much shorter periods. This study also presents a proof of concept for targeting sperm energy metabolism for contraception. © 2016 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  1. Oligodeoxyribonucleotides derived from salmon sperm DNA: an alternative to defibrotide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Chang-Ye; Guo, Yan; Zhang, Xi; Shao, Jian-Hua; Yang, Xue-Qin; Zhang, Wen

    2013-05-01

    Defibrotide is a single-stranded nucleic acid polymer originally derived from porcine mucosa. Cheap salmon sperm DNA is commercially available and widely used in drug production. In this study, oligodeoxyribonucleotides were successfully obtained from the controlled depolymerization of salmon sperm DNA. The obtained product shared similar chemical and biological properties with defibrotide produced by Gentium SpA, Italy. It was also found that oligodeoxyribonucleotides derived from non-mammalian origins could also directly stimulate tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) release from cultured human endothelial cells, and enhance fibrinolytic activity in the rabbit. Copyright © 2013 The International Alliance for Biological Standardization. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Tribulus terrestris Extract Improves Human Sperm Parameters In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaleghi, Sara; Bakhtiari, Mitra; Asadmobini, Atefeh; Esmaeili, Farzane

    2016-01-01

    Objective. The object of present study was to investigate the effects of direct addition of Tribulus terrestris extract on human sperm parameters. Design. Semen specimens from 40 healthy men volunteers were divided into 4 groups: one group received no treatment (control group) while the others were incubated with 20, 40, and 50 µg/mL of T terrestris extract (experimental groups). Motility, viability, and DNA fragmentation were assessed in all groups. Results. The incubation of human semen with 40 and 50 μg/mL of T terrestris extract significantly enhanced total sperm motility, number of progressive motile spermatozoa, and curvilinear velocity over 60 to 120 minutes’ holding time (P terrestris extract (P terrestris extract to human sperm could affect male fertility capacity. PMID:27694560

  3. Tribulus terrestris Extract Improves Human Sperm Parameters In Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaleghi, Sara; Bakhtiari, Mitra; Asadmobini, Atefeh; Esmaeili, Farzane

    2016-09-30

    The object of present study was to investigate the effects of direct addition of Tribulus terrestris extract on human sperm parameters. Semen specimens from 40 healthy men volunteers were divided into 4 groups: one group received no treatment (control group) while the others were incubated with 20, 40, and 50 µg/mL of T terrestris extract (experimental groups). Motility, viability, and DNA fragmentation were assessed in all groups. The incubation of human semen with 40 and 50 μg/mL of T terrestris extract significantly enhanced total sperm motility, number of progressive motile spermatozoa, and curvilinear velocity over 60 to 120 minutes' holding time (P terrestris extract (P terrestris extract to human sperm could affect male fertility capacity. © The Author(s) 2016.

  4. COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH INFORMATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raluca Daniela RIZEA

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Intelligence competitiveness has already started to build its road in the company’s long term strategies. Nonetheless, business executives continue to look for ways to apply information technology strategically to their businesses. Using information managers manage to communicate, to convey their knowledge about markets, competitors, products, services and operations. Even if data and information are all over there are few amounts of managers that realize the importance of them to the success of the business. This article will review competitive forces and competitive information systems strategies for gaining competitive advantages, explain concepts of value chain, value co-opetition (competition and cooperation, and discuss innovation strategy. Co-opetition is a strategy whereby companies cooperate and compete at the same time with their competitors, complementors (i.e. hardware and software businesses, customers, suppliers. The article discuss an important dimension of information system, identifies competitive advantages and enhancing competitive strategies thought information systems.

  5. Challenges in Development of Sperm Repositories for Biomedical Fishes: Quality Control in Small-Bodied Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Leticia; Liu, Yue; Guitreau, Amy; Yang, Huiping; Tiersch, Terrence R

    2017-12-01

    Quality control (QC) is essential for reproducible and efficient functioning of germplasm repositories. However, many biomedical fish models present significant QC challenges due to small body sizes (<5 cm) and miniscule sperm volumes (<5 μL). Using minimal volumes of sperm, we used Zebrafish to evaluate common QC endpoints as surrogates for fertilization success along sequential steps of cryopreservation. First, concentrations of calibration bead suspensions were evaluated with a Makler ® counting chamber by using different sample volumes and mixing methods. For sperm analysis, samples were initially diluted at a 1:30 ratio with Hanks' balanced salt solution (HBSS). Motility was evaluated by using different ratios of sperm and activation medium, and membrane integrity was analyzed with flow cytometry at different concentrations. Concentration and sperm motility could be confidently estimated by using volumes as small as 1 μL, whereas membrane integrity required a minimum of 2 μL (at 1 × 10 6 cells/mL). Thus, <5 μL of sperm suspension (after dilution to 30-150 μL with HBSS) was required to evaluate sperm quality by using three endpoints. Sperm quality assessment using a combination of complementary endpoints enhances QC efforts during cryopreservation, increasing reliability and reproducibility, and reducing waste of time and resources.

  6. Short communication Relationship between sperm plasma ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Matshidiso MB. Masenya

    2017-01-04

    Jan 4, 2017 ... observed between sperm plasma membrane integrity and fertility. There was a weak positive correlation between normal sperm morphology and conception rate (r = 0.11). Additionally ..... been approved by all of us. Authors' ...

  7. Clusters – a modern way of cooperation enhancing the competitiveness of the horticultural enterprises from the Republic of Moldova

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GOLBAN Artur

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary enterprises represent a modern way of cooperation between people, while the relations between these enterprises and other organizations represent an advanced stage in the hierarchy of cooperation. This scientific article analyses the possibility of cooperation between the apple producing agricultural enterprises from the Republic of Moldova through clusters, which supposes both the collaboration between the agricultural enterprises and with the research-innovation sector. All over the world clusters represent a tool for economic and social renovation. The creation of apple clusters will help horticultural producers to cooperate more efficiently with each other and to solve the problems of the fruit and vegetable growers within the horticultural cluster. A special place in the cluster apple model is revealed by the Project “Livada Mea” financed by European Bank for Investments in total amount of 120 mln EUR. The purpose of the project was to modernize the value chain of the horticultural sector in the Republic of Moldova. The main objective of the given research is to emphasize the importance of clusters as a modern way of cooperation enhancing the competitiveness of the horticultural enterprises from the Republic of Moldova. Rezumat. Întreprinderile contemporane reprezintă o formă modernă de cooperare între oameni, în timp ce relaţiile dintre aceste întreprinderi şi alte organizaţii reprezintă o treaptă avansată în ierarhia cooperării. În acest articol se analizează posibilitatea cooperării întreprinderilor agricole producătoare de mere din Republica Moldova prin crearea de clustere, care presupune colaborarea atât între întreprinderile agricole, cât şi cu sectorul de cercetare-inovare. În toată lumea clusterele reprezintă un instrument pentru renovare economică şi socială. Crearea clusterului mărului va ajuta producătorii horticoli să coopereze mai eficient între ei şi să soluţioneze

  8. What use is an infertile sperm? A comparative study of sperm-heteromorphic Drosophila

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Freckleton, Robert P; Snook, Rhonda R

    2007-01-01

    Sperm size and number are important determinants of male reproductive success. The genus Drosophila exhibits a remarkable diversity of sperm production strategies, including the production of multiple sperm morphs by individual males, a phenomenon called sperm heteromorphism. Sperm-heteromorphic ......Sperm size and number are important determinants of male reproductive success. The genus Drosophila exhibits a remarkable diversity of sperm production strategies, including the production of multiple sperm morphs by individual males, a phenomenon called sperm heteromorphism. Sperm......-heteromorphic Drosophila species in the obscura group produce large numbers of infertile "parasperm" in addition to fertile eusperm. Parasperm have been hypothesized to perform a number of roles in place of fertilization, predominantly focused on their potential function in postcopulatory sexual selection. However...

  9. Findings on sperm alterations and DNA fragmentation, nutritional, hormonal and antioxidant status in an elite triathlete: case report

    OpenAIRE

    Vaamonde, D.; Silva-Grigoletto, M.E. Da; Fernandez, J.M.; Algar-Santacruz, C.; García-Manso, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The present case study analyzes semen quality, nutritional patterns, and hormonal and oxidative status of an international high-level triathlete with a low-volume, high-intensity training load. Method: The athlete was 26 years old, having participated in competitions since he was 13 years old, and practiced professional triathlon for the last five years. The qualitative sperm parameters analyzed were volume, sperm count, motility, morphology, and DNA fragmentation (additional testi...

  10. Temporal trends in sperm count

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levine, Hagai; Jørgensen, Niels; Martino-Andrade, Anderson

    2017-01-01

    a predefined protocol 7518 abstracts were screened and 2510 full articles reporting primary data on SC were reviewed. A total of 244 estimates of SC and TSC from 185 studies of 42 935 men who provided semen samples in 1973-2011 were extracted for meta-regression analysis, as well as information on years.......006, respectively). WIDER IMPLICATIONS: This comprehensive meta-regression analysis reports a significant decline in sperm counts (as measured by SC and TSC) between 1973 and 2011, driven by a 50-60% decline among men unselected by fertility from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Because......BACKGROUND: Reported declines in sperm counts remain controversial today and recent trends are unknown. A definitive meta-analysis is critical given the predictive value of sperm count for fertility, morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVE AND RATIONALE: To provide a systematic review and meta-regression...

  11. Bioenergetics of mammalian sperm capacitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Zara, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    After ejaculation, the mammalian male gamete must undergo the capacitation process, which is a prerequisite for egg fertilization. The bioenergetics of sperm capacitation is poorly understood despite its fundamental role in sustaining the biochemical and molecular events occurring during gamete activation. Glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) are the two major metabolic pathways producing ATP which is the primary source of energy for spermatozoa. Since recent data suggest that spermatozoa have the ability to use different metabolic substrates, the main aim of this work is to present a broad overview of the current knowledge on the energy-producing metabolic pathways operating inside sperm mitochondria during capacitation in different mammalian species. Metabolism of glucose and of other energetic substrates, such as pyruvate, lactate, and citrate, is critically analyzed. Such knowledge, besides its obvious importance for basic science, could eventually translate into the development of novel strategies for treatment of male infertility, artificial reproduction, and sperm selection methods.

  12. SPERM COUNT DISTRIBUTIONS IN FERTILE MEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperm concentration and count are often used as indicators of environmental impacts on male reproductive health. Existing clinical databases may be biased towards subfertile men with low sperm counts and less is known about expected sperm count distributions in cohorts of fertil...

  13. Microfluidic single sperm entrapment and analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wagenaar, B.; Berendsen, Johanna Theodora Wilhelmina; Berendsen, J.T.W.; Bomer, Johan G.; Olthuis, Wouter; van den Berg, Albert; Segerink, Loes Irene

    2015-01-01

    Selection of healthy spermatozoa is of crucial importance for the success rates of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. Although sperm selection for ART procedures is predominantly based on sperm motility, successful

  14. Postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with accelerated evolution of sperm morphology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rowe, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Cramer, E. R. A.; Johnsen, A.; Laskemoen, T.; Weir, J. T.; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 4 (2015), s. 1044-1052 ISSN 0014-3820 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : birds * evolutionary diversification * evolutionary rate * passerine * sperm competition Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.007, year: 2015

  15. Social imaginaries, sperm and whiteness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreassen, Rikke

    2017-01-01

    media coverage of these new families, this article explores contemporary constructions of race, especially whiteness, and gender, and shows how imaginaries of Vikings, genes and white superiority circulate in British media and among British mothers. The article illustrates how a racial discourse, which......This article analyses narratives about so-called Viking babies and Viking sperm. Over the last few years an increasing number of British single women and lesbian couples have been creating families by becoming pregnant with Danish donor sperm, termed ‘Viking sperm’. Through analyses of British...

  16. Multicriteria Decision Analysis to Develop Effective Sustainable Development Strategies for Enhancing Competitive Advantages: Case of the TFT-LCD Industry in Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iuan-Yuan Lu

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available In the Internet of Things era, panel displays play a major role in human life, because humans frequently use liquid crystal displays to monitor their electrical devices. The display industry creates remarkable economic output, but every manufacturing process inevitably has some undesirable effects on the environment. With the increasing awareness of environmental protection, balanced development is necessary to address the emerging market trends. However, short-sighted manufacturing corporations that focus solely on financial performance can achieve only short-term profits. The purpose of this study was to develop the most effective sustainable improvement strategies that can enhance competitive advantages in real-world situations. The proposed method combines the balanced scorecard and a new hybrid modified multiple attribute decision-making model which together adopt the DEMATEL technique to construct the influential network relation map and develop the DEMATEL-based ANP with the VIKOR method to deliver strategies that integrate environmental sustainability and competitive advantage. Finally, a real-world case study applying the proposed method to the cases of liquid crystal display manufacturers was conducted. Then, this paper discusses the effective use of natural resources, development of enterprises, and sustainable competitive advantage in this context. Various manufacturers, communities, and stakeholders can benefit from the coopetition solutions explained by the proposed method.

  17. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2011-07-01

    and Astrophysics. Those in charge of the competition give an overview of this relatively young tournament. They give a few examples of theoretical and experimental tasks, and one can see the strong connection between astronomy and physics, between the large scales in the universe and the small scales in particle physics. The third paper introduces a special competition called 'First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics'. It was conceived as a national event in Poland and has gained international reputation and acceptance since 1992. Papers are submitted from young students prior to university and are refereed in the same manner as real research papers. This means that the most important criterion is the originality and novelty of the activity performed in theoretical or experimental physics. The aims of this competition are set out below and can be seen as a credo for all competitions: promotion of scientific interest among young pupils selection and promotion of outstanding pupils enhancing motivation stimulation of school work establishing friendly relations between young physicists.

  18. Role of Ecological Cultural Synthesis in Enhancement of Importance and Competitive Ability of Polytechnic Education in the Southern Far East of the Russian Federation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petukhov, V. I.; Golikov, S. Yu; Maiorov, I. S.

    2017-11-01

    The regional features of polytechnic education development under present-day conditions are considered. The enhanced role of ecological cultural synthesis is proved to be necessary in order to enhance the importance and competitive ability of the polytechnic education in the southern Far East of the Russian Federation. Ecological cultural synthesis is the major condition to turn natural management into the ecologically sparing management of natural resources; it is also a method of a person to learn nature and the mutual relations with nature. It should become a basis for educational programs in the higher schools of the Russian Federation (that may be used with the practical purposes not only in the Russian Federation), and it may promote the search of the national idea, ideological core, and basic principles of further education development in Russia.

  19. Etiologies of sperm oxidative stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parvin Sabeti

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Sperm is particularly susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS during critical phases of spermiogenesis. However, the level of seminal ROS is restricted by seminal antioxidants which have beneficial effects on sperm parameters and developmental potentials. Mitochondria and sperm plasma membrane are two major sites of ROS generation in sperm cells. Besides, leukocytes including polymer phonuclear (PMN leukocytes and macrophages produce broad category of molecules including oxygen free radicals, non-radical species and reactive nitrogen species. Physiological role of ROS increase the intracellular cAMP which then activate protein kinase in male reproductive system. This indicates that spermatozoa need small amounts of ROS to acquire the ability of nuclear maturation regulation and condensation to fertilize the oocyte. There is a long list of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which can induce oxidative stress to interact with lipids, proteins and DNA molecules. As a result, we have lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation, axonemal damage, denaturation of the enzymes, over generation of superoxide in the mitochondria, lower antioxidant activity and finally abnormal spermatogenesis. If oxidative stress is considered as one of the main cause of DNA damage in the germ cells, then there should be good reason for antioxidant therapy in these conditions

  20. Assessment of sperm competition by European bitterling, Rhodeus sericeus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smith, C.; Reichard, Martin; Jurajda, Pavel

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 4 (2003), s. 206-213 ISSN 0340-5443 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6093917 Keywords : Acheilognathinae * alternative mating tactics * ESS model Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.649, year: 2003

  1. The More, the Merrier: Why and How Employee-Driven Eco-Innovation Enhances Environmental and Competitive Advantage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anke Buhl

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Innovative solutions are often conjured as a key factor for companies to come closer to the goal of ecological sustainability. Furthermore, proactive eco-innovation activities can encompass competitive advantages. Companies are therefore well advised to tap any available source of innovation. However, although employees’ innovative capacity has often been described, to date, their manifold potentials for eco-innovation processes have hardly been examined in detail. The overarching research questions guiding this conceptual paper are why and how employee participation in eco-innovation processes can entail environmental and competitive advantages for companies. The authors introduce the concept of employee-driven eco-innovation (EDEI, defined here as ordinary employees’ voluntary engagement in innovation activities within an organizational context that, intentionally or not, lead to environmental improvements. This paper complements previous literature on employee-driven innovation (EDI by applying it to the specific case of eco-innovation. In this context, employees’ comprehensive environmental competences resulting from “tacit knowledge”, “private consumer experience” and “green identity” are taken into account. In addition, we delineate critical intra-organizational factors for EDEI activities and illustrate green employees’ specific requirements in this regard.

  2. Competitive Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Pierrette; Hiller, Christine A.

    2002-01-01

    Reviews the evolution of competitive intelligence since 1994, including terminology and definitions and analytical techniques. Addresses the issue of ethics; explores how information technology supports the competitive intelligence process; and discusses education and training opportunities for competitive intelligence, including core competencies…

  3. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes with cryopreserved testicular sperm aspiration samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roque, M; Valle, M; Marques, F; Sampaio, M; Geber, S

    2016-04-01

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be performed with testicular frozen-thawed spermatozoa in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA). Sperm retrieval can be performed in advance of oocyte aspiration, as it may avoid the possibility of no recovery of spermatozoa on the day of oocyte pickup. There are few studies available in the literature concerning the use of frozen-thawed spermatozoa obtained from testicular sperm aspiration (TESA). To evaluate the effects and the outcomes of ICSI with frozen-thawed spermatozoa obtained by TESA, we performed a retrospective analysis of 43 ICSI cycles using frozen-thawed TESA. We obtained acceptable results with a fertilisation rate of 67.9%, an implantation rate (IR) of 17.1%, and clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates of 41.9% and 37.2% respectively. The results of this study suggest that performing ICSI using cryopreserved frozen-thawed testicular spermatozoa with TESA as a first option is a viable, safe, economic and effective method for patients with NOA. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  4. Analysis of limited fertility in intracytoplasmic sperm injection of sperm obtained by electroejaculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yoshihiro; Kitamura, Masaya; Nishimura, Kenji; Tsujimura, Akira; Takeyama, Masami; Kondoh, Nobuyuki; Miyazaki, Kazunori; Okuyama, Akihiko

    2004-01-01

    Background and Aims:  We correlated findings in semen from patients with ejaculatory dysfunction with results of in vitro fertilization using their electroejaculated sperm. Methods and Results:  Electroejaculation was carried out in six patients with the above‐mentioned criteria for a total of eight times. Sperm was obtained in six attempts. Intracytoplasmic injection of these sperm was performed in 156 eggs. Sixty‐seven eggs were fertilized; most of these were injected with motile sperm. Two women became pregnant, both after injection with motile sperm. As previously reported, electroejaculated sperm showed low motility and a low fertilization rate, but even motile sperm had a low fertilization rate. Conclusion:  The results of the present study suggest the importance in fertilization of undetermined factors in addition to sperm motility. (Reprod Med Biol 2004; 3: 9–12) PMID:29662380

  5. Retail competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    Retail competition as the cornerstone of a competitive electricity marketplace was the subject of the seventh in the series of policy discussion papers developed at the Market Design Conference. Concern was expressed that because of the complexities involved in market design and technical implementation, the retail competition may lag behind other elements of the implementation of the new market design. A variety of key issues were debated, including the role of physical versus financial contracts, the form of retail competition and financial settlement systems in the short term, the requirement to separate 'competitive' (metering, billing, maintenance, consumer education) from non-competitive' (the transmission wires) services and the role of municipal electric utilities. It was agreed that the IMO should play an important role in defining and enforcing the separation of services, and that as a general rule, the development of policy in this area should be guided by the principle of maximizing the potential for competition

  6. Impact of dietary fatty acids on muscle composition, liver lipids, milt composition and sperm performance in European eel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Butts, Ian; Baeza, R.; Støttrup, Josianne

    2015-01-01

    of dietary regime on muscle composition, and liver lipids prior to induced maturation, and the resulting sperm composition and performance. To accomplish this fish were reared on three "enhanced" diets and one commercial diet, each with different levels of fatty acids, arachidonic acid (ARA......), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Neutral lipids from the muscle and liver incorporated the majority of the fatty acid profile, while phospholipids incorporated only certain fatty acids. Diet had an effect on the majority of sperm fatty acids, on the total volume of extractable milt...... induced medium milt volumes but had the highest sperm motility. EPA also seems important for sperm quality parameters since diets with higher EPA percentages had a higher volume of milt and higher sperm motility. In conclusion, dietary fatty acids had an influence on fatty acids in the tissues of male eel...

  7. Varicocele Negatively Affects Sperm Mitochondrial Respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Albani, Denise; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2015-10-01

    To evaluate the effect of varicocele on oxidative stress, sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, sperm morphology, and semen parameters. A total of 20 patients with varicocele and 20 normozoospermic subjects without varicocele (control group) were recruited from a medical center for reproductive biology. The levels of serum reactive oxygen metabolites and seminal lipid peroxides were assessed for both control and varicocele subjects. Sperm deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation was measured by sperm chromatin dispersion test. Mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically treated sperm cells. In this study, varicocele patients were compared with men without varicoceles. Oxidative stress was observed in the serum and seminal fluid of varicocele patients. These patients showed an increase of 59% (P <.05) in serum reactive oxygen metabolites and a 3-fold increase in the level of sperm lipid peroxides. A parallel and significant increase (a 2-fold increase; P <.05) in the degree of sperm deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation was also observed. Varicocele patients showed a 27% decrease (P <.05) in mitochondrial respiratory activity in comparison to the control group. A 32% increase (P <.05) in sperm midpiece defects and a 41% decrease (P <.05) in sperm concentration and motility were also observed. Men with varicocele have increased markers of oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial respiratory activity. These results correlated with abnormalities in semen parameters. For morphology, these correlated with midpiece defects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Effects of hydrostatic pressure on mouse sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karimi, N; Kamangar, P Bahrami; Azadbakht, M; Amini, A; Amiri, I

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the abnormalities in sperm after exposure to hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure acting on the cells is one of the fundamental environmental mechanical forces. Disorders of relationship between the cells and this mechanical force, such as when pressure varies beyond physiological limits, can lead to disease or pathological states. Sperm exposed to different range of hydrostatic pressure within male reproductive system and after entering the female reproductive system. Sexually mature male NMRI mice, 8-12 weeks-old were sperm donors. Sperms were separated from the caudal epididymis and maintained in Ham's F-10 culture medium supplemented with 10 % FBS and divided into control and treatments. Sperm suspensions in the treatments were placed within pressure chamber and were subjected to increased hydrostatic pressure of 25, 50 and 100 mmHg (treatment I, II and III) above atmospheric pressure for 2 and 4 h. Sperm viability, motility, morphology, DNA integrity and fertilizing ability were assessed and compared with control. Results showed that hydrostatic pressure dependent on ranges and time manner reduced sperm quality due to adverse effect on viability, motility , morphology, DNA integrity and fertilizing ability in all of treatments, especially after 4h (phydrostatic pressure reduces sperm quality as a consequence of adverse effects on sperm parameters and may cause male infertility or subfertility (Tab. 5, Ref. 5).

  9. Hypercholesterolemia Impaired Sperm Functionality in Rabbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monclus, Maria A.; Cabrillana, Maria E.; Clementi, Marisa A.; Espínola, Leandro S.; Cid Barría, Jose L.; Vincenti, Amanda E.; Santi, Analia G.; Fornés, Miguel W.

    2010-01-01

    Hypercholesterolemia represents a high risk factor for frequent diseases and it has also been associated with poor semen quality that may lead to male infertility. The aim of this study was to analyze semen and sperm function in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Twelve adult White New Zealand male rabbits were fed ad libitum a control diet or a diet supplemented with 0.05% cholesterol. Rabbits under cholesterol-enriched diet significantly increased total cholesterol level in the serum. Semen examination revealed a significant reduction in semen volume and sperm motility in hypercholesterolemic rabbits (HCR). Sperm cell morphology was seriously affected, displaying primarily a “folded head”-head fold along the major axe-, and the presence of cytoplasmic droplet on sperm flagellum. Cholesterol was particularly increased in acrosomal region when detected by filipin probe. The rise in cholesterol concentration in sperm cells was determined quantitatively by Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analyses. We also found a reduction of protein tyrosine phosphorylation in sperm incubated under capacitating conditions from HCR. Interestingly, the addition of Protein Kinase A pathway activators -dibutyryl-cyclic AMP and iso-butylmethylxanthine- to the medium restored sperm capacitation. Finally, it was also reported a significant decrease in the percentage of reacted sperm in the presence of progesterone. In conclusion, our data showed that diet-induced hypercholesterolemia adversely affects semen quality and sperm motility, capacitation and acrosomal reaction in rabbits; probably due to an increase in cellular cholesterol content that alters membrane related events. PMID:20976152

  10. Is cunnilingus-assisted orgasm a male sperm-retention strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Michael N; Shackelford, Todd K; Sela, Yael; Welling, Lisa Lm

    2013-06-06

    We secured data from 243 men in committed, sexual, heterosexual relationships to test the sperm retention hypothesis of oral sex. We predicted that, among men who perform cunnilingus on their partner, those at greater risk of sperm competition are more likely to perform cunnilingus until their partner achieves orgasm (Prediction 1), and that, among men who ejaculate during penile-vaginal intercourse and whose partner experiences a cunnilingus-assisted orgasm, ejaculation will occur during the brief period in which female orgasm might function to retain sperm (Prediction 2). The results support Prediction 1 but not Prediction 2. We discuss limitations of the current research and discuss how these results may be more consistent with alternative hypotheses regarding female orgasm and oral sex.

  11. Is Cunnilingus-Assisted Orgasm a Male Sperm-Retention Strategy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N. Pham

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We secured data from 243 men in committed, sexual, heterosexual relationships to test the sperm retention hypothesis of oral sex. We predicted that, among men who perform cunnilingus on their partner, those at greater risk of sperm competition are more likely to perform cunnilingus until their partner achieves orgasm (Prediction 1, and that, among men who ejaculate during penile-vaginal intercourse and whose partner experiences a cunnilingus-assisted orgasm, ejaculation will occur during the brief period in which female orgasm might function to retain sperm (Prediction 2. The results support Prediction 1 but not Prediction 2. We discuss limitations of the current research and discuss how these results may be more consistent with alternative hypotheses regarding female orgasm and oral sex.

  12. Anti-androgen vinclozolin impairs sperm quality and steroidogenesis in goldfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatef, Azadeh; Alavi, Sayyed Mohammad Hadi; Milla, Sylvain; Křišťan, Jiří; Golshan, Mahdi; Fontaine, Pascal; Linhart, Otomar

    2012-10-15

    In mammals, vinclozolin (VZ) is known as anti-androgen, which causes male infertility via androgen receptor (AR) antagonism. In aquatic animals, the VZ effects on reproductive functions are largely unknown and results are somewhat contradictory. To understand VZ adverse effects on male reproduction, mature goldfish (Carassius auratus) were exposed to three nominal VZ concentrations (100, 400, and 800 μg/L) and alternations in gonadosomatic (GSI) and hepatosomatic indices (HSI), 17β-estradiol (E(2)), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) and sperm quality were investigated compared to the solvent control. One group was exposed to E(2) (nominal concentration of 5 μg/L), an estrogenic compound, as a negative control. Following one month exposure, GSI and HSI were unchanged in all VZ treated groups compared to solvent control. Sperm volume, motility and velocity were reduced in fish exposed to 800 μg/L VZ. This was associated with the decrease in 11-KT level, suggesting direct VZ effects on testicular androgenesis and sperm functions. In goldfish exposed to 100 μg/L VZ, 11-KT was increased but E(2) remained unchanged. This is, probably, the main reason for unchanged sperm quality at 100 μg/L VZ. In goldfish exposed to E(2), GSI and 11-KT were decreased, E(2) was increased and no sperm was produced. The present study shows different dose-dependent VZ effects, which lead to impairment in sperm quality via disruption in steroidogenesis. In addition to VZ effects through competitive binding to AR, our data suggests potential effects of VZ by direct inhibition of 11-KT biosynthesis in fish as well as abnormalities in sperm morphology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. A new enhanced bat-inspired algorithm for finding linear supply function equilibrium of GENCOs in the competitive electricity market

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niknam, Taher; Sharifinia, Sajjad; Azizipanah-Abarghooee, Rasoul

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Present optimal bidding strategies of Generating Companies (GENCOs) in a network-constrained electricity market. • Present new enhanced bat-inspired algorithm. • Consider the bi level optimization problem. • Present a linear supply function model. - Abstract: This paper proposes a new enhanced bat-inspired algorithm to find out linear supply function equilibrium of Generating Companies (GENCOs) in a network-constrained electricity market where they have incomplete information about other rivals. The model enables a GENCO to link its bidding price with the bidding quantity of its product. In this regard, the social welfare maximization is applied to clearing the market and nodal pricing mechanism is utilized to calculate the GENCO’s profit. It is formulated as a bi level optimization problem, where the higher level problem maximizes GENCO’s payoff and the lower level problem solves the independent system operator’s market clearing problem based on the maximization of social welfare. Due to non-convexity nature of the proposed bi level optimization problem, the mathematical-based optimization approach is incapable to solve the problem and obtain the nearly global optima. In order to overcome the obstacle of the conventional approaches, this study suggests a new meta-heuristic Bat-inspired Algorithm (BA) to achieve the nearly global solution of the bi level optimization problem. In addition a novel self-adaptive learning mechanism is utilized on the original BA to improve the population diversity and global searching capability. Numerical examples are applied to three test systems in order to evaluate the performances of the presented framework

  14. Competition policy and public procurement in developing countries

    OpenAIRE

    Falvey, Rod; La Chimia, Annamaria; Morrissey, Oliver; Zgovu, Evious

    2008-01-01

    Measures to support Competition Policy and enhance the efficiency of Public Procurement can enhance the impact of regional integration agreements. The first part addresses Competition Policy - measures employed by government to ensure a fair competitive market environment. Competition policy aims to ensure that markets remain competitive (through anti-trust or anti-cartel enforcement) or become competitive (through liberalisation). For a variety of reasons, competition is often restricted in ...

  15. Enhancement of High-Intensity Actions and Physical Performance During a Simulated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competition With a Moderate Dose of Caffeine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Lara, Francisco Javier; Del Coso, Juan; Portillo, Javier; Areces, Francisco; García, Jose Manuel; Abián-Vicén, Javier

    2016-10-01

    Although caffeine is one of the most commonly used substances in combat sports, information about its ergogenic effects on these disciplines is very limited. To determine the effectiveness of ingesting a moderate dose of caffeine to enhance overall performance during a simulated Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competition. Fourteen elite BJJ athletes participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental design. In a random order, the athletes ingested either 3 mg/kg body mass of caffeine or a placebo (cellulose, 0 mg/kg) and performed 2 simulated BJJ combats (with 20 min rest between them), following official BJJ rules. Specific physical tests such as maximal handgrip dynamometry, maximal height during a countermovement jump, permanence during a maximal static-lift test, peak power in a bench-press exercise, and blood lactate concentration were measured at 3 specific times: before the first combat and immediately after the first and second combats. The combats were video-recorded to analyze fight actions. After the caffeine ingestion, participants spent more time in offensive actions in both combats and revealed higher blood lactate values (P Performance in all physical tests carried out before the first combat was enhanced with caffeine (P caffeine and placebo. Caffeine might be an effective ergogenic aid for improving intensity and physical performance during successive elite BJJ combats.

  16. Mitochondrial respiratory efficiency is positively correlated with human sperm motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Provenzano, Sara Pinto; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2012-04-01

    To correlate sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency with variations in sperm motility and with sperm morphologic anomalies. Sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically-treated sperm cells. A possible relationship among sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, sperm motility, and morphologic anomalies was investigated. Mitochondrial respiratory efficiency was positively correlated with sperm motility and negatively correlated with the percentage of immotile spermatozoa. Moreover, midpiece defects impaired mitochondrial functionality. Our data indicate that an increase in sperm motility requires a parallel increase in mitochondrial respiratory capacity, thereby supporting the fundamental role played by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in sperm motility of normozoospermic subjects. These results are of physiopathological relevance because they suggest that disturbances of sperm mitochondrial function and of energy production could be responsible for asthenozoospermia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Strategies to enhance the competitiveness of semi-intensive aquaculture systems in costal earth ponds: the organic aquaculture approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Sardinha

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Earthen ponds are the main production system for European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax and gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata in Portugal and in Southern Spain. Production costs in this low productivity farming system are higher compared to intensive cage farms, and its economic sustainability depends on product differentiation and optimization of production. The development of new farming protocols, to enhance productivity of ponds and lagoons, or the implementation of certification processes to add value to products from extensive and semi-intensive systems, could render these activities more economics benefits and be attractive for a new generation of farmers. One clear strategy to differentiate and add value to seabream produced in semi-intensive systems is its production under organic standards. Feeds often represent 40-60% of the operational costs of fish farming. In relation to the traditional feeds, the organic certified feeds currently present a price-differential of about +30%. To assess it economic feasibility, it is therefore essential to validate if such higher feeding costs will represent an increase on productivity (fish growth and feed conversion or can be fully integrated in the final sale price. Throughout a full production cycle of gilthead seabream (from 9 grams until >350 grams, a series of trials allowed us to assess the effects of: a an organic certified feed; b variable feeding levels (100 and 80% of recommendations; and c culture density (0.5 and 1.0 kg/m3 on the overall growth performance, body composition and environmental impact at the fish farm level. Results show that growth performance (weight gain and feed conversion ratio of seabream fed the organic feed was similar to that found in fish fed a traditional diet. With the organic feed, a reduction of the feeding level by 20% of the manufacturer recommendations led to a lower growth, while a similar reduction on the feeding level of the traditional feed had no impact

  18. Children conceived after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mau, C; Juul, A; Main, K M

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate current medical knowledge about children born after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with respect to congenital malformations, chromosome abnormalities and postnatal growth.......The aim of the study was to evaluate current medical knowledge about children born after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with respect to congenital malformations, chromosome abnormalities and postnatal growth....

  19. Semi-automated scoring of triple-probe FISH in human sperm using confocal microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branch, Francesca; Nguyen, GiaLinh; Porter, Nicholas; Young, Heather A; Martenies, Sheena E; McCray, Nathan; Deloid, Glen; Popratiloff, Anastas; Perry, Melissa J

    2017-09-01

    Structural and numerical sperm chromosomal aberrations result from abnormal meiosis and are directly linked to infertility. Any live births that arise from aneuploid conceptuses can result in syndromes such as Kleinfelter, Turners, XYY and Edwards. Multi-probe fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is commonly used to study sperm aneuploidy, however manual FISH scoring in sperm samples is labor-intensive and introduces errors. Automated scoring methods are continuously evolving. One challenging aspect for optimizing automated sperm FISH scoring has been the overlap in excitation and emission of the fluorescent probes used to enumerate the chromosomes of interest. Our objective was to demonstrate the feasibility of combining confocal microscopy and spectral imaging with high-throughput methods for accurately measuring sperm aneuploidy. Our approach used confocal microscopy to analyze numerical chromosomal abnormalities in human sperm using enhanced slide preparation and rigorous semi-automated scoring methods. FISH for chromosomes X, Y, and 18 was conducted to determine sex chromosome disomy in sperm nuclei. Application of online spectral linear unmixing was used for effective separation of four fluorochromes while decreasing data acquisition time. Semi-automated image processing, segmentation, classification, and scoring were performed on 10 slides using custom image processing and analysis software and results were compared with manual methods. No significant differences in disomy frequencies were seen between the semi automated and manual methods. Samples treated with pepsin were observed to have reduced background autofluorescence and more uniform distribution of cells. These results demonstrate that semi-automated methods using spectral imaging on a confocal platform are a feasible approach for analyzing numerical chromosomal aberrations in sperm, and are comparable to manual methods. © 2017 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry. © 2017

  20. Mitochondrial PKA mediates sperm motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizrahi, Rashel; Breitbart, Haim

    2014-12-01

    Mitochondria are the major source of ATP to power sperm motility. Phosphorylation of mitochondrial proteins has been proposed as a major regulatory mechanism for mitochondrial bioenergetics. Sperm motility was measured by a computer-assisted analyzer, protein detection by western blotting, membrane potential by tetramethylrhodamine, cellular ATP by luciferase assay and localization of PKA by immuno-electron microscopy. Bicarbonate is essential for the creation of mitochondrial electro-chemical gradient, ATP synthesis and sperm motility. Bicarbonate stimulates PKA-dependent phosphorylation of two 60kDa proteins identified as Tektin and glucose-6-phosphate isomerase. This phosphorylation was inhibited by respiration inhibition and phosphorylation could be restored by glucose in the presence of bicarbonate. However, this effect of glucose cannot be seen when the mitochondrial ATP/ADP exchanger was inhibited indicating that glycolytic-produced ATP is transported into the mitochondria and allows PKA-dependent protein phosphorylation inside the mitochondria. Bicarbonate activates mitochondrial soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) which catalyzes cAMP production leading to the activation of mitochondrial PKA. Glucose can overcome the lack of ATP in the absence of bicarbonate but it cannot affect the mitochondrial sAC/PKA system, therefore the PKA-dependent phosphorylation of the 60kDa proteins does not occur in the absence of bicarbonate. Production of CO2 in Krebs cycle, which is converted to bicarbonate is essential for sAC/PKA activation leading to mitochondrial membrane potential creation and ATP synthesis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Sperm protein 17 is expressed in the sperm fibrous sheath

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albani Elena

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sperm protein 17 (Sp17 is a highly conserved mammalian protein characterized in rabbit, mouse, monkey, baboon, macaque, human testis and spermatozoa. mRNA encoding Sp17 has been detected in a range of murine and human somatic tissues. It was also recognized in two myeloma cell lines and in neoplastic cells from patients with multiple myeloma and ovarian carcinoma. These data all indicate that Sp17 is widely distributed in humans, expressed not only in germinal cells and in a variety of somatic tissues, but also in neoplastic cells of unrelated origin. Methods Sp17 expression was analyzed by immunocytochemistry and transmission electron microscopy on spermatozoa. Results Here, we demonstrate the ultrastructural localization of human Sp17 throughout the spermatozoa flagellar fibrous sheath, and its presence in spermatozoa during in vitro states from their ejaculation to the oocyte fertilization. Conclusion These findings suggest a possible role of Sp17 in regulating sperm maturation, capacitation, acrosomal reaction and interactions with the oocyte zona pellucida during the fertilization process. Further, the high degree of sequence conservation throughout its N-terminal half, and the presence of an A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP-binding motif within this region, suggest that Sp17 might play a regulatory role in a protein kinase A-independent AKAP complex in both germinal and somatic cells.

  2. BMI in relation to sperm count

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sermondade, N; Faure, C; Fezeu, L

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND The global obesity epidemic has paralleled a decrease in semen quality. Yet, the association between obesity and sperm parameters remains controversial. The purpose of this report was to update the evidence on the association between BMI and sperm count through a systematic review...... with meta-analysis. METHODS A systematic review of available literature (with no language restriction) was performed to investigate the impact of BMI on sperm count. Relevant studies published until June 2012 were identified from a Pubmed and EMBASE search. We also included unpublished data (n = 717 men...... studies were included in the meta-analysis, resulting in a sample of 13 077 men from the general population and attending fertility clinics. Data were stratified according to the total sperm count as normozoospermia, oligozoospermia and azoospermia. Standardized weighted mean differences in sperm...

  3. Testicular Damage following Testicular Sperm Retrieval

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fedder, Jens; Marcussen, Niels; Fedder, Maja D.K.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible development of histological abnormalities such as fibrosis and microcalcifications after sperm retrieval in a ram model. Fourteen testicles in nine rams were exposed to open biopsy, multiple TESAs, or TESE, and the remaining four testicles were...... left unoperated on as controls. Three months after sperm retrieval, the testicles were removed, fixed, and cut into 1/2 cm thick slices and systematically put onto a glass plate exposing macroscopic abnormalities. Tissue from abnormal areas was cut into 3 μm sections and stained for histological...... evaluation. Pathological abnormalities were observed in testicles exposed to sperm retrieval (≥11 of 14) compared to 0 of 4 control testicles. Testicular damage was found independently of the kind of intervention used. Therefore, cryopreservation of excess sperm should be considered while retrieving sperm....

  4. COMPETITIVENESS FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelu Eugen POPESCU

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The current economic environment puts pressure on all national economies which struggle to improve their competitiveness and innovativeness in a sustainable way. This article aims to present the current state of the competitiveness by reviewing the main literature and worldwide researches, in order to provide a brief overview of the determinants that drive productivity and economic success at global and national level, taking into consideration the entrepreneurial activity for a country’s competitiveness and economic growth. The paper identifies the ways in which efficiency driven countries can improve their policies and get a better return on their investments, underlining a set of competitiveness enhancing policies (measures that can be implemented by public and private institutions in order to strengthen the economic fundamentals of the economies.

  5. Comparison of sperm motility subpopulation structure among wild anadromous and farmed male Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) parr using a CASA system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldeira, Carina; García-Molina, Almudena; Valverde, Anthony; Bompart, Daznia; Hassane, Megan; Martin, Patrick; Soler, Carles

    2018-04-13

    Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is an endangered freshwater species that needs help to recover its wild stocks. However, the priority in aquaculture is to obtain successful fertilisation and genetic variability to secure the revival of the species. The aims of the present work were to study sperm subpopulation structure and motility patterns in wild anadromous males and farmed male Atlantic salmon parr. Salmon sperm samples were collected from wild anadromous salmon (WS) and two generations of farmed parr males. Sperm samples were collected from sexually mature males and sperm motility was analysed at different times after activation (5 and 35s). Differences among the three groups were analysed using statistical techniques based on Cluster analysis the Bayesian method. Atlantic salmon were found to have three sperm subpopulations, and the spermatozoa in ejaculates of mature farmed parr males had a higher velocity and larger size than those of WS males. This could be an adaptation to high sperm competition because salmonid species are naturally adapted to this process. Motility analysis enables us to identify sperm subpopulations, and it may be useful to correlate these sperm subpopulations with fertilisation ability to test whether faster-swimming spermatozoa have a higher probability of success.

  6. Role of Human Na,K-ATPase alpha 4 in Sperm Function, Derived from Studies in Transgenic Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Jeffrey; Sánchez, Gladis; Nangia, Ajay K.; Blanco, Gustavo

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Most of our knowledge on the biological role of the testis-specific Na,K-ATPase alpha 4 isoform derives from studies performed in non-human species. Here, we studied the function of human Na,K-ATPase alpha 4 after its expression in transgenic mice. Using a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) construct, containing the human ATP1A4 gene locus, we obtained expression of the human α4 transgene specifically in mouse sperm, enriched in the sperm flagellum. The expressed, human alpha 4 was active, and compared to wild-type sperm, those from transgenic mice displayed higher Na,K-ATPase alpha 4 activity and greater binding of fluorescently labeled ouabain, which is typical of the alpha 4 isoform. The expression and activity of endogenous alpha 4 and the other Na,K-ATPase alpha isoform present in sperm, alpha 1, remained unchanged. Male mice expressing the human ATP1A4 transgene exhibited similar testis size and morphology, normal sperm number and shape, and no changes in overall fertility compared to wild-type mice. Sperm carrying the human transgene exhibited enhanced total motility and an increase in multiple parameters of sperm movement, including higher sperm hyperactive motility. In contrast, no statistically significant changes in sperm membrane potential, protein tyrosine phosphorylation, or spontaneous acrosome reaction were found between wild-type and transgenic mice. Altogether, these results provide new genetic evidence for an important role of human Na,K-ATPase alpha 4 in sperm motility and hyperactivation, and establishes a new animal model for future studies of this isoform. PMID:25640246

  7. Relationship between Porcine Sperm Motility and Sperm Enzymatic Activity using Paper-based Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Koji; Huang, Han-Wei; Chen, Ming-Cheng; Chen, Yu; Cheng, Chao-Min

    2017-04-01

    Mammalian sperm motility has traditionally been analyzed to determine fertility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) systems. To develop low-cost and robust male fertility diagnostics, we created a paper-based MTT assay and used it to estimate motile sperm concentration. When porcine sperm motility was inhibited using sperm enzyme inhibitors for sperm enzymes related to mitochondrial activity and glycolysis, we simultaneously recorded sperm motility and enzymatic reactivity using a portable motility analysis system (iSperm) and a paper-based MTT assay, respectively. When using our paper-based MTT-assay, we calculated the area mean value signal intensity (AMV) to evaluate enzymatic reactivity. Both sperm motility and AMV decreased following treatment with iodoacetamide (IODO) and 3-bromopyruvic acid (3BP), both of which are inhibitors of glycolytic enzymes including glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). We found a correlation between recorded motility using iSperm and AMV from our paper-based assay (P Based on this inhibitor study, sperm motility can be estimated using our paper-based MTT-assay.

  8. Effect of calcium, bicarbonate, and albumin on capacitation-related events in equine sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macías-García, B; González-Fernández, L; Loux, S C; Rocha, A M; Guimarães, T; Peña, F J; Varner, D D; Hinrichs, K

    2015-01-01

    Repeatable methods for IVF have not been established in the horse, reflecting the failure of standard capacitating media to induce changes required for fertilization capacity in equine sperm. One important step in capacitation is membrane cholesterol efflux, which in other species is triggered by cholesterol oxidation and is typically enhanced using albumin as a sterol acceptor. We incubated equine sperm in the presence of calcium, BSA, and bicarbonate, alone or in combination. Bicarbonate induced an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) that was abolished by the addition of calcium or BSA. Bicarbonate induced protein tyrosine phosphorylation (PY), even in the presence of calcium or BSA. Incubation at high pH enhanced PY but did not increase ROS production. Notably, no combination of these factors was associated with significant cholesterol efflux, as assessed by fluorescent quantitative cholesterol assay and confirmed by filipin staining. By contrast, sperm treated with methyl-β-cyclodextrin showed a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, but no significant increase in PY or ROS. Presence of BSA increased sperm binding to bovine zonae pellucidae in all three stallions. These results show that presence of serum albumin is not associated with a reduction in membrane cholesterol levels in equine sperm, highlighting the failure of equine sperm to exhibit core capacitation-related changes in a standard capacitating medium. These data indicate an atypical relationship among cholesterol efflux, ROS production, and PY in equine sperm. Our findings may help to elucidate factors affecting failure of equine IVF under standard conditions. © 2015 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  9. Office-based sperm concentration: A simplified method for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Methods: Semen samples from 51 sperm donors were used. Following swim-up separation, the sperm concentration of the retrieved motile fraction was counted, as well as progressive motile sperm using a standardised wet preparation. The number of sperm in a 10 μL droplet covered with a 22 × 22 mm coverslip was ...

  10. Trade-off between carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation and sperm resistance to oxidative challenge

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tomášek, Oldřich; Albrechtová, Jana; Němcová, M.; Opatová, Pavlína; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 284, č. 1847 (2017), č. článku 20162444. ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : sexual selection * phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis * sperm competition theory * ejaculate quality * lutein * zeaxanthin Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 4.940, year: 2016

  11. Coal competitiveness?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogeaux, B.

    2006-01-01

    Will coal electrical plants be more competitive in the coming years? Answering this one cannot be limited to merely comparing estimates based on reference electricity production costs. The competitiveness of coal will indeed depend on the final product marketed, as the MWhs are not equal: is the purpose to produce base, half-base MWh? Does the electrical equipment structure require flexible MWh (for instance in the event of significant intermittent renewable energy amounts), and therefore plants able to adjust their power rapidly? But the competitiveness of coal will also depend on many factors that will correct reference cost estimates: uncertainties, risks, externalities. These factors will need to be appreciated on a case by case basis. We introduce some of the reasoning used to better appreciate the future competitiveness of coal, and the main factors conditioning it in three contrasting regions of the world: Europe, USA, china. (author)

  12. Competition Regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Icaza Ortiz

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a review of the competition regime works of various authors, published under the auspices of the University of the Hemispheres and the Corporation for Studies and Publications. Analyzes the structure, the general concepts, case law taken for development. Includes comments on the usefulness of this work for the study of competition law and the contribution to the lawyers who want to practice in this branch of economic law.

  13. Tolerance to environmental desiccation in moss sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shortlidge, Erin E; Rosenstiel, Todd N; Eppley, Sarah M

    2012-05-01

    • Sexual reproduction in mosses requires that sperm be released freely into the environment before finding and fertilizing a receptive female. After release from the male plant, moss sperm may experience a range of abiotic stresses; however, few data are available examining stress tolerance of moss sperm and whether there is genetic variation for stress tolerance in this important life stage. • Here, we investigated the effects of environmental desiccation and recovery on the sperm cells of three moss species (Bryum argenteum, Campylopus introflexus, and Ceratodon purpureus). • We found that a fraction of sperm cells were tolerant to environmental desiccation for extended periods (d) and that tolerance did not vary among species. We found that this tolerance occurs irrespective of ambient dehydration conditions, and that the addition of sucrose during dry-down improved cell recovery. Although we observed no interspecific variation, significant variation among individuals within species in sperm cell tolerance to environmental desiccation was observed, suggesting selection could potentially act on this basic reproductive trait. • The observation of desiccation-tolerant sperm in multiple moss species has important implications for understanding bryophyte reproduction, suggesting the presence of a significant, uncharacterized complexity in the ecology of moss mating systems. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. The stochastic dance of circling sperm cells: sperm chemotaxis in the plane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friedrich, B M; Juelicher, F [Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Noethnitzer Strasse 38, 01187 Dresden (Germany)], E-mail: ben@pks.mpg.de, E-mail: julicher@pks.mpg.de

    2008-12-15

    Biological systems such as single cells must function in the presence of fluctuations. It has been shown in a two-dimensional experimental setup that sea urchin sperm cells move toward a source of chemoattractant along planar trochoidal swimming paths, i.e. drifting circles. In these experiments, a pronounced variability of the swimming paths is observed. We present a theoretical description of sperm chemotaxis in two dimensions which takes fluctuations into account. We derive a coarse-grained theory of stochastic sperm swimming paths in a concentration field of chemoattractant. Fluctuations enter as multiplicative noise in the equations for the sperm swimming path. We discuss the stochastic properties of sperm swimming and predict a concentration-dependence of the effective diffusion constant of sperm swimming which could be tested in experiments.

  15. The stochastic dance of circling sperm cells: sperm chemotaxis in the plane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedrich, B M; Juelicher, F

    2008-01-01

    Biological systems such as single cells must function in the presence of fluctuations. It has been shown in a two-dimensional experimental setup that sea urchin sperm cells move toward a source of chemoattractant along planar trochoidal swimming paths, i.e. drifting circles. In these experiments, a pronounced variability of the swimming paths is observed. We present a theoretical description of sperm chemotaxis in two dimensions which takes fluctuations into account. We derive a coarse-grained theory of stochastic sperm swimming paths in a concentration field of chemoattractant. Fluctuations enter as multiplicative noise in the equations for the sperm swimming path. We discuss the stochastic properties of sperm swimming and predict a concentration-dependence of the effective diffusion constant of sperm swimming which could be tested in experiments.

  16. Sperm origins and concentration do not impact the clinical outcomes in intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Cen; Zhou, Ze-Hong; Zheng, Dan-Ni; Xu, Xiao-Fei; Huang, Jin; Lian, Ying; Qiao, Jie

    2018-05-25

    In the present study, we evaluated the impact of sperm origins and concentration on the clinical outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. A total of 1201 ICSI cycles were retrospectively analyzed for male azoospermia or oligozoospermia between January 2015 and December 2015 in the Peking University Third Hospital. Patients were divided into three groups (Group 1 vs Group 2/3; surgically extracted sperm vs ejaculated sperms): Group 1 included 343 ICSI cycles and Group 2 analyzed 388 cycles on semen with sperm concentration cycles with sperm concentration between 5 × 10 6 ml -1 and 15 × 10 6 ml -1 (mild oligozoospermia group). Fertilization rates, clinical pregnancy rates, and live birth rates were analyzed and compared among groups of different semen origins and concentrations on the oocyte retrieval day. Group 2 showed a lower fertilization rate than Group 3 (62.9% ± 21.6% vs 66.8% ± 22.1%,Pcycles.

  17. Sperm immobilization by dental focus microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linossier, A; Thumann, A; Bustos-Obregon, E

    1982-01-01

    Focal infections and their ability to produce alterations in different tissues have been in dispute for long time. The purpose of this work was to observe "in vitro" the effect of an Escherichia coli filtrate obtained from open pulpar necrosis on human sperm motility. It was observed that the E. coli filtrate produced a loss in sperm motility. The immobilizating factor was studied and characterized as a heat-stable, resistant to lyophilization and non-dializable substance, which could via blood stream reach the male reproductive system and affect sperm motility.

  18. Ovarian fluid mediates the temporal decline in sperm viability in a fish with sperm storage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clelia Gasparini

    Full Text Available A loss of sperm viability and functionality during sperm transfer and storage within the female reproductive tract can have important fitness implications by disrupting fertilization and impairing offspring development and survival. Consequently, mechanisms that mitigate the temporal decline in sperm function are likely to be important targets of selection. In many species, ovarian fluid is known to regulate and maintain sperm quality. In this paper, we use the guppy Poecilia reticulata, a highly polyandrous freshwater fish exhibiting internal fertilization and sperm storage, to determine whether ovarian fluid (OF influences the decline in sperm viability (the proportion of live sperm in the ejaculate over time and whether any observed effects depend on male sexual ornamentation. To address these questions we used a paired experimental design in which ejaculates from individual males were tested in vitro both in presence and absence of OF. Our results revealed that the temporal decline in sperm viability was significantly reduced in the presence of OF compared to a saline control. This finding raises the intriguing possibility that OF may play a role in mediating the decline in sperm quality due to the deleterious effects of sperm ageing, although other possible explanations for this observation are discussed. Interestingly, we also show that the age-related decline in sperm viability was contingent on male sexual ornamentation; males with relatively high levels of iridescence (indicating higher sexual attractiveness exhibited a more pronounced decline in sperm viability over time than their less ornamented counterparts. This latter finding offers possible insights into the functional basis for the previously observed trade-off between these key components of pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection.

  19. Milk proteins interact with goat Binder of SPerm (BSP) proteins and decrease their binding to sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Menezes, Erika Bezerra; van Tilburg, Mauricio; Plante, Geneviève; de Oliveira, Rodrigo V; Moura, Arlindo A; Manjunath, Puttaswamy

    2016-11-01

    Seminal plasma Binder of SPerm (BSP) proteins bind to sperm at ejaculation and promote capacitation. When in excess, however, BSP proteins damage the sperm membrane. It has been suggested that milk components of semen extenders associate with BSP proteins, potentially protecting sperm. Thus, this study was conducted to investigate if milk proteins interact with BSP proteins and reduce BSP binding to goat sperm. Using gel filtration chromatography, milk was incubated with goat seminal plasma proteins and loaded onto columns with and without calcium. Milk was also fractionated into parts containing mostly whey proteins or mostly caseins, incubated with seminal plasma proteins and subjected to gel filtration. Eluted fractions were evaluated by immunoblot using anti-goat BSP antibodies, confirming milk protein-BSP protein interactions. As determined by ELISA, milk proteins coated on polystyrene wells bound to increasing of goat BSP proteins. Far-western dot blots confirmed that BSP proteins bound to caseins and β-lactoglobulin in a concentration-dependent manner. Then, cauda epididymal sperm from five goats was incubated with seminal plasma; seminal plasma followed by milk; and milk followed by seminal plasma. Sperm membrane proteins were extracted and evaluated by immunoblotting. The pattern of BSP binding to sperm membrane proteins was reduced by 59.3 % when epididymal sperm were incubated with seminal plasma and then with skimmed milk (p  0.05). In conclusion, goat BSP proteins have an affinity for caseins and whey proteins. Milk reduces BSP binding to goat sperm, depending whether or not sperm had been previously exposed to seminal plasma. Such events may explain the protective effect of milk during goat sperm preservation.

  20. Impact of the Z potential technique on reducing the sperm DNA fragmentation index, fertilization rate and embryo development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Carlos; Núñez, Víctor; Wong, Yat; Vivar, Carlos; Benites, Elder; Rodriguez, Urso; Vergara, Carlos; Ponce, Jorge

    2017-12-01

    In assisted reproduction procedures, we need to develop and enhance new protocols to optimize sperm selection. The aim of this study is to evaluate the ability of the Z potential technique to select sperm with intact DNA in non-normospermic patients and evaluate the impact of this selection on embryonic development. We analyzed a total of 174 human seminal samples with at least one altered parameter. We measured basal, post density gradients, and post density gradients + Z potential DNA fragmentation index. To evaluate the impact of this technique on embryo development, 54 cases were selected. The embryo development parameters evaluated were fertilization rate, cleavage rate, top quality embryos at the third day and blastocysts rate. We found significant differences in the study groups when we compared the sperm fragmentation index by adding the Z potential technique to density gradient selection vs. density gradients alone. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the embryo development parameters between the low sperm fragmentation index group vs. the moderate and high sperm fragmentation index groups, when selecting sperms with this new technique. The Z potential technique is a very useful tool for sperm selection; it significantly reduces the DNA fragmentation index and improves the parameters of embryo development. This technique could be considered routine for its simplicity and low cost.

  1. Effects of ovarian fluid and genetic differences on sperm performance and fertilization success of alternative reproductive tactics in Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, S J; Butts, I A E; Flannery, E W; Peters, K M; Heath, D D; Pitcher, T E

    2017-06-01

    In many species, sperm velocity affects variation in the outcome of male competitive fertilization success. In fishes, ovarian fluid (OF) released with the eggs can increase male sperm velocity and potentially facilitate cryptic female choice for males of specific phenotypes and/or genotypes. Therefore, to investigate the effect of OF on fertilization success, we measured sperm velocity and conducted in vitro competitive fertilizations with paired Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) males representing two alternative reproductive tactics, jacks (small sneaker males) and hooknoses (large guarding males), in the presence of river water alone and OF mixed with river water. To determine the effect of genetic differences on fertilization success, we genotyped fish at neutral (microsatellites) and functional [major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II ß1] markers. We found that when sperm were competed in river water, jacks sired significantly more offspring than hooknoses; however, in OF, there was no difference in paternity between the tactics. Sperm velocity was significantly correlated with paternity success in river water, but not in ovarian fluid. Paternity success in OF, but not in river water alone, was correlated with genetic relatedness between male and female, where males that were less related to the female attained greater paternity. We found no relationship between MHC II ß1 divergence between mates and paternity success in water or OF. Our results indicate that OF can influence the outcome of sperm competition in Chinook salmon, where OF provides both male tactics with fertilization opportunities, which may in part explain what maintains both tactics in nature. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  2. Use of testicular sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection in men with high sperm DNA fragmentation: a SWOT analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteves, Sandro C; Roque, Matheus; Garrido, Nicolás

    2018-01-01

    Spermatozoa retrieved from the testis of men with high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in the neat semen tend to have better DNA quality. Given the negative impact of SDF on the outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), an increased interest has emerged about the use of testicular sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (Testi-ICSI). In this article, we used a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to summarize the advantages and drawbacks of this intervention. The rationale of Testi-ICSI is bypass posttesticular DNA fragmentation caused by oxidative stress during sperm transit through the epididymis. Hence, oocyte fertilization by genomically intact testicular spermatozoa may be optimized, thus increasing the chances of creating a normal embryonic genome and the likelihood of achieving a live birth, as recently demonstrated in men with high SDF. However, there is still limited evidence as regards the clinical efficacy of Testi-ICSI, thus creating opportunities for further confirmatory clinical research as well as investigation of Testi-ICSI in clinical scenarios other than high SDF. Furthermore, Testi-ICSI can be compared to other laboratory preparation methods for deselecting sperm with damaged DNA. At present, the available literature supports the use of testicular sperm when performing ICSI in infertile couples whose male partners have posttesticular SDF. Due to inherent risks of sperm retrieval, Testi-ICSI should be offered when less invasive treatments for alleviating DNA damage have failed. A call for continuous monitoring is nonetheless required concerning the health of generated offspring and the potential complications of sperm retrieval.

  3. Mining research for enhanced competitiveness

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Vogt, D

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Mining is very important to South Africa, contributing 7% of GDP directly, and 15% indirectly and employing more than 450 000 people. With the world’s largest resources of gold, platinum and ferrochrome, and major coal resources, mining...

  4. CONCEPTUAL APPROACH OF COMPETITIVENESS AND INTERDEPENDENCE BETWEEN COMPETITION AND COMPETITIVENESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana GUTIUM

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This article is devoted to analysis of interdependence and correlation between competition and competitiveness, and competition’s consequences. The author analysed some authors’ visions on competitiveness, and common features between theories of competition and competitiveness. Using the synthetic indicator elaborated by author has been evaluated the competitiveness of domestic goods on the internal and external market. At the end of this article, the author has developed proposals to increase competitiveness.

  5. Intracellular pH in sperm physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishigaki, Takuya; José, Omar; González-Cota, Ana Laura; Romero, Francisco; Treviño, Claudia L; Darszon, Alberto

    2014-08-01

    Intracellular pH (pHi) regulation is essential for cell function. Notably, several unique sperm ion transporters and enzymes whose elimination causes infertility are either pHi dependent or somehow related to pHi regulation. Amongst them are: CatSper, a Ca(2+) channel; Slo3, a K(+) channel; the sperm-specific Na(+)/H(+) exchanger and the soluble adenylyl cyclase. It is thus clear that pHi regulation is of the utmost importance for sperm physiology. This review briefly summarizes the key components involved in pHi regulation, their characteristics and participation in fundamental sperm functions such as motility, maturation and the acrosome reaction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Mammalian Sperm Motility: Observation and Theory

    KAUST Repository

    Gaffney, E.A.; Gadê lha, H.; Smith, D.J.; Blake, J.R.; Kirkman-Brown, J.C.

    2011-01-01

    the mechanics of these specialized cells, especially during their remarkable journey to the egg. The biological structure of the motile sperm appendage, the flagellum, is described and placed in the context of the mechanics underlying the migration of mammalian

  7. Mammalian Sperm Motility: Observation and Theory

    KAUST Repository

    Gaffney, E.A.

    2011-01-21

    Mammalian spermatozoa motility is a subject of growing importance because of rising human infertility and the possibility of improving animal breeding. We highlight opportunities for fluid and continuum dynamics to provide novel insights concerning the mechanics of these specialized cells, especially during their remarkable journey to the egg. The biological structure of the motile sperm appendage, the flagellum, is described and placed in the context of the mechanics underlying the migration of mammalian sperm through the numerous environments of the female reproductive tract. This process demands certain specific changes to flagellar movement and motility for which further mechanical insight would be valuable, although this requires improved modeling capabilities, particularly to increase our understanding of sperm progression in vivo. We summarize current theoretical studies, highlighting the synergistic combination of imaging and theory in exploring sperm motility, and discuss the challenges for future observational and theoretical studies in understanding the underlying mechanics. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

  8. Outdoor air pollution and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuente, Rafael; García-Blàquez, Núria; Jacquemin, Bénédicte; Checa, Miguel Angel

    2016-09-15

    Exposure to air pollution has been clearly associated with a range of adverse health effects, including reproductive toxicity, but its effects on male semen quality are still unclear. We performed a systematic review (up to June 2016) to assess the impact of air pollutants on sperm quality. We included 17 semi-ecological, panel, and cohort studies, assessing outdoor air pollutants, such as PM2.5, PM10, NOx, SO2, and O3, and their effects on DNA fragmentation, sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. Thirteen studies assessed air pollution exposure measured environmentally, and six used biomarkers of air pollution exposure (two did both). We rated the studies using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and assessed with the exposure method. Taking into account these factors and the number of studies finding significant results (positive or negative), the evidence supporting an effect of air pollution on DNA fragmentation is weak but suggestive, on sperm motility is limited and probably inexistent, on lower sperm count is inconclusive, and on sperm morphology is very suggestive. Because of the diversity of air pollutants and sperm parameters, and the studies' designs, we were unable to perform a meta-analysis. In summary, most studies concluded that outdoor air pollution affects at least one of the four semen quality parameters included in the review. However, results lack consistency, and furthermore, studies were not comparable. Studies using standardized air pollution and semen measures are required to obtain more reliable conclusions. CRD42015007175. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Seasonal changes in reproductive activity, sperm variables and sperm freezability in Blanca Andaluza bucks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Gallego-Calvo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Interest in the preservation of endangered breeds such as the Blanca Andaluza goat, has increased and some steps should be therefore taken to ensure it. The study was designed to determine the seasonal reproductive pattern of Blanca Andaluza bucks, and whether this affects the quality of their semen and its freezability over the year. Seven bucks were used and their body weight, testicular weight, plasma testosterone concentration and fresh sperm quality determined every week. The collected sperm was cryopreserved and stored; it was then thawed and the same sperm quality variables measured every fortnight. High plasma testosterone concentrations were recorded during the summer and autumn, and low concentrations were recorded during winter and spring (p<0.001. No differences were seen between seasons in terms of the percentage of bucks ejaculating, the percentage of active bucks, or ejaculate volume. However, the sperm concentration, the total number of sperm per ejaculate, and the values for most fresh sperm variables were lower during the winter period (at least p<0.05. After freezing-thawing, the quality of winter-collected sperm was better, in some respects, than that of summer-collected sperm (at least p<0.05. These results reveal that Blanca Andaluza bucks show seasonal reproductive activity in terms of their plasma testosterone concentration, but no clear change in their sexual behaviour between seasons was observed. The values of fresh sperm variables also vary over the year, reaching their lowest during winter. However, after freezing-thawing, winter-collected sperm is of overall better quality than sperm collected during the summer.

  10. Seasonal changes in reproductive activity, sperm variables and sperm freezability in Blanca Andaluza bucks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallego-Calvo, L.; Gatica, M.C.; Santiago-Moreno, J.; Guzmán, J.L.; Zarazaga, L.

    2015-07-01

    Interest in the preservation of endangered breeds such as the Blanca Andaluza goat, has increased and some steps should be therefore taken to ensure it. The study was designed to determine the seasonal reproductive pattern of Blanca Andaluza bucks, and whether this affects the quality of their semen and its freezability over the year. Seven bucks were used and their body weight, testicular weight, plasma testosterone concentration and fresh sperm quality determined every week. The collected sperm was cryopreserved and stored; it was then thawed and the same sperm quality variables measured every fortnight. High plasma testosterone concentrations were recorded during the summer and autumn, and low concentrations were recorded during winter and spring (p<0.001). No differences were seen between seasons in terms of the percentage of bucks ejaculating, the percentage of active bucks, or ejaculate volume. However, the sperm concentration, the total number of sperm per ejaculate, and the values for most fresh sperm variables were lower during the winter period (at least p<0.05). After freezing-thawing, the quality of winter-collected sperm was better, in some respects, than that of summer-collected sperm (at least p<0.05). These results reveal that Blanca Andaluza bucks show seasonal reproductive activity in terms of their plasma testosterone concentration, but no clear change in their sexual behaviour between seasons was observed. The values of fresh sperm variables also vary over the year, reaching their lowest during winter. However, after freezing-thawing, winter-collected sperm is of overall better quality than sperm collected during the summer. (Author)

  11. Confocal fluorescence microscopy in a murine model of microdissection testicular sperm extraction to improve sperm retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ryan P; Lowe, Greg J; Kavoussi, Parviz K; Steers, William D; Costabile, Raymond A; Herr, John C; Shetty, Jagathpala; Lysiak, Jeffrey J

    2012-05-01

    Microdissection testicular sperm extraction markedly improves the sperm retrieval rates in men with nonobstructive azoospermia. However, localizing sperm foci can be time-consuming and it is not always successful. Fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy offers the advantage of rapid in vivo detection of fluorescently labeled sperm in the seminiferous tubules. After establishing the feasibility of fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy to identify antibody labeled sperm in vivo C57/B6 mice underwent intraperitoneal injection of busulfan to induce azoospermia. During spermatogenesis reestablishment at approximately 16 weeks the mice were anesthetized and the testes were delivered through a low midline incision. Fluorescein isothiocyanate labeled antibody to intra-acrosomal protein Hs-14 was injected retrograde into a single murine rete testis. The testes were imaged in vivo with fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy and sperm foci were detected. The respective seminiferous tubules were excised and squash prepared for immunofluorescence microscopy. Sperm foci were identified in the testis injected with fluorescently tagged antibody by in vivo fiberoptic confocal fluorescence microscopy. The contralateral control testis of each mouse showed no specific signal. Immunofluorescence microscopy of the excised tubules provided morphological confirmation of the presence of labeled sperm with an absence in controls. Findings were consistent in the feasibility portion of the study and in the busulfan model of nonobstructive azoospermia. Fiberoptic confocal fluorescent microscopy was feasible during microdissection testicular sperm extraction in an azoospermic mouse model to identify fluorescently labeled sperm in vivo. Translation to the clinical setting could decrease operative time and improve the sperm harvest rate. Copyright © 2012 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Viscoelasticity promotes collective swimming of sperm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tung, Chih-Kuan; Harvey, Benedict B.; Fiore, Alyssa G.; Ardon, Florencia; Suarez, Susan S.; Wu, Mingming

    From flocking birds to swarming insects, interactions of organisms large and small lead to the emergence of collective dynamics. Here, we report striking collective swimming of bovine sperm, with sperm orienting in the same direction within each cluster, enabled by the viscoelasticity of the fluid. A long-chain polyacrylamide solution was used as a model viscoelastic fluid such that its rheology can be fine-tuned to mimic that of bovine cervical mucus. In viscoelastic fluid, sperm formed dynamic clusters, and the cluster size increased with elasticity of the polyacrylamide solution. In contrast, sperm swam randomly and individually in Newtonian fluids of similar viscosity. Analysis of the fluid motion surrounding individual swimming sperm indicated that sperm-fluid interaction is facilitated by the elastic component of the fluid. We note that almost all biological fluids (e.g. mucus and blood) are viscoelastic in nature, this finding highlights the importance of fluid elasticity in biological function. We will discuss what the orientation fluctuation within a cluster reveals about the interaction strength. Supported by NIH Grant 1R01HD070038.

  13. Lifestyle influences human sperm functional quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mnica Ferreira; Joana Vieira Silva; Vladimiro Silva; Antnio Barros; Margarida Fardilha

    2012-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the impact of acute lifestyle changes on human sperm functional quality.Methods:In the academic festivities week, young and apparently healthy male students who voluntarily submit themselves to acute lifestyle alterations(among the potentially important variations are increase in alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco consumption and circadian rhythm shifts) were used as a model system.Sperm samples were obtained before and after the academic week and compared by traditional semen analysis(n=54) and also tested for cleavedPolyADP-ribose polymerase(PARP) protein, an apoptotic marker(n=35).Results:Acute lifestyle changes that occurred during the academic week festivities(the study model) resulted both in a significant reduction in sperm quality, assessed by basic semen analysis(decrease in sperm concentration, total number of spermatozoa, progressive and non-progressive motility and increase in sperm morphological abnormalities) and by an increase in the expression of the apoptotic marker, cleavedPARP, in the ejaculate.Conclusions:Acute lifestyle changes have clear deleterious effects on sperm quality.We propose cleavedPARP as a novel molecular marker, valuable for assessing spermquality in parallel with the basic semen analysis method.

  14. Oxidative stress negatively affects human sperm mitochondrial respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Pinto Provenzano, Sara; Montagna, Daniela Domenica; Coppola, Lamberto; Zara, Vincenzo

    2013-07-01

    To correlate the level of oxidative stress in serum and seminal fluid and the level of sperm deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragmentation with sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency. Sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was evaluated with a polarographic assay of oxygen consumption carried out in hypotonically treated sperm cells. A possible relationship between sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency, the level of oxidative stress, and the level of sperm DNA fragmentation was investigated. Sperm motility was positively correlated with mitochondrial respiration but negatively correlated with oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation. Interestingly, sperm mitochondrial respiratory activity was negatively affected by oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation. Our data indicate that sperm mitochondrial respiration is decreased in patients with high levels of reactive oxygen species by an uncoupling between electron transport and adenosine triphosphate synthesis. This reduction in mitochondrial functionality might be 1 of the reasons responsible for the decrease in spermatozoa motility. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A competitive immunoassay for ultrasensitive detection of Hg(2+) in water, human serum and urine samples using immunochromatographic test based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    She, Pei; Chu, Yanxin; Liu, Chunwei; Guo, Xun; Zhao, Kang; Li, Jianguo; Du, Haijing; Zhang, Xiang; Wang, Hong; Deng, Anping

    2016-02-04

    An immunochromatographic test (ICT) strip was developed for ultrasensitive competitive immunoassay of Hg(2+). This strategy was achieved by combining the easy-operation and rapidity of ICT with the high sensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Monoclonal antibody (mAb) against Hg(2+) and Raman active substance 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (MBA) dual labelled gold nanoparticles (GNPs) were prepared as an immunoprobe. The Raman scattering intensity of MBA on the test line of the ICT strip was measured for quantitative determination of Hg(2+). The ICT was able to directly detect Hg(2+) without complexing due to the specific recognition of the mAb with Hg(2+). The IC50 and limit of detection (LOD) of the assay for Hg(2+) detection were 0.12 ng mL(-1) and 0.45 pg mL(-1), respectively. There was no cross-reactivity (CR) of the assay with other nineteen ions and the ICT strips could be kept for 5 weeks without loss of activity. The recoveries of the assay for water, human serum and urine samples spiked with Hg(2+) were in range of 88.3-107.3% with the relative standard deviations (RSD) of 1.5-9.5% (n = 3). The proposed ICT was used for the detection of Hg(2+) in urine samples collected from Occupational Disease Hospital and the results were confirmed by cold-vapor atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CV-AFS). The assay exhibited high sensitivity, selectivity, stability, precision and accuracy, demonstrating a promising method for the detection of trace amount of Hg(2+) in environmental water samples and biological serum and urine samples. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Phenotypic plasticity in sperm traits in scorpionflies (Mecoptera : Panorpidae): Consequences of larval history and seasonality on sperm length and sperm transfer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, Andreas; Engels, Sierk; Engqvist, Leif; Sauer, Klaus Peter

    2009-01-01

    We examined effects of seasonality, larval food availability and larval rearing density on sperm length, sperm transfer rates and body size in the bivoltine scorpionfly Panorpa vulgaris. Males of the first annual generation were larger and had larger sperm. Comparing individuals of two summer

  17. Dimorphic sperm and the unlikely route to fertilisation in the yellow seahorse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Look, Katrien J W; Dzyuba, Borys; Cliffe, Alex; Koldewey, Heather J; Holt, William V

    2007-02-01

    Uniquely among vertebrates, seahorses and pipefishes (Family Syngnathidae) incubate their eggs within a male brood pouch. This has contributed to a widespread, but poorly founded belief, that the eggs are fertilised using spermatozoa that are deposited directly into the brood pouch via an internal sperm duct. Anatomical dissections showed, however, not only that direct sperm deposition into the pouch is physically impossible, but that spermatozoa must somehow travel a significant distance (>4 mm) outside the body of the male, to reach and fertilise eggs in the pouch. Observations of courtship and mating behaviour also revealed that the pouch closes immediately after mating, and that sperm transfer must occur within a time window of no more than 6 s. In addition to this, the yellow seahorse produces extraordinarily low quantities of dimorphic spermatozoa, but is nevertheless highly fertile and can produce broods that exceed 100 embryos. The entire fertilisation process in seahorses is therefore uniquely efficient among vertebrates, yet paradoxically involves several steps that would seem to complicate, and even appear to prevent, the interaction of the gametes. Although we are still unable to describe the exact fertilisation mechanism, we speculate that spermatozoa are ejaculated into a mixture of ovarian fluid and eggs, while the male and female are in close contact. Thereafter, this mixture must enter the pouch, whereupon the spermatozoa encounter seawater. These observations also support the view, indirectly inferred in previous publications, that sperm competition in seahorses is not only non-existent but impossible.

  18. Genetic architecture of conspecific sperm precedence in Allonemobius fasciatus and A. socius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britch, Seth C; Swartout, Emma J; Hampton, Daniel D; Draney, Michael L; Chu, Jiming; Marshall, Jeremy L; Howard, Daniel J

    2007-06-01

    The evolution of barriers to gene exchange is centrally important to speciation. We used the crickets Allonemobius fasciatus and A. socius to investigate the genetic architecture of conspecific sperm precedence (CSP), a postinsemination prezygotic reproductive barrier. With amplified fragment-length polymorphism (AFLP) markers and controlled crosses we constructed linkage maps and estimated positions of QTL associated with CSP. The majority of QTL have low to moderate effects, although a few QTL exist in A. socius with large effects, and the numbers of QTL are comparable to numbers of genes accounting for species differences in other studies. The QTL are spread across many unlinked markers, yet QTL placed with linked markers are on a small number of linkage groups that could reflect the role of the large Allonemobius sex chromosome in prezygotic isolation. Although many QTL had positive effects on conspecific sperm utilization several QTL also exerted negative effects, which could be explained by intraspecific sexual conflict, sperm competition, or epistasis of introgressed genes on novel backgrounds. One unexpected outcome was that A. socius CSP alleles have a stronger effect than those from A. fasciatus in hybrid females, causing hybrids to behave like A. socius with regard to sperm utilization. Implications of this asymmetry in the Allonemobius hybrid zone are discussed.

  19. Case competitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schjoldager, Anne Gram

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents and discusses a teaching project with case competitions for MA students of specialised translation at the Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University. Drawing on a series of online questionnaires, the paper ascertains how the project was evaluated by the participating students...

  20. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2009-11-01

    1. Physics competitions: aims and realizations One aim of physics competitions is to increase the interest of young students, primarily at upper secondary level, to physics and natural sciences in general. A competition has motivational aspects known usually from sports events or games—comparing one's own ability with others, of course with the desire to be better and to win. If competitions reach nationwide and even international levels, additional stimulation is created. Competitions provide greatest attraction to possible winners, to the group of gifted people in a particular field. This implies that science contests are excellent tools for the promotion of talented students. Traditional teaching has been shown to have problems in supporting this group of students. Very often teachers are overstretched with the demands of teaching both low- and high-level students. Extracurricular activities are therefore a good chance to relieve the teacher, and to give talented students the opportunity for appropriate training and challenge. The competitions, however, have a broader impact and address more young people than one might guess from the statements above. Training courses and selection at school level give a larger group of students extra and, to some extent, complimentary education in physics. The degree of complexity of the tasks corresponds very often to the standards of the next level of education in the school system. Interestingly, many physics competitions have their origin in countries beyond the former Iron Curtain. They started as regional and national tournaments, were joined by neighbouring countries and have grown, in some cases, to events with participants from more than 80 countries. Although the features mentioned above are common to the different competitions, there are distinct differences between them [1]. The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is the oldest international physics competition for students at upper secondary level [2]. It dates

  1. Neonatal outcome and congenital malformations in children born after ICSI with testicular or epididymal sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fedder, Jens; Loft, A; Parner, Erik Thorlund

    2013-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION: Does neonatal outcome including congenital malformations in children born after ICSI with epididymal and testicular sperm [testicular sperm extraction (TESE)/percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA)/testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) (TPT)] differ from neonatal outcome in c...

  2. Predictive value of sperm morphology and progressively motile sperm count for pregnancy outcomes in intrauterine insemination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmens, Louise; Kos, Snjezana; Beijer, Cornelis; Brinkman, Jacoline W; van der Horst, Frans A L; van den Hoven, Leonie; Kieslinger, Dorit C; van Trooyen-van Vrouwerff, Netty J; Wolthuis, Albert; Hendriks, Jan C M; Wetzels, Alex M M

    2016-06-01

    To investigate the value of sperm parameters to predict an ongoing pregnancy outcome in couples treated with intrauterine insemination (IUI), during a methodologically stable period of time. Retrospective, observational study with logistic regression analyses. University hospital. A total of 1,166 couples visiting the fertility laboratory for their first IUI episode, including 4,251 IUI cycles. None. Sperm morphology, total progressively motile sperm count (TPMSC), and number of inseminated progressively motile spermatozoa (NIPMS); odds ratios (ORs) of the sperm parameters after the first IUI cycle and the first finished IUI episode; discriminatory accuracy of the multivariable model. None of the sperm parameters was of predictive value for pregnancy after the first IUI cycle. In the first finished IUI episode, a positive relationship was found for ≤4% of morphologically normal spermatozoa (OR 1.39) and a moderate NIPMS (5-10 million; OR 1.73). Low NIPMS showed a negative relation (≤1 million; OR 0.42). The TPMSC had no predictive value. The multivariable model (i.e., sperm morphology, NIPMS, female age, male age, and the number of cycles in the episode) had a moderate discriminatory accuracy (area under the curve 0.73). Intrauterine insemination is especially relevant for couples with moderate male factor infertility (sperm morphology ≤4%, NIPMS 5-10 million). In the multivariable model, however, the predictive power of these sperm parameters is rather low. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Toward microfluidic sperm refinement: continuous flow label-free analysis and sorting of sperm cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wagenaar, B.; Dekker, Stefan; van den Berg, Albert; Segerink, Loes Irene

    2015-01-01

    This manuscript reports upon the development of a microfluidic setup to detect and sort sperm cells from polystyrene beads label-free and non-invasively. Detection is performed by impedance analysis. When sperm cells passed the microelectrodes, the recorded impedance (19.6 ± 5.7 Ω) was higher

  4. Ocean acidification impacts on sperm mitochondrial membrane potential bring sperm swimming behaviour near its tipping point.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Peter; Binet, Monique T; Havenhand, Jonathan N; Doyle, Christopher J; Williamson, Jane E

    2015-04-01

    Broadcast spawning marine invertebrates are susceptible to environmental stressors such as climate change, as their reproduction depends on the successful meeting and fertilization of gametes in the water column. Under near-future scenarios of ocean acidification, the swimming behaviour of marine invertebrate sperm is altered. We tested whether this was due to changes in sperm mitochondrial activity by investigating the effects of ocean acidification on sperm metabolism and swimming behaviour in the sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii. We used a fluorescent molecular probe (JC-1) and flow cytometry to visualize mitochondrial activity (measured as change in mitochondrial membrane potential, MMP). Sperm MMP was significantly reduced in ΔpH -0.3 (35% reduction) and ΔpH -0.5 (48% reduction) treatments, whereas sperm swimming behaviour was less sensitive with only slight changes (up to 11% decrease) observed overall. There was significant inter-individual variability in responses of sperm swimming behaviour and MMP to acidified seawater. We suggest it is likely that sperm exposed to these changes in pH are close to their tipping point in terms of physiological tolerance to acidity. Importantly, substantial inter-individual variation in responses of sperm swimming to ocean acidification may increase the scope for selection of resilient phenotypes, which, if heritable, could provide a basis for adaptation to future ocean acidification. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. SMART USE OF COMPUTER-AIDED SPERM ANALYSIS (CASA) TO CHARACTERIZE SPERM MOTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) has evolved over the past fifteen years to provide an objective, practical means of measuring and characterizing the velocity and parttern of sperm motion. CASA instruments use video frame-grabber boards to capture multiple images of spermato...

  6. MONTHLY VARIATION IN SPERM MOTILITY IN COMMON CARP ASSESSED USING COMPUTER-ASSISTED SPERM ANALYSIS (CASA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperm motility variables from the milt of the common carp Cyprinus carpio were assessed using a computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system across several months (March-August 1992) known to encompass the natural spawning period. Two-year-old pond-raised males obtained each mo...

  7. The Effect of Glyphosate on Human Sperm Motility and Sperm DNA Fragmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Anifandis

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Glyphosate is the active ingredient of Roundup®, which is one of the most popular herbicides worldwide. Although many studies have focused on the reproductive toxicity of glyphosate or glyphosate-based herbicides, the majority of them have concluded that the effect of the specific herbicide is negligible, while only a few studies indicate the male reproductive toxicity of glyphosate alone. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 0.36 mg/L glyphosate on sperm motility and sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF. Thirty healthy men volunteered to undergo semen analysis for the purpose of the study. Sperm motility was calculated according to WHO 2010 guidelines at collection time (zero time and 1 h post-treatment with glyphosate. Sperm DNA fragmentation was evaluated with Halosperm® G2 kit for both the control and glyphosate-treated sperm samples. Sperm progressive motility of glyphosate-treated samples was significantly reduced after 1 h post-treatment in comparison to the respective controls, in contrast to the SDF of glyphosate-treated samples, which was comparable to the respective controls. Conclusively, under these in vitro conditions, at high concentrations that greatly exceed environmental exposures, glyphosate exerts toxic effects on sperm progressive motility but not on sperm DNA integrity, meaning that the toxic effect is limited only to motility, at least in the first hour.

  8. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Baer, Boris; Dreier, Stéphanie Agnès Jeanine

    2009-01-01

    are able to fertilize close to 100 per cent of the eggs and that the average sperm use per egg is very low, but increases with queen age. The robustness of stored sperm was found to decrease with years of storage, signifying that senescence affects sperm either directly or indirectly via the declining...... glandular secretions or deteriorating sperm-storage organs. We evaluate our findings with a heuristic model, which suggests that the average queen has sperm for almost 9 years of normal colony development. We discuss the extent to which leaf-cutter ant queens have been able to optimize their sperm...

  9. Different computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems highly influence sperm motility parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boryshpolets, S; Kowalski, R K; Dietrich, G J; Dzyuba, B; Ciereszko, A

    2013-10-15

    In this study, we examined different computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems (CRISMAS, Hobson Sperm Tracker, and Image J CASA) on the exact same video recordings to evaluate the differences in sperm motility parameters related to the specific CASA used. To cover a wide range of sperm motility parameters, we chose 12-second video recordings at 25 and 50 Hz frame rates after sperm motility activation using three taxonomically distinct fish species (sterlet: Acipenser ruthenus L.; common carp: Cyprinus carpio L.; and rainbow trout: Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum) that are characterized by essential differences in sperm behavior during motility. Systematically higher values of velocity and beat cross frequency (BCF) were observed in video recordings obtained at 50 Hz frame frequency compared with 25 Hz for all three systems. Motility parameters were affected by the CASA and species used for analyses. Image J and CRISMAS calculated higher curvilinear velocity (VCL) values for rainbow trout and common carp at 25 Hz frequency compared with the Hobson Sperm Tracker, whereas at 50 Hz, a significant difference was observed only for rainbow trout sperm recordings. No significant difference was observed between the CASA systems for sterlet sperm motility at 25 and 50 Hz. Additional analysis of 1-second segments taken at three time points (1, 6, and 12 seconds of the recording) revealed a dramatic decrease in common carp and rainbow trout sperm speed. The motility parameters of sterlet spermatozoa did not change significantly during the 12-second motility period and should be considered as a suitable model for longer motility analyses. Our results indicated that the CASA used can affect motility results even when the same motility recordings are used. These results could be critically altered by the recording quality, time of analysis, and frame rate of camera, and could result in erroneous conclusions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Power industry and competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recknagel, H.

    1988-01-01

    A task group on antritrust law has been set in by the Federal Ministry of Economics in order to again investigate the position of the utilities within the framework of the law against restraints on competition, (GWB). The task group's report states that from the power industry's perspective, there is no reason to modify the existing system created by sections 103, 103a of the GWB. The EC internal market to come, and enhanced use of coal for power generation to be continued beyond the year 1995 are topics that will keep politicians, utilities, and lawmakers in this field busy enough. In such a situation, the legislator cannot afford a discovery trip into unexplored, theoretical impacts of enhanced competition on the power industry. (orig./DG) [de

  11. Thyroxin Is Useful to Improve Sperm Motility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mendeluk Gabriela Ruth

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the non-genomic action of thyroxin on sperm kinetic and its probable use to improve sperm recovery after applying an en- richment method like “swim-up” in comparison with the available one, pentoxifylline. Materials and Methods This is an experimental study. A total of 50 patients were re- cruited, followed by infertility consultation. Conventional sperm assays were performed according to World Health Organization criteria-2010 (WHO-2010. A Computer Aided Semen Analysis System was employed to assess kinetic parameters and concentrations. Number of the motile sperm recovered after preparation technique was calculated. Results Addition of T4 (0.002 µg/ml to semen samples increased hypermotility at 20 minutes (control: 14.18 ± 5.1% vs. 17.66 ± 8.88%, P<0.03, data expressed as mean ± SD and remained unchanged after 40 minutes. Significant differences were found in the motile sperm recovered after swim-up (control: 8.93×106 ± 9.52× 06vs. 17.20×106 ± 21.16×106, P<0.03, achieving all of the tested samples a desirable threshold value for artificial insemination outcome, while adding pentoxifylline increased the number of recovered sperm after swim-up in 60% of the studied cases. No synergism between two treatments could be determined. Conclusion We propose a new physiological tool to artificially improve insemination. The discussion opens windows to investigate unknown pathways involved in sperm ca- pacitation and gives innovative arguments to better understand infertility mechanisms.

  12. Intraguild competition and enhanced survival of western bean cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on transgenic Cry1Ab (MON810) Bacillus thuringiensis corn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorhout, David L; Rice, Marlin E

    2010-02-01

    The effect of genetically modified corn (event MON810, YieldGard Corn Borer) expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis sp. kurstaki (Berliner) (Bt) endotoxin, Cry1Ab, on the survival of western bean cutworm, Striacosta albicosta (Smith), larvae was examined during intraguild competition studies with either European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), or corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), larvae. Competition scenarios were constructed by using either a laboratory or field competition arena containing one of five different diets and one of 13 different larval size-by-species scenarios. The survival of western bean cutworms competing with corn earworms in the laboratory arenas on either a meridic diet or isoline corn silk diet was significantly lower (P corn earworm on a Cry1Ab-MON810 corn silk diet was significant higher (P corn borers generally did not alter the outcomes observed in the western bean cutworm and corn earworm only two-way competitions. These data suggest that Cry1Ab-MON810 corn may confer a competitive advantage to western bean cutworm larvae during intraguild competition, particularly from corn earworms, and that western bean cutworms become equal competitors only when they are of equal or larger size and the diet is Cry1Ab-MON810 corn.

  13. Endocannabinoids and Human Sperm Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanna Zolese

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available N-acylethanolamides (NAEs are naturally occurring signaling lipids consisting of amides and esters of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Usually they are present in a very small amounts in many mammalian tissues and cells, including human reproductive tracts and fluids. Recently, the presence of N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA, the most characterised member of endocannabinoids, and its congeners palmitoylethanolamide (PEA and oleylethanolamide (OEA in seminal plasma, oviductal fluid, and follicular fluids was demonstrated. AEA has been shown to bind not only type-1 (CB1 and type-2 (CB2 cannabinoid receptors, but also type-1 vanilloid receptor (TRPV1, while PEA and OEA are inactive with respect to classical cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 but activate TRPV1 or peroxisome proliferator activate receptors (PPARs. This review concerns the most recent experimental data on PEA and OEA, endocannabinoid-like molecules which appear to exert their action exclusively on sperm cells with altered features, such as membrane characteristics and kinematic parameters. Their beneficial effects on these cells could suggest a possible pharmacological use of PEA and OEA on patients affected by some forms of idiopathic infertility.

  14. EDITORIAL: Physics competitions Physics competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordens, H.; Mathelitsch, L.

    2010-07-01

    This editorial opens the second special section on physics competitions in European Journal of Physics. In the first section last year, we asked for feedback on the idea of such a section and on the content of the articles. We received no answer whatsoever, which can be interpreted in two ways: the section is not interesting enough to raise motivation for feedback, or the reader is satisfied. Having no indication which scenario is the correct one, we are optimistic and favour the second. The section at hand contains three articles. Again, as last year, the organizer of the annual Olympiad reports on tasks and outcomes of this competition. The Olympiad took place in Merida, Mexico, and was by far the largest event with 316 contestants from 68 countries. Again, the predominance of Asian/Chinese students was manifest, showing how serious the training is taken by both their authorities and students. Unfortunately, the winners of the last International Young Physicists' Tournament (IYPT), the team from Korea, did not accept the offer to report on their prize-winning contribution. We are thankful that two students from Austria, who achieved second place with their team, took over and reported on the task which they presented in the finals of the competition. It connects the fields of sport and physics and explains a special move in skateboarding. The third contribution introduces a different competition, 'International Conference of Young Scientists'. On one hand, as in the Olympiad, it addresses individuals, not teams. On the other, as in the IYPT, students have several months to prepare and also the quality of the presentation is an important element of the judgment. In fact, this competition comes closer to real scientific research compared to the other events. Finally and again, we hope that this section will serve several purposes: To show the competitions as a very important tool in the support of gifted students. To raise awareness amongst university teachers, and

  15. Strategic Accessibility Competition

    OpenAIRE

    Bacchiega, Emanuele; Randon, Emanuela; Zirulia, Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    We analyze the effect of competition in market-accessibility enhancement among quality-differentiated firms. Firms are located in regions with different ex-ante transport costs to reach the final market. We characterize the equilibrium of the two-stage game in which firms first invest to improve market accessibility and then compete in prices. Efforts in accessibility improvement crucially depend on the interplay between the willingness to pay for the quality premium of the median consumer an...

  16. Logo competition

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2013-01-01

    Award of the prizes The price ceremony for the Staff Association’s new logo competition which took place on Friday 1st March at 5 p.m. was a big success. The first prize, an Ezee Suisse electric bike, was won by Paulo Rios, from Portugal. In his absence, the bike was handed to his brother Vitor. The other five winners of the competition also received their prize: Go Sport vouchers. A peize draw was then organized to award 22 other participants with prizes offered by our commercial partners (Aquaparc, BCGE, L’Occitane, Passeport Gourmand, Sephora, Theater La Comédie de Genève), whom we would like to warmly thank. After all prices were distributed the evening continued with discussions around a friendly drink.

  17. Competitive Framing

    OpenAIRE

    Ran Spiegler

    2014-01-01

    I present a simple framework for modeling two-firm market competition when consumer choice is "frame-dependent", and firms use costless "marketing messages" to influence the consumer's frame. This framework embeds several recent models in the "behavioral industrial organization" literature. I identify a property that consumer choice may satisfy, which extends the concept of Weighted Regularity due to Piccione and Spiegler (2012), and provide a characterization of Nash equilibria under this pr...

  18. Analysis of sperm quality in recombinant inbred mouse strains: correlation of sperm head shape with sperm abnormalities and with the incidence of supplementary spermatozoa in the perivitelline space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krzanowska, H; Styrna, J; Wabik-Sliz, B

    1995-07-01

    Recombinant inbred strains were developed from reciprocal crosses between two inbred strains of mice (CBA and KE) differing in sperm head shape, proportion of normal sperm heads (CBA, 95%; KE, 78%) and fertilization efficiency (CBA, 100% of fertilized ova; KE, 72%), to determine whether the indices of sperm morphology and function were correlated. The following parameters were analysed in recombinant inbred and progenitor strains: index of sperm head shape (head width in the middle of its length/head length), percentage of abnormal sperm heads, percentage of spermatozoa with progressive movements, efficiency of penetration of hyaluronic acid polymer (Sperm Select) and percentage of fertilized ova after mating males from the tested strains with females from an outbred stock. For each investigated character, recombinant inbred strains, recombinant inbred EXCB and CBXE, could be divided into at least three categories: KE-like, CBA-like and intermediate, suggesting that in each case a minimum of two genes was involved. Recombinant strains derived from the reciprocal crosses of progenitor strains differed only with respect to the proportion of abnormal sperm heads, showing the involvement of the Y chromosome in determining this character. Penetration into Sperm Select was significantly correlated both with fertilization efficiency and sperm motility, while correlation with the proportion of normal spermatozoa did not reach the level of significance. However, there was a significant negative correlation of both sperm abnormalities and the incidence of supplementary spermatozoa in the perivitelline space with the index of sperm head shape.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  19. Sperm Donation and the Right to Privacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallich, Oliver

    2017-07-01

    Sperm donation is an increasingly common method of assisted reproduction. In the debate on sperm donation, the right to privacy - construed as a right that refers to the limits of the realm of information to which others have access - plays a pivotal role with regard to two questions. The first question is whether the sperm donor's right to privacy implies his right to retain his anonymity, the second is whether the gamete recipients' right to privacy entitles them to withhold information about the circumstances of their conception from their donor-conceived offspring. In this contribution, I tackle these two interrelated questions. In part (1), I defend the view that there is a prima facie right of sperm donors to remain anonymous. Part (2) widens the perspective by taking into consideration the welfare of donor-conceived offspring. I argue that anonymity may harm the child only if the gametes' recipients decide to disclose information about the circumstances of her birth to the child. Non-disclosure of these circumstances, however, is morally problematic because it may not necessarily harm, but wrong the child. In section (3), I attempt to rebut some arguments in defense of non-disclosure. In part (4), I defend the view that the best practice of sperm donation would be 'direct donation', i.e. that the identity of the donor is known from the time of conception. Part (5) concludes.

  20. A competitive immunoassay for ultrasensitive detection of Hg"2"+ in water, human serum and urine samples using immunochromatographic test based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    She, Pei; Chu, Yanxin; Liu, Chunwei; Guo, Xun; Zhao, Kang; Li, Jianguo; Du, Haijing; Zhang, Xiang; Wang, Hong; Deng, Anping

    2016-01-01

    An immunochromatographic test (ICT) strip was developed for ultrasensitive competitive immunoassay of Hg"2"+. This strategy was achieved by combining the easy-operation and rapidity of ICT with the high sensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Monoclonal antibody (mAb) against Hg"2"+ and Raman active substance 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (MBA) dual labelled gold nanoparticles (GNPs) were prepared as an immunoprobe. The Raman scattering intensity of MBA on the test line of the ICT strip was measured for quantitative determination of Hg"2"+. The ICT was able to directly detect Hg"2"+ without complexing due to the specific recognition of the mAb with Hg"2"+. The IC_5_0 and limit of detection (LOD) of the assay for Hg"2"+ detection were 0.12 ng mL"−"1 and 0.45 pg mL"−"1, respectively. There was no cross-reactivity (CR) of the assay with other nineteen ions and the ICT strips could be kept for 5 weeks without loss of activity. The recoveries of the assay for water, human serum and urine samples spiked with Hg"2"+ were in range of 88.3–107.3% with the relative standard deviations (RSD) of 1.5–9.5% (n = 3). The proposed ICT was used for the detection of Hg"2"+ in urine samples collected from Occupational Disease Hospital and the results were confirmed by cold-vapor atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CV-AFS). The assay exhibited high sensitivity, selectivity, stability, precision and accuracy, demonstrating a promising method for the detection of trace amount of Hg"2"+ in environmental water samples and biological serum and urine samples. - Highlights: • The proposed ICT was able to directly detect Hg"2"+ without formation of Hg"2"+-ligand complex. • The proposed ICT exhibited high sensitivity, specificity, stability, precision and accuracy for Hg"2"+ detection. • The proposed ICT was applicable for the detection of trace amount of Hg"2"+ in water, human serum and urine samples.

  1. A competitive immunoassay for ultrasensitive detection of Hg{sup 2+} in water, human serum and urine samples using immunochromatographic test based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    She, Pei; Chu, Yanxin [The Key Lab of Health Chemistry & Molecular Diagnosis of Suzhou, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Soochow University, Renai Road 199, Suzhou 215123 (China); Liu, Chunwei; Guo, Xun [OptoTrace (Suzhou) Technologies, Inc., STE 316, Building 4, No. 218, Xinghu Street, bioBAY, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215123 (China); Zhao, Kang [The Key Lab of Health Chemistry & Molecular Diagnosis of Suzhou, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Soochow University, Renai Road 199, Suzhou 215123 (China); Li, Jianguo, E-mail: lijgsd@suda.edu.cn [The Key Lab of Health Chemistry & Molecular Diagnosis of Suzhou, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Soochow University, Renai Road 199, Suzhou 215123 (China); Du, Haijing; Zhang, Xiang [The Key Lab of Health Chemistry & Molecular Diagnosis of Suzhou, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Soochow University, Renai Road 199, Suzhou 215123 (China); Wang, Hong [OptoTrace (Suzhou) Technologies, Inc., STE 316, Building 4, No. 218, Xinghu Street, bioBAY, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou 215123 (China); Deng, Anping, E-mail: denganping@suda.edu.cn [The Key Lab of Health Chemistry & Molecular Diagnosis of Suzhou, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Soochow University, Renai Road 199, Suzhou 215123 (China)

    2016-02-04

    An immunochromatographic test (ICT) strip was developed for ultrasensitive competitive immunoassay of Hg{sup 2+}. This strategy was achieved by combining the easy-operation and rapidity of ICT with the high sensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Monoclonal antibody (mAb) against Hg{sup 2+} and Raman active substance 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (MBA) dual labelled gold nanoparticles (GNPs) were prepared as an immunoprobe. The Raman scattering intensity of MBA on the test line of the ICT strip was measured for quantitative determination of Hg{sup 2+}. The ICT was able to directly detect Hg{sup 2+} without complexing due to the specific recognition of the mAb with Hg{sup 2+}. The IC{sub 50} and limit of detection (LOD) of the assay for Hg{sup 2+} detection were 0.12 ng mL{sup −1} and 0.45 pg mL{sup −1}, respectively. There was no cross-reactivity (CR) of the assay with other nineteen ions and the ICT strips could be kept for 5 weeks without loss of activity. The recoveries of the assay for water, human serum and urine samples spiked with Hg{sup 2+} were in range of 88.3–107.3% with the relative standard deviations (RSD) of 1.5–9.5% (n = 3). The proposed ICT was used for the detection of Hg{sup 2+} in urine samples collected from Occupational Disease Hospital and the results were confirmed by cold-vapor atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CV-AFS). The assay exhibited high sensitivity, selectivity, stability, precision and accuracy, demonstrating a promising method for the detection of trace amount of Hg{sup 2+} in environmental water samples and biological serum and urine samples. - Highlights: • The proposed ICT was able to directly detect Hg{sup 2+} without formation of Hg{sup 2+}-ligand complex. • The proposed ICT exhibited high sensitivity, specificity, stability, precision and accuracy for Hg{sup 2+} detection. • The proposed ICT was applicable for the detection of trace amount of Hg{sup 2+} in water, human serum and urine samples.

  2. In vitro fertilisation when normal sperm morphology is less than ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1990-08-18

    Aug 18, 1990 ... couples where the husband's normal sperm morphology was less than 15% ... gonadotrophin (HCG) 5000 ID was given when the average size of three ... have a normal sperm count and motility but have lower than normal ...

  3. Pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials and sperm quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovmand, Astrid; Lauvas, Anna Jacobsen; Christensen, Preben

    2018-01-01

    . Pulmonary inflammation was determined by differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Epididymal sperm concentration and motility were measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Epididymal sperm viability and morphological abnormalities were assessed manually using Hoechst 33,342/PI...... inflammation is a potential modulator of endocrine function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials on sperm quality parameters in an experimental mouse model.Methods: Effects on sperm quality after pulmonary inflammation induced by carbonaceous...... flourescent and Spermac staining, respectively. Epididymal sperm were assessed with regard to sperm DNA integrity (damage). Daily sperm production was measured in the testis, and testosterone levels were measured in blood plasma by ELISA.Results: Neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar fluid showed...

  4. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, B.; Dijkstra, M. B.; Mueller, U. G.

    2009-01-01

    -growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...... predictor in this analysis, we conclude that sperm production trade-offs in males have been the major selective force affecting sperm length across the fungus-growing ants, rather than storage constraints in females. The relationship between sperm length and sexual dimorphism remained robust...

  5. Short communication Sperm DNA damage in relation to lipid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leyland Fraser

    Short communication. Sperm DNA ... (Received 21 January 2017; Accepted 28 February2017; First published online 8 March 2017) ... This study investigated the relationships between lipid peroxidation (LPO) and sperm DNA damage.

  6. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and chromosomally abnormal spermatozoa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.A. in 't Veld; F.J.M. Broekmans (Frank); H.F. de France; P.L. Pearson; M.H. Pieters; R.J. van Kooij

    1997-01-01

    textabstractAn infertile couple was referred for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) because of primary infertility and oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT) in the male. It was observed that although the sperm cells presented with an unusual head size and multiple

  7. Gulf of Mexico sperm whale photo-ID catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photo-identification data on sperm whales occupying the north central Gulf of Mexico have been collected during vessel surveys. Photographs of sperm whales are taken...

  8. Effect of an isotonic lubricant on sperm collection and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Ashok; Malvezzi, Helena; Sharma, Rakesh

    2013-05-01

    To assess the influence of an isotonic lubricant used during sperm sample collection on [1] ease of collection and [2] resultant sperm quality. Paired randomized cross-over design. Tertiary hospital. Healthy men over 18 years old with normal semen analysis as per World Health Organization 2010 guidelines. Collection of semen sample from 22 subjects by masturbation with or without the use of Pre-Seed personal lubricant. Qualitative survey results and quantitative sperm function outcomes were measured to determine resultant sperm quality and collection experience with and without Pre-Seed lubricant. The qualitative questionnaire results showed that 73% of donors prefer the semen collection process with the isotonic lubricant and 55% recommended the use of lubricant in their everyday collection. The motility, viability, membrane integrity, levels of reactive oxygen species, total antioxidant capacity, and percentage of DNA damage in collected semen samples were not affected by the use of the lubricant. More donors prefer, and find it easier, to collect semen samples with the use of the lubricant. The isotonic lubricant Pre-Seed did not compromise sperm quality as evaluated in an array of sperm assays, suggesting its safe use in fertility patients as required during sperm collection. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Sperm DNA fragmentation in boars is delayed or abolished by using sperm extenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Llano, Begoña; Enciso, María; García-Casado, Pedro; Sala, Rubén; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2006-12-01

    The semen quality of seven young adult boars was assessed for percentages of sperm motility, normal acrosomes, abnormal sperm, cells positive to sHOST (short Hipoosmotic Swelling Test), HPNA cells (sHOST Positive with Normal Acrosome cells) and the percentage of sperm heads, which exhibited DNA fragmentation using the Sperm Chromatin Dispersion test (SCD). These parameters were analysed in sperm samples both undiluted and diluted using a commercial extender and stored at 15 degrees C for 21 days. Results showed that semen quality decreases faster in the undiluted semen samples from day 0 to day 7 compared to diluted semen samples that remained with a high quality up to day 11. The undiluted semen exhibited a low DNA fragmentation index (DFI) during the first days and then a significant increase from day 7 up to day 21. This increase in the DFI coincided with the lowest levels of the other semen quality parameters. On the contrary, the samples diluted in the commercial extender showed very low levels of DNA fragmentation in all boars during the preservation period. When the evolution of DNA fragmentation was analysed in the undiluted samples, differences were found among boars. These differences were not shown in the samples diluted in the extender where the basal DFI remained stable during the 21 days. The main conclusion of this study was that some sperm extenders delay or partially prevent sperm DNA fragmentation.

  10. Does breastfeeding influence future sperm quality and reproductive hormones?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, J M; Jensen, M S; Thulstrup, Ane Marie

    2011-01-01

    was not statistically significantly associated with sperm concentration, total sperm count, sperm motility or morphology, oligozoospermia, follicle-stimulating hormone, inhibin B, luteinizing hormone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), the calculated level of free testosterone, free oestradiol, the free testosterone...... testosterone nor free oestradiol was different between the two groups. This study shows no association between breastfeeding and sperm quality or reproductive hormones and a strong association is unlikely. A larger study would be needed to detect more subtle effects....

  11. The Effect of Different Foam Concentrations on Sperm Motility in Japanese Quail

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avishek Biswas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A study was conducted to determine the effect of foam extract on sperm motility in the male Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica. Adult male quails (<12 weeks of heavy body weight strain were housed in individual cages and divided into 5 groups according to the size of their cloacal glands. The data indicated that the size of the cloacal gland was positively correlated with the frequency of foam secretion and total foam production. One gram of freshly collected clean foam was mixed with 1.0 mL of normal saline and homogenized for 10 minutes. After centrifugation at 35 000 rpm, the supernatant was used as 100% foam extract. The extract was diluted to 1:40, 1:20, 1:10, and 1:4 with normal saline to produce 2.5, 5.0, 10, and 25% foam extracts, respectively. 5% foam extract enhanced sperm survival at room temperature (30°–35°C for 2 to 3 hrs, whereas higher concentrations (10% and above suppressed sperm motility. From this study, it may be concluded that foam secretion and quantity of foam are directly proportional to the size of the cloacal gland and that the foam enhances and prolongs sperm motility, in vitro at an optimum concentration of 5%.

  12. Enhanced Accessibility of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Heterocyclic PAHs in Industrially Contaminated Soil after Passive Dosing of a Competitive Sorbate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Humel, Stefan; Nørgaard Schmidt, Stine; Sumetzberger-Hasinger, Marion

    2017-01-01

    To assess the exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) it is important to understand the binding mechanisms between specific soil constituents and the organic pollutant. In this study, sorptive bioaccessibility extraction (SBE) was applied to quantify the accessible PAH fraction...... in industrially contaminated soil with and without passive dosing of a competitive sorbate. SBE experiments revealed an accessible PAH fraction of 41 ± 1% (∑16 US EPA PAHs + 5 further PAHs). The passive dosing of toluene below its saturation level revealed competitive binding and resulted in an average increase.......4% PAH. We explain increased PAH desorption after addition of toluene by competitive adsorption to high-affinity sorption sites while acknowledging that toluene could additionally have increased PAH mobility within the soil matrix. Findings suggest that the presence of copollutants at contaminated sites...

  13. Examining Container Port Resources and Environments to Enhance Competitiveness: A Cross-Country Study from Resource-Based and Institutional Perspectives1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyuksoo CHO

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to analyze the competitiveness of container ports using a cross-country analysis with theoretical foundations. Tangible and intangible resources are discussed as determinants of container port competitiveness using the resource-based view and the institutional theory. This study analyzes the relationships among six variables: container port competitiveness, traffic volume, quality of infrastructure, linear shipping connectivity, operating efficiency, and institutional influence. This study retrieved country-level data on different indicators and countries from several trade and maritime databases. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM is used to test various hypotheses and to evaluate the casual relationships among six variables. Additionally, Ordinary Least Squares (OLS regression is used to test the moderating effects of institutional influence.

  14. Evolutionary genetics and ecology of sperm-dependent parthenogenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukeboom, L.W.; Vrijenhoek, R.C.

    1998-01-01

    Sperm-dependent (or pseudogamous) forms of parthenogenetic reproduction occur in a wide variety of animals. Inheritance is typically clonal and matroclinous (of female descent), but sperm are needed to initiate normal development. As opposed to true parthenogenesis (i.e., sperm-independent

  15. Effect of 4-nonylphenol on the sperm dynamic parameters ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    4-Nonylphenol (NP) is a compound that causes endocrine disruption and affects sperm quality of mammals and fish. However, the effects of NP on the sperm and fertilization rate of amphibians remain unknown. This study investigates the in vivo and in vitro effects of NP on the sperm dynamic parameters and fertilization ...

  16. Sperm storage and duration of fertility in female ostriches ( Struthio ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    , the duration of sperm storage and the fertile period following separation of sexes were investigated by egg break-out and by counting the sperm in the perivitelline membrane (spermOPVL) above the germinal disc (GD) region. Fertilisation ...

  17. Sperm viability staining in ecology and evolution: potential pitfalls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke

    2009-01-01

    The causes and consequences of variation in sperm quality, survival and ageing are active areas of research in ecology and evolution. In order to address these topics, many recent studies have measured sperm viability using fluorescent staining. Although sperm viability staining has produced a nu...

  18. Sperm DNA fragmentation, recurrent implantation failure and recurrent miscarriage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Coughlan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence is increasing that the integrity of sperm DNA may also be related to implantation failure and recurrent miscarriage (RM. To investigate this, the sperm DNA fragmentation in partners of 35 women with recurrent implantation failure (RIF following in vitro fertilization, 16 women diagnosed with RM and seven recent fathers (control were examined. Sperm were examined pre- and post-density centrifugation by the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD test and the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL assay. There were no significant differences in the age of either partner or sperm concentration, motility or morphology between three groups. Moreover, there were no obvious differences in sperm DNA fragmentation measured by either test. However, whilst on average sperm DNA fragmentation in all groups was statistically lower in prepared sperm when measured by the SCD test, this was not seen with the results from the TUNEL assay. These results do not support the hypothesis that sperm DNA fragmentation is an important cause of RIF or RM, or that sperm DNA integrity testing has value in such patients. It also highlights significant differences between test methodologies and sperm preparation methods in interpreting the data from sperm DNA fragmentation tests.

  19. 21 CFR 173.275 - Hydrogenated sperm oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Hydrogenated sperm oil. 173.275 Section 173.275... CONSUMPTION Solvents, Lubricants, Release Agents and Related Substances § 173.275 Hydrogenated sperm oil. The food additive hydrogenated sperm oil may be safely used in accordance with the following prescribed...

  20. Good Quality - the Routinization of Sperm Banking in China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlberg, Ayo

    Good Quality is an assemblage ethnography of how sperm banking came to be routinized in China. Based on 8 years of episodic fieldwork at China’s oldest and largest sperm bank in Changsha, Hunan province, the book meticulously chronicles how, beginning in the early 1980s, a unique style of sperm b...

  1. Effect of Mucuna pruriens on oxidative stress mediated damage in aged rat sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suresh, Sekar; Prithiviraj, Elumalai; Prakash, Seppan

    2010-02-01

    Mucuna pruriens Linn., a leguminous plant, has been recognized as an aphrodisiac and spermatogenic agent. Protective efficacy of M. pruriens on reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced pathophysiological alterations in structural and functional integrity of epididymal sperm in aged Wister albino rat was analysed. Animals were grouped as groups I, II, III and IV, i.e. young (control), aged, aged treated with ethanolic extract (200 mg/kg b.w.) of M. pruriens and young rats treated with M. pruriens, respectively. At the end of the experimental period, i.e. after 60 days animals were sacrificed, epididymal sperm were collected and subjected to count, viability, motility, morphology and morphometric analysis. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, ROS, lipid peroxidation (LPO), DNA damage, chromosomal integrity and mitochondrial membrane potential were estimated. Results obtained from the aged animals showed significant reduction in sperm count, viability and motility, increased morphological damage and an increase in the number of sperm with cytoplasmic remnant, and these alterations were significantly reversed in M. pruriens treated group. Significant increase in LPO, HO and H(2)O(2) production and significant decline in the levels of the enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants were observed in the aged animals. Supplementation of M. pruriens significantly reduced ROS and LPO production and significant increase in both enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant levels. There were significant DNA damage, loss of chromosomal integrity and increase in mitochondrial membrane permeability in aged rat sperm. This was significantly reduced in group III. Present observation indicates the antioxidant enhancing property, free radical quenching ability and spermatogenic efficacy of the M. pruriens. Collectively, sperm damage in ageing was significantly reduced by quenching ROS, improving antioxidant defence system and mitochondrial function.

  2. Reproductive function in male endurance athletes: sperm analysis and hormonal profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucía, A; Chicharro, J L; Pérez, M; Serratosa, L; Bandrés, F; Legido, J C

    1996-12-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of endurance exercise on male reproductive function (sex hormones and seminograms). Professional cyclists [n = 12; mean age 24 +/- 2 (SD) yr], elite triathletes (n = 9; 26 +/- 3 yr), recreational marathon runners (n = 10; 32 +/- 6 yr), and sedentary subjects (control group; n = 9; 30 +/- 4 yr) were selected as subjects. for each group, the following parameters were measured three times during the sports season (training period: winter; competition period: spring; resting period: fall): percentage of body fat, hormonal profile (resting levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, total and free testosterone, and cortisol), and seminograms (quantitative parameters sperm volume and sperm count; qualitative parameters: sperm motality and morphology). The following comparisons were made in the measured parameters: 1) within groups (longitudinal design) and 2) between groups in each of the three periods (cross-sectional design) and over time (mixed design). In addition, both the volume and the intensity of training of each subject during the season (except for the control group) were quantified. Despite significant differences in training characteristics and in body fat percent, in general no significant differences (P > 0.05) were found in hormonal profiles or in semen characteristics between or within groups. A lower sperm motility (46.2 +/- 19.5%), however, was observed in the cyclists during the competition period when compared either with the other groups during this same period (P < 0.05) or with themselves during the other two periods of study (P < 0.01). In any case, the later phenomenon was attributed to physical factors associated with cycling, such as mechanical trauma to the testis and/or increased gonadal temperature. In conclusion, our findings suggest that endurance exercise does not adversely affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-testis axis.

  3. Price competition among Dutch sickness funds

    OpenAIRE

    Varkevisser, Marco; Geest, Stéphanie

    2003-01-01

    textabstractIn general, competition enhances efficiency. On the market for health insurance free market competition, however, has unwanted side-effects. The existence of asymmetrical information can lead to adverse selection and cream skimming. Adequate risk-adjustment removes the incentives for cream skimming and balances the negative consequences of adverse selection. In an attempt to enhance efficiency, the Dutch government in 1992 introduced price competition between social health insurer...

  4. Postmortem sperm procurement: a legal perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahan, S E; Seftel, A D; Resnick, M I

    1999-06-01

    Postmortem sperm procurement with subsequent artificial insemination has become a technically feasible method for posthumous conception. A variety of legal questions exist involving the rights and relationships of the deceased, his family and his issue. We addressed these questions and designed a workable protocol for postmortem sperm procurement. MEDLINE, WESTLAW and LEXIS medical literature, and case law searches were conducted. United States and international case law, United States (federal and state) statutes, Uniform Law Commissions Acts, and law review commentaries and articles were reviewed. While postmortem sperm procurement is being requested throughout the United States, no standard protocol or procedural guidelines have been established by federal or state statute. Furthermore, the courts have not yet addressed this specific scenario in reported case law. Statutes and case law do address related factual scenarios and issues, including property rights in human bodies, rules governing transplantation of human organs/body parts, rights of parties in in vivo sperm bank donations and responsibilities of parents to the conceptus of artificial insemination. A workable protocol can be established by analyzing case law and statutes addressing factually similar scenarios. Urologists must focus on the express intent of the decedent and limit any postmortem sperm retrieval to the specific requests made by the decedent. Decedent requests should be documented in writing. The decedent must be competent and of majority age. In the absence of decedent expressed affirmative directive calling for sperm retrieval, no other relative or guardian may authorize this retrieval. Issues regarding the legitimacy and inheritance rights of the conceptus will most consistently be addressed when explicitly provided for in the will of the decedent.

  5. Posttesticular sperm maturation, infertility, and hypercholesterolemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjorie Whitfield

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol is a key molecule in the mammalian physiology of especial particular importance for the reproductive system as it is the common precursor for steroid hormone synthesis. Cholesterol is also a recognized modulator of sperm functions, not only at the level of gametogenesis. Cholesterol homeostasis regulation is crucial for posttesticular sperm maturation, and imbalanced cholesterol levels may particularly affect these posttesticular events. Metabolic lipid disorders (dyslipidemia affect male fertility but are most of the time studied from the angle of endocrine/testicular consequences. This review will focus on the deleterious effects of a particular dyslipidemia, i.e., hypercholesterolemia, on posttesticular maturation of mammalian spermatozoa.

  6. Effect of transfection and co-incubation of bovine sperm with exogenous DNA on sperm quality and functional parameters for its use in sperm-mediated gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias, María Elena; Sánchez-Villalba, Esther; Delgado, Andrea; Felmer, Ricardo

    2017-02-01

    Sperm-mediated gene transfer (SMGT) is based on the capacity of sperm to bind exogenous DNA and transfer it into the oocyte during fertilization. In bovines, the progress of this technology has been slow due to the poor reproducibility and efficiency of the production of transgenic embryos. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of different sperm transfection systems on the quality and functional parameters of sperm. Additionally, the ability of sperm to bind and incorporate exogenous DNA was assessed. These analyses were carried out by flow cytometry and confocal fluorescence microscopy, and motility parameters were also evaluated by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Transfection was carried out using complexes of plasmid DNA with Lipofectamine, SuperFect and TurboFect for 0.5, 1, 2 or 4 h. The results showed that all of the transfection treatments promoted sperm binding and incorporation of exogenous DNA, similar to sperm incorporation of DNA alone, without affecting the viability. Nevertheless, the treatments and incubation times significantly affected the motility parameters, although no effect on the integrity of DNA or the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed. Additionally, we observed that transfection using SuperFect and TurboFect negatively affected the acrosome integrity, and TurboFect affected the mitochondrial membrane potential of sperm. In conclusion, we demonstrated binding and incorporation of exogenous DNA by sperm after transfection and confirmed the capacity of sperm to spontaneously incorporate exogenous DNA. These findings will allow the establishment of the most appropriate method [intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF)] of generating transgenic embryos via SMGT based on the fertilization capacity of transfected sperm.

  7. Relationship of Total Motile Sperm Count and Percentage Motile Sperm to Successful Pregnancy Rates Following Intrauterine Insemination

    OpenAIRE

    Pasqualotto, Eleonora B.; Daitch, James A.; Hendin, Benjamin N.; Falcone, Tommaso; Thomas, Anthony J.; Nelson, David R.; Agarwal, Ashok

    1999-01-01

    Purpose:This study sought (i) to investigate the relationship between postwash total motile sperm count and postwash percentage motile sperm in predicting successful intrauterine insemination and (ii) to determine the minimal postwash total motile sperm count required to achieve pregnancy with intrauterine insemination.

  8. Severe Fertility Effects of sheepish Sperm Caused by Failure To Enter Female Sperm Storage Organs in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatoshi Tomaru

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In Drosophila, mature sperm are transferred from males to females during copulation, stored in the sperm storage organs of females, and then utilized for fertilization. Here, we report a gene named sheepish (shps of Drosophila melanogaster that is essential for sperm storage in females. shps mutant males, although producing morphologically normal and motile sperm that are effectively transferred to females, produce very few offspring. Direct counts of sperm indicated that the primary defect was correlated to failure of shps sperm to migrate into the female sperm storage organs. Increased sperm motion parameters were seen in the control after transfer to females, whereas sperm from shps males have characteristics of the motion parameters different from the control. The few sperm that occasionally entered the female sperm storage organs showed no obvious defects in fertilization and early embryo development. The female postmating responses after copulation with shps males appeared normal, at least with respect to conformational changes of uterus, mating plug formation, and female remating rates. The shps gene encodes a protein with homology to amine oxidases, including as observed in mammals, with a transmembrane region at the C-terminal end. The shps mutation was characterized by a nonsense replacement in the third exon of CG13611, and shps was rescued by transformants of the wild-type copy of CG13611. Thus, shps may define a new class of gene responsible for sperm storage.

  9. Predictors of sperm recovery after cryopreservation in testicular cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M Hotaling

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Our objective was to identify predictors of improved postthaw semen quality in men with testicular cancer banking sperm for fertility preservation. We reviewed 173 individual semen samples provided by 67 men with testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT who cryopreserved sperm before gonadotoxic treatment between 1994 and 2010 at our tertiary university medical center. Our main outcomes measures were independent predictors for the greater postthaw total motile count (TMC in men with TGCT. Men with NSGCT were more likely to be younger (P median fresh TMC each had increased odds of a postthaw TMC greater than median postthaw TMC. Interestingly, age, advanced cancer stage (II or III, rapid freezing protocol, and motility enhancer did not show increased odds of improved postthaw TMC in our models. In conclusion, men with TGCT or poor fresh TMC should consider preserving additional vials (at least 15 vials before oncologic treatment. Density gradient purification should be routinely used to optimize postthaw TMC in men with TGCT. Larger, randomized studies evaluating cancer stage and various cryopreservation techniques are needed to assist in counseling men with TGCT regarding fertility preservation and optimizing cryosurvival.

  10. Predictive value of sperm morphology and progressively motile sperm count for pregnancy outcomes in intrauterine insemination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lemmens, L.; Kos, S.; Beijer, C.; Brinkman, J.W.; Horst, F.A. van der; Hoven, L. van den; Kieslinger, D.C.; Trooyen-van Vrouwerff, N.J.; Wolthuis, A.; Hendriks, J.C.M.; Wetzels, A.M.M.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the value of sperm parameters to predict an ongoing pregnancy outcome in couples treated with intrauterine insemination (IUI), during a methodologically stable period of time. DESIGN: Retrospective, observational study with logistic regression analyses. SETTING: University

  11. Boundaries of Ethics, Sperm on the Border –The Globalization of Danish Sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    as sperm donation in parliamentary debates, and in the media, often raises ethical questions. This presentation inquires into how the bending of boundaries by “inappropriate parents”, fertility travelers, private sperm banks and fertility clinics have been part in negotiating the changes of the legislation......’s situational analysis based on Anselm Strauss’ social world arena theory. Furthermore, I draw theoretically on Karen Barad and Donna Haraway’s notion of diffractive readings. I use their understanding of accountability to question and intervene in the doing of ethics in practice......., relatedness and family by politicians and bioethicists, in the parliament and in the media. I will argue that the globalization of Danish sperm is a story of combined subversive acts by women and men using the technologies, sperm banks and private fertility clinics. I will explore what the labeling...

  12. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Armitage, Sophie A O; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known...... what selective forces determine the upper limit to sperm storage. Here we show that sperm storage carries a significant cost of reduced immunity during colony founding. Newly mated queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica upregulate their immune response shortly after completing their nest burrow...

  13. Improving sperm banking efficiency in endangered species through the use of a sperm selection method in brown bear (Ursus arctos) thawed sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anel-Lopez, L; Ortega-Ferrusola, C; Álvarez, M; Borragán, S; Chamorro, C; Peña, F J; Morrell, J; Anel, L; de Paz, P

    2017-06-26

    Sperm selection methods such as Single Layer Centrifugation (SLC) have been demonstrated to be a useful tool to improve the quality of sperm samples and therefore to increase the efficiency of other artificial reproductive techniques in several species. This procedure could help to improve the quality of genetic resource banks, which is essential for endangered species. In contrast, these sperm selection methods are optimized and focused on farm animals, where the recovery task is not as important as in endangered species because of their higher sperm availability. The aim of this study was to evaluate two centrifugation methods (300 x g/20 min and 600 x g/10 min) and three concentrations of SLC media (Androcoll-Bear -80, 65 and 50%) to optimise the procedure in order to recover as many sperm with the highest quality as possible. Sperm morphology could be important in the hydrodynamic relationship between the cell and centrifugation medium and thus the effect of sperm head morphometry on sperm yield and its hydrodynamic relationship were studied. The samples selected with Androcoll-Bear 65% showed a very good yield (53.1 ± 2.9) although the yield from Androcoll-Bear 80% was lower (19.3 ± 3.3). The latter showed higher values of motility than the control immediately after post-thawing selection. However, both concentrations of colloid (65 and 80%) showed higher values of viable sperm and viable sperm with intact acrosome than the control. After an incubation of 2 h at 37 °C, the samples from Androcoll-Bear 80% had higher kinematics and proportion of viable sperm with intact acrosome. In the morphometric analysis, the sperm selected by the Androcoll-Bear 80% showed a head with a bigger area which was more elongated than the sperm from other treatments. We conclude that sperm selection with Androcoll-Bear at either 65% or 80% is a suitable technique that allows a sperm population with better quality than the initial sample to be obtained. We recommend the

  14. Sperm motility and morphology as changing parameters linked to sperm count variations.

    OpenAIRE

    Dua A; Vaidya S

    1996-01-01

    Variations in semen analyses of 177 males over a 1 year period were assessed. The average means of total counts, motility, morphology, total motile count and non-motile % were determined for 5 classes of patients ranging from azoospermic to normospermic. Positive relationships between a falling sperm count, a decrease in motility and total motile counts were seen. Also, increasingly, abnormal forms were found with lower sperm counts.

  15. Study of Sperm Parameters and Sperm Fertility in Mice were Exposed to Tamoxifen during Embryonic Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Soleimanirad

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Tamoxifen is steroidal drug, which mainly treats breast cancer and also used to stimulate ovulation. The purpose of the present study was the evaluation of sperm parameters and fertility of mice whose mothers had received tamoxifen during pregnancy. Methods: In this study, 30 female and 15 male mice of NMRI were selected for mating. After mating female mice were randomly divided into two groups, the first group (control and second group (experimental. All of which contained 15 mice. From the day 13th day of pregnancy, experimental group has received tamoxifen with the dosage of 5 mg/kg for 7 days. After childbirth of the mated mice, male infants were selected. After reaching the age of puberty (6-8Weeks, adult mice were sacrificed by the cervical dislocation. After take sperm, sperm parameters (count, normality and motility, and sperm fertility was performed. In this study SPSS software and statistical t-test was used (p <0.001. Results: Studies showed that sperm parameters and sperm fertilization were significantly different. The number of sperm in the control group was 83.50±28.20 million, and in the experimental group was 60±14.14 million. There was a decrease in average sperm count in the experimental group compared with the control group (p <0.001. Our findings from in vitro fertilization culture media showed that embryos formation and oocyte disruption between control and experimental groups significantly different (p <0.001. Conclusion: The results showed that tamoxifen exposure during development can cause histological changes in the seminiferous tubules, which can lead to infertility.

  16. Sperm motility and morphology as changing parameters linked to sperm count variations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dua A

    1996-10-01

    Full Text Available Variations in semen analyses of 177 males over a 1 year period were assessed. The average means of total counts, motility, morphology, total motile count and non-motile % were determined for 5 classes of patients ranging from azoospermic to normospermic. Positive relationships between a falling sperm count, a decrease in motility and total motile counts were seen. Also, increasingly, abnormal forms were found with lower sperm counts.

  17. Influence of Post-Mortem Sperm Recovery Method and Extender on Unstored and Refrigerated Rooster Sperm Variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villaverde-Morcillo, S; Esteso, M C; Castaño, C; Santiago-Moreno, J

    2016-02-01

    Many post-mortem sperm collection techniques have been described for mammalian species, but their use in birds is scarce. This paper compares the efficacy of two post-mortem sperm retrieval techniques - the flushing and float-out methods - in the collection of rooster sperm, in conjunction with the use of two extenders, i.e., L&R-84 medium and Lake 7.1 medium. To determine whether the protective effects of these extenders against refrigeration are different for post-mortem and ejaculated sperm, pooled ejaculated samples (procured via the massage technique) were also diluted in the above extenders. Post-mortem and ejaculated sperm variables were assessed immediately at room temperature (0 h), and after refrigeration at 5°C for 24 and 48 h. The flushing method retrieved more sperm than the float-out method (596.5 ± 75.4 million sperm vs 341.0 ± 87.6 million sperm; p < 0.05); indeed, the number retrieved by the former method was similar to that obtained by massage-induced ejaculation (630.3 ± 78.2 million sperm). For sperm collected by all methods, the L&R-84 medium provided an advantage in terms of sperm motility variables at 0 h. In the refrigerated sperm samples, however, the Lake 7.1 medium was associated with higher percentages of viable sperm, and had a greater protective effect (p < 0.05) with respect to most motility variables. In conclusion, the flushing method is recommended for collecting sperm from dead birds. If this sperm needs to be refrigerated at 5°C until analysis, Lake 7.1 medium is recommended as an extender. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  18. Changes in Sperm Motility and Capacitation Induce Chromosomal Aberration of the Bovine Embryo following Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoku Kato

    Full Text Available Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI has become the method of choice to treat human male infertility. One of the outstanding problems associated with this technique is our current lack of knowledge concerning the effect of sperm capacitation and motility upon the subsequent development of oocytes following ICSI. In the present study, we first examined the capacitation state of sperm exhibiting normal motility, along with sperm that had been activated, and examined the effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS produced by these sperm types upon embryogenesis following bovine in vitro fertilization (IVF and ICSI. Data showed that activated sperm reduced the chromosomal integrity of IVF/ICSI embryos at the blastocyst stage, while capacitated sperm produced ROS in capacitation media. Secondly, we treated sperm with carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazine (CCCP, a chemical known to uncouple cell respiration within the mitochondria, and investigated the effect of this treatment upon blastocyst formation and chromosomal integrity at the blastocyst stage. Activated sperm in which the mitochondria had been treated with CCCP reduced levels of chromosomal aberration at the blastocyst stage following ICSI, by reducing mitochondrial activity in activated sperm. In conclusion, these findings suggest that capacitated sperm exhibiting activated motility induced chromosomal aberration during development to the blastocyst stage following ICSI. The injection of sperm exhibiting normal motility, or activated sperm in which mitochondrial activity had been reduced, improved the quality of ICSI-derived embryos. Therefore, the selection of sperm exhibiting progressive motility may not always be better for early embryo development and fetal growth following human ICSI, and that the use of a bovine model may contribute to a deeper understanding of sperm selection for human ICSI embryo development.

  19. Vitrification of neat semen alters sperm parameters and DNA integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalili, Mohammad Ali; Adib, Maryam; Halvaei, Iman; Nabi, Ali

    2014-05-06

    Our aim was to evaluate the effect of neat semen vitrification on human sperm vital parameters and DNA integrity in men with normal and abnormal sperm parameters. Semen samples were 17 normozoospermic samples and 17 specimens with abnormal sperm parameters. Semen analysis was performed according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Then, the smear was provided from each sample and fixed for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Vitrification of neat semen was done by plunging cryoloops directly into liquid nitrogen and preserved for 7 days. The samples were warmed and re-evaluated for sperm parameters as well as DNA integrity. Besides, the correlation between sperm parameters and DNA fragmentation was assessed pre- and post vitrification. Cryopreserved spermatozoa showed significant decrease in sperm motility, viability and normal morphology after thawing in both normal and abnormal semen. Also, the rate of sperm DNA fragmentation was significantly higher after vitrification compared to fresh samples in normal (24.76 ± 5.03 and 16.41 ± 4.53, P = .002) and abnormal (34.29 ± 10.02 and 23.5 ± 8.31, P < .0001), respectively. There was negative correlation between sperm motility and sperm DNA integrity in both groups after vitrification. Vitrification of neat ejaculates has negative impact on sperm parameters as well as DNA integrity, particularly among abnormal semen subjects. It is, therefore, recommend to process semen samples and vitrify the sperm pellets.

  20. Immature germ cells in semen - correlation with total sperm count and sperm motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Priya S; Humbarwadi, Rajendra S; Patil, Ashalata D; Gune, Anita R

    2013-07-01

    Current data regarding infertility suggests that male factor contributes up to 30% of the total cases of infertility. Semen analysis reveals the presence of spermatozoa as well as a number of non-sperm cells, presently being mentioned in routine semen report as "round cells" without further differentiating them into leucocytes or immature germ cells. The aim of this work was to study a simple, cost-effective, and convenient method for differentiating the round cells in semen into immature germ cells and leucocytes and correlating them with total sperm counts and motility. Semen samples from 120 males, who had come for investigation for infertility, were collected, semen parameters recorded, and stained smears studied for different round cells. Statistical analysis of the data was done to correlate total sperm counts and sperm motility with the occurrence of immature germ cells and leucocytes. The average shedding of immature germ cells in different groups with normal and low sperm counts was compared. The clinical significance of "round cells" in semen and their differentiation into leucocytes and immature germ cells are discussed. Round cells in semen can be differentiated into immature germ cells and leucocytes using simple staining methods. The differential counts mentioned in a semen report give valuable and clinically relevant information. In this study, we observed a negative correlation between total count and immature germ cells, as well as sperm motility and shedding of immature germ cells. The latter was statistically significant with a P value 0.000.

  1. Cryopreservation of mutton snapper ( Lutjanus analis sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EDUARDO G. SANCHES

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to develop a protocol of semen cryopreservation of the mutton snapper Lutjanus analis. The interaction between three extenders ( pH 6.1; 7.8 and 8.2 , two concentrations of dimethyl sulfoxide ( DMSO, 5 and 10% and three cooling rates ( -90; -60 and -30°C.min−1 on the sperm motility rate and motility time were analyzed by a factorial experiment. A sample of 30 fishes ( 1,261 ± 449 g collected in the nature was kept in floating net cages. The semen was frozen by using cryogenic straws, in nitrogen vapour and transferred, later, to liquid nitrogen. Fertilization test was accomplished to evaluate the viability of the cryopreserved sperm. The highest sperm motility rate and motility time ( P < 0.05 was achieved by combining extender C ( pH 8.2 with DMSO ( 10% and cooling rate of -60°C.min−1 ( P < 0.05 . The use of cryopreserved sperm presented fertilization rates higher than 59% validating the present protocol for mutton snapper.

  2. Atypical centrioles are present in Tribolium sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, E L; Jo, Kyoung; Ha, Andrew; Royfman, Rachel; Zinn, Ashtyn; Krishnamurthy, Malathi; Avidor-Reiss, Tomer

    2017-03-01

    Typical centrioles are made of microtubules organized in ninefold symmetry. Most animal somatic cells have two centrioles for normal cell division and function. These centrioles originate from the zygote, but because the oocyte does not provide any centrioles, it is surprising that the zygotes of many animals are thought to inherit only one centriole from the sperm. Recently, in the sperm of Drosophila melanogaster , we discovered a second centriolar structure, the proximal centriole-like structure (PCL), which functions in the zygote. Whether the sperm of other insects has a second centriolar structure is unknown. Here, we characterized spermiogenesis in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum Electron microscopy suggests that Tribolium has one microtubule-based centriole at the tip of the axoneme and a structure similar to the PCL, which lacks microtubules and lies in a cytoplasmic invagination of the nucleus. Immunostaining against the orthologue of the centriole/PCL protein, Ana1, also recognizes two centrioles near the nucleus during spermiogenesis: one that is microtubule-based at the tip of the axoneme, suggesting it is the centriole; and another that is more proximal and appears during early spermiogenesis, suggesting it is the PCL. Together, these findings suggest that Tribolium sperm has one microtubule-based centriole and one microtubule-lacking centriole. © 2017 The Authors.

  3. Ultrastructural Morphology of Sperm from Human Globozoospermia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Ricci

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Globozoospermia is a rare disorder characterized by the presence of sperm with round head, lacking acrosome. Coiling tail around the nucleus has been reported since early human studies, but no specific significance has conferred it. By contrast, studies on animal models suggest that coiling tail around the nucleus could represent a crucial step of defective spermatogenesis, resulting in round-headed sperm. No observations, so far, support the transfer of this hypothesis to human globozoospermia. The purpose of this work was to compare ultrastructural morphology of human and mouse model globozoospermic sperm. Sperm have been investigated by using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The images that we obtained show significant similarities to those described in GOPC knockout mice, an animal model of globozoospermia. By using this model as reference, we were able to identify the probable steps of the tail coiling process in human globozoospermia. Although we have no evidence that there is the same pathophysiology in man and knocked-out mouse, the similarities between these ultrastructural observations in human and those in the experimental model are very suggestive. This is the first demonstration of the existence of relevant morphological homologies between the tail coiling in animal model and human globozoospermia.

  4. Changing rooster sperm membranes to facilitate cryopreservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryopreservation damages rooster sperm membranes. Part of this damage is due to membrane transitioning from the fluid to the gel state as temperature is reduced. This damage may be prevented by increasing membrane fluidity at low temperatures by incorporating cholesterol or unsaturated lipids into t...

  5. Expression and Purification of Sperm Whale Myoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Stephen; Indivero, Virginia; Burkhard, Caroline

    2010-01-01

    We present a multiweek laboratory exercise that exposes students to the fundamental techniques of bacterial expression and protein purification through the preparation of sperm whale myoglobin. Myoglobin, a robust oxygen-binding protein, contains a single heme that gives the protein a reddish color, making it an ideal subject for the teaching…

  6. Life after Death. Sperm, Property, and Hope

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kroløkke, Charlotte; Willum Adrian, Stine

    A tragic workplace accident led in 2010 to the death of Mark Edwards. Subsequently, his wife Joycelyn Edwards requested for the New South Wales Superior Court´s permission to extract sperm posthumous from her husband. She got the permission and one year later, the Court decided to grant her acces...

  7. Psychosocial counselling in donor sperm treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, M.

    2018-01-01

    For decades, donor sperm treatment is offered to men and women to build a family. In daily life, parents, children and donors have to deal with the consequences of this treatment. The studies of this thesis show that there are gaps in knowledge about specialist psychosocial counselling and guidance

  8. Sperm flagellum volume determines freezability in red deer spermatozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luis Ros-Santaella

    Full Text Available The factors affecting the inter-individual differences in sperm freezability is a major line of research in spermatology. Poor sperm freezability is mainly characterised by a low sperm velocity, which in turn is associated with low fertility rates in most animal species. Studies concerning the implications of sperm morphometry on freezability are quite limited, and most of them are based on sperm head size regardless of the structural parts of the flagellum, which provides sperm motility. Here, for the first time, we determined the volumes of the flagellum structures in fresh epididymal red deer spermatozoa using a stereological method under phase contrast microscopy. Sperm samples from thirty-three stags were frozen and classified as good freezers (GF or bad freezers (BF at two hours post-thawing using three sperm kinetic parameters which are strongly correlated with fertility in this species. Fourteen stags were clearly identified as GF, whereas nineteen were BF. No significant difference in sperm head size between the two groups was found. On the contrary, the GF exhibited a lower principal piece volume than the BF (6.13 µm3 vs 6.61 µm3, respectively, p = 0.006. The volume of the flagellum structures showed a strong negative relationship with post-thawing sperm velocity. For instance, the volume of the sperm principal piece was negatively correlated with sperm velocity at two hours post-thawing (r = -0.60; p<0.001. Our results clearly show that a higher volume of the sperm principal piece results in poor freezability, and highlights the key role of flagellum size in sperm cryopreservation success.

  9. A new approach to sperm preservation based on bioenergetic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froman, D P; Feltmann, A J

    2010-04-01

    To date, attempts to preserve chicken sperm have been based on a trial-and-error experimental approach. The present work outlines the development of an alternative approach based on empiricism and bioenergetic theory. In previous work, we found fowl sperm motility to be dependent on mitochondrial calcium cycling, phospholipase A(2), and long-chain fatty acids as an endogenous energy source. It is noteworthy that fowl sperm reside within the sperm storage tubules (SST) of the oviduct over an interval of days to weeks after insemination. In this regard, a model for in vivo sperm storage was developed and tested in additional previous research. Sperm penetration of the SST, sperm residence within the SST, and sperm egress from the SST can be explained in terms mitochondrial function. Understanding sperm function and longevity in terms of bioenergetics presented the possibility that sperm could be inactivated by disrupting mitochondrial calcium cycling and could thereby be preserved. However, this possibility also posed a problem: maintenance of the inner membrane potential of the mitochondrion within inactivated sperm. This report describes a series of experiments in which fowl sperm were inactivated by treatment with the calcium chelator tetrasodium 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, and then reactivated by treatment with calcium ions. The effect of tetrasodium 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid on mitochondrial calcium cycling was confirmed by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. When treated sperm were cooled to 10 degrees C, inactivated sperm could be reactivated throughout a 5-h storage interval. When stored sperm were held for 3 h before reactivation and insemination, fertility was 88% of the control. Storage did not affect hatchability. In summary, short-term storage was realized by manipulating mitochondrial function. We propose that 1) complex V consumes ATP within inactivated sperm and, by doing so, maintains

  10. Winning a competition predicts dishonest behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schurr, Amos; Ritov, Ilana

    2016-02-16

    Winning a competition engenders subsequent unrelated unethical behavior. Five studies reveal that after a competition has taken place winners behave more dishonestly than competition losers. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that winning a competition increases the likelihood of winners to steal money from their counterparts in a subsequent unrelated task. Studies 3a and 3b demonstrate that the effect holds only when winning means performing better than others (i.e., determined in reference to others) but not when success is determined by chance or in reference to a personal goal. Finally, study 4 demonstrates that a possible mechanism underlying the effect is an enhanced sense of entitlement among competition winners.

  11. Application of sperm sorting and associated reproductive technology for wildlife management and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, J K; Steinman, K J; Robeck, T R

    2009-01-01

    Efforts toward the conservation and captive breeding of wildlife can be enhanced by sperm sorting and associated reproductive technologies such as sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination (AI). Sex ratio management is of particular significance to species which naturally exist in female-dominated social groups. A bias of the sex ratio towards females of these species will greatly assist in maintaining socially cohesive groups and minimizing male-male aggression. Another application of this technology potentially exists for endangered species, as the preferential production of females can enable propagation of those species at a faster rate. The particular assisted reproductive technology (ART) used in conjunction with sperm sorting for the production of offspring is largely determined by the quality and quantity of spermatozoa following sorting and preservation processes. Regardless of the ART selected, breeding decisions involving sex-sorted spermatozoa should be made in conjunction with appropriate genetic management. Zoological-based research on reproductive physiology and assisted reproduction, including sperm sorting, is being conducted on numerous terrestrial and marine mammals. The wildlife species for which the technology has undergone the most advance is the bottlenose dolphin. AI using sex-sorted fresh or frozen-thawed spermatozoa has become a valuable tool for the genetic and reproductive management of captive bottlenose dolphins with six pre-sexed calves, all of the predetermined sex born to date.

  12. Astragalus membranaceus augment sperm parameters in male mice associated with cAMP-responsive element modulator and activator of CREM in testis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wonnam Kim

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Astragalus membranaceus BUNGE (AM; 黃芪 huáng qí has been widely used as a medicinal herb for different kinds of diseases. AM treatment in vitro enhance sperm motility and ameliorates testicular toxicity, it has demonstrated the ability as a potential treatment for male infertility. In order to gain further insights on the molecular understanding of how AM enhances spermatogenesis, this study investigated whether AM has an affect on sperm parameters associated with cAMP response element modulator (CREM and activator of CREM in testis (ACT expression. Five-week-old male ICR mice were divided into four groups; control group and three different concentrations of AM treated groups. Each group was treated for 5 days a week for 5 weeks. Testis samples were collected for real time quantitative PCR and western blot analysis. Epididymis was taken out and used for sperm analysis using the computer assisted semen analysis (CASA system. To facilitate expression of genes required for spermatogenesis, it is controlled by fine-tuning of CREM and its coactivator, ACT. AM treatment promotes CREM and ACT mRNA expression and also protein expression compared to control. AM enhances sperm values such as sperm count and motility compared to control. Overall, the study highlights, the ability of AM to increases CREM and ACT expression to facilitate sperm development and semen quality.

  13. Decline of semen quality among Chinese sperm bank donors within 7 years (2008-2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Wang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Semen from 5210 sperm bank donors was analyzed and trends in semen quality were evaluated at Shandong Human Sperm Bank between 2008 and 2014. After 2-7 days of abstinence, semen samples were collected. Measurements of semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm forward motility, and total sperm count were performed. There were significant declining trends in semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm forward motility, and total sperm count. Our results indicate that the quality of semen in this cohort of sperm donors had decreased during the study period.

  14. The effects of male age on sperm analysis by motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silva Liliane FI

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study aimed to investigate the influence of age on sperm quality, as analysed by motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME. Methods Semen samples were collected from 975 men undergoing evaluation or treatment for infertility. Sperm cells were evaluated at 8400× magnification using an inverted microscope equipped with Nomarski (differential interference contrast optics. Two forms of spermatozoa were considered: normal spermatozoa and spermatozoa with large nuclear vacuoles (LNV, defined as vacuoles occupying > 50% of the sperm nuclear area. At least 200 spermatozoa per sample were evaluated, and the percentages of normal and LNV spermatozoa were determined. The subjects were divided into three groups according to age: Group I, less than or equal to 35 years; Group II, 36-40 years; and Group III, greater than or equal to 41 years. Results There was no difference in the percentages of normal sperm between the two younger (I and II groups (P >0.05. The percentage of normal sperm in the older group (III was significantly lower than that in the younger (I and II groups (P P >0.05. The percentage of LNV spermatozoa was significantly higher in the older group (III than in the younger (I and II groups (P P P Conclusion The results demonstrated a consistent decline in semen quality, as reflected by morphological evaluation by MSOME, with increased age. Considering the relationship between nuclear vacuoles and DNA damage, these age-related changes predict that increased paternal age should be associated with unsuccessful or abnormal pregnancy as a consequence of fertilisation with damaged spermatozoa. Given that sperm nuclear vacuoles can be evaluated more precisely at high magnification, these results support the routine use of MSOME for ICSI as a criterion for semen analysis.

  15. The Semen pH Affects Sperm Motility and Capacitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ji; Chen, Li; Li, Jie; Li, Hongjun; Hong, Zhiwei; Xie, Min; Chen, Shengrong; Yao, Bing

    2015-01-01

    As the chemical environment of semen can have a profound effect on sperm quality, we examined the effect of pH on the motility, viability and capacitation of human sperm. The sperm in this study was collected from healthy males to avoid interference from other factors. The spermatozoa cultured in sperm nutrition solution at pH 5.2, 6.2, 7.2 and 8.2 were analyzed for sperm total motility, progressive motility (PR), hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) rate, and sperm penetration. Our results showed that these parameters were similar in pH 7.2 and 8.2 sperm nutrition solutions, but decreased in pH 5.2 and 6.2 solutions. The HOS rate exhibited positive correlation with the sperm total motility and PR. In addition, the sperm Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity at different pHs was measured, and the enzyme activity was significantly lower in pH 5.2 and 6.2 media, comparing with that in pH 8.2 and pH 7.2 solutions. Using flow cytometry (FCM) and laser confocal scanning microscopy (LCSM) analysis, the intracellular Ca2(+ )concentrations of sperm cultured in sperm capacitation solution at pH 5.2, 6.2, 7.2 and 8.2 were determined. Compared with that at pH 7.2, the mean fluorescence intensity of sperm in pH 5.2 and 6.2 media decreased significantly, while that of pH 8.2 group showed no difference. Our results suggested that the declined Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity at acidic pHs result in decreased sperm movement and capacitation, which could be one of the mechanisms of male infertility.

  16. Glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration in mouse LDHC-null sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odet, Fanny; Gabel, Scott; London, Robert E; Goldberg, Erwin; Eddy, Edward M

    2013-04-01

    We demonstrated previously that a knockout (KO) of the lactate dehydrogenase type C (Ldhc) gene disrupted male fertility and caused a considerable reduction in sperm glucose consumption, ATP production, and motility. While that study used mice with a mixed genetic background, the present study used C57BL/6 (B6) and 129S6 (129) Ldhc KO mice. We found that B6 KO males were subfertile and 129 KO males were infertile. Sperm from 129 wild-type (WT) mice have a lower glycolytic rate than sperm from B6 WT mice, resulting in a greater reduction in ATP production in 129 KO sperm than in B6 KO sperm. The lower glycolytic rate in 129 sperm offered a novel opportunity to examine the role of mitochondrial respiration in sperm ATP production and motility. We observed that in media containing a mitochondrial substrate (pyruvate or lactate) as the sole energy source, ATP levels and progressive motility in 129 KO sperm were similar to those in 129 WT sperm. However, when glucose was added, lactate was unable to maintain ATP levels or progressive motility in 129 KO sperm. The rate of respiration (ZO2) was high when 129 KO or WT sperm were incubated with lactate alone, but addition of glucose caused a reduction in ZO2. These results indicate that in the absence of glucose, 129 sperm can produce ATP via oxidative phosphorylation, but in the presence of glucose, oxidative phosphorylation is suppressed and the sperm utilize aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon known as the Crabtree effect.

  17. Competitive spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    Leicester University will host the 65 international teams of students who will assemble in July for this year's International Physics Olympiad . The last time the Olympiad came to the UK was in 1986 in London, and it was the notable enthusiasm of the Leicester Physics and Astronomy department which persuaded the Olympiad Committee to give them the chance of organizing the prestigious event. The students taking part from all over the world are studying physics at A-level or an equivalent standard and they will take part in an intellectual marathon of theoretical and practical examinations. Each national team comprises five students selected from three rounds of competition and the teams will receive an official welcome from the city, as well as opportunities to visit some of the important educational and cultural centres of the surrounding region. The finalists will also be able to test their skills and initiative at the Challenger Learning Centre, which forms part of Leicester's new National Space Science Centre. Specific information on the event can be found on the Olympiad-2000 website at www.star.le.ac.uk/IphO-2000 . The Rudolf Ortvay problem solving contest in physics, which takes place in November, is a tradition of Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary. The competition was first opened to international participants in 1998, enabling students from universities around the world to show their knowledge, ingenuity, problem-solving skills and physical insight into problems that are far beyond routine level. The problems (30 - 35 each year) are chosen from different branches of theoretical as well as applied physics. They have varying levels of difficulty, and every contestant can send solutions for ten problems. The focus is not on school-level problem-solving routines but rather on the `physical' way of thinking, recognition of the heart of the problem and an appropriate choice of mathematics. The majority of the assigned problems are original, few having

  18. Power market competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelly, J.

    1998-01-01

    In the Unites States the prospect of greater competition in wholesale power market was immediately eclipsed by talk of retail competition. Attempts to move to retail competition have been costly and complex. Prudent public policy and economic analyses suggest that retail competition not be implemented until it can first be demonstrated that effective competition exists in wholesale power markets [it

  19. Multinationals and Institutional Competitiveness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hull Kristensen, Peer; Morgan, Glenn

    This article discusses how institutional competitiveness and multinationals are mutually enriching concepts. Seen from the perspective of Multinationals, institutional competitiveness becomes expressed at two levels. At the level of corporate HQs institutional competitiveness proves itself...... competitiveness of Liberal Market Economies and Coordinated Markets Economies under the current competitive regime....

  20. Lunabotics Mining Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rob; Murphy, Gloria

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation describes a competition to design a lunar robot (lunabot) that can be controlled either remotely or autonomously, isolated from the operator, and is designed to mine a lunar aggregate simulant. The competition is part of a systems engineering curriculum. The 2010 competition winners in five areas of the competition were acknowledged, and the 2011 competition was announced.

  1. Evaluation of Lasting Effects of Heat Stress on Sperm Profile and Oxidative Status of Ram Semen and Epididymal Sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thais Rose dos Santos Hamilton

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Higher temperatures lead to an increase of testicular metabolism that results in spermatic damage. Oxidative stress is the main factor responsible for testicular damage caused by heat stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate lasting effects of heat stress on ejaculated sperm and immediate or long-term effects of heat stress on epididymal sperm. We observed decrease in motility and mass motility of ejaculated sperm, as well as an increase in the percentages of sperm showing major and minor defects, damaged plasma and acrosome membranes, and a decrease in the percentage of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential in the treated group until one spermatic cycle. An increased enzymatic activity of glutathione peroxidase and an increase of stressed cells were observed in ejaculated sperm of the treated group. A decrease in the percentage of epididymal sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential was observed in the treated group. However, when comparing immediate and long-term effects, we observed an increase in the percentage of sperm with low mitochondrial membrane potential. In conclusion, testicular heat stress induced oxidative stress that led to rescuable alterations after one spermatic cycle in ejaculated sperm and also after 30 days in epididymal sperm.

  2. An immunological approach of sperm sexing and different methods for identification of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiv Kumar Yadav

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Separation of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm has been practiced for selection of desired sex of offspring to increase the profit in livestock industries. At present, fluorescence-activated cell sorter is the only successful method for separation of X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm. This technology is based on the differences in DNA content between these two types of sperm and has been commercialized for bovine sperm. However, this technology still has problems in terms of high economic cost, sperm damage, and lower pregnancy rates compared to unsorted semen. Therefore, an inexpensive, convenient, and non-invasive approach for sperm sexing would be of benefit to agricultural sector. Within this perspective, immunological sperm sexing method is one of the attractive choices to separate X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm. This article reviews the current knowledge about immunological approaches, viz., H-Y antigen, sex-specific antigens, and differentially expressed proteins for sperm sexing. Moreover, this review also highlighted the different methods for identification of X- and Y-sperm.

  3. Sperm Impairment by Sperm Agglutinating Factor Isolated from Escherichia coli: Receptor Specific Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiranjeet Kaur

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In an earlier work done in our laboratory, we have been able to isolate a sperm agglutinating strain of Escherichia coli from the semen sample of a male attending infertility clinic. Further, factor responsible for sperm agglutination (SAF was isolated and purified, and, using SAF as a tool, corresponding SAF binding receptor from human spermatozoa has been purified. Characterization of SAF and SAF binding receptor using MALDI-TOF showed homology to glutamate decarboxylase and MHC class I molecule, respectively. Coincubation of SAF with spermatozoa not only resulted in spermagglutination but could also compromise other sperm parameters, namely, Mg2+ dependent ATPase activity and apoptosis. Intravaginal administration of SAF could lead to infertility in Balb/c mice. SAF induced impairment of sperm parameters, and infertility was observed to be due to interaction of SAF with sperm surface receptor component as, when purified receptor was introduced, receptor completely inhibited all the detrimental effects induced by SAF. From these results, it could be concluded that interaction of SAF with spermatozoa is receptor mediated.

  4. Presence and function of dopamine transporter (DAT in stallion sperm: dopamine modulates sperm motility and acrosomal integrity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier A Urra

    Full Text Available Dopamine is a catecholamine with multiple physiological functions, playing a key role in nervous system; however its participation in reproductive processes and sperm physiology is controversial. High dopamine concentrations have been reported in different portions of the feminine and masculine reproductive tract, although the role fulfilled by this catecholamine in reproductive physiology is as yet unknown. We have previously shown that dopamine type 2 receptor is functional in boar sperm, suggesting that dopamine acts as a physiological modulator of sperm viability, capacitation and motility. In the present study, using immunodetection methods, we revealed the presence of several proteins important for the dopamine uptake and signalling in mammalian sperm, specifically monoamine transporters as dopamine (DAT, serotonin (SERT and norepinephrine (NET transporters in equine sperm. We also demonstrated for the first time in equine sperm a functional dopamine transporter using 4-[4-(Dimethylaminostyryl]-N-methylpyridinium iodide (ASP(+, as substrate. In addition, we also showed that dopamine (1 mM treatment in vitro, does not affect sperm viability but decreases total and progressive sperm motility. This effect is reversed by blocking the dopamine transporter with the selective inhibitor vanoxerine (GBR12909 and non-selective inhibitors of dopamine reuptake such as nomifensine and bupropion. The effect of dopamine in sperm physiology was evaluated and we demonstrated that acrosome integrity and thyrosine phosphorylation in equine sperm is significantly reduced at high concentrations of this catecholamine. In summary, our results revealed the presence of monoamine transporter DAT, NET and SERT in equine sperm, and that the dopamine uptake by DAT can regulate sperm function, specifically acrosomal integrity and sperm motility.

  5. Application of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for fertilization and development in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Kiyoshi; Ono, Tamao; Mizushima, Shusei

    2014-01-15

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) technology in birds has been hampered due to opacity of oocyte. We developed ICSI-assisted fertilization and gene transfer in quail. This paper reviews recent advances of our ICSI experiments. The oocyte retrieved from the oviduct and a quail sperm was injected into the oocyte under a stereomicroscope. The oocyte was cultured for 24h at 41°C under 5% CO2 in air. The fertilization and development was assessed by microscopic observation. The fertility rate ranged 12-18% and development varied from stage II to V in trials. To improve the fertility rate, phospholipase C (PLC) zeta was injected with a sperm. It was increased to 37-50%. Furthermore, injection of inositol trisphosphate increased to over 85%. Quail oocyte can be fertilized with chicken sperm and so can testicular elongated spermatid. To extend embryonic development, chicken eggshell was used as a surrogate culture at 37°C after the 24h incubation at 41°C under 5% CO2 in air. It survived up to 2days thereafter. Finally, gene transfer was attempted in quail egg. The sperm membrane was disrupted with Triton X-100 (TX-100) and was injected with PLCzeta cRNA and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene in oocyte. The GFP expression was evaluated at 24h incubation at 41°C under 5% CO2 in air in the embryos. While the expression was not detected in the control oocytes, the experimental treatment induced blastoderm development (44%) of the oocytes and 86% of blastoderm showed fluorescent emission. In addition, PCR analysis detected EGFP fragments in 50% of GFP-expressing blastoderm. Our ICSI method may be the first step toward the production of transgenic birds. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Second COSTECH annual national science and technological conference and exhibitions: Science, technology and innovation in enhancing competitiveness for socio-economic development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2007-01-01

    The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania recognizes that science, technology and innovation (STI) are vital to our economic and social progress. In an increasingly globalised world, it is recognised that high levels of investment in research and innovation are essential, both for economic competitiveness and to yield innovations in areas such as agriculture, health, natural resources, environment and energy sectors and make tangible improvements to the quality of our life. The government also realizes the need to provide an enabling environment for competition and innovation which in turn creates pressure for improvements in efficiency, quality and productivity. The development of a knowledge economy is a key challenge that is facing Tanzania today. It is essential that the country strives to build a truly knowledge based society. Such a society will offer new opportunities for economic and social advancement. It is therefore important that for a knowledge translation and disseminations are created and strengthened. The context to this is that knowledge is the currency for development.(author)

  7. Maillard Conjugation of Sodium Alginate to Whey Protein for Enhanced Resistance to Surfactant-Induced Competitive Displacement from Air-Water Interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Bingqing; Saito, Anna; Ikeda, Shinya

    2018-01-24

    Whey protein adsorbed to an interface forms a viscoelastic interfacial film but is displaced competitively from the interface by a small-molecule surfactant added afterward. The present study evaluated the impact of the covalent conjugation of high- or low-molecular-weight sodium alginate (HA or LA) to whey protein isolate (WPI) via the Maillard reaction on the ability of whey protein to resist surfactant-induced competitive displacement from the air-water interface. Surfactant added after the pre-adsorption of conjugate to the interface increased surface pressure. At a given surface pressure, the WPI-LA conjugate showed a significantly higher interfacial area coverage and lower interfacial film thickness compared to those of the WPI-HA conjugate or unconjugated WPI. The addition of LA to the aqueous phase had little effect on the interfacial area and thickness of pre-adsorbed WPI. These results suggest the importance of the molecular weight of the polysaccharide moiety in determining interfacial properties of whey protein-alginate conjugates.

  8. Competition modifies effects of enhanced ozone/carbon dioxide concentrations on carbohydrate and biomass accumulation in juvenile Norway spruces and European beech

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, X.; Rennenberg, H.; Kozovits, A. R.; Grams, T. E.; Blaschke, H.; Matyssek, R.

    2004-01-01

    Potential interactions of carbon dioxide and ozone on carbohydrate concentrations and contents were studied in Norway spruce and European beech saplings to test the hypotheses that (1) prolonged exposure to elevated carbon dioxide does not compensate for the limiting effects of ozone on the accumulation of sugars and starches, or biomass partitioning to the root; and (2) growth of mixed-species planting will repress plant responses to elevated ozone and carbon dioxide. Norway spruce and European beech saplings were acclimated for one year to ambient and elevated carbon dioxide, followed by exposure to factorial combinations of ambient and elevated ozone and carbon dioxide during the next two years. In spruce trees, sugar and starch content was greater in saplings exposed to elevated carbon dioxide; in beech, the response was the opposite. The overall conclusion was that the results did not support Hypothesis One, because the adverse effects were counteracted by elevated carbon dioxide. Regarding Hypothesis Two, it was found to be supportive for beech but not for spruce. In beech, the reduction of sugars and starch by elevated ozone and stimulation by elevated carbon dioxide were repressed by competitive interaction with spruce, whereas in spruce saplings elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide resulted in higher concentrations of sugar and starch, but only in leaves and coarse roots and only when grown in combination with beech. Elevated ozone in spruce saplings produced no significant effect on sugar or starch content either in intra- or interspecific competition. 57 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs

  9. Competition modifies effects of enhanced ozone/carbon dioxide concentrations on carbohydrate and biomass accumulation in juvenile Norway spruces and European beech

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, X.; Rennenberg, H. [University of Freiburg, Inst. of Forest Botany and Tree Physiology, Freiburg (Germany); Kozovits, A. R.; Grams, T. E.; Blaschke, H.; Matyssek, R. [Technische Universitat Munchen, Dept. of Ecology and Ecophysiology of Plants, Freising (Germany)

    2004-09-01

    Potential interactions of carbon dioxide and ozone on carbohydrate concentrations and contents were studied in Norway spruce and European beech saplings to test the hypotheses that (1) prolonged exposure to elevated carbon dioxide does not compensate for the limiting effects of ozone on the accumulation of sugars and starches, or biomass partitioning to the root; and (2) growth of mixed-species planting will repress plant responses to elevated ozone and carbon dioxide. Norway spruce and European beech saplings were acclimated for one year to ambient and elevated carbon dioxide, followed by exposure to factorial combinations of ambient and elevated ozone and carbon dioxide during the next two years. In spruce trees, sugar and starch content was greater in saplings exposed to elevated carbon dioxide; in beech, the response was the opposite. The overall conclusion was that the results did not support Hypothesis One, because the adverse effects were counteracted by elevated carbon dioxide. Regarding Hypothesis Two, it was found to be supportive for beech but not for spruce. In beech, the reduction of sugars and starch by elevated ozone and stimulation by elevated carbon dioxide were repressed by competitive interaction with spruce, whereas in spruce saplings elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide resulted in higher concentrations of sugar and starch, but only in leaves and coarse roots and only when grown in combination with beech. Elevated ozone in spruce saplings produced no significant effect on sugar or starch content either in intra- or interspecific competition. 57 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs.

  10. Proteins associated with critical sperm functions and sperm head shape are differentially expressed in morphologically abnormal bovine sperm induced by scrotal insulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saadi, H.A.S.; Riemsdijk, van E.L.C.; Dance, A.L.; Rajamanickam, G.D.; Kastelic, J.P.; Thundathil, J.C.

    2013-01-01

    The objective was to investigate expression patterns of proteins in pyriform sperm, a common morphological abnormality in bull sperm. Ejaculates were collected from sexually mature Holstein bulls (n = 3) twice weekly for 10 weeks (pre-thermal insult samples). Testicular temperature was elevated in

  11. Essays on the Indian economy : Competitive pressure, productivity and performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sahoo, A.

    2008-01-01

    India undertook a drastic economic reform program in 1991, with the significant objectives of removing existing inefficiencies and enhancing global competitiveness. A competitive environment is a prerequisite condition for gaining higher productivity. The main desired role of economic liberalization

  12. Upward swimming of a sperm cell in shear flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omori, Toshihiro; Ishikawa, Takuji

    2016-03-01

    Mammalian sperm cells are required to swim over long distances, typically around 1000-fold their own length. They must orient themselves and maintain a swimming motion to reach the ovum, or egg cell. Although the mechanism of long-distance navigation is still unclear, one possible mechanism, rheotaxis, was reported recently. This work investigates the mechanism of the rheotaxis in detail by simulating the motions of a sperm cell in shear flow adjacent to a flat surface. A phase diagram was developed to show the sperm's swimming motion under different shear rates, and for varying flagellum waveform conditions. The results showed that, under shear flow, the sperm is able to hydrodynamically change its swimming direction, allowing it to swim upwards against the flow, which suggests that the upward swimming of sperm cells can be explained using fluid mechanics, and this can then be used to further understand physiology of sperm cell navigation.

  13. [Study on sperm damage caused by trichloroethylene in male rats].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, De-sheng; Yang, Lin-qing; Huang, Sui; Liu, Jian-jun; Xu, Xin-yun; Huang, Hai-yan; Gong, Chun-mei; Hu, Gong-hua; Liu, Qing-cheng; Yang, Xi-fei; Hong, Wen-xu; Zhou, Li; Huang, Xin-feng; Yuan, Jian-hui; Zhuang, Zhi-xiong

    2013-11-01

    To study in vitro sperm damage caused by trichloroethylene in male rats. Sperms of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were collected 4 hours after being contaminated by trichloroethylene of 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 mmol/L in vitro. Giemsa staining was performed to observe the morphological changes of sperms, and flow cytometer was used to detect the changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. The sperm motilities in 6, 8, and 10 mmol/L trichloroethylene groups decreased significantly compared with that in control group (P trichloroethylene groups were significantly higher than that in control group (Ptrichloroethylene groups and control group (Ptrichloroethylene can reduce sperm motility and increase the aberration rate and apoptosis rate of sperms in male SD rats.

  14. Some Reflections on Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Ebner

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Although intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI allows proper fertilization in most cases of male sub fertility, it is one of the most unphysiological techniques in assisted reproductive technologies (ART. Thus, over the last decade, researchers have tried to improve sperm observation with higher-resolution microscopy techniques such as the intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI technique. In order to identify literatures for this review, the PubMed database was searched from 2000 onwards using the terms IMSI, motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME and sperm vacuole. Approximately 10 years after the introduction of the MSOME and IMSI procedures, several questions related to the prevalence, origin, location, and clinical consequences of sperm vacuoles have not yet been clarified. It seems that IMSI as a routine application is not state of the art and the only confirmed indications for IMSI are recurrent implantation failure following ICSI and severe male factor.

  15. Competitive balance in national European soccer competitions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haan, M.A.; Koning, R.H.; van Witteloostuijn, A.; Albert, Jim; Koning, Ruud H.

    2007-01-01

    According to popular belief, competitive balance in national soccer competitions in Europe has decreased due to the Bosman ruling and the introduction of the Champions League. We test this hypothesis using data from 7 national competitions, for a host of indicators. We find some evidence for

  16. Method-related estimates of sperm vitality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Trevor G; Hellenkemper, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Comparison of methods that estimate viability of human spermatozoa by monitoring head membrane permeability revealed that wet preparations (whether using positive or negative phase-contrast microscopy) generated significantly higher percentages of nonviable cells than did air-dried eosin-nigrosin smears. Only with the latter method did the sum of motile (presumed live) and stained (presumed dead) preparations never exceed 100%, making this the method of choice for sperm viability estimates.

  17. Putting competition into perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, L. III.

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines the current level of competition in the electric industry in the context of the history of the industry and the development of electric markets in other counties. The topics of the paper include competition in the history of the American electric industry, the current state of competition, the competitive situation in Texas, competition in other electric markets, and competitive changes in the US market

  18. A dictionary learning approach for human sperm heads classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaker, Fariba; Monadjemi, S Amirhassan; Alirezaie, Javad; Naghsh-Nilchi, Ahmad Reza

    2017-12-01

    To diagnose infertility in men, semen analysis is conducted in which sperm morphology is one of the factors that are evaluated. Since manual assessment of sperm morphology is time-consuming and subjective, automatic classification methods are being developed. Automatic classification of sperm heads is a complicated task due to the intra-class differences and inter-class similarities of class objects. In this research, a Dictionary Learning (DL) technique is utilized to construct a dictionary of sperm head shapes. This dictionary is used to classify the sperm heads into four different classes. Square patches are extracted from the sperm head images. Columnized patches from each class of sperm are used to learn class-specific dictionaries. The patches from a test image are reconstructed using each class-specific dictionary and the overall reconstruction error for each class is used to select the best matching class. Average accuracy, precision, recall, and F-score are used to evaluate the classification method. The method is evaluated using two publicly available datasets of human sperm head shapes. The proposed DL based method achieved an average accuracy of 92.2% on the HuSHeM dataset, and an average recall of 62% on the SCIAN-MorphoSpermGS dataset. The results show a significant improvement compared to a previously published shape-feature-based method. We have achieved high-performance results. In addition, our proposed approach offers a more balanced classifier in which all four classes are recognized with high precision and recall. In this paper, we use a Dictionary Learning approach in classifying human sperm heads. It is shown that the Dictionary Learning method is far more effective in classifying human sperm heads than classifiers using shape-based features. Also, a dataset of human sperm head shapes is introduced to facilitate future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Parallel Evolution of Sperm Hyper-Activation Ca2+ Channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Jacob C; Phadnis, Nitin

    2017-07-01

    Sperm hyper-activation is a dramatic change in sperm behavior where mature sperm burst into a final sprint in the race to the egg. The mechanism of sperm hyper-activation in many metazoans, including humans, consists of a jolt of Ca2+ into the sperm flagellum via CatSper ion channels. Surprisingly, all nine CatSper genes have been independently lost in several animal lineages. In Drosophila, sperm hyper-activation is performed through the cooption of the polycystic kidney disease 2 (pkd2) Ca2+ channel. The parallels between CatSpers in primates and pkd2 in Drosophila provide a unique opportunity to examine the molecular evolution of the sperm hyper-activation machinery in two independent, nonhomologous calcium channels separated by > 500 million years of divergence. Here, we use a comprehensive phylogenomic approach to investigate the selective pressures on these sperm hyper-activation channels. First, we find that the entire CatSper complex evolves rapidly under recurrent positive selection in primates. Second, we find that pkd2 has parallel patterns of adaptive evolution in Drosophila. Third, we show that this adaptive evolution of pkd2 is driven by its role in sperm hyper-activation. These patterns of selection suggest that the evolution of the sperm hyper-activation machinery is driven by sexual conflict with antagonistic ligands that modulate channel activity. Together, our results add sperm hyper-activation channels to the class of fast evolving reproductive proteins and provide insights into the mechanisms used by the sexes to manipulate sperm behavior. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  20. More Pitfalls with Sperm Viability Staining and a Viability-Based Stress Test to Characterize Sperm Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A. Eckel

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Sperm viability (SV, the proportion of live sperm in a sample, is a widely applied measure of sperm quality but few studies test its robustness. At least three reasons make SV problematic as a surrogate for sperm quality. First, reviewing the ecological literature revealed that previously identified methodological pitfalls have not been overcome, including low cross-study standardization of protocols, inadequate statistical treatment, and unaccounted for within-sample heterogeneity. Second, SV is affected by biological variation such as between species, reproductive organs, or sperm age cohorts. Third, the proportion of live sperm extracted from males appears more related to male than to sperm quality in the sense of the future performance of sperm. We propose an alternative method to assess sperm quality by characterizing the temporal decrease of SV in a stressor medium and illustrate in two species, the common bedbug (Cimex lectularius and the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster how some common methodological pitfalls may be circumvented. Our data empirically support the well-known but little-considered facts that (i non-blind measurements may alter SV and (ii that SV frequently have non-significant repeatability within one sample. (iii Cross-sectional sampling of ejaculates showed that this heterogeneity even masked a biological pattern—the sperm stratification within males. We show (iv that this shortcoming can be overcome by following the temporal decline of SV of a sperm subsample in a stress test. Finally, (v comparing the staining pattern of sperm between Cimex and Drosophila, we found that in the latter, the visibility of sperm is substantially delayed (30 min when sperm density is high. We show that this delay in stained sperm visibility was, however, not biased toward dead or live sperm. To measure sperm quality, we advocate analyzing the temporal decline in SV in a stressor medium over current protocols that use SV per se and

  1. Sperm density required for inducing gynogenetic haploidy in scallop Chlamys nobilis

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Goswami, U.

    Experiments conducted for standardizing sperm density for artificial insemination and inducing gynogenesis by ultra-violet rays irradiated sperms in Chlamys nobilis showed that 10:1 ratio of sperms to eggs, gave maximum rate of fertilization...

  2. Using a combination of weighting factor method and imperialist competitive algorithm to improve speed and enhance process of reloading pattern optimization of VVER-1000 reactors in transient cycles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahmani, Yashar, E-mail: yashar.rahmani@gmail.com [Department of Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic Azad University, Sari Branch, Sari (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Shahvari, Yaser [Department of Computer Engineering, Payame Noor University (PNU), P.O. Box 19395-3697, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Kia, Faezeh [Golestan Institute of Higher Education, Gorgan 49139-83635 (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2017-03-15

    Highlights: • This article was an attempt to optimize reloading pattern of Bushehr VVER-1000 reactor. • A combination of weighting factor method and the imperialist competitive algorithm was used. • The speed of optimization and desirability of the proposed pattern increased considerably. • To evaluate arrangements, a coupling of WIMSD5-B, CITATION-LDI2 and WERL codes was used. • Results reflected the considerable superiority of the proposed method over direct optimization. - Abstract: In this research, an innovative solution is described which can be used with a combination of the new imperialist competitive algorithm and the weighting factor method to improve speed and increase globality of search in reloading pattern optimization of VVER-1000 reactors in transient cycles and even obtain more desirable results than conventional direct method. In this regard, to reduce the scope of the assumed searchable arrangements, first using the weighting factor method and based on values of these coefficients in each of the 16 types of loadable fuel assemblies in the second cycle, the fuel assemblies were classified in more limited groups. In consequence, the types of fuel assemblies were reduced from 16 to 6 and consequently the number of possible arrangements was reduced considerably. Afterwards, in the first phase of optimization the imperialist competitive algorithm was used to propose an optimum reloading pattern with 6 groups. In the second phase, the algorithm was reused for finding desirable placement of the subset assemblies of each group in the optimum arrangement obtained from the previous phase, and thus the retransformation of the optimum arrangement takes place from the virtual 6-group mode to the real mode with 16 fuel types. In this research, the optimization process was conducted in two states. In the first state, it was tried to obtain an arrangement with the maximum effective multiplication factor and the smallest maximum power peaking factor. In

  3. Development of advanced loop-type fast reactor in Japan (4): An advanced design of the fuel handling system for the enhanced economic competitiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Usui, S.; Mihara, T.; Obata, H.; Kotake, S.

    2008-01-01

    Refueling operation of sodium fast reactor (SFR) is one of major technical issue due to the chemical activities and opaqueness of sodium coolant properties in comparison with that of LWR. In the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) sodium cooled Fast Reactor (JSFR) design study, the further reliable and rational fuel handling system (FHS) has been developing based on the experience of safe and reliable fuel handling operation in the existent SFR plants. Some of advanced concepts for the FHS have being studied in order to increase economic competitiveness further by attempting reduction of the amount of the material and the refueling time, and are scheduled to execute elemental tests and/or mock-up tests to confirm their feasibilities. (authors)

  4. Sex-sorting sperm using flow cytometry/cell sorting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, Duane L; Evans, K Michael; Seidel, George E

    2013-01-01

    The sex of mammalian offspring can be predetermined by flow sorting relatively pure living populations of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm. This method is based on precise staining of the DNA of sperm with the nucleic acid-specific fluorophore, Hoechst 33342, to differentiate between the subpopulations of X- and Y-sperm. The fluorescently stained sperm are then sex-sorted using a specialized high speed sorter, MoFlo(®) SX XDP, and collected into biologically supportive media prior to reconcentration and cryopreservation in numbers adequate for use with artificial insemination for some species or for in vitro fertilization. Sperm sorting can provide subpopulations of X- or Y-bearing bovine sperm at rates in the 8,000 sperm/s range while maintaining; a purity of 90% such that it has been applied to cattle on a commercial basis. The sex of offspring has been predetermined in a wide variety of mammalian species including cattle, swine, horses, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, deer, elk, dolphins, water buffalo as well as in humans using flow cytometric sorting of X- and Y-sperm.

  5. Response of midpiece vesicles on human sperm to osmotic stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abraham-Peskir, Joanna V; Chantler, Eric; Uggerhøj, Erik

    2002-01-01

    Medium but not after washing in seminal plasma. There was an inverse relationship between medium osmolality and both MPV-bearing sperm incidence and MPV diameter. However, initial osmolality in semen from different donors did not correlate with incidence of MPV-bearing sperm. Furthermore, a direct...... relationship was observed in semen as osmolality increased with time. No correlation existed between progressive motility and semen osmolality. Progressive motility and the amplitude of lateral head displacement were significantly reduced in sperm with an MPV (three out of four semen samples, 26-32 sperm...

  6. Sperm quality in New Zealand: Is the downward trend continuing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birdsall, Mary A; Peek, John; Valiapan, Sumithra

    2015-10-16

    To investigate whether the decline in sperm concentration in New Zealand sperm donors observed from 1987 to 2007 continued in the period 2008-2014. A retrospective study from 2008 to 2014. The first semen sample of 285 men presenting as sperm donors in Auckland and Wellington was analysed for sperm concentration, seminal fluid volume and the percentage of motile sperm. These results were compared to results from 1987 to 2007 from the same clinics. The decline in semen volume and sperm concentration observed between 1987 and 2007 did not continue in 2008-2014. Sperm concentration decreased from 1987 until some time between 1997 and 2001, and has remained stable at an average of 62x106/ml between 2001 and 2014. Sperm motility declined significantly (8%) in the period 2008-2014, but there was no significant change over the total period studied, between 1987 and 2014. After a decline between 1987 and sometime during 1997-2001, the sperm concentration in men presenting as donors remained unchanged between 2002 and 2014, suggesting semen quality has not changed in New Zealand men over the last decade.

  7. Sperm-Hybrid Micromotor for Targeted Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haifeng; Medina-Sánchez, Mariana; Magdanz, Veronika; Schwarz, Lukas; Hebenstreit, Franziska; Schmidt, Oliver G

    2018-01-23

    A sperm-driven micromotor is presented as a targeted drug delivery system, which is appealing to potentially treat diseases in the female reproductive tract. This system is demonstrated to be an efficient drug delivery vehicle by first loading a motile sperm cell with an anticancer drug (doxorubicin hydrochloride), guiding it magnetically, to an in vitro cultured tumor spheroid, and finally freeing the sperm cell to deliver the drug locally. The sperm release mechanism is designed to liberate the sperm when the biohybrid micromotor hits the tumor walls, allowing it to swim into the tumor and deliver the drug through the sperm-cancer cell membrane fusion. In our experiments, the sperm cells exhibited a high drug encapsulation capability and drug carrying stability, conveniently minimizing  toxic side effects and unwanted drug accumulation in healthy tissues. Overall, sperm cells are excellent candidates to operate in physiological environments, as they neither express pathogenic proteins nor proliferate to form undesirable colonies, unlike other cells or microorganisms. This sperm-hybrid micromotor is a biocompatible platform with potential application in gynecological healthcare, treating or detecting cancer or other diseases in the female reproductive system.

  8. Gold-standard for computer-assisted morphological sperm analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Violeta; Garcia, Alejandra; Hitschfeld, Nancy; Härtel, Steffen

    2017-04-01

    Published algorithms for classification of human sperm heads are based on relatively small image databases that are not open to the public, and thus no direct comparison is available for competing methods. We describe a gold-standard for morphological sperm analysis (SCIAN-MorphoSpermGS), a dataset of sperm head images with expert-classification labels in one of the following classes: normal, tapered, pyriform, small or amorphous. This gold-standard is for evaluating and comparing known techniques and future improvements to present approaches for classification of human sperm heads for semen analysis. Although this paper does not provide a computational tool for morphological sperm analysis, we present a set of experiments for comparing sperm head description and classification common techniques. This classification base-line is aimed to be used as a reference for future improvements to present approaches for human sperm head classification. The gold-standard provides a label for each sperm head, which is achieved by majority voting among experts. The classification base-line compares four supervised learning methods (1- Nearest Neighbor, naive Bayes, decision trees and Support Vector Machine (SVM)) and three shape-based descriptors (Hu moments, Zernike moments and Fourier descriptors), reporting the accuracy and the true positive rate for each experiment. We used Fleiss' Kappa Coefficient to evaluate the inter-expert agreement and Fisher's exact test for inter-expert variability and statistical significant differences between descriptors and learning techniques. Our results confirm the high degree of inter-expert variability in the morphological sperm analysis. Regarding the classification base line, we show that none of the standard descriptors or classification approaches is best suitable for tackling the problem of sperm head classification. We discovered that the correct classification rate was highly variable when trying to discriminate among non-normal sperm

  9. Accountings of Selecting Sperm on the (ethical) border

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    During the past years, Denmark has become a destination for fertility travellers, in need for donated sperm. Today, treatment is possible no matter of marital status or sexuality. Furthermore, users of sperm donation can choose between anonymous and non-anonymous sperm, with either basic...... will analyze how women and their partners crossing the Danish border accounts for their donor choice, and their practices of choosing. I will be exploring the question: How are women and their partners accounting for choosing a sperm donor, crossing the (ethical) border to Denmark? The use of the term...

  10. Mass spectrometry profiling of oxysterols in human sperm identifies 25-hydroxycholesterol as a marker of sperm function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Zerbinati

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Cholesterol is a main lipid component of sperm cell that is essential for sperm membrane fluidity, capacitation, and acrosomal reaction. Recent data obtained in bovine sperm showed that sperm capacitation is associated to the formation of oxysterols, oxidized products of cholesterol. The aim of this study was to profile oxysterol content in human semen, and to investigate their potential role in sperm pathophysiology. Among the 12 oxysterols analyzed, 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-HC resulted the most represented in normozoospermic samples, and its concentration positively correlated with spermatozoa number. We detected Cholesterol 25-hydroxylase, the enzyme responsible for 25-HC production, in human spermatozoa at the level of the neck and the post acrosomal area. Upon incubation with spermatozoa, 25-HC induced calcium and cholesterol transients in connection with the acrosomal reaction. Our results support a role for 25-HC in sperm function.

  11. The Case for Architectural-Design Competitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Roger K.

    2009-01-01

    A well-publicized design competition is especially beneficial for universities. It allows them to enhance fund raising and stimulate design consciousness among students, the faculty, and even members of the surrounding community. Yet universities rarely conduct competitions, and instead select architects for major projects through a multistep,…

  12. Secondary Products (Markets, Competition, and Technological Improvements)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip A. Araman

    1988-01-01

    Competitiveness, imports, exports, and technological improvements--these are issues facing secondary wood-product manufacturers. The major problems focus on increasing foreign imports and the inability of U.S. industries to repell the imports. How and where should we, as researchers, allocate our efforts to enhance the competitiveness of secondary forest industries in...

  13. Price competition among Dutch sickness funds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Varkevisser (Marco); S.A. van der Geest (Stéphanie)

    2003-01-01

    textabstractIn general, competition enhances efficiency. On the market for health insurance free market competition, however, has unwanted side-effects. The existence of asymmetrical information can lead to adverse selection and cream skimming. Adequate risk-adjustment removes the incentives for

  14. Effect of Vitrification on Sperm Parameters and Apoptosis in Fertile Men

    OpenAIRE

    M Adib; M Ramezani; MA Khalili

    2011-01-01

    Introduction & Objective: Today, cryopreservation of the human sperm is a common technique for treating infertility. It has been indicated that cryopreservation by different methods decrease the sperm motility and viability in fertile men, but still effect of freezing of the sperm by vitrification method have not been evaluated on sperm parameters and apoptosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of vitrification of sperm of fertile men on different sperm parameters (motility, m...

  15. Implementing an open-access CASA software for the assessment of stallion sperm motility: Relationship with other sperm quality parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giaretta, Elisa; Munerato, Mauro; Yeste, Marc; Galeati, Giovanna; Spinaci, Marcella; Tamanini, Carlo; Mari, Gaetano; Bucci, Diego

    2017-01-01

    Setting an open-access computer assisted sperm analysis (CASA) may benefit the evaluation of motility in mammalian sperm, especially when economic constraints do not allow the use of a commercial system. There have been successful attempts to develop such a device in Zebra fish sperm and the system has been used in very few studies on mammalian spermatozoa. Against this background, the present study aimed at developing an open-access CASA system for mammalian sperm using the horse as a model and based upon the Image J software previously established for Zebra fish sperm. Along with determining the sperm progressive motility and other kinetic parameters (such as amplitude of lateral head displacement), the "results" window was adjusted to simplify subsequent statistical analyses. The path window was enriched with colored sperm trajectories on the basis of the subpopulation they belong to and a number that allowed the sperm track to be associated to the sperm motility data shown in the "results" window. Data obtained from the novel plugin (named as CASA_bgm) were compared with those of the commercial CASA Hamilton-Thorn IVOS Vers.12, through Bland Altman's plots. While the percentage of total and progressive motile sperm, VCL, VAP, VSL, LIN and STR and ALH were in agreement with those obtained with the commercial system, BCF significantly differed between the two systems probably due to their settings. Interestingly, a positive and significant correlation between the percentages of total motile sperm evaluated through CASA_bgm and those showing high mitochondrial membrane potential evaluated by JC-1 staining was found. In conclusion, CASA_bgm ImageJ plugin could be useful and reliable for stallion sperm motility analysis and it is our aim to apply this system to other mammalian species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Productive and Unproductive Competition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guerra, Alice; Luppi, Barbara; Parisi, Francesco

    Conventional theories of competition classify contests as being either “productive,” when the competitive efforts generate a surplus for society, or “unproductive,” when competition generates no social surplus and merely distributes already existing resources. These two discrete categories of com...... and socially optimal levels of competition in the full range of intermediate cases, as well as in the extremum cases of destructive and super-productive competition.......Conventional theories of competition classify contests as being either “productive,” when the competitive efforts generate a surplus for society, or “unproductive,” when competition generates no social surplus and merely distributes already existing resources. These two discrete categories...... of competition create a division of real-world situations into analytical categories that fails to recognize the entire spectrum of competitive activities. Taking the existing models of productive and unproductive competition as benchmark idealizations, this paper explores the relationship between the privately...

  17. Z linkage of female promiscuity genes in the moth Utetheisa ornatrix: support for the sexy-sperm hypothesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyengar, Vikram K; Reeve, Hudson K

    2010-05-01

    Female preference genes for large males in the highly promiscuous moth Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) have previously been shown to be mostly Z-linked, in accordance with the hypothesis that ZZ-ZW sex chromosome systems should facilitate Fisherian sexual selection. We determined the heritability of both female and male promiscuity in the highly promiscuous moth U. ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) through parent-offspring and grandparent-offspring regression analyses. Our data show that male promiscuity is not sex-limited and either autosomal or sex-linked whereas female promiscuity is primarily determined by sex-limited, Z-linked genes. These data are consistent with the "sexy-sperm hypothesis," which posits that multiple-mating and sperm competitiveness coevolve through a Fisherian-like process in which female promiscuity is a kind of mate choice in which sperm-competitiveness is the trait favored in males. Such a Fisherian process should also be more potent when female preferences are Z-linked and sex-limited than when autosomal or not limited.

  18. The predictive value of parameters of clinical presentations for sperm yield in patients with nonobstructive azoospermia receiving microdissection testicular sperm extraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Hsuan Ku

    2017-12-01

    Conclusion: Clinical presentations or phenotypes can be used as predictive factors for successful sperm retrieval during mTESE in patients with NOA. Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and cases with UDT history have a higher chance of sperm retrieval. Initial testicular needle biopsy, if available, can provide valuable information about chances of sperm retrieval. Hypospermatogenesis predicts high sperm yield rate, and LMA can have best upgrade results of sperm yield after mTESE.

  19. Studies on mating competitiveness of sterile oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Limohpasmanee, W.; Segsarnviriya, S.

    1998-01-01

    An essential prerequisite for insect control by the sterile insect technique releasing method is mass rearing and sterilizing that do not have adverse effects on longevity and mating behavior of the released males. But many laboratory studies have shown that males irradiated at the completely sterility dose often could not compete with untreated males in mating. This paper studies the effects of gamma radiation at the sterile dose on mating, sexual and sperm competitiveness of the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) under the laboratory condition. It is found that irradiation at the completely sterility dose (90 Gy) had reduced the mating and sperm competition ability of the males. Though the sexual competition was not

  20. An automatic system to study sperm motility and energetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Linda Z; Nascimento, Jaclyn M; Chandsawangbhuwana, Charlie; Botvinick, Elliot L; Berns, Michael W

    2008-08-01

    An integrated robotic laser and microscope system has been developed to automatically analyze individual sperm motility and energetics. The custom-designed optical system directs near-infrared laser light into an inverted microscope to create a single-point 3-D gradient laser trap at the focal spot of the microscope objective. A two-level computer structure is described that quantifies the sperm motility (in terms of swimming speed and swimming force) and energetics (measuring mid-piece membrane potential) using real-time tracking (done by the upper-level system) and fluorescent ratio imaging (done by the lower-level system). The communication between these two systems is achieved by a gigabit network. The custom-built image processing algorithm identifies the sperm swimming trajectory in real-time using phase contrast images, and then subsequently traps the sperm by automatically moving the microscope stage to relocate the sperm to the laser trap focal plane. Once the sperm is stably trapped (determined by the algorithm), the algorithm can also gradually reduce the laser power by rotating the polarizer in the laser path to measure the trapping power at which the sperm is capable of escaping the trap. To monitor the membrane potential of the mitochondria located in a sperm's mid-piece, the sperm is treated with a ratiometrically-encoded fluorescent probe. The proposed algorithm can relocate the sperm to the center of the ratio imaging camera and the average ratio value can be measured in real-time. The three parameters, sperm escape power, sperm swimming speed and ratio values of the mid-piece membrane potential of individual sperm can be compared with respect to time. This two-level automatic system to study individual sperm motility and energetics has not only increased experimental throughput by an order of magnitude but also has allowed us to monitor sperm energetics prior to and after exposure to the laser trap. This system should have application in both the

  1. Human sperm degradation of zona pellucida proteins contributes to fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldívar-Hernández, Analilia; González-González, María E; Sánchez-Tusié, Ana; Maldonado-Rosas, Israel; López, Pablo; Treviño, Claudia L; Larrea, Fernando; Chirinos, Mayel

    2015-09-02

    The mammalian oocyte extracellular matrix known as the zona pellucida (ZP) acts as a barrier to accomplish sperm fusion with the female gamete. Although penetration of the ZP is a limiting event to achieve fertilization, this is one of the least comprehended stages of gamete interaction. Even though previous studies suggest that proteases of sperm origin contribute to facilitate the passage of sperm through the ZP, in human this process is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to determine the ability of human sperm to degrade recombinant human ZP (rhZPs) proteins and to characterize the proteases involved in this process. Purified rhZP2, rhZP3 and rhZP4 proteins were incubated with capacitated sperm and the proteolytic activity was determined by Western blot analysis. To further characterize the proteases involved, parallel incubations were performed in the presence of the protease inhibitors o-phenanthroline, benzamidine and MG-132 meant to block the activity of metalloproteases, serine proteases and the proteasome, respectively. Additionally, protease inhibitors effect on sperm-ZP binding was evaluated by hemizona assay. The results showed that rhZPs were hydrolyzed in the presence of capacitated sperm. O-phenanthroline inhibited the degradation of rhZP3, MG-132 inhibited the degradation of rhZP4 and benzamidine inhibited the degradation of the three proteins under investigation. Moreover, hemizona assays demonstrated that sperm proteasome inhibition impairs sperm interaction with human native ZP. This study suggests that sperm proteasomes could participate in the degradation of ZP, particularly of the ZP4 protein. Besides, metalloproteases may be involved in specific degradation of ZP3 while serine proteases may contribute to unspecific degradation of the ZP. These findings suggest that localized degradation of ZP proteins by sperm is probably involved in ZP penetration and may be of help in understanding the mechanisms of fertilization in humans.

  2. Pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skovmand, Astrid; Jacobsen Lauvås, Anna; Christensen, Preben; Vogel, Ulla; Sørig Hougaard, Karin; Goericke-Pesch, Sandra

    2018-01-31

    Semen quality parameters are potentially affected by nanomaterials in several ways: Inhaled nanosized particles are potent inducers of pulmonary inflammation, leading to the release of inflammatory mediators. Small amounts of particles may translocate from the lungs into the lung capillaries, enter the systemic circulation and ultimately reach the testes. Both the inflammatory response and the particles may induce oxidative stress which can directly affect spermatogenesis. Furthermore, spermatogenesis may be indirectly affected by changes in the hormonal milieu as systemic inflammation is a potential modulator of endocrine function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pulmonary exposure to carbonaceous nanomaterials on sperm quality parameters in an experimental mouse model. Effects on sperm quality after pulmonary inflammation induced by carbonaceous nanomaterials were investigated by intratracheally instilling sexually mature male NMRI mice with four different carbonaceous nanomaterials dispersed in nanopure water: graphene oxide (18 μg/mouse/i.t.), Flammruss 101, Printex 90 and SRM1650b (0.1 mg/mouse/i.t. each) weekly for seven consecutive weeks. Pulmonary inflammation was determined by differential cell count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Epididymal sperm concentration and motility were measured by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Epididymal sperm viability and morphological abnormalities were assessed manually using Hoechst 33,342/PI flourescent and Spermac staining, respectively. Epididymal sperm were assessed with regard to sperm DNA integrity (damage). Daily sperm production was measured in the testis, and testosterone levels were measured in blood plasma by ELISA. Neutrophil numbers in the bronchoalveolar fluid showed sustained inflammatory response in the nanoparticle-exposed groups one week after the last instillation. No significant changes in epididymal sperm parameters, daily sperm production or plasma testosterone levels

  3. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Panagiotopoulou

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L. sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the “spermaceti organ” and “junk,” that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the

  4. Architecture of the sperm whale forehead facilitates ramming combat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, Olga; Spyridis, Panagiotis; Mehari Abraha, Hyab; Carrier, David R; Pataky, Todd C

    2016-01-01

    Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick was inspired by historical instances in which large sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus L.) sank 19th century whaling ships by ramming them with their foreheads. The immense forehead of sperm whales is possibly the largest, and one of the strangest, anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It contains two large oil-filled compartments, known as the "spermaceti organ" and "junk," that constitute up to one-quarter of body mass and extend one-third of the total length of the whale. Recognized as playing an important role in echolocation, previous studies have also attributed the complex structural configuration of the spermaceti organ and junk to acoustic sexual selection, acoustic prey debilitation, buoyancy control, and aggressive ramming. Of these additional suggested functions, ramming remains the most controversial, and the potential mechanical roles of the structural components of the spermaceti organ and junk in ramming remain untested. Here we explore the aggressive ramming hypothesis using a novel combination of structural engineering principles and probabilistic simulation to determine if the unique structure of the junk significantly reduces stress in the skull during quasi-static impact. Our analyses indicate that the connective tissue partitions in the junk reduce von Mises stresses across the skull and that the load-redistribution functionality of the former is insensitive to moderate variation in tissue material parameters, the thickness of the partitions, and variations in the location and angle of the applied load. Absence of the connective tissue partitions increases skull stresses, particularly in the rostral aspect of the upper jaw, further hinting of the important role the architecture of the junk may play in ramming events. Our study also found that impact loads on the spermaceti organ generate lower skull stresses than an impact on the junk. Nevertheless, whilst an impact on the spermaceti organ would

  5. Iron supplementation prevents a decline in iron stores and enhances strength performance in elite female volleyball players during the competitive season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mielgo-Ayuso, Juan; Zourdos, Michael C; Calleja-González, Julio; Urdampilleta, Aritz; Ostojic, Sergej

    2015-06-01

    The primary aim of this study was to examine the effects of 11 weeks of iron supplementation on hematological and strength markers in elite female volleyball players. Twenty-two volleyball players (aged 27.0 ± 5.6 years) from 2 Spanish First National League teams participated and were counterbalanced into 1 of 2 groups based upon iron status: (i) control group (CG, n = 11); or (ii) iron treatment group (ITG, n = 11), which received 325 mg/day of ferrous sulphate daily. Subjects performed their team's regimen of training or match play every day. Both groups were tested for hematological and strength levels at 2 points: (i) baseline (T0, before preseason) and (ii) 11 weeks later (T11, post-testing). Hematological parameters were serum iron (sFe), serum ferritin (FER), transferrin saturation index (TSI), and hemoglobin (Hb); strength assessments were bench press, military press, half-squat, power clean, clean and jerk, and pull-over. CG experienced a significant decrease (p 0.05). Consequently, in ITG all hematological parameters were significantly greater (p volleyball players during the competitive season.

  6. Towards microfluidic sperm refinement : impedance-based analysis and sorting of sperm cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Wagenaar, B.; Dekker, Stefan; de Boer, Hans L.; Bomer, Johan G.; Olthuis, Wouter; van den Berg, Albert; Segerink, Loes Irene

    2016-01-01

    The use of high quality semen for artificial insemination in the livestock industry is essential for successful outcome. Insemination using semen with a high number of sperm cells containing morphological defects has a negative impact on fertilization outcome. Therefore, semen with a high number of

  7. Birefringence characteristics in sperm heads allow for the selection of reacted spermatozoa for intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianaroli, Luca; Magli, M Cristina; Ferraretti, Anna P; Crippa, Andor; Lappi, Michela; Capitani, Serena; Baccetti, Baccio

    2010-02-01

    To verify clinical outcome after injection of spermatozoa that have undergone the acrosome reaction (reacted spermatozoa) vs. those still having an intact acrosome (nonreacted spermatozoa). Prospective, randomized study. Reproductive Medicine Unit, Italian Society for the Study of Reproductive Medicine, Bologna, Italy. According to a prospective randomization including 71 couples with severe male factor infertility, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was performed under polarized light that permitted analysis of the pattern of birefringence in the sperm head. Twenty-three patients had their oocytes injected with reacted spermatozoa, 26 patient's oocytes were injected with nonreacted spermatozoa, and in 22 patients both reacted and nonreacted spermatozoa were injected. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection was performed under polarized light to selectively inject acrosome-reacted and acrosome-nonreacted spermatozoa. Rates of fertilization, cleavage, pregnancy, implantation, and ongoing implantation. There was no effect on the fertilizing capacity and embryo development of either type of sperm, whereas the implantation rate was higher in oocytes injected with reacted spermatozoa (39.0%) vs. those injected with nonreacted spermatozoa (8.6%). The implantation rate was 24.4% in the group injected with both reacted and nonreacted spermatozoa. The delivery rate per cycle followed the same trend. Spermatozoa that have undergone the acrosome reaction seem to be more prone to supporting the development of viable ICSI embryos. Copyright 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. A sterile sperm caste protects brother fertile sperm from female-mediated death in Drosophila pseudoobscura

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holman, Luke; Snook, Rhonda R

    2008-01-01

    antispermicidal mechanisms have been definitively identified. One such adaptation may be the enigmatic infertile sperm morphs or "parasperm" produced by many species, which have been hypothesized to protect their fertile brother "eusperm" from spermicide [2, 3]. Here, we show that female Drosophila pseudoobscura...

  9. Cryopreservation of European catfish Silurus glanis sperm: Sperm motility, viability and hatching success of embryos

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Linhart, Otomar; Rodina, Marek; Flajšhans, Martin; Gela, David; Kocour, Martin

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 51, č. 3 (2005), s. 250-261 ISSN 0011-2240 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/03/0178; GA AV ČR IBS5045314 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50450515 Keywords : fish * sperm * aquaculture Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.765, year: 2005

  10. The impact of Wolbachia, male age and mating history on cytoplasmic incompatibility and sperm transfer in Drosophila simulans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awrahman, Z A; Champion de Crespigny, F; Wedell, N

    2014-01-01

    Most insects harbour a variety of maternally inherited endosymbionts, the most widespread being Wolbachia pipientis that commonly induce cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and reduced hatching success in crosses between infected males and uninfected females. High temperature and increasing male age are known to reduce the level of CI in a variety of insects. In Drosophila simulans, infected males have been shown to mate at a higher rate than uninfected males. By examining the impact of mating rate independent of age, this study investigates whether a high mating rate confers an advantage to infected males through restoring their compatibility with uninfected females over and above the effect of age. The impact of Wolbachia infection, male mating rate and age on the number of sperm transferred to females during copulation and how it relates to CI expression was also assessed. As predicted, we found that reproductive compatibility was restored faster in males that mate at higher rate than that of low mating and virgin males, and that the effect of mating history was over and above the effect of male age. Nonvirgin infected males transferred fewer sperm than uninfected males during copulation, and mating at a high rate resulted in the transfer of fewer sperm per mating irrespective of infection status. These results indicate that the advantage to infected males of mating at a high rate is through restoration of reproductive compatibility with uninfected females, whereas uninfected males appear to trade off the number of sperm transferred per mating with female encounter rate and success in sperm competition. This study highlights the importance Wolbachia may play in sexual selection by affecting male reproductive strategies. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  11. Components of competitiveness in sterile male boll weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villavaso, E.J.; McGovern, W.L.; Wagner, T.L.; Willers, J.L.

    1998-01-01

    This study examines the relative importance of age at the time of irradiation on attractiveness, mating ability, sperm transfer, prior mating, and longevity as factors of competitiveness in sterile male boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman. The amount of sperm transferred by irradiated males appeared to be the most important factor in competitiveness. More sperm was transferred by virgin males irradiated on day 5 than by virgin males irradiated on day 2, and males irradiated on day 5 had greater impact on egg hatch than those irradiated on day 2. The amount of sperm in spermathecae of females mated to virgin mates irradiated on day 5 was indistinguishable from that in females mated to virgin control males. Mating ability of males of all treatments was similar. Comparable numbers of boll weevils were captured in traps baited with males irradiated at 2 or 5 d during the first 4-5 d after irradiation, but thereafter, generally more weevils were captured in traps baited with males irradiated at 2 d or with control males. Attractiveness of males irradiated at 2 d was generally comparable to that of control males. More than 91% of irradiated males individually caged on cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., plants lived for 10 d in the field, and 40% lived for 14 d; all individually caged control males lived 14 d. When released into cotton fields, however, the numbers of both irradiated and control males declined sharply over 14 d. Thus, the potential for an effective 2-wk life span in the field suggested by the caged study did not appear to apply to laboratory-reared weevils released into cotton fields

  12. Competition in Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Michael E. Porter; Mariko Sakakibara

    2004-01-01

    This article examines competition in Japan and its link to postwar economic prosperity. While Japan's industrial structure and competition policy seem to indicate that competition in Japan has been less intense, the empirical evidence does not support this conclusion. The sectors in which competition was restricted prove to be those where Japan was not internationally successful. In the internationally successful sectors, internal competition in Japan was invariably fierce. While the level of...

  13. Comparison of semen variables, sperm DNA damage and sperm membrane proteins in two male layer breeder lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    M, Shanmugam; T R, Kannaki; A, Vinoth

    2016-09-01

    Semen variables are affected by the breed and strain of chicken. The present study was undertaken to compare the semen quality in two lines of adult chickens with particular reference to sperm chromatin condensation, sperm DNA damage and sperm membrane proteins. Semen from a PD3 and White Leghorn control line was collected at 46 and 47 weeks and 55 weeks of age. The semen was evaluated for gross variables and sperm chromatin condensation by aniline blue staining. Sperm DNA damage was assessed by using the comet assay at 47 weeks of age and sperm membrane proteins were assessed at 55 weeks of age. The duration of fertility was studied by inseminating 100 million sperm once into the hens of the same line as well as another line. The eggs were collected after insemination for 15days and incubated. The eggs were candled on 18th day of incubation for observing embryonic development. The White Leghorn control line had a greater sperm concentration and lesser percentage of morphologically abnormal sperm at the different ages where assessments occurred. There was no difference in sperm chromatin condensation, DNA damage and membrane proteins between the lines. Only low molecular weight protein bands of less than 95kDa were observed in samples of both lines. The line from which semen was used had no effect on the duration over which fertility was sustained after insemination either when used in the same line or another line. Thus, from the results of the present study it may be concluded that there was a difference in gross semen variables between the lines that were studied, however, the sperm chromatin condensation, DNA damage, membrane proteins and duration over which fertility was sustained after insemination did not differ between the lines. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Factor V Leiden is associated with increased sperm count

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Mens, T. E.; Joensen, U. N.; Bochdanovits, Z.; Takizawa, A.; Peter, J.; Jørgensen, N.; Szecsi, P. B.; Meijers, J. C. M.; Weiler, H.; Rajpert-de Meyts, E.; Repping, S.; Middeldorp, S.

    2017-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION: Is the thrombophilia mutation factor V Leiden (FVL) associated with an increased total sperm count? SUMMARY ANSWER: Carriers of FVL have a higher total sperm count than non-FVL-carriers, which could not be explained by genetic linkage or by observations in a FVL-mouse model. WHAT IS

  15. Modifications in sperm quality of Wister Albino Rats by Ethanol ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effect of a well known herb, Phyllanthus amarus on the sperm characteristics in male albino rats was studied. This was an investigation of the age-long claim by the locales in the rural communities in the southern states of Nigeria where this plant is consumed religiously that it affects sperm quality, hence sexual potency ...

  16. Cephalopods in the diet of sperm whales caught commercially off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A collection from stomach contents of 30 sperm whales Physeter catodon comprised a total of 46 cephalopods belonging to six families. Nine species were identified, including Ommastrephes bartramii, which is recorded for the first time in the diet of sperm whales caught off South Africa, and Todarodes filippovae, which has ...

  17. The effect of sperm morphology and testicular spermatozoa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective. To determine the correlation between sperm morphology groups (strict criteria) and testicular spermatozoa, and day 2 and 3 embryo quality in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) cases. Methods. A retrospective study was done of 2 402 IVF and ICSI-fertilised embryos classified as ...

  18. Evidence for decreasing sperm count in African population from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Purpose: This meta-analysis, following our previous reports those documented an overall 57% diminution in mean sperm concentration around the globe over past 35 years and 32.5% decline in past 50 years in European population, attempts to report the declining trend of sperm concentrations in African population ...

  19. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate labeling of sperm-associated proteinases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Odem, R.R.; Willand, J.L.; Polakoski, K.L.

    1990-01-01

    Proteinase inhibitors have been shown to be capable of preventing various aspects of fertilization. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) is an irreversible inhibitor of trypsin-like enzymes that is commercially available in a radiolabeled form. The experiments described herein were designed to determine if DFP would prevent sperm function in live, motile sperm and to identify the sperm proteins bound with DFP. DFP at 5 mM concentrations had no observable effect on sperm motility, but inhibited the penetration of zona-free hamster ova by human sperm (5.5%) compared to controls (33.5%). Acid extracts of motile sperm that had been incubated with radiolabeled DFP and collected by the swim-up procedure demonstrated the presence of radiolabeled DFP, and the autoradiography of the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) gels of these extracts localized the uptake of radiolabeled DFP to proteins in the molecular weight region of the proacrosin-acrosin system. Acid-extracted proteinases from semen samples incubated with DFP demonstrated a concentration-dependent inhibition of both esterolytic hydrolysis of benzoyl-arginine ethyl ester on spectrophotometric analysis and proteolytic activity on gelatin SDS-PAGE zymography. DFP-labeled proteins were precipitated by highly specific antibodies to proacrosin. These results demonstrated that DFP is capable of inhibiting sperm function, and that it associates with the proacrosin-acrosin system in live motile sperm

  20. Evolving minimum standards in responsible international sperm donor offspring quota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssens, Pim M. W.; Thorn, Petra; Castilla, Jose A.; Frith, Lucy; Crawshaw, Marilyn; Mochtar, Monique; Bjorndahl, Lars; Kvist, Ulrik; Kirkman-Brown, Jackson C.

    2015-01-01

    An international working group was established with the aim of making recommendations on the number of offspring for a sperm donor that should be allowable in cases of international use of his sperm. Considerations from genetic, psychosocial, operational and ethical points of view were debated. For

  1. ROLE OF APOPTOSIS IN THE EVALUATION OF SPERM QUALITY ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Results In the fertile men (control group), none of the sperms was positive for DNA strand breaks, while in the oligozoospermic patients 0.9 0.7% of the sperms were positive for DNA strand breaks. This result was statistically highly ... dans les traitements avancés de fertilisation. African Journal of Urology Vol.8(1) 2002: 6-12 ...

  2. Heritability of sperm length in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; de Jong, Gerdien; Schmid-Hempel, Regula

    2006-01-01

    estimates of narrow sense heritability of sperm length in a social insect, the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. In spite of a balanced and straightforward rearing design of colonies, and the possibility to replicate measurements of sperm within single males nested within colonies, the analysis proved...

  3. Sperm DNA damage in relation to lipid peroxidation following ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated the relationships between lipid peroxidation (LPO) and sperm DNA damage following freezing-thawing of boar semen in different extenders. The comet assay was used to measure the extent of sperm DNA damage in a cryoprotectant-free extender or in cryoprotectant-based extenders after single ...

  4. [Eosin Y-water test for sperm function examination].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zha, Shu-wei; Lü, Nian-qing; Xu, Hao-qin

    2015-06-01

    Based on the principles of the in vitro staining technique, hypotonic swelling test, and water test, the Eosin Y-water test method was developed to simultaneously detect the integrity of the sperm head and tail and sperm membrane structure and function. As a widely used method in clinical laboratories in China, the Eosin Y-water test is methodologically characterized by three advantages. Firstly, both the sperm head and tail can be detected at the same time, which allows easy and comprehensive assessment of membrane damage in different parts of sperm. Secondly, distilled water is used instead of the usual formula solution to simplify and standardize the test by eliminating any potential effects on the water molecules through the sperm membrane due to different osmotic pressure or different sugar proportions and electrolyte solutions. Thirdly, the test takes less time and thus can be repeated before and after treatment. This article focuses on the fundamental principles and modification of the Eosin Y-water test and its application in sperm function examination and routine semen analysis for male infertility, assessment of the quality of sperm retrieved by testicular fine needle aspiration, semen cryopreservation program development, and evaluation of sperm membrane integrity after microwave radiation.

  5. Sperm use economy of honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Collins, Jason; Maalaps, Kristiina

    2016-01-01

    the fecundity and longevity of queens and therefore colony fitness. We quantified the number of sperm that honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens use to fertilize eggs. We examined sperm use in naturally mated queens of different ages and in queens artificially inseminated with different volumes of semen. We found...

  6. A Study of Anti-Sperm Antibodies among Infertile Subjects ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) can interfere with sperm functions and fertility and may be found in the blood, lymph or local secretions such as seminal and cervico-vaginal fluids in both men and women. Objective: to evaluate the contribution of ASA to infertility in male and female subjects investigated for ...

  7. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate labeling of sperm-associated proteinases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Odem, R.R.; Willand, J.L.; Polakoski, K.L. (Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (USA))

    1990-02-01

    Proteinase inhibitors have been shown to be capable of preventing various aspects of fertilization. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) is an irreversible inhibitor of trypsin-like enzymes that is commercially available in a radiolabeled form. The experiments described herein were designed to determine if DFP would prevent sperm function in live, motile sperm and to identify the sperm proteins bound with DFP. DFP at 5 mM concentrations had no observable effect on sperm motility, but inhibited the penetration of zona-free hamster ova by human sperm (5.5%) compared to controls (33.5%). Acid extracts of motile sperm that had been incubated with radiolabeled DFP and collected by the swim-up procedure demonstrated the presence of radiolabeled DFP, and the autoradiography of the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) gels of these extracts localized the uptake of radiolabeled DFP to proteins in the molecular weight region of the proacrosin-acrosin system. Acid-extracted proteinases from semen samples incubated with DFP demonstrated a concentration-dependent inhibition of both esterolytic hydrolysis of benzoyl-arginine ethyl ester on spectrophotometric analysis and proteolytic activity on gelatin SDS-PAGE zymography. DFP-labeled proteins were precipitated by highly specific antibodies to proacrosin. These results demonstrated that DFP is capable of inhibiting sperm function, and that it associates with the proacrosin-acrosin system in live motile sperm.

  8. Bending the law and crossing borders choosing Danish sperm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willum Adrian, Stine

    In recent years, Denmark has become a European destination for couples and single women wanting sperm donation. One reason is that the current regulation is liberal in the sense that it enables single women and lesbians to be treated. Since neither private sperm banks nor clinics run by midwifes...

  9. Enhanced

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin I. Bayala

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Land Surface Temperature (LST is a key parameter in the energy balance model. However, the spatial resolution of the retrieved LST from sensors with high temporal resolution is not accurate enough to be used in local-scale studies. To explore the LST–Normalised Difference Vegetation Index relationship potential and obtain thermal images with high spatial resolution, six enhanced image sharpening techniques were assessed: the disaggregation procedure for radiometric surface temperatures (TsHARP, the Dry Edge Quadratic Function, the Difference of Edges (Ts∗DL and three models supported by the relationship of surface temperature and water stress of vegetation (Normalised Difference Water Index, Normalised Difference Infrared Index and Soil wetness index. Energy Balance Station data and in situ measurements were used to validate the enhanced LST images over a mixed agricultural landscape in the sub-humid Pampean Region of Argentina (PRA, during 2006–2010. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (EOS-MODIS thermal datasets were assessed for different spatial resolutions (e.g., 960, 720 and 240 m and the performances were compared with global and local TsHARP procedures. Results suggest that the Ts∗DL technique is the most adequate for simulating LST to high spatial resolution over the heterogeneous landscape of a sub-humid region, showing an average root mean square error of less than 1 K.

  10. Mixing, entropy and competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klimenko, A Y

    2012-01-01

    Non-traditional thermodynamics, applied to random behaviour associated with turbulence, mixing and competition, is reviewed and analysed. Competitive mixing represents a general framework for the study of generic properties of competitive systems and can be used to model a wide class of non-equilibrium phenomena ranging from turbulent premixed flames and invasion waves to complex competitive systems. We demonstrate consistency of the general principles of competition with thermodynamic description, review and analyse the related entropy concepts and introduce the corresponding competitive H-theorem. A competitive system can be characterized by a thermodynamic quantity—competitive potential—which determines the likely direction of evolution of the system. Contested resources tend to move between systems from lower to higher values of the competitive potential. There is, however, an important difference between conventional thermodynamics and competitive thermodynamics. While conventional thermodynamics is constrained by its zeroth law and is fundamentally transitive, the transitivity of competitive thermodynamics depends on the transitivity of the competition rules. Intransitivities are common in the real world and are responsible for complex behaviour in competitive systems. This work follows ideas and methods that have originated from the analysis of turbulent combustion, but reviews a much broader scope of issues linked to mixing and competition, including thermodynamic characterization of complex competitive systems with self-organization. The approach presented here is interdisciplinary and is addressed to the general educated readers, whereas the mathematical details can be found in the appendices. (comment)

  11. Competition on European energy markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lijesen, M.; Speck, S; Mulder, M.

    2003-01-01

    The launch of the Directives on Electricity and Gas in the late 1990s was the starting point for creating common and competitive energy markets in the European Union. The main goal of this process was to increase efficiency of allocation of resources and, hence,enhance consumer welfare. More specifically, increasing competition within the energy markets should lead to a reduction of energy prices and to a convergence of prices among EU member states. Within a year from now, end-users in the Netherlands will be free to choose their own supplier, thus finalising the deregulation of Dutch energy markets. What lessons may be learned from the experience thus far? What are the results of the liberalisation process up to now? How have prices developed,and can these developments be explained? How afraid should we be for the lights to go out in a competitive electricity market?

  12. Influence of sexual stimulation on sperm parameters in semen samples collected via masturbation from normozoospermic men or cryptozoospermic men participating in an assisted reproduction programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Y; Sofikitis, N; Mio, Y; Miyagawa, I

    2000-05-01

    To evaluate the influence of sexual stimulation via sexually stimulating videotaped visual images (VIM) on sperm function, two semen samples were collected from each of 19 normozoospermic men via masturbation with VIM. Two additional samples were collected from each man via masturbation without VIM. The volume of seminal plasma, total sperm count, sperm motility, percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa, outcome of hypo-osmotic swelling test and zona-free hamster oocyte sperm penetration assay, and markers of the secretory function of prostate were significantly larger in semen samples collected via masturbation with VIM than masturbation without VIM. The improved sperm parameters in the samples collected via masturbation with VIM may reflect an enhanced prostatic secretory function and increased loading of the vas deferens at that time. In a similar protocol, two semen samples were collected via masturbation with VIM from each of 22 non-obstructed azoospermic men. Semen samples from these men had been occasionally positive in the past for a very small number of spermatozoa (cryptozoospermic men). Two additional samples were collected from each cryptozoospermic man via masturbation without VIM. The volume of seminal plasma, total sperm count, sperm motility, and a marker of the secretory function of prostate were significantly larger in semen samples collected via masturbation with VIM. Fourteen out of the 22 men were negative for spermatozoa in both samples collected via masturbation without VIM. These men demonstrated spermatozoa in both samples collected via masturbation with VIM. Six men with immotile spermatozoa in both samples collected via masturbation without VIM exposed motile spermatozoa in both samples collected via masturbation with VIM. High sexual stimulation during masturbation with VIM results in recovery of spermatozoa of greater fertilizing potential both in normozoospermic and cryptozoospermic men. The appearance of spermatozoa after

  13. Association between obesity and sperm quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramaraju, G A; Teppala, S; Prathigudupu, K; Kalagara, M; Thota, S; Kota, M; Cheemakurthi, R

    2018-04-01

    There is awareness of likelihood of abnormal spermatozoa in obese men; however, results from previous studies are inconclusive. Advances in computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) enable precise evaluation of sperm quality and include assessment of several parameters. We studied a retrospective cohort of 1285 men with CASA data from our infertility clinic during 2016. Obesity (BMI ≥30) was associated with lower (mean ± SE) volume (-0.28 ± 0.12, p-value = .04), sperm count (48.36 ± 16.51, p-value = .002), concentration (-15.83 ± 5.40, p-value = .01), progressive motility (-4.45 ± 1.92, p-value = .001), total motility (-5.50 ± 2.12, p-value = .002), average curve velocity (μm/s) (-2.09 ± 0.85, p-value = .001), average path velocity (μm/s) (-1.59 ± 0.75, p-value = .006), and higher per cent head defects (0.92 ± 0.81, p-value = .02), thin heads (1.12 ± 0.39, p-value = .007) and pyriform heads (1.36 ± 0.65, p-value = .02). Obese men were also more likely to have (odds ratio, 95% CI) oligospermia (1.67, 1.15-2.41, p-value = .007) and asthenospermia (1.82, 1.20-2.77, p-value = .005). This is the first report of abnormal sperm parameters in obese men based on CASA. Clinicians may need to factor in paternal obesity prior to assisted reproduction. © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  14. Taxonomy Icon Data: sperm whale [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/Cetacea Physeter_macrocephal...us_L.png Physeter_macrocephalus_NL.png Physeter_macrocephalus_S.png Physeter_macrocephal...us_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=L http://bioscience...dbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc....jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Physeter+macrocephalus&t=NS ...

  15. Methods useful for evaluation of human sperm

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kubátová, Alena; Čapková, Jana; Pěknicová, Jana

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 67, Issue Supplement s1 (2012), s. 27-27 ISSN 1046-7408. [13th International Symposium for Immunology of reproduction "From the roots to the tops of Reproductive Immunology". 22.06.2012-24.06.2012, Varna] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA523/09/1793; GA ČR(CZ) GAP503/12/1834 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520701 Keywords : human sperm * immunofluorescence test * human seminal plasma proteins * flow cytometry Subject RIV: EC - Immunology

  16. Sperm count. Do we need a new reference value?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona Maya, Walter

    2010-03-01

    To evaluate the sperm count in fertile men, general population, and infertile men in different regions of the world. Sperm counts were recorded according to their fertility status, proven fertility, men recruited from an andrology/infertility clinic, or healthy men. The average of sperm count in the different studies is lower in infertile men that in fertile men (p>0.001) and in the general population (p>0.001). Based on this analysis the normal sperm count is about 65 million per mL. Using these reference value, only the 25% of the studies in infertile men are above this value, and the 75% studies with fertile men (>65 x 106 sperm/mL).

  17. Sperm proteins in teleostean and chondrostean (sturgeon) fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Hulak, Martin; Linhart, Otomar

    2009-11-01

    Sperm proteins in the seminal plasma and spermatozoa of teleostean and chondrostean have evolved adaptations due to the changes in the reproductive environment. Analysis of the composition and functions of these proteins provides new insights into sperm motility and fertilising abilities, thereby creating possibilities for improving artificial reproduction and germplasm resource conservation technologies (e.g. cryopreservation). Seminal plasma proteins are involved in the protection of spermatozoa during storage in the reproductive system, whereas all spermatozoa proteins contribute to the swimming and fertilising abilities of sperm. Compared to mammalian species, little data are available on fish sperm proteins and their functions. We review here the current state of the art in this field and focus on relevant subjects that require attention. Future research should concentrate on protein functions and their mode of action in fish species, especially on the role of spermatozoa surface proteins during fertilisation and on a description of sturgeon sperm proteins.

  18. Testicular Damage following Testicular Sperm Retrieval: A Ram Model Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Fedder

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible development of histological abnormalities such as fibrosis and microcalcifications after sperm retrieval in a ram model. Fourteen testicles in nine rams were exposed to open biopsy, multiple TESAs, or TESE, and the remaining four testicles were left unoperated on as controls. Three months after sperm retrieval, the testicles were removed, fixed, and cut into 1/2 cm thick slices and systematically put onto a glass plate exposing macroscopic abnormalities. Tissue from abnormal areas was cut into 3 μm sections and stained for histological evaluation. Pathological abnormalities were observed in testicles exposed to sperm retrieval (≥11 of 14 compared to 0 of 4 control testicles. Testicular damage was found independently of the kind of intervention used. Therefore, cryopreservation of excess sperm should be considered while retrieving sperm.

  19. Shape and shear guide sperm cells spiraling upstream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantsler, Vasily; Dunkel, Jorn; Goldstein, Raymond E.

    2014-11-01

    A major puzzle in biology is how mammalian sperm determine and maintain the correct swimming direction during the various phases of the sexual reproduction process. Currently debated mechanisms for sperm long range travel vary from peristaltic pumping to temperature sensing (thermotaxis) and direct response to fluid flow (rheotaxis), but little is known quantitatively about their relative importance. Here, we report the first quantitative experimental study of mammalian sperm rheotaxis. Using microfluidic devices, we investigate systematically the swimming behavior of human and bull sperm over a wide range of physiologically relevant shear rates and viscosities. Our measurements show that the interplay of fluid shear, steric surface-interactions and chirality of the flagellar beat leads to a stable upstream spiraling motion of sperm cells, thus providing a generic and robust rectification mechanism to support mammalian fertilization. To rationalize these findings, we identify a minimal mathematical model that is capable of describing quantitatively the experimental observations.

  20. Impaired Sperm Maturation in Rnase9 Knockout Mice1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westmuckett, Andrew D.; Nguyen, Edward B.; Herlea-Pana, Oana M.; Alvau, Antonio; Salicioni, Ana M.; Moore, Kevin L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Ribonuclease, RNase A family, 9 (RNASE9) is a ribonuclease A superfamily member that is expressed only in the epididymis. It is a small, secreted polypeptide, it lacks ribonuclease activity, and its function(s) is unknown. However, epididymis-specific expression suggests a role in sperm maturation. We generated Rnase9−/− mice to study RNASE9 function in vivo. We confirm that RNASE9 expression is restricted to the epididymis. Within the epididymis, RNASE9 is first detected in midcaput, persists through the distal caput and corpus, and wanes in the cauda. Rnase9−/− mice are born at the expected Mendelian ratio, have normal postnatal growth and development, and have no outwardly apparent phenotype. Spermatogenesis is normal, and Rnase9-null sperm are morphologically normal. Rnase9−/− males have normal fertility in unrestricted mating trials, and fertilization rates in in vitro fertilization assays are indistinguishable from wild-type mice. Visual observations coupled with analyses of sperm velocities shortly after swim out from the corpus shows that motility of Rnase9-null sperm is significantly impaired. However, no differences between wild-type and Rnase9-null sperm are detected by computer-assisted sperm analysis 10–90 min after sperm isolation from the corpus or cauda. Assessment of capacitation-dependent signaling pathways in Rnase9-null sperm showed that, while levels of tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins were normal, there was decreased phosphorylation of protein kinase A substrates upon capacitation compared to wild-type mice. In conclusion, RNASE9 is dispensable for fertility, but the absence of RNASE9 during epididymal transit results in impaired sperm maturation. PMID:24719258

  1. Sperm banking for fertility preservation: a 20-year experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Matrika D; Cooper, Amber R; Jungheim, Emily S; Lanzendorf, Susan E; Odem, Randall R; Ratts, Valerie S

    2013-09-01

    Sperm banking is an effective method to preserve fertility, but is not universally offered to males facing gonadotoxic treatment in the United States. We compared the disposition and semen parameters of cryopreserved sperm from individuals referred for sperm banking secondary to a cancer diagnosis to those of sperm from men banking for infertility reasons. We performed a retrospective cohort study that reviewed 1118 records from males who presented to bank sperm at Washington University between 1991 and 2010. We collected and analyzed demographics, semen parameters, and disposition of banked sperm. Four hundred and twenty-three men with cancer and 348 banking for infertility reasons attempted sperm cryopreservation in our unit during the specified time period. The most prevalent cancers in our cohort were testicular (32%), lymphoma (25%), and leukemia (11%). Patients with leukemia had the lowest pre-thaw counts and motility. Most cancer patients (57%) who banked elected to use, transfer to another facility, or keep their specimens in storage. The remaining samples were discarded electively (34%) or following death (8%). Overall semen parameters were similar between the cancer and infertility groups, but demographics, ability to bank a sample, azoospermia rates, length of storage, current banking status, and use of banked sperm differed significantly between the two groups. The majority of cancer patients who banked survived their cancer and chose to continue storage of banked samples. Cancer patients were more likely than infertility patients to use or continue storage of banked samples. Our study provides evidence that sperm banking is a utilized modality of fertility preservation in patients with a myriad of cancer diagnoses and should be offered to all men facing gonadotoxic therapies. Further work is needed to determine where disparities in access to sperm banking exist to improve the potential for future fertility in these males. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier

  2. Mouse Y-Encoded Transcription Factor Zfy2 Is Essential for Sperm Head Remodelling and Sperm Tail Development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vernet, Nadege; Mahadevaiah, Shantha K.; Decarpentrie, Fanny; Longepied, Guy; de Rooij, Dirk G.; Burgoyne, Paul S.; Mitchell, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    A previous study indicated that genetic information encoded on the mouse Y chromosome short arm (Yp) is required for efficient completion of the second meiotic division (that generates haploid round spermatids), restructuring of the sperm head, and development of the sperm tail. Using mouse models

  3. Impacts of ocean acidification on sperm develop with exposure time for a polychaete with long lived sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Anna L; Ellis, Robert P; Urbina, Mauricio A; Mourabit, Sulayman; Galloway, Tamara S; Lewis, Ceri

    2017-08-01

    The majority of marine invertebrate species release eggs and sperm into seawater for external fertilisation. Seawater conditions are currently changing at an unprecedented rate as a consequence of ocean acidification (OA). Sperm are thought to be particularly vulnerable to these changes and may be exposed to external environmental conditions for variable periods of time between spawning and fertilisation. Here, we undertook a mechanistic investigation of sperm swimming performance in the coastal polychaete Arenicola marina during an extended exposure to OA conditions (pH NBS 7.77, 1000 μatm pCO 2 ). We found that key fitness-related aspects of sperm functioning declined faster under OA conditions i.e. impacts became apparent with exposure time. Sperm swimming speed (VCL), the number of motile sperm and sperm path linearity all dropped significantly after 4 h under OA conditions whilst remaining constant under ambient conditions at this time point. Our results highlight the importance of sperm exposure duration in ocean acidification experiments and may help towards explaining species specific differences in response. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Patterns of sperm damage in Chernobyl passerine birds suggest a trade-off between sperm length and integrity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hermosell, I. G.; Laskemoen, T.; Rowe, M.; Moller, A. P.; Mousseau, T. A.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Lifjeld, J. T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 5 (2013), s. 20130530 ISSN 1744-9561 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : acrosome * radiation * sperm evolution * sperm size Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.425, year: 2013

  5. Sperm Na+, K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase activity: A preliminary study of comparison of swim up and density gradient centrifugation methods for sperm preparation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestari, Silvia W.; Larasati, Manggiasih D.; Asmarinah, Mansur, Indra G.

    2018-02-01

    As one of the treatment for infertility, the success rate of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is still relatively low. Several sperm preparation methods, swim-up (SU) and the density-gradient centrifugation (DGC) are frequently used to select for better sperm quality which also contribute to IUI failure. Sperm selection methods mainly separate the motile from the immotile sperm, eliminating the seminal plasma. The sperm motility involves the structure and function of sperm membrane in maintaining the balance of ion transport system which is regulated by the Na+, K+-ATPase, and Ca2+-ATPase enzymes. This study aims to re-evaluate the efficiency of these methods in selecting for sperm before being used for IUI and based the evaluation on sperm Na+,K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase activities. Fourteen infertile men from couples who underwent IUI were involved in this study. The SU and DGC methods were used for the sperm preparation. Semen analysis was performed based on the reference value of World Health Organization (WHO) 2010. After isolating the membrane fraction of sperms, the Na+, K+-ATPase activity was defined as the difference in the released inorganic phosphate (Pi) with and without the existence of 10 mM ouabain in the reaction, while the Ca2+-ATPase was determined as the difference in Pi contents with and without the existence of 55 µm CaCl2. The prepared sperm demonstrated a higher percentage of motile sperm compared to sperm from the whole semen. Additionally, the percentage of motile sperm of post-DGC showed higher result than the sperm from post-SU. The velocity of sperm showed similar pattern with the percentage of motile sperm, in which the velocity of prepared sperm was higher than the sperm from whole semen. Furthermore, the sperm velocity of post-DGC was higher compared to the sperm from post-SU. The Na+, K+-ATPase activity of prepared sperm was higher compared to whole semen, whereas Na+, K+-ATPase activity in the post DGC was higher than post SU. The Ca2

  6. Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator is correlated closely with sperm progressive motility and normal morphology in healthy and fertile men with normal sperm parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, L-Y; Shan, J-J; Tong, X-M; Zhu, H-Y; Yang, L-Y; Zheng, Q; Luo, Y; Shi, Q-X; Zhang, S-Y

    2014-10-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) has been demonstrated to be expressed in mature spermatozoa and correlated with sperm quality. Sperm CFTR expression in fertile men is higher than that in infertile men suffering from teratospermia, asthenoteratospermia, asthenospermia and oligospermia, but it is unknown whether CFTR is correlated with sperm parameters when sperm parameters are normal. In this study, 282 healthy and fertile men with normal semen parameters were classified into three age groups, group (I): age group of 20-29 years (98 cases, 27.1 ± 6.2), group (II): age group of 30-39 years (142 cases, 33.7 ± 2.6) and group (III): age group of more than or equal to 40 years (42 cases, 44.1 ± 4.6). Sperm concentration, total count and progressive motility were analysed by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Sperm morphology was analysed by modified Papanicolaou staining. Sperm CFTR expression was conducted by indirect immunofluorescence staining. There was a significant positive correlation (P sperm progressive motility (r = 0.221) and normal morphology (r = 0.202), but there were no correlations between sperm CFTR expression and semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm total count as well as male age (P > 0.05). Our findings show that CFTR expression is associated with sperm progressive motility and normal morphology in healthy and fertile men with normal sperm parameters, but not associated with the number of spermatozoa and male age. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Sperm DNA quality evaluated by comet assay and sperm chromatin structure assay in stallions after unilateral orchiectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serafini, R; Varner, D D; Bissett, W; Blanchard, T L; Teague, S R; Love, C C

    2015-09-15

    Unilateral orchiectomy (UO) may interfere with thermoregulation of the remaining testis caused by inflammation surrounding the incision site, thus altering normal spermatogenesis and consequently sperm quality. Two measures of sperm DNA quality (neutral comet assay and the sperm chromatin structure assay [SCSA]) were compared before UO (0 days) and at 14, 30, and 60 days after UO to determine whether sperm DNA changed after a mild testis stress (i.e., UO). The percent DNA in the comet tail was higher at 14 and 60 days compared to 0 days (P comet tail measures (i.e., length, moment, migration) were higher at all time periods after UO compared to 0 days (P comet assay and the SCSA, which was not identified using traditional measures of sperm quality. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. COMPETITIVENESS AND COMPETITIVE ORIENTATIONS: EVALUATION OF STUDENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Z. Efimova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Education of a competitive student is a strategically significant problem of the system of higher education in modern social and economic conditions. Personal competitiveness and competitive orientations – priority quality of future expert for successful future professional experience.The aim of the present research is to study factors of competitive orientations formation and criteria for evaluation of competitiveness of student’s youth in the Russian society.Methodology and research methods. Results of theoretical researches of Russian and foreign researchers are generalized; secondary analysis of data based on results of sociological researches and analysis of official statistical data are carried out. The results of the sociological survey undertaken in 2017 on the basis of statistical methods were processed and studied by the instrumentality of IBM SPSS Statistics 23 program; 1196 students of institutions of higher and secondary vocational education of the Tyumen region took part.Results and scientific novelty. It is stated that senior students feel themselves more competitive. It is revealed that a quarter of students who took part in the survey, generally men, count themselves competitive. A continuous distance of goal-setting is recorded among these respondents; in every third case they have plans of professional growth for five and more years that allows them to build attractive competitive strategy.The level of the competitiveness is directly connected with such indicators as “social stratum”, “overall life satisfaction”, “self-esteem of health”, “tendency to lead a healthy lifestyle” and “the level of trust in the surrounding people”. Mostly the students oriented on competition look into the future with confidence and optimism.Respondents focused on the competitiveness were more tend to demonstrate their abilities and cause admiration, have a creative approach towards work, be ready for surprises

  9. Localized accumulation of cytosolic calcium near the fused sperm is associated with the calcium- and voltage-dependent block of sperm entry in the sea urchin egg.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivonnet, Pedro I; Mohri, Tatsuma; McCulloh, David H

    2017-10-01

    Interaction of the sperm and egg depolarizes the egg membrane, allowing the sperm to enter; however, if the egg membrane is not allowed to depolarize from its resting potential (e.g., by voltage-clamp), the sperm will not enter. Previous studies demonstrated that sperm entry into sea urchin eggs that are voltage-clamped at negative membrane potentials is regulated both by the egg's membrane potential and a voltage-dependent influx of calcium into the egg. In these cases, electrical or cytoplasmic continuity (sperm-egg membrane fusion) occurs at negative membrane potentials, but subsequent loss of cytoplasmic continuity results in failure of sperm entry (unfusion). The work presented herein examined where, in relation to the sperm, and when, in relation to the sperm-induced electrophysiological events, the egg's calcium influx occurs, and how these events relate to successful or failed sperm entry. When sperm entered the egg, elevation of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca 2+ ] i ) began near the fused sperm on average 5.9 s after sperm-egg membrane fusion. Conversely, when sperm failed to enter the egg, [Ca 2+ ] i elevated near the site of sperm-egg fusion on average 0.7 s after sperm-egg membrane fusion, which is significantly earlier than in eggs for which sperm entered. Therefore, the accumulation of calcium near the site of sperm-egg fusion is spatially and temporally consistent with the mechanism that may be responsible for loss of cytoplasmic continuity and failure of sperm entry. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Origin and evolution of chromosomal sperm proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eirín-López, José M; Ausió, Juan

    2009-10-01

    In the eukaryotic cell, DNA compaction is achieved through its interaction with histones, constituting a nucleoprotein complex called chromatin. During metazoan evolution, the different structural and functional constraints imposed on the somatic and germinal cell lines led to a unique process of specialization of the sperm nuclear basic proteins (SNBPs) associated with chromatin in male germ cells. SNBPs encompass a heterogeneous group of proteins which, since their discovery in the nineteenth century, have been studied extensively in different organisms. However, the origin and controversial mechanisms driving the evolution of this group of proteins has only recently started to be understood. Here, we analyze in detail the histone hypothesis for the vertical parallel evolution of SNBPs, involving a "vertical" transition from a histone to a protamine-like and finally protamine types (H --> PL --> P), the last one of which is present in the sperm of organisms at the uppermost tips of the phylogenetic tree. In particular, the common ancestry shared by the protamine-like (PL)- and protamine (P)-types with histone H1 is discussed within the context of the diverse structural and functional constraints acting upon these proteins during bilaterian evolution.

  11. There is more: Intrasexual competitiveness, physical dominance, and intrasexual collaboration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buunk, Abraham P

    2017-01-01

    It is emphasized that in organizational settings, the responses to same-sex attractive others are enhanced among individuals high in intrasexual competitiveness; that especially attractive rivals who are perceived as unfriendly will induce competition; that among males, physical dominance may induce more competition than physical attractiveness; and that especially males may prefer to associate with attractive same-sex others for intrasexual collaboration.

  12. A genetic variant of the sperm-specific SLO3 K+ channel has altered pH and Ca2+ sensitivities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Yanyan; Ferreira, Juan J; Dzikunu, Victor; Butler, Alice; Lybaert, Pascale; Yuan, Peng; Magleby, Karl L; Salkoff, Lawrence; Santi, Celia M

    2017-05-26

    To fertilize an oocyte, sperm must first undergo capacitation in which the sperm plasma membrane becomes hyperpolarized via activation of potassium (K + ) channels and resultant K + efflux. Sperm-specific SLO3 K + channels are responsible for these membrane potential changes critical for fertilization in mouse sperm, and they are only sensitive to pH i However, in human sperm, the major K + conductance is both Ca 2+ - and pH i -sensitive. It has been debated whether Ca 2+ -sensitive SLO1 channels substitute for human SLO3 (hSLO3) in human sperm or whether human SLO3 channels have acquired Ca 2+ sensitivity. Here we show that hSLO3 is rapidly evolving and reveal a natural structural variant with enhanced apparent Ca 2+ and pH sensitivities. This variant allele (C382R) alters an amino acid side chain at a principal interface between the intramembrane-gated pore and the cytoplasmic gating ring of the channel. Because the gating ring contains sensors to intracellular factors such as pH and Ca 2+ , the effectiveness of transduction between the gating ring and the pore domain appears to be enhanced. Our results suggest that sperm-specific genes can evolve rapidly and that natural genetic variation may have led to a SLO3 variant that differs from wild type in both pH and intracellular Ca 2+ sensitivities. Whether this physiological variation confers differences in fertility among males remains to be established. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Impacts on transfer of the sperm of helicoverpa Armigera by irradiation (L. noctuidae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Xiaohui; Li Yongjun; Wang Huasong; Song Jiaxiang

    2001-01-01

    Gamma irradiation did not influence the quantity of the eupyrene sperm bundles in duplex and that of the eupyrene sperm in spermatophore, but affected the maturing of eupyrene sperm bundles. When males were given sterilizing dose of 400 Gy, the quantity and the activity of the eupyrene sperm in the spermatheca were reduced significantly (P < 0.05)

  14. Intrauterine insemination versus fallopian tube sperm perfusion for non-tubal infertility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cantineau, Astrid E. P.; Cohlen, Ben J.; Heineman, Maas Jan; Marjoribanks, Jane; Farquhar, Cindy

    2013-01-01

    Background Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a common treatment for couples with subfertility that does not involve the fallopian tubes. It is used to bring the sperm close to the released oocyte. Another method of introducing sperm is fallopian tube sperm perfusion (FSP). Fallopian tube sperm

  15. Atrazine in sub-acute exposure results in sperm DNA disintegrity and nuclear immaturity in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajab-Ali Sadrkhanloo

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to evaluate the detrimental effect of atrazine (ATR on germinal epitheliums (GE cytoplasmic carbohydrate (CH and unsaturated fatty acids (UFA ratio and to clarify the effect of ATR on serum levels of FSH, LH, testosterone and inhibin-B (INH-B. The impact of ATR exposure on total antioxidant capacity (TAC, sperm DNA packing and integrity were also investigated. Seventy two Wistar rats were used. The rats in control group received vehicle and the animals in test groups received 100, 200 and 300 mg kg-1 BW of ATR orally on daily bases for 12, 24 and 48 days. In ATR-received groups the spermatogenesis cell were presented with dense reactive sites for lipidophilic staining associated with faint cytoplasmic CH accumulation. Dissociated germinal epithelium, negative tubular and repopulation indexes were manifested. The serum levels of testosterone, FSH, LH and INH-B decreased by 85% after 48 days exposure to high dose of ATR. TAC was reduced in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The sperm DNA damage was marked in animals which exposed to high dose of ATR (72.50 ± 2.25% and the percentage of nuclear immature sperm increased up to 83.40 ± 0.89%. In conclusion, ATR not only induced its detrimental effect on the endocrine function of the testes and pituitary gland but also affected the cytoplasmic CH ratio and consequently leads to inadequate energy supplement in spermatogenesis cells. Therefore the imbalanced oxidative stress occurs in testicular tissue, which in turn enhances the sperm DNA disintegrity and nuclear immaturity.

  16. Environmental regulation and competitiveness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulatu, A.; Florax, R.J.G.M.; Withagen, C.A.A.M.

    2001-01-01

    The potential relationship between domestic environmental regulation and international competitiveness has evoked various speculations. The common neoclassical train of thought is that strict environmental regulation is detrimental to the competitiveness of industry, and that it induces phenomena

  17. Identification Male Fertility Through Abnormalities Sperm Based Morphology (Teratospermia) using Invariant Moment Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syahputra, M. F.; Chairani, R.; Seniman; Rahmat, R. F.; Abdullah, D.; Napitupulu, D.; Setiawan, M. I.; Albra, W.; Erliana, C. I.; Andayani, U.

    2018-03-01

    Sperm morphology is still a standard laboratory analysis in diagnosing infertility in men. Manually identification of sperm form is still not accurate, the difficulty in seeing the form of the invisible sperm from the digital microscope image is often a weakness in the process of identification and takes a long time. Therefore, male fertility identification application system is needed Through sperm abnormalities based on sperm morphology (teratospermia). The method used is invariant moment method. This study uses 15 data testing and 20 data training sperm image. That the process of male fertility identification through sperm abnormalities based on sperm morphology (teratospermia) has an accuracy rate of 80.77%. Use of time to process Identification of male fertility through sperm abnormalities Based on sperm morphology (teratospermia) during 0.4369 seconds.

  18. Role of WNT signaling in epididymal sperm maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jin-Mei; Tang, Ji-Xin; Li, Jian; Wang, Yu-Qian; Wang, Xiu-Xia; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Su-Ren; Liu, Yi-Xun

    2018-02-01

    Spermatozoa maturation, a process required for spermatozoa to acquire progressive motility and the ability to fertilize ova, primarily occurs in the caput and corpus of the epididymis. Despite considerable efforts, the factor(s) promoting epididymal sperm maturation remains unclear. Recently, WNT signaling has been implicated in epididymal sperm maturation. To further investigate WNT signaling function in epididymal sperm maturation, we generated Wntless conditional knockout mice (Wls cKO), Wls flox/flox ; Lcn5-Cre. In these mice, WNTLESS (WLS), a conserved membrane protein required for all WNT protein secretion, was specifically disrupted in the principal cells of the caput epididymidis. Immunoblot analysis showed that WLS was significantly reduced in the caput epididymidis of Wls cKO mice. In the caput epididymidis of Wls cKO mice, WNT 10A and WNT 2b, which are typically secreted by the principal cells of the caput epididymis, were not secreted. Interestingly, sperm motility analysis showed that the WLS deficiency in the caput epididymidis had no effect on sperm motility. Moreover, fertility tests showed that Wls cKO male mice had normal fertility. These results indicate that the disruption of WLS in principal cells of the caput epididymidis inhibits WNT protein secretion but has no effect on sperm motility and male fertility, suggesting that WNT signaling in the caput epididymidis may be dispensable for epididymal sperm maturation in mice.

  19. Sperm from sneaker male squids exhibit chemotactic swarming to CO₂.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirohashi, Noritaka; Alvarez, Luis; Shiba, Kogiku; Fujiwara, Eiji; Iwata, Yoko; Mohri, Tatsuma; Inaba, Kazuo; Chiba, Kazuyoshi; Ochi, Hiroe; Supuran, Claudiu T; Kotzur, Nico; Kakiuchi, Yasutaka; Kaupp, U Benjamin; Baba, Shoji A

    2013-05-06

    Behavioral traits of sperm are adapted to the reproductive strategy that each species employs. In polyandrous species, spermatozoa often form motile clusters, which might be advantageous for competing with sperm from other males. Despite this presumed advantage for reproductive success, little is known about how sperm form such functional assemblies. Previously, we reported that males of the coastal squid Loligo bleekeri produce two morphologically different euspermatozoa that are linked to distinctly different mating behaviors. Consort and sneaker males use two distinct insemination sites, one inside and one outside the female's body, respectively. Here, we show that sperm release a self-attracting molecule that causes only sneaker sperm to swarm. We identified CO2 as the sperm chemoattractant and membrane-bound flagellar carbonic anhydrase as its sensor. Downstream signaling results from the generation of extracellular H(+), intracellular acidosis, and recovery from acidosis. These signaling events elicit Ca(2+)-dependent turning behavior, resulting in chemotactic swarming. These results illuminate the bifurcating evolution of sperm underlying the distinct fertilization strategies of this species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Competition Policy in Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Cassey

    2004-01-01

    Malaysia does not have a national competition law. Competition is regulated at the sectoral level in the country. Two economic sectors have legal provisions for competition law but these have been relatively ineffectively enforced. The benefits of Malaysia's industrial policy as well as the policy reforms in regulation and trade have been compromised by the lack of a formal institution to address competition related issues. Hence, the future priority and direction of regulatory reform is obvi...

  1. Competitive strategy : Sorrin Puutarha

    OpenAIRE

    Haaristo, Emilia

    2010-01-01

    The thesis handles the fresh food product industry in Finland and especially one company operating in the industry and its competitive position. Sorrin Puutarha manufactures ready-to-use fresh cut salad bag, which is sold in the grocery stores. The objective of the thesis was to find competitive advantages of the case company. Once the competitive advantages were identified the purpose was to choose a fitting competitive strategy that would strengthen those advantages. The field study was con...

  2. Can competition reduce quality?

    OpenAIRE

    Brekke, Kurt; Siciliani, Luigi; Straume, Odd Rune

    2017-01-01

    In a spatial competition setting there is usually a non-negative relationship between competition and quality. In this paper we offer a novel mechanism whereby competition leads to lower quality. This mechanism relies on two key assumptions, namely that the providers are motivated and risk-averse. We show that the negative relationship between competition and quality is robust to any given number of firms in the market and whether quality and price decisions are simultaneous or sequential. We...

  3. Characterization of Na+K+-ATPase in bovine sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickey, Katie D; Buhr, Mary M

    2012-04-15

    Existing as a ubiquitous transmembrane protein, Na(+)K(+)-ATPase affects sperm fertility and capacitation through ion transport and a recently identified signaling function. Functional Na(+)K(+)-ATPase is a dimer of α and β subunits, each with isoforms (four and three, respectively). Since specific isoform pairings and locations may influence or indicate function, the objective of this study was to identify and localize subunits of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase in fresh bull sperm by immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry using antibodies against α1 and 3, and all β isoforms. Relative quantity of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase in head plasma membranes (HPM's) from sperm of different bulls was determined by densitometry of immunoblot bands, and compared to bovine kidney. Sperm and kidney specifically bound all antibodies at kDa equivalent to commercial controls, and to additional lower kDa bands in HPM. Immunofluorescence of intact sperm confirmed that all isoforms were present in the head region of sperm and that α3 was also uniformly distributed post-equatorially. Permeabilization exposing internal membranes typically resulted in an increase in fluorescence, indicating that some antibody binding sites were present on the inner surface of the HPM or the acrosomal membrane. Deglycosylation of β1 reduced the kDa of bands in sperm, rat brain and kidney, with the kDa of the deglycosylated bands differing among tissues. Two-dimensional blots of β1 revealed three distinct spots. Based on the unique quantity, location and structure Na(+)K(+)-ATPase subunits in sperm, we inferred that this protein has unique functions in sperm. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Green competitiveness research on Chinese automotive enterprises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanhui Li

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: More and more executives of automobileindustry in China start to recognize the concept of green competitiveness recently. However, relatively less research attention has been devoted to the consideration of measurement. This paper aims to find empirical approach to quantify green competitiveness for automotive enterprises. The connotation of green competitiveness is explored and one suite of evaluation index system has been proposed with four dimensions including environmental, resource, capability and knowledge.Design/methodology/approach: By introducing the factor analysis method, green competitiveness has been measured through an empirical analysis of 24 automotive enterprises within China.Findings: The results indicate that those elements, such as enterprise resource possession and utilization; environment, responsibility and knowledge; profitability; management efficiency, have significant effect on the green competitiveness for automotive enterprises. The further analysis also unveils the advantages and disadvantages of green competitiveness for each company and the direction for improvement.Research limitations/implications: Guide regulators and managers of automobile industry to take some measures to enhance their green competitive advantage.Practical implications: Provide practical methods to measure green competitiveness for automotive enterprises.Originality/value: This paper proposes an evaluation index system of green competitiveness for automotive enterprises. The suggestions of our research will be beneficial to enterprise executives and industry regulators.

  5. Competition for Assistance Agreements

    Science.gov (United States)

    It is EPA policy to promote competition in the award of assistance agreements to the maximum extent practicable.When assistance agreements are awarded competitively, it is EPA policy that the competitive process be fair and open & that no applicant receive

  6. Immature germ cells in semen ? correlation with total sperm count and sperm motility

    OpenAIRE

    Patil, Priya S.; Humbarwadi, Rajendra S.; Patil, Ashalata D.; Gune, Anita R.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Current data regarding infertility suggests that male factor contributes up to 30% of the total cases of infertility. Semen analysis reveals the presence of spermatozoa as well as a number of non-sperm cells, presently being mentioned in routine semen report as "round cells" without further differentiating them into leucocytes or immature germ cells. Aim: The aim of this work was to study a simple, cost-effective, and convenient method for differentiating the round cells in se...

  7. Immature germ cells in semen - correlation with total sperm count and sperm motility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priya S Patil

    2013-01-01

    Conclusions: Round cells in semen can be differentiated into immature germ cells and leucocytes using simple staining methods. The differential counts mentioned in a semen report give valuable and clinically relevant information. In this study, we observed a negative correlation between total count and immature germ cells, as well as sperm motility and shedding of immature germ cells. The latter was statistically significant with a P value 0.000.

  8. Protease in sturgeon sperm and the effect of protease inhibitors on sperm motility and velocity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Alavi, S.M.H.; Postlerová, Pavla; Hatef, A.; Pšenička, M.; Pěknicová, Jana; Inaba, K.; Ciereszko, A.; Linhart, O.

    october, č. 40 (2014), s. 1393-1398 ISSN 0920-1742 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP503/12/1834; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520701 Keywords : Acrosome * AGB * Electron microscopy * Sperm motility * TPCK Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 1.622, year: 2014

  9. Leukocytospermia and sperm preparation - a flow cytometric study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perticarari Sandra

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leukocytes represent the predominant source of reactive oxygen species both in seminal plasma and in sperm suspensions and have been demonstrated to negatively influence sperm function and fertilization rate in assisted reproduction procedures. Peroxidase test is the standard method recommended by WHO to detect semen leukocytes but it may be inaccurate. The aims of this study were (i to compare the efficiency of swim-up and density-gradient centrifugation techniques in removing seminal leukocytes, (ii to examine the effect of leukocytes on sperm preparation, and (iii to compare flow cytometry and peroxidase test in determining leukocyte concentration in semen using a multiparameter flow cytometric method. Methods Semen samples from 126 male partners of couples undergoing infertility investigations were analyzed for leukocytospermia using standard optical microscopy and flow cytometry. Sixty-nine out of 126 samples were also processed using simultaneously the swim-up and density-gradient centrifugation techniques. A multiparameter flow cytometric analysis to assess simultaneously sperm concentration, sperm viability, sperm apoptosis, and leukocyte concentration was carried out on neat and prepared sperm. Results Both sperm preparation methods removed most seminal leukocytes. However, the concentration of leukocytes was significantly lower after swim-up compared to that after density-gradient centrifugation preparation. Leukocytes concentration, either initial or in prepared fractions, was not correlated with sperm parameters (optical microscopy and flow cytometry parameters after semen processing. There was no correlation between leukocyte concentration in the ejaculate and sperm recovery rate, whereas a significant correlation was found between the concentration of the residual leukocytes in prepared fractions and viable sperm recovery rate. Although the overall concordance between the flow cytometry and the optical

  10. Association between chronic pain and the sperm motion characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dardmeh, Fereshteh; Alipour, Hiva; Nielsen, Hans Ingolf

    2015-01-01

    significantly higher in the processed sample of the CP group. This study demonstrated that chronic pain does not affect the sperm morphology, total concentration and motility based on conventional analysis but has significant influence at the level of sperm motion kinetics which could prove to be clinically...... stimulation, it can be speculated that the observed difference in sperm kinematic parameters could be related to the alterations in serum sex hormone levels emanating from the chronic pain. Further studies are required to explain the possible mechanism of action of chronic pain on male fertility....

  11. Lost property? Legal compensation for destroyed sperm: a reflection and comparison drawing on UK and French perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordell, Sean; Bellivier, Florence; Widdows, Heather; Noiville, Christine

    2011-12-01

    In a recent case in the UK, six men stored their sperm before undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer in case they proved to be infertile after the treatment. The sperm was not properly stored and as a result was inadvertently destroyed. The men sued the NHS Trust that stored the sperm and were in the end successful. This paper questions the basis on which the judgement was made and the rationale behind it, namely that the men 'had ownership' of the sperm, and that compensation was thus due on the grounds that the men's property had been destroyed. We first argue that the claim is erroneous and enhances the tendency towards the commodification of body parts. We then suggest that the men could have been compensated for the harm done to them without granting property rights, and that this would, at least in philosophical and ethical terms, have been more appropriate. To help illustrate this, we draw on a parallel case in French law in which a couple whose embryos had been destroyed were overtly denied ownership rights in them. Finally, we suggest some possible ethical and practical problems if the proprietary view expressed in the UK ruling were to become dominant in law, with particular focus on the storing of genetic information in biobanks. We conclude that, although compensation claims should not necessarily be ruled out, a 'no property in the body' approach should be the default position in cases of detached bodily materials, the alternative being significantly ethically problematic.

  12. Testicular sperm is superior to ejaculated sperm for ICSI in cryptozoospermia: An update systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yi-No; Hsiao, Ya-Wen; Chen, Chien-Yu; Wu, Chien-Chih

    2018-05-18

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is well established and provides patients with severely impaired sperm quality with an opportunity to father a child. However, previous studies do not clearly indicate whether male with cryptozoospermia should use testicular sperm or ejaculated sperm for ICSI. The newest systematic review of this topic also gave a controversial conclusion that was based on incorrect pooling result. Moreover, two clinical studies published after the systematic review. In the present update systematic review and meta-analysis, a comprehensive citation search for relevant studies was performed using the Cochrane library databases, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science up to September 2017. The search returned 313 records, in which six studies were included in quantitative synthesis. These studies involved 578 male infertility patients who had undergone 761 ICSI cycles. The risk ratios favour fresh testicular sperm for good quality embryo rate (1.17, 95% CI 1.05-1.30, P = 0.005), implantation rate (95% CI 1.02-2.26, P = 0.04), and pregnancy rate (RR = 1.74, 95% CI 1.20-2.52, P = 0.004). In conclusion, the existing evidence suggests that testicular sperm is better than ejaculated sperm for ICSI in male with cryptozoospermia.

  13. Tamoxifen is a potent antioxidant modulator for sperm quality in patients with idiopathic oligoasthenospermia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Li; Jing, Jun; Feng, Yu-Ming; Yao, Bing

    2015-09-01

    To explore the new mechanisms of tamoxifen (TAM) in the treatment for patients with idiopathic oligoasthenospermia-antioxidation. In a prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial, 120 cases of idiopathic oligoasthenospermia were enrolled and randomly assigned to the indomethacin group (n = 60) treated with indomethacin (25 mg, bid) and TAM group (n = 60) treated with TAM (10 mg, bid) for 3 months. Before and after treatment, we evaluated semen parameters, serum malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC), seminal plasma MDA and TAC, spermatozoa intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), sperm succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity, sperm mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and sperm adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content. The independent t test and one-way repeated measures analysis of variance were used to compare the variables between and within two groups. In the indomethacin group, the percentage of progressive motile sperms, total motility, sperm MMP, and ATP content were increased significantly after 3-month treatment (P sperm count, sperm concentration, the percentage of progressive motile sperms, total motility, serum and seminal plasma TAC, sperm MMP, and ATP content were significantly improved or increased (P sperm count, sperm concentration, serum TAC, seminal plasma TAC, spermatozoa intracellular ROS, and sperm SDH activity. TAM treatment can significantly improve sperm quality, which is achieved through alleviating oxidative stress, improving sperm mitochondrial functionality, and subsequently increasing sperm motility.

  14. Activation of free sperm and dissociation of sperm bundles (spermatozeugmata) of an endangered viviparous fish, Xenotoca eiseni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yue; Yang, Huiping; Torres, Leticia; Tiersch, Terrence R

    2018-04-01

    Knowledge of sperm motility activation for viviparous fishes has been limited to study of several species in Poeciliidae, and the dissociation of sperm bundles is even less understood. The goal of this study was to use the endangered Redtail Splitfin (Xenotoca eiseni) as a model to investigate the activation of sperm from viviparous fishes by study of free sperm and spermatozeugmata (unencapsulated sperm bundles). The specific objectives were to evaluate the effects of: (1) osmotic pressure and refrigerated storage (4 °C) on activation of free sperm, (2) osmotic pressure, ions, and pH on dissociation of spermatozeugmata, and (3) CaCl 2 concentration and pH on sperm membrane integrity. Free sperm were activated in Ca 2+ -free Hanks' balanced salt solution at 81-516 mOsmol/kg. The highest motility (19 ± 6%) was at 305 mOsmol/kg and swim remained for 84 h. Glucose (300-700 mOsmol/kg), NaCl (50-600 mOsmol/kg), and KCl, MgCl 2 , and MnCl 2 at 5-160 mM activated sperm within spermatozeugmata, but did not dissociate spermatozeugmata. CaCl 2 at 5-160 mM dissociated spermatozeugmata within 10 min. Solutions of NaCl-NaOH at pH 11.6 to 12.4 dissociated spermatozeugmata within 1 min. The percentage of viable cells had no significant differences (P = 0.2033) among different concentrations of CaCl 2 , but it was lower (P fishes, and for development of germplasm repositories for imperiled goodeids. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Sperm cryopreservation in live-bearing Xiphophorus fishes: offspring production from Xiphophorus variatus and strategies for establishment of sperm repositories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huiping; Cuevas-Uribe, Rafael; Savage, Markita G; Walter, Ronald B; Tiersch, Terrence R

    2012-09-01

    Cryopreservation of sperm from Xiphophorus fishes has produced live young in three species: X. hellerii, X. couchianus, and X. maculatus. In this study, the goal was to establish protocols for sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination to produce live young in X. variatus, and to identify needs for repository development. The objectives were to: 1) collect basic biological characteristics of males; 2) cryopreserve sperm from X. variatus, 3) harvest live young from cryopreserved sperm, and 4) discuss the requirements for establishment of sperm repositories. The 35 males used in this study had a body weight of 0.298±0.096 g (mean±SD), body length of 2.5±0.2 cm, and testis weight of 6.4±3.4 mg. The sperm production per gram of testis was 2.33±1.32×10(9) cells. After freezing, the post-thaw motility decreased significantly to 37%±17% (ranging from 5% to 70%) (p=0.000) from 57%±14% (40%-80%) of fresh sperm (N=20). Artificial insemination of post-thaw sperm produced confirmed offspring from females of X. hellerii and X. variatus. This research, taken together with previous studies, provides a foundation for development of strategies for sperm repositories of Xiphophorus fishes. This includes: 1) the need for breeding strategies for regeneration of target populations, 2) identification of minimum fertilization capacity of frozen samples, 3) identification of fish numbers necessary for sampling and their genetic relationships, 4) selection of packaging containers for labeling and biosecurity, 5) assurance of quality control and standardization of procedures, 6) information systems that can manage the data associated with cryopreserved samples, including the genetic data, 7) biological data of sampled fish, 8) inventory data associated with frozen samples, and 9) data linking germplasm samples with other related materials such as body tissues or cells saved for DNA and RNA analyses.

  16. Comparative evaluation of the sperm characteristics and morphology of adult Wistar rats fed either low or normal protein-energy diets and orally dosed with aqueous Cuscuta australis extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omirinde, J O; Ozegbe, P C; Oyeyemi, M O

    2014-06-19

    Cuscuta australis (C. australis) seed and stem are commonly used as dietary supplements in a maize-meal, "Ogi", by the local population for the management of male and female reproductive dysfunctions. This study, as a part of on-going efforts, therefore, evaluated and compared the effects of Low Protein-energy (LP) and Normal Protein-energy (NP) diets on the sperm morphology and characteristics of adult Wistar rats orally dosed aqueous extracts of C. australis seed (LPSE and NPSE) and stem (LPST and NPST), 300 mg of extract/kg body weight of rat/day, for seven days. The control groups (LPWA and NPWA) received vehicle, water. Live-dead ratio and percentage of sperms with curved tail were significantly decreased (p<0.01) in the NPST relative to the NPWA, LPWA, LPST, NPSE and LPSE. Total abnormal sperm counts, acephalic sperms and tailless head sperms were significantly decreased (p<0.001, p<0.05 and p<0.001, respectively) in the LPST and NPST relative to LPSE, NPSE, LPWA and NPWA. The LPSE, LPST and NPST showed significantly decreased (p<0.05) percentages of sperms with either bent mid-piece or curved mid-piece relative to the LPWA. Significantly decreased (p<0.05) percentage of sperms with curved mid-piece was also observed in the NPSE relative to LPWA. Protein-energy diet significantly influenced (at least p<0.05) the effect of each extract on sperm motility and percentage of sperms with curved tail. Stem extract significantly decreased (p<0.01) the percentages of acephalic sperms and tailless head sperms. Diet-stem extract interaction significantly influenced (p<0.05) live-dead ratio. Our data suggest that orally administered aqueous extracts of C. australis generally enhanced the sperm morphology and characteristics of the male Wistar rat and that the stem extract maintained sperm morphology better than the seed extract. It also showed that the stem extract decreased live-dead ratio and that the efficacy of orally administered aqueous C. australis stem extract

  17. Theoretical aspects of competitive advantage and competition

    OpenAIRE

    Hudakova, Ivana

    2009-01-01

    The concept of competitive advantage is well-known for many of us and a number of literary resources focused on entrepreneurship and functioning of economies deal with it, either directly or indirectly. The understanding of the term competitive advantage though sometimes varies. One can only perceive it when looking at it as a whole, a live organism that is constantly developing in a complex dynamic entrepreneurial environment, the individual parts of which do not function when separated from...

  18. Sperm transfer in monogenean (platyhelminth) parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearn, Graham; Whittington, Ian

    2015-12-01

    There are three major groups of parasitic platyhelminths (flatworms). The digeneans and cestodes are endoparasites, while the monogeneans are ectoparasites mostly on the gills or skin of fishes. Monogeneans are hermaphrodite and, with the exception of the gyrodactylids, mostly protandrous, the male reproductive system maturing before the female system. Their ectoparasitic life-style provides unique opportunities to observe the reproductive biology of living platyhelminths, opportunities restricted in digeneans and cestodes by their endoparasitic habits. Moreover, the male copulatory organs (MCOs) of monogeneans are of special interest because of their perplexing diversity, ranging from sclerotised penis tubes, many with accessory sclerites, to cirruses and genital atrium armature (hooks and spines). The relatively few accounts in the literature of mating in monogeneans are reproduced in this review, together with consideration of the following aspects of sperm transfer: structure and function of MCOs; self-insemination; spermatophores and pseudospermatophores; "hypodermic" and transtegumental insemination; tissue fusion; glands associated with MCOs and vaginae; finding a mating partner.

  19. Review of the BCI Competition IV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tangermann, Michael; Müller, Klaus-Robert; Aertsen, Ad; Birbaumer, Niels; Braun, Christoph; Brunner, Clemens; Leeb, Robert; Mehring, Carsten; Miller, Kai J.; Müller-Putz, Gernot R.; Nolte, Guido; Pfurtscheller, Gert; Preissl, Hubert; Schalk, Gerwin; Schlögl, Alois; Vidaurre, Carmen; Waldert, Stephan; Blankertz, Benjamin

    2012-01-01

    The BCI competition IV stands in the tradition of prior BCI competitions that aim to provide high quality neuroscientific data for open access to the scientific community. As experienced already in prior competitions not only scientists from the narrow field of BCI compete, but scholars with a broad variety of backgrounds and nationalities. They include high specialists as well as students. The goals of all BCI competitions have always been to challenge with respect to novel paradigms and complex data. We report on the following challenges: (1) asynchronous data, (2) synthetic, (3) multi-class continuous data, (4) session-to-session transfer, (5) directionally modulated MEG, (6) finger movements recorded by ECoG. As after past competitions, our hope is that winning entries may enhance the analysis methods of future BCIs. PMID:22811657

  20. Structural Development of Finnish Universities: Achieving Competitiveness and Academic Excellence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirronen, Jarkko; Nokkala, Terhi

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses strategic instruments that are used to enhance the competitiveness of Finnish universities in the context of globalisation, internationalisation and commercialisation of research and education. The Finnish higher education system is currently undergoing a major policy reform, which aims to enhance the competitiveness of…