Sperm Morphology and Motility of Bufo raddei Under Long-Term Environmental Heavy Metal Stress

  • Rui Guo
  • Wenya ZhangEmail author
  • Ying Yang
  • Jian Ding
  • Shiwei Ai
  • Wenzhi Yang
  • Xiaojuan Bai
  • Yingmei ZhangEmail author


The present study aimed to investigate the effects of environmental heavy metals on sperm morphology and motility of Bufo raddei. We collected B. raddei from Baiyin (BY) and Liujiaxia (LJX); BY is an area heavily polluted by heavy metals, while LJX is a relatively unpolluted area. Significant accumulations of copper, zinc, lead and cadmium were observed in B. raddei from BY, together with relatively smaller sperm size and higher sperm abnormality rate. Unexpectedly, sperm velocity, percentages of sperm motility and viability of B. raddei from BY were significantly higher than those from LJX. Similarly, when sperm was suspended in heavy metal solutions, sperm velocity, percentages of sperm motility and viability significantly increased compared with those suspended in distilled water. These results indicate that environmental heavy metal stress may decrease sperm size, meanwhile enhance sperm motility through increasing the ratio of head length to total sperm length of B. raddei.


Heavy metal Bufo raddei Sperm morphology Sperm motility 



The present study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No: 31300437) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Nos: lzujbky-2018-kb18 and lzujbky-2017-it49).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

Animal studies and experiments were approved and carried out according to Lanzhou University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee guidelines.

Supplementary material

128_2018_2408_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 17 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gansu Key Laboratory of Biomonitoring and Bioremediation for Environmental Pollution, School of Life SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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