Changes of sperm morphology, volume, density, and motility parameters in northern pike during the spawning period
Sexually mature males (BW = 1600 ± 150 g and TL = 235 ± 30 mm) of northern pike (Esox lucius L.) were randomly selected from a pond to record changes in their sperm quality parameters (spermatozoa morphology, sperm volume, density, and motility parameters) during the spawning season. The morphological and motility parameters changed significantly during the reproductive season with following trends. Only, head width was not changed during the spawning season. The longest spermatozoa and its flagellar length were found at the middle of spawning period (TL = 38.24 ± 0.37 μm and 35.14 ± 0.26 μm) and shortest at the beginning of spawning period (TL = 34.81 ± 0.29 μm and 32.53 ± 0.18 μm). Other morphological characters were always the lowest at the beginning of spawning period. Sperm volume was changed from 0.33 ± 0.3 ml in February, 0.43 ± 0.2 ml in March to 0.24 ± 0.1 ml in April, and density from 16.2 ± 0.2 × 109 spermatozoa ml−1 in February, 19.4 ± 0.2 × 109 spermatozoa ml−1 in March to 4.8 ± 0.2 × 109 spermatozoa ml−1 in April. Same sperm velocity was observed in all spawning terms at 10 and 20 s after activation. Higher velocity was found at 30 and 40 s after activation in sperm collected at the middle and the end of spawning period. Significantly, higher percentage of motile sperm was observed at 20, 30, and 40 s after activation in sperm sampled at the end of spawning period. This study supports the hypothesis that longer spermatozoa swim faster.
KeywordsGamete Esox lucius L. Male Reproduction Quality
The study was financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic-projects “CENAKVA” (no. CZ.1.05/2.1.00/01.0024), “CENAKVA II” (no. LO1205 under the NPU I program), “Reproductive and genetic procedures for preserving fish biodiversity and aquaculture” (no. CZ.02.1.01./0.0/0.0/16_025/0007370) and following project NAZV QK1710310.
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