Scrotal thermography to assess the seminal quality in Nelore and Girolando bulls

Nildo Redivo Júnior, Camila Dutra de Souza, Ellyn Amanda Fonseca Martins, Tatiana Issa Uherara, Milton Mendes Cattini, Daniel Oliveira Creste, Felipe Rydygier de Ruediger, Marcelo George Mungai Chacur

Abstract


Bull selection by andrological examination aims to estimate the reproductive capacity of the male. Bulls of zebu origin adapt better to high temperatures than bulls of taurine origin, which may influence scrotum temperature and seminal quality due to the imbalance of testicular thermoregulation. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between bioclimatic variables, the temperature of body and scrotal areas, assessed with infrared thermography, and the quality of fresh and post-thawed semen in zebu Nelore bulls (Bos taurus indicus) and Girolando bulls (Bos taurus taurus x Bos taurus indicus). Bulls were kept in pickets with access to water, mineral mix and a diet supplemented with concentrate. Infrared thermographs of the scrotum, orbital globe and muzzle were performed twice a week with a Flir E40 thermal imager. For scrotal thermograms, we analyzed the temperatures of the spermatic cord, proximal and distal portion of the testes and tail of the epididymis using the Flir Tools software. Samples were collected using an artificial vagina and the ejaculates were processed and frozen in liquid nitrogen until further analyses. Data were analyzed with the Tukey test or the Kruskall-Wallis test, depending on their normal distribution. Our results showed differences (p < 0.05) between the two breeds regarding the temperature in the ocular globe, spermatic cord and proximal portion of the scrotum. Nelore bulls presented lower temperature in the body and in certain regions of the scrotum compared to Girolando bulls. Seminal characteristics varied between breeds, with the Nelore breed presenting better semen. Positive correlations were observed between minor sperm defects and ventral regions of the testes and tails of the epididymis in Girolando bulls. Nelore bulls were less influenced by climatic variables and presented lower temperature in skin surface areas in the infrared thermography examination compared to Girolando bulls. Nelore bulls presented superior semen quality in both fresh and thawed samples than Girolando bulls.

Keywords


Infrared thermography; Testicular thermoregulation; Semen freezing; Bovine bulls.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2020v41n1p131

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
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DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
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