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Effect of natural betaine on estimates of semen quality in mature AI boars during summer heat stress

, : Effect of natural betaine on estimates of semen quality in mature AI boars during summer heat stress. Animal Reproduction Science 170: 25-37

This study evaluated the effect of supplemental dietary betaine at three concentrations (0.0%, 0.63% and 1.26%) on semen characteristics, quality and quality after storage on boars. The trial was conducted between 22 July and 1 October 2014 in a boar stud located in Oklahoma. Boars were blocked by age within genetic line and randomly allotted to receive 0% (CON, n (line T)=22, n (line L)=10), 0.63% (BET-0.63%, n (line T)=21, n (line L)=6) or 1.26% (BET-1.26%, n (line T)=23, n (line L)=7). The diets containing betaine were fed over 10 weeks, to ensure supplemental betaine product (96% betaine) daily intakes of 16.34 and 32.68g, for the BET-0.63% and BET-1.26% diets, respectively. Serum homocysteine concentrations were less for animals with betaine treatments (P=0.016). Rectal temperatures of the boars were unaffected by betaine diets. Betaine tended to increase total sperm in the ejaculates when collectively compared with data of the control animals (P=0.093). Sperm morphology analysis indicated there was a greater percent of sperm with distal midpiece reflex (P=0.009) and tail (P=0.035) abnormalities in boars fed the BET-1.26% than boars fed the BET-0.63% diet. Betaine concentration in the seminal plasma was greater in boars with betaine treatments, with animals being fed the 0.63% and 1.26% diets having 59.2% and 54.5% greater betaine concentrations in seminal plasma as compared with boars of the control group (P=0.046). In conclusion, betaine supplementation at 0.63% and 1.26% tended to increase sperm concentration in the ejaculates by 6% and 13%, respectively, with no negative impacts on semen quality when 0.63% of betaine was included in the diet.


PMID: 27095614

DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2016.03.009

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