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Investigating Visual Monitoring of the Scrotum as a Supplementary Tool for Boar Semen Quality Evaluation

Vet Sci. 2022 Dec 24;10(1):9. doi: 10.3390/vetsci10010009.


Farm animals behavior research uses video cameras, mainly for visual observation and recording. The purpose of this feasibility study was to enrich the predictable methods of boar semen production capacity by correlating sperm variables with the scrotal contractions (SC) frequency and intensity. A video camera was used to record the reaction of the scrotum during ejaculation. The respective collected ejaculates were evaluated and semen parameters, such as viability, morphology, membranes functional integrity and kinematics, were determined. The camera recorded the scrotal contractions/relaxations and the video was handled by the Image Processing Toolbox of Matlab (Mathworks Inc., Natick, MA, USA). The SC intensity was verified as a percentage change in the scrotum size among the video frames of maximum contraction and relaxation. The archived data from the frames were analyzed statistically, using a linear mixed effects model that involved sperm assessed parameters. Correlations of the SC intensity with the average path velocity, VAP (R2 = 0.591, p = 0.043) and with the percentage of the cytoplasmic droplets (R2 = 0.509, p = 0.036) were noticed. Previous studies reported the positive correlation of VAP with the number of live-born piglets. In conclusion, video monitoring of the boar scrotal function during ejaculation is useful, but more research is needed to establish its appropriateness as a supplementary method for the prognosis of boar ability to produce high-quality semen.

PMID:36669010 | DOI:10.3390/vetsci10010009

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