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Method matters: Experimental evidence for shorter avian sperm in faecal compared to abdominal massage samples
Max Planck Institute Ornithol, Germany; Imperial Coll London, England; University of Konstanz, Germany.
Max Planck Institute Ornithol, Germany; University of Konstanz, Germany.
Max Planck Institute Ornithol, Germany; Imperial Coll London, England; University of Konstanz, Germany.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4352-6275
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2017 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 8, article id e0182853Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Birds are model organisms in sperm biology. Previous work in zebra finches, suggested that sperm sampled from males faeces and ejaculates do not differ in size. Here, we tested this assumption in a captive population of house sparrows, Passer domesticus. We compared sperm length in samples from three collection techniques: female dummy, faecal and abdominal massage samples. We found that sperm were significantly shorter in faecal than abdominal massage samples, which was explained by shorter heads and midpieces, but not flagella. This result might indicate that faecal sampled sperm could be less mature than sperm collected by abdominal massage. The female dummy method resulted in an insufficient number of experimental ejaculates because most males ignored it. In light of these results, we recommend using abdominal massage as a preferred method for avian sperm sampling. Where avian sperm cannot be collected by abdominal massage alone, we advise controlling for sperm sampling protocol statistically.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE , 2017. Vol. 12, no 8, article id e0182853
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Zoology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-140512DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182853ISI: 000407672200043PubMedID: 28813481OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-140512DiVA, id: diva2:1140123
Note

Funding Agencies|Volkswagen Foundation; International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology; [DFG:SCHR 1447/1-1]

Available from: 2017-09-11 Created: 2017-09-11 Last updated: 2017-11-29

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