Fertility-associated metabolites in bull seminal plasma and blood serum: 1H nuclear magnetic resonance analysis.

Kumar, A., Kroetsch, T.G., Blondin, P., and Anzar, M. (2015). "Fertility-associated metabolites in bull seminal plasma and blood serum: 1H nuclear magnetic resonance analysis.", Molecular Reproduction and Development, 82(2), pp. 123-131. doi : 10.1002/mrd.22450  Access to full text


Early estimation of bull fertility is highly desirable for the conservation of male genetics of endangered species and for the exploitation of genetically superior sires in artificial insemination programs. The present work was conducted as a proof-of-principle study to identify fertility-associated metabolites in dairy bull seminal plasma and blood serum using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR). Semen and blood samples were collected from high- and low-fertility breeding bulls (n = 5 each), stationed at Semex, Guelph, Canada. NMR spectra of serum and seminal plasma were recorded at a resonance frequency of 500.13 MHz on a Bruker Avance-500 spectrometer equipped with an inverse triple resonance probe (TXI, 5 mm). Spectra were phased manually, baseline corrected, and calibrated against 3-(trimethylsilyl) propionic-2,2,3,3-d4 acid at 0.0 parts per million (ppm). Spectra were converted to an appropriate format for analysis using Prometab software running within MATLAB. Principal component analysis was used to examine intrinsic variation in the NMR data set, and to identify trends and to exclude outliers. Partial least square-discriminant analysis was performed to identify the significant features between fertility groups. The fertility-associated metabolites with variable importance in projections (VIP) scores >2 were citrate (2.50 ppm), tryptamine/taurine (3.34–3.38 ppm), isoleucine (0.74 ppm), and leucine (0.78 ppm) in the seminal plasma; and isoleucine (1.14 ppm), asparagine (2.90–2.94 ppm), glycogen (3.98 ppm), and citrulline (1.54 ppm) in the serum. These metabolites showed identifiable peaks, and thus can be used as biomarkers of fertility in breeding bulls.

Date modified: