low fertility
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2022 ◽  
Vol 43 (2) ◽  
pp. 573-584
Fábio da Costa Málaga ◽  
Helloa Alaide Siqueira ◽  
Lucio Pereira Rauber ◽  
Mariana Groke Marques ◽  

In pig farming, measurements of production parameters play a fundamental role in the success of the activity. Minimal differences in fertility between breeders can lead to less reproductive efficiency and, less productivity. However, assessing the fertility of each male and the early identification of subfertile males is a difficult task to be performed. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the use of in vitro and in vivo parameters in the identification of subfertile males of the Landrace breed, aiming to collaborate with genetic improvement programs, routine optimization in the Genetic Diffusion Units (GDUs) and the results of performance. In experiment 1, an approach to identify males with subfertility was evaluated based on retrospective data. For this, the results (averages of birth rates, number of total births and average percentages of female and male piglets per litter) were evaluated for a total of 996 matings and 847 parturitions. The inseminations came from ejaculates of 32 males, who had at least 19 females inseminated with homospermic doses in the concentration of 2.5 x 109 total sperm from the same male. As for the birth rate (BR), an average of 85.47% ± 6.05 was observed with a group of median males, seven males that stood out and one individual (M32) with a performance of 58.06% ± 9.0. For the total number of piglets born (PB) the average was 13.41 ± 0.56, with three males with better performance and one (M32) with very poor performance (8.62 ± 0.59). In experiment 2, it was verified whether evaluations of inseminating doses (ID) of semen in vitro (motility and sperm morphology) after 96 hours of storage had correlations with fertility in vivo, which can be used to identify subfertile males. The evaluations were performed on 30 ejaculates regarding the means of BR and PB, considering only those who had at least 7 females inseminated. There were no correlations between the motility assessments and semen morphological changes and the reproductive parameters evaluated. The results obtained in vivo, referring to BR and PB, demonstrated that it was possible to identify differences between males, the individual (M32) had the worst results for the percentages of BR and PB. It is concluded that there are males of high and low fertility and that only the in vitro analyzes carried out in this study are not enough to categorize them, however, the evaluation of retrospective data was efficient for this purpose.

Youngcho Lee

AbstractWhile many countries with low birth rates have implemented policies incentivizing fathers to take parental leave with the anticipation that it will contribute to raising birth rates, there is scant research empirically testing whether fathers’ uptake of leave is pronatalist. Existing research is limited to a few European (mostly Nordic) countries, and it is unclear whether there exists a positive causal relationship. Using mixed methods, this paper seeks to explore the processes and mechanisms by which fathers’ uptake of parental leave impacts intentions for additional children in South Korea, a country characterized by lowest-low fertility and low but rapidly expanding uptake of leave by fathers. Results based on multinomial logistic regression models suggest that in comparison to fathers who expect to take their first leave shortly, fathers with leave experience are less likely to report couple-level intentions for another child, significantly so at parity two. Interviews of fathers with parental leave experience confirm that fathers attenuate their fertility intentions downwards in light of the difficulties of childcare during their leave. While these intentions may change further down the line and/or couples may decide to continue an unplanned pregnancy, results suggest that fathers’ parental leave has an anti- rather than pronatalist effect in South Korea. This study demonstrates that in countries with poor support for the reconciliation of employment and childcare, equalizing the gendered division of parental leave may not be sufficient to see a reversal in its fertility trends.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Sofia Diaz-Lundahl ◽  
Arvind Y.M. Sundaram ◽  
Per Gillund ◽  
Gregor Duncan Gilfillan ◽  
Ingrid Olsaker ◽  

During the last decade, paternal effects on embryo development have been found to have greater importance than previously believed. In domestic cattle, embryo mortality is an issue of concern, causing huge economical losses for the dairy cattle industry. In attempts to reveal the paternal influence on embryo death, recent approaches have used transcriptome profiling of the embryo to find genes and pathways affected by different phenotypes in the bull. For practical and economic reasons, most such studies have used in vitro produced embryos. The aim of the present study was to investigate the differences in the global transcriptome of in vivo produced embryos, derived from sires with either high or low field fertility measured as the non-return rate (NRR) on day 56 after first AI of the inseminated cows. Superovulated heifers (n = 14) in the age span of 12–15 months were artificially inseminated with semen from either high fertility (n = 6) or low fertility (n = 6) bulls. On day seven after insemination, embryos were retrieved through uterine flushing. Embryos with first grade quality and IETS stage 5 (early blastocyst), 6 (blastocyst) or 7 (expanded blastocyst) were selected for further processing. In total, RNA extracted from 24 embryos was sequenced using Illumina sequencing, followed by differential expression analysis and gene set enrichment analysis. We found 62 genes differentially expressed between the two groups (adj.p-value<0.05), of which several genes and their linked pathways could explain the different developmental capacity. Transcripts highly expressed in the embryos from low fertility bulls were related to sterol metabolism and terpenoid backbone synthesis, while transcripts highly expressed in the high fertility embryos were linked to anti-apoptosis and the regulation of cytokine signaling. The leukocyte transendothelial migration and insulin signaling pathways were associated with enrichments in both groups. We also found some highly expressed transcripts in both groups which can be considered as new candidates in the regulation of embryo development. The present study is an important step in defining the paternal influence in embryonic development. Our results suggest that the sire’s genetic contribution affects several important processes linked to pre-and peri implantation regulation in the developing embryo.

2022 ◽  
Linus Andersson ◽  
Marika Jalovaara ◽  
Caroline Uggla ◽  
Jan Saarela

Extensive literature theorizes the role of re-partnering on cohort fertility and whether union dissolution can be an engine for fertility. A large share of higher-order unions is non-marital cohabitations. Yet, most previous completed cohort fertility studies on the topic analyze marital unions only and none have measured cohabitations using population-level data. We use Finnish register data to enumerate every birth, marriage, and cohabitation from ages 18-46 in the 1969–1972 birth cohorts, and analyze the relationship between the number of unions and cohort fertility for men and women using Poisson regression. We show that re-partnering is driven by cohabitations. Re-marriage is positively associated with cohort fertility, compared to individuals in a single intact marriage. However, when measured using marriages as well as non-marital cohabitations, re-partnering is negatively associated with fertility, compared to individuals in a single intact union. This negative association increases with socioeconomic status. “Serial cohabitation” is a strong predictor of low fertility. Men see a slight “re-marriage premium” in fertility and a (non-marital) “re-partnering penalty,” compared to women. Thus, re-partnering is likely not an efficient engine for fertility. Further, marriage and cohabitation are far from indistinguishable in a country often described as a second demographic transition forerunner.

Róisín Ann Griffin ◽  
Aleona Swegen ◽  
Mark A Baker ◽  
Rachel Ann Ogle ◽  
Nathan Smith ◽  

Abstract Stallions experience transient fluctuations in fertility throughout the breeding season. Considering pregnancy diagnoses cannot be ascertained until ~14 days post-breeding, the timely detection of decreases in stallion fertility would enhance industry economic and welfare outcomes. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the proteomic signatures reflective of short-term fertility fluctuations, and to determine the biological mechanisms governing such differences. Using LC–MS/MS, we compared the proteomic profile of semen samples collected from commercially “fertile” stallions, during high- and low-fertility periods. A total of 1702 proteins were identified, of which, 38 showed a significant change in abundance (p ≤ 0.05). Assessment of intra- and inter-stallion variability revealed that caseins (namely κ-, α-S1-, and α-S2-casein), were significantly more abundant during “high-fertility” periods, while several epididymal, and seminal plasma proteins (chiefly, epididymal sperm binding protein 1 [ELSPbP1], horse seminal plasma protein 1 [HSP-1] and clusterin), were significantly more abundant during “low-fertility” periods. We hypothesised that an increased abundance of caseins offers greater protection from potentially harmful seminal plasma proteins, thereby preserving cell functionality and fertility. In vitro exposure of spermatozoa to casein resulted in decreased levels of lipid scrambling (Merocyanine 540), higher abundance of sperm-bound caseins (α-S1-, α-S2-, and κ-casein), and lower abundance of sperm-bound HSP-1 (p ≤ 0.05). This study demonstrates key pathways governing short-term fertility fluctuations in the stallion, thereby providing a platform to develop robust, fertility assessment strategies into the future.

Min-Chong Shen ◽  
Yu-Zhen Zhang ◽  
Guo-Dong Bo ◽  
Bin Yang ◽  
Peng Wang ◽  

The overuse of chemical fertilizers has resulted in the degradation of the physicochemical properties and negative changes in the microbial profiles of agricultural soil. These changes have disequilibrated the balance in agricultural ecology, which has resulted in overloaded land with low fertility and planting obstacles. To protect the agricultural soil from the effects of unsustainable fertilization strategies, experiments of the reduction of nitrogen fertilization at 10, 20, and 30% were implemented. In this study, the bacterial responses to the reduction of nitrogen fertilizer were investigated. The bacterial communities of the fertilizer-reducing treatments (D10F, D20F, and D30F) were different from those of the control group (CK). The alpha diversity was significantly increased in D20F compared to that of the CK. The analysis of beta diversity revealed variation of the bacterial communities between fertilizer-reducing treatments and CK, when the clusters of D10F, D20F, and D30F were separated. Chemical fertilizers played dominant roles in changing the bacterial community of D20F. Meanwhile, pH, soil organic matter, and six enzymes (soil sucrase, catalase, polyphenol oxidase, urease, acid phosphatase, and nitrite reductase) were responsible for the variation of the bacterial communities in fertilizer-reducing treatments. Moreover, four of the top 20 genera (unidentified JG30-KF-AS9, JG30-KF-CM45, Streptomyces, and Elsterales) were considered as key bacteria, which contributed to the variation of bacterial communities between fertilizer-reducing treatments and CK. These findings provide a theoretical basis for a fertilizer-reducing strategy in sustainable agriculture, and potentially contribute to the utilization of agricultural resources through screening plant beneficial bacteria from native low-fertility soil.

Horticulturae ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
pp. 61
Niaz Ahmad ◽  
Sajjad Hussain ◽  
Muhammad Arif Ali ◽  
Asif Minhas ◽  
Waqar Waheed ◽  

Soil with low fertility is a big problem for achieving citrus productivity. In this regard, the management of macro and micronutrients is essential. Macro and micronutrient deficiency decreased the yield and the quality of citrus fruit. It is the need of the hour to classify the soil fertility status under changing climatic scenarios. The current soil fertility survey was conducted to examine the macro and micronutrient status in the citrus production area. In soil, three depths (0–15, 15–30, and 30–45 cm) were taken for sampling. For leaves, 4–6-months-old non-bearing twigs were sampled from 20 trees per orchard at breast height. Results showed that soil pH (7.1–8.4) was slightly alkaline, electrical conductivity (EC) was non-saline (<4 dSm−1), soil organic matter (SOM) was deficient (<0.86%), and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) was slight calcareous (<8%), at 0–15, 15–30, and 30–45 cm depths. The majority of soil samples were low in nitrogen (N) contents at all depths, i.e., (<0.043) 0–15 (85%), 15–30 (97%), and 30–45 (100%) cm depths. Phosphorus (P) was medium (7–15 mg kg−1) at 0–15 cm (60%) but low (<7 mg kg−1) at 15–30 (63%) and 30–45 cm (82%) depths. Potassium (K) was medium (80–180 mg kg−1) at 0–15 (69%), 15–30 (69%), and 30–45 cm (10%) depths. Boron (B) and manganese (Mn) were medium, and Cu was high in 0.15 cm, but all were low at 15–30 and 30–45 cm depths. Iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) were low at depths of 0–15, 15–30, and 30–45 cm. Most citrus leaves were deficient in N (94%), Fe (76%), Zn (67%), and B (67%). In conclusion, soil fertilization is not sufficient for optimum citrus yield because of alkaline pH and slight calcareous soil conditions in this region. Foliar application of nutrients is suggested instead of only soil fertilization, for better nutrient management in citrus orchards.

Iain J Clarke ◽  
Charlotte B Reed ◽  
Chris R Burke ◽  
Qun Li ◽  
Susanne Meier

Abstract We tested the hypothesis that divergent genetic merit for fertility of dairy cows is due to aberrant reproductive neuroendocrine function. The kisspeptin status of non-pregnant cows of either positive (POS) or negative (NEG) breeding values for fertility was studied in 3 groups (n = 8), based on their previous post-partum period: POS cows which had spontaneous ovarian cycles (POS-CYC) and NEG cows which either cycled (NEG-CYC) or did not cycle (NEG-NONCYC). Ovarian cycles were synchronized, blood samples were taken to define endocrine status and the animals were slaughtered in an artificial follicular phase. The brains and the pituitary glands were collected for quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and in situ hybridisation (ISH) of hypothalamic GNRH1, Kiss1, TAC3 and PDYN and pituitary expression of LHB and FSHB. Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and kisspeptin levels were quantified in snap frozen median eminentes (ME). GNRH1 expression and GnRH levels in the ME were similar across groups. Kiss1 expression in the preoptic area of the hypothalamus was also similar across groups, but Kiss1 in the arcuate nucleus was almost 2-fold higher in POS-CYC cows than in NEG groups. TAC3 expression was higher in POS-CYC cows. The number of pituitary gonadotropes and the level of expression of LHB and FSHB was similar across groups. We conclude that the lower levels of Kiss1 and TAC3 in NEG cows with low fertility status, and may lead to deficient GnRH and gonadotropin secretion.

HortScience ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 57 (1) ◽  
pp. 97-109
Yiyun Lin ◽  
Michelle L. Jones

Microbial biostimulants can promote ornamental plant growth during production and improve crop performance under abiotic stresses. Even though biostimulants have shown potential in many agricultural applications, the effectiveness and specificity of many products are not well understood. The objective of this study was to analyze the growth-promoting effects of microbial biostimulants during the greenhouse production of floriculture crops. We evaluated 13 biostimulant products in greenhouse-grown zinnia (Zinnia elegans ‘Magellan Ivory’) and petunia (Petunia ×hybrida ‘Carpet White’) at low fertility (one-third of the optimal fertilizer concentration). Biostimulant products 1 and 2 containing multiple species of beneficial bacteria and fungi, and product 10 containing Bacillus subtilis QST 713, were found to increase various aspects of plant growth, including the growth index, leaf chlorophyll content (SPAD index), and shoot biomass. Both flower biomass and numbers were greater in petunia treated with product 1, and leaf size increased in zinnia treated with products 1, 2, and 10. Plants treated with these effective biostimulants at low fertility had similar or better growth and quality than untreated plants grown under optimal fertility. The concentration of various nutrient elements in leaves was higher in zinnia plants treated with biostimulant products 1, 2, or 10 compared with the negative control. Some putative mechanisms for biostimulant effectiveness, the possible reasons for biostimulant ineffectiveness, and the potential for using biostimulants as a sustainable cultural strategy are discussed. This study provides useful information about microbial biostimulant effectiveness, which is important for the development and utilization of biostimulants in the greenhouse production of floriculture plants.

2022 ◽  
Andrés F. Castro Torres ◽  
Edith Yolanda Gutierrez Vazquez ◽  
Tereza Bernardes

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