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Article contents

DNA fragmentation and morphometric studies in sperm of stallions supplemented with maca (Lepidium meyenii)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2021

Emanuele D’Anza
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Sara Albarella*
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Giacomo Galdiero
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Simona Tafuri
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Chiara Del Prete
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Natascia Cocchia
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Francesca Ciani
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Vincenzo Mastellone
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Maria Pia Pasolini
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Domenico Carotenuto
Affiliation:
UNMSM, Universidad Nacional Mayor San Marcos, San Borja, Lima, Peru
Maria Selvaggi
Affiliation:
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Francesca Ciotola
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
Vincenzo Peretti
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
*
Author for correspondence: Sara Albarella. Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Via Delpino 1, CAP 80137, Naples, Italy. Tel: +39 081 2536502. E-mail: sara.albarella@unina.it

Summary

The reproductive performances of livestock play an essential role in the economic management of the farm. The improvement of semen quantity and quality through the use of food supplements that lack substances which are forbidden in animal feeding, or that may have detrimental effects, is an important goal. Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a plant that has been used for centuries in the Andes for nutrition and fertility enhancement in humans and animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of food supplementation of stallions with maca during the breeding season on spermatozoa parameters such as DNA fragmentation and shape, which are two predictive indexes of spermatozoa functionality. For this purpose, ejaculate volume, semen gel-free volume, sperm concentration and motility, total sperm count, sperm DNA fragmentation and sperm head parameters (length, width, perimeter, area, shape factor, roughness) were measured in four stallions. Maca food supplementation in stallions during breeding reduced the percentage of spermatozoa with fragmented DNA, increased significantly sperm concentration and exerted an elongation of the spermatozoa head, a condition that is believed to improve spermatozoa functionality, suggesting that food supplementation of maca could be useful in horse breeding during the breeding season.

Type
Short Communication
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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