Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Expression of PLCZ1 mRNA in spermatozoa of Criollo and European bulls in a low-input system

Luis Miguel Ronquillo-Roacho; Felipe Alonso Rodriguez-Almeida; Javier Antillón-Ruiz; Francisco Joel Jahuey-Martinez; Joel Domínguez-Viveros; José Alfredo Martínez-Quintana

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Abstract: Sperm motility and kinematics analysis are important to predict bull fertility. However, there are other molecules in the sperm with the ability to improve the pregnancy rate. For example, PLCZ1 is a sperm protein that plays a unique role in the activation of the zygote and is important for the survival of the embryo. The objective of this work was to compare the expression of PLCZ1 mRNA in sperm cells of Chihuahuan Criollo and European bulls in the winter and summer seasons, under a low-input system. Six (3.33 ± 0.43 years old) bulls (three Criollo, three European) were used. Gross and individual motility were measured in semen obtained by electrostimulation. The cell pack was pelletized by centrifugation and stored in liquid nitrogen. The sperm cells were purified and total RNA was extracted. cDNA was synthesized to perform qPCR and measure the relative level of PLCZ1 transcripts in each bull. There were no differences in individual motility, however, gross motility was lower (P < 0.05) in Criollo bulls, both in the winter (71.1 ± 2.8 vs. 76.6 ± 2.8%) and in the summer season (58.9 ± 2.8 vs. 77.7 ± 2.8%). PLCZ1 expression was 5.3 times higher (P < 0.05) in winter than in summer (5.09 ± 1.09 vs 0.959 ± 1.09). No difference (P>0.05) was found in the expression levels of PLCZ1 between both breeds (4.36 ± 1.09 vs 1.69 ± 1.09), for Criollo and European, respectively. Although the animals presented seminal motility within the recommended limits for insemination, the expression levels of PLCZ1 vary depending on the time of the year and this might impact the rate of successful pregnancies. Therefore, it is important to complement conventional analysis of seminal quality with molecular characteristics.


gene expression, fertility, indigenous breeds, semen


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