Sperm Functional Genome Associated With Bull Fertility

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Frontiers in Veterinary Science


Bull fertility is an important economic trait in sustainable cattle production, as infertile or subfertile bulls give rise to large economic losses. Current methods to assess bull fertility are tedious and not totally accurate. The massive collection of functional data analyses, including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics, helps researchers generate extensive knowledge to better understand the unraveling physiological mechanisms underlying subpar male fertility. This review focuses on the sperm phenomes of the functional genome and epigenome that are associated with bull fertility. Findings from multiple sources were integrated to generate new knowledge that is transferable to applied andrology. Diverse methods encompassing analyses of molecular and cellular dynamics in the fertility-associated molecules and conventional sperm parameters can be considered an effective approach to determine bull fertility for efficient and sustainable cattle production. In addition to gene expression information, we also provide methodological information, which is important for the rigor and reliability of the studies. Fertility is a complex trait influenced by several factors and has low heritability, although heritability of scrotal circumference is high and that it is a known fertility maker. There is a need for new knowledge on the expression levels and functions of sperm RNA, proteins, and metabolites. The new knowledge can shed light on additional fertility markers that can be used in combination with scrotal circumference to predict the fertility of breeding bulls. This review provides a comprehensive review of sperm functional characteristics or phenotypes associated with bull fertility.



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