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Abstract

Volume 19, Issue 2 (March 2017) 19, 149–153; DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.189207

Dog sperm head morphometry: its diversity and evolution

Carles Soler1, Ana Alambiaga2, Maria A Martí2, Almudena García-Molina3, Anthony Valverde4, Jesús Contell3, Marcos Campos5

1 Department of Functional Biology and Physical Anthropology, University of València, 46100 Burjassot; R+D Department, Proiser R+D, Scientific Park, University of València, 46980 Paterna, Spain
2 Department of Functional Biology and Physical Anthropology, University of València, 46100 Burjassot, Spain
3 R+D Department, Proiser R+D, Scientific Park, University of València, 46980 Paterna, Spain
4 Department of Functional Biology and Physical Anthropology, University of València, 46100 Burjassot, Spain; Technological Institute of Costa Rica, San Carlos Campus, School of Agronomy, 223-21001 Alajuela, Costa Rica,
5 Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery, University Cardenal-Herrera-CEU, 46113 Moncada, València; Global Veterinaria (Reprovalcan), 46500 Sagunto, València; Clínica Veterinaria Sangüeso, 46009 València, Spain

Correspondence: Dr. C Soler (carles.soler@proiser.com)

Date of Web Publication 30-Sep-2016

Abstract

Dogs have been under strong artificial selection as a consequence of their relationship with man. Differences between breeds are evident that could be reflected in seminal characteristics. The present study was to evaluate differences in sperm head morphometry between seven well-defined breeds of dog: the British Bulldog, Chihuahua, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Spanish Mastiff, Staffordshire Terrier, and Valencian Rat Hunting dog. Semen samples were obtained by masturbation and smears stained with Diff-Quik. Morphometric analysis (CASA-Morph) produced four size and four shape parameters. Length, Ellipticity, and Elongation showed higher differences between breeds. MANOVA revealed differences among all breeds. Considering the whole dataset, principal component analysis (PCA) showed that PC1 was related to head shape and PC2 to size. Procluster analysis showed the British Bulldog to be the most isolated breed, followed by the German Shepherd. The PCA breed by breed showed the Chihuahua, Labrador Retriever, Spanish Mastiff, and Staffordshire Terrier to have PC1 related to shape and PC2 to size, whereas the British Bulldog, Valencia Rat Hunting dog, and German Shepherd had PC1 related to size and PC2 to shape. The dendrogram for cluster groupings and the distance between them showed the British Bulldog to be separated from the rest of the breeds. Future work on dog semen must take into account the large differences in the breeds' sperm characteristics. The results provide a base for future work on phylogenetic and evolutionary studies of dogs, based on their seminal characteristics.

Keywords: Canis familiaris ; cluster analysis; diversity; sperm morphometry

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