Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Rainfall-driven sex-ratio genes in African buffalo suggested by correlations between Y-chromosomal haplotype frequencies and foetal sex ratio
    Hooft, W.F. van; Prins, H.H.T. ; Getz, W.M. ; Jolles, A.E. ; Wieren, S.E. van; Greyling, B.J. ; Helden, P.D. ; Bastos, A.D.S. - \ 2010
    BMC Evolutionary Biology 10 (2010). - ISSN 1471-2148 - 11 p.
    cattle bos-taurus - syncerus-caffer - male-fertility - meiotic drive - bovine tuberculosis - drosophila-melanogaster - microsatellite analysis - natural-populations - sperm - selection
    Background - The Y-chromosomal diversity in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park (KNP) is characterized by rainfall-driven haplotype frequency shifts between year cohorts. Stable Y-chromosomal polymorphism is difficult to reconcile with haplotype frequency variations without assuming frequency-dependent selection or specific interactions in the population dynamics of X- and Y-chromosomal genes, since otherwise the fittest haplotype would inevitably sweep to fixation. Stable Y-chromosomal polymorphism due one of these factors only seems possible when there are Y-chromosomal distorters of an equal sex ratio, which act by negatively affecting X-gametes, or Y-chromosomal suppressors of a female-biased sex ratio. These sex-ratio (SR) genes modify (suppress) gamete transmission in their own favour at a fitness cost, allowing for stable polymorphism. Results - Here we show temporal correlations between Y-chromosomal haplotype frequencies and foetal sex ratios in the KNP buffalo population, suggesting SR genes. Frequencies varied by a factor of five; too high to be alternatively explained by Y-chromosomal effects on pregnancy loss. Sex ratios were male-biased during wet and female-biased during dry periods (male proportion: 0.47-0.53), seasonally and annually. Both wet and dry periods were associated with a specific haplotype indicating a SR distorter and SR suppressor, respectively. Conclusions - The distinctive properties suggested for explaining Y-chromosomal polymorphism in African buffalo may not be restricted to this species alone. SR genes may play a broader and largely overlooked role in mammalian sex-ratio variation
    A stable isotope dual-labelling approach to detect multiple insemination in un-irradiated and irradiated Anopheles arabiensis mosquitoes
    Helinski, M. ; Hood-Nowotny, R.C. ; Knols, B.G.J. - \ 2008
    Parasites & Vectors 1 (2008). - ISSN 1756-3305 - 7 p.
    mediterranean fruit-flies - gambiae mosquitos - culicidae - diptera - sperm - polyandry
    Male mating competitiveness is a crucial parameter in many genetic control programs including the sterile insect technique (SIT). We evaluated competitiveness of male Anopheles arabiensis Patton as a function of three experimental variables: (1) small or large cages for mating, (2) the effects of either a partially sterilizing (70 Gy) or fully sterilizing (120 Gy) dose, and (3) pupal or adult irradiation. Irradiated males competed for females with an equal number of unirradiated males. Competitiveness was determined by measuring hatch rates of individually laid egg batches. In small cages, pupal irradiation with the high dose resulted in the lowest competitiveness, whereas adult irradiation with the low dose gave the highest, with the latter males being equal in competitiveness to unirradiated males. In the large cage, reduced competitiveness of males irradiated in the pupal stage was more pronounced compared with the small cage; the males irradiated as adults at both doses performed similarly to unirradiated males. Unexpectedly, males irradiated with the high dose performed better in a large cage than in a small one. A high proportion of intermediate hatch rates was observed for eggs collected in the large cage experiments with males irradiated at the pupal stage. It is concluded that irradiation of adult An. arabiensis with the partially sterilizing dose results in the highest competitiveness for both cage designs. Cage size affected competitiveness for some treatments; therefore, competitiveness determined in laboratory experiments must be confirmed by releases into simulated field conditions. The protocols described are readily transferable to evaluate male competitiveness for other genetic control techniques.
    Animal genetic resources conservation in The Netherlands and Europe: Poultry perspective
    Woelders, H. ; Zuidberg, C.A. ; Hiemstra, S.J. - \ 2006
    Poultry Science 85 (2006)2. - ISSN 0032-5791 - p. 216 - 222.
    dierveredeling - pluimvee - kippen - genetische bronnen van diersoorten - conservering - cryopreservering - cryobeschermingsmiddelen - genenbanken - genetische diversiteit - germplasm - in vitro kweek - inseminatie - sperma - spermaconservering - europa - nederland - animal breeding - poultry - fowls - animal genetic resources - conservation - cryopreservation - cryoprotectants - gene banks - genetic diversity - germplasm - in vitro culture - insemination - semen - semen preservation - europe - netherlands - fowl spermatozoa - frozen - sperm
    Increased global use of highly productive breeds of farm animals has been coupled to loss of genetic diversity in most species. In European countries, various governmental, non-governmental, and private organizations try to preserve genetic diversity of livestock in situ (e.g., by stimulating the use of indigenous, rare breeds by farmers; in nature reserves; or in noncommercial farms). In the case of poultry, maintaining in situ populations of the noncommercial (fancy) breeds largely relies on hobby farmers. In addition to in situ conservation, gene banks are being established for ex situ conservation. In at least 2 countries, France and The Netherlands, there are limited collections of frozen semen of rare poultry breeds. Since 2003, the CGN has started with a more systematic effort to collect, freeze, and store semen of indigenous Dutch poultry breeds. At present, the CGN gene bank contains semen of 11 Dutch rare poultry breeds. Also, CGN has performed research on the methodology for cryopreservation of fowl semen. This recent work was focused on finding a suitable replacement for glycerol, which is contraceptive in the hen, as a cryoprotectant. For reasons of hygiene and sample identification, we favored straw freezing, as opposed to the highly effective pellet freezing method. A significant interaction was found between cooling rate and cryoprotectant concentration. Best post-thaw sperm quality was obtained when combining 0.6 mol of dimethylacetamide/L with a cooling rate of +/- 200 degrees C/min. Inseminations, twice per week with 0.3 billion sperm per insemination resulted in 97 and 88% fertilized eggs with fresh and frozen semen, respectively. In 2005, CGN has used this straw freezing method to extend the collection of poultry semen in the Dutch gene bank.
    Possible negative effects of inbreeding on semen quality in Shetland pony stallions
    Eldik, P. van; Waaij, E.H. van der; Ducro, B.J. ; Kooper, A.W. ; Stout, T.A.E. ; Colenbrander, B. - \ 2006
    Theriogenology 65 (2006)6. - ISSN 0093-691X - p. 1159 - 1170.
    reproductive-performance - fluctuating asymmetry - ejaculate quality - fertility - heterozygosity - populations - depression - parameters - season - sperm
    Inbreeding is widely believed to negatively affect reproductive performance. Indeed, in some species, high levels of inbreeding are thought to be the major cause of poor semen quality. It is, however, not clear whether inbreeding affects fertility in horses. In this study, the relationship between inbreeding and semen quality was examined in 285 immature Shetland pony stallions submitted for breeding soundness examination in March-April of the years 1992-1997. The majority of stallions examined were 3 years old (85%) and their coefficients of inbreeding ranged from 0 to 25% (mean ± S.D.: 3 ± 4.6%). For the purpose of analysis, stallions were divided into six inbreeding classes (0-1, 1-2, 2-5, 5-8, 8-12 and >12%) containing 132, 40, 42, 27, 25 and 19 animals, respectively. The degree of inbreeding significantly affected many aspects of sperm production and quality, based on a standard examination of two ejaculates collected at a 1.5-3 h interval. In particular, coefficients of inbreeding above 2% were associated with lower percentages of motile (p <0.01) and morphologically normal sperm (p <0.001). When the data set was used to estimate heritability of semen characteristics, the high values calculated for sperm progressive motility (0.46) and concentration (0.24) suggested that these traits could be improved by phenotypic selection. These findings support the hypothesis that inbreeding has a detrimental effect on semen quality in Shetland ponies, although examination of multiple ejaculates after repeated semen collection to bring the animals to daily sperm output is needed to confirm this conclusion. Nevertheless, the results support previous suggestions that inbreeding is an important cause of reduced semen quality
    Theoretical prediction of 'optimal' freezing programmes
    Woelders, H. ; Chaveiro, A. - \ 2004
    Cryobiology 49 (2004)3. - ISSN 0011-2240 - p. 258 - 271.
    intracellular ice formation - glycerol concentration - membrane-permeability - water permeability - spermatozoa frozen - cooling velocity - bull spermatozoa - sperm - cells - injury
    We have developed a quantitative description of the osmotic behaviour of cells during freezing without a presupposed value of the cooling rate. Instead, at all times the intracellular supercooling is maximised provided that it does not exceed a predetermined value 'p' (e.g., 2°C). This should preclude intracellular ice formation, but also ensures that the osmotic gradient and the CPA concentration gradient are limited, as well as the gradient driven transmembrane fluxes of water and CPA. Using the condition of a constant level of supercooling of p°C, equations can be derived to generate non-linear cooling curves in which at all times the cooling rate is maximised (to minimise slow cooling damage), while preventing conditions that could lead to fast cooling damage. Simulations of the osmotic events during freezing, and prediction of the 'optimal' freezing curve can be performed provided that values are available for the membrane permeability coefficients for water (L p) and cryoprotectant (Ps), and their respective activation energies, the initial intracellular osmotically active aqueous volume, and the membrane surface area. Simulations are shown, both with and without permeant solute, to demonstrate how the predicted 'optimal' freezing curve is affected by medium composition, and by membrane permeability and osmotic cell characteristics.
    Capacity of boar spermatozoa to bind zona pellucida proteins in vitro in relation to fertilization rates in vivo
    Harkema, W. ; Visser, I. ; Soede, N.M. ; Kemp, B. ; Woelders, H. - \ 2004
    Theriogenology 61 (2004)3. - ISSN 0093-691X - p. 227 - 238.
    pig oocytes - insemination - sperm - ovulation - ultrasonography - sows - eggs
    The purpose of this study was to determine variation among boars in the percentage of sperm in an ejaculate that express enhanced binding of zona pellucida proteins during treatment for capacitation in vitro, and to determine whether this relates to fertilizing ability in vivo. Ejaculates (n=35) were collected from 12 boars. A sample of each ejaculate was treated for capacitation in vitro. During incubation, the zona binding ability of spermatozoa was assessed at regular intervals with fluorescein-conjugated solubilized zona pellucida proteins (FITC-sZP) and propidium iodide, using a flow cytometer. After incubation, a percentage of the sperm had enhanced FITC-sZP binding. The percentage of viable sperm with enhanced FITC-sZP binding, expressed as a percentage of the total sperm population, increased rapidly over the first 60 min and thereafter reached a plateau after 120–180 min. Averaged over all ejaculates, the percentage at 180 min was 46% (range 27–61%); this percentage was significantly different among boars. However, the variation between ejaculates within a boar was relatively small. There was no significant boar effect on the rate at which the percentage of viable cells with enhanced FITC-sZP binding reached the maximum. In ejaculates (n=14) from four boars (selected from the group of 12), we investigated the increase in the percentage of viable sperm with enhanced sZP binding during treatment for capacitation in vitro in relation to the ability to fertilize in vivo. Sows (n=44) were inseminated 4 h after ovulation with a suboptimal insemination dose (0.5×109 spermatozoa). Time of ovulation was determined using transrectal ultrasonography and sows were killed at 120 h after ovulation. The percentage of fertilized oocytes, embryo development, and numbers of accessory spermatozoa were determined. The percentage of spermatozoa that were viable and showed enhanced sZP binding after 180 min of incubation was 48±12% (range 28–56%). The percentage of fertilized oocytes was 85±27% and 64% of the sows had 100% fertilized oocytes. The percentage of sows with 100% fertilized oocytes correlated well (P=0.05, R2=0.98) with the percentage of viable spermatozoa with enhanced FITC-sZP binding after capacitation in vitro.
    Male, female and management risk factors for non-return to service in Dutch mares.
    Buiten, A. van; Westers, P. ; Colenbrander, B. - \ 2003
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 61 (2003)1. - ISSN 0167-5877 - p. 17 - 26.
    reproductive-performance - thoroughbred mares - frozen-semen - fertility - stallion - quality - sperm - age
    The "effect" of stallion, mare and management-related factors on the odds of pregnancy per cycle in the horse were identified and quantified from the breeding records of Dutch Warmblood (n=4491), Friesian (n=1467) and Shetland-pony mares (n=3267) mated either naturally or by artificial insemination to one of the 88 stallions between 1992 and 1996. A mare was considered to be pregnant when she did not return to oestrous within 28 days of the last insemination. For Dutch Warmblood horses, the percentage of mares that did not return for service within 28 days (NR28) varied between studfarms and ranged from 61 to 82%. The NR28 for mares inseminated with fresh semen ranged from 67 to 74% and for mares inseminated with frozen/thawed semen this percentage was 59. Mares served at a second cycle had lower odds not to return than mares served at the third or subsequent cycle (OR=0.84). For Friesian horses, the NR28 for young mares was higher than that for older mares. Mares served before 1 May in any year had lower odds of non-return than mares served after 1 July (OR=0.69). The NR28 of mares inseminated once per cycle was 6% lower than that of mares inseminated three times or more per cycle. For Shetland ponies, the NR28 also varied between studfarms and ranged from 62 to 78%. Stallions =11) (OR=0.57). Mares served before 1 July had lower odds of non-return. Other significant factors for this breed were age of the mare, cycle number and insemination frequency. Stallion factors accounted for 5.9, 2.0 and 14.7% of the variation in the NR28 for Dutch Warmblood, Friesian horses and the Shetland ponies, respectively
    The effect of oviductal epithelial cell co-culture during in vitro maturation on sow oocyte morphology, fertilization and embryo development
    Kidson, A. ; Schoevers, E. ; Langendijk, P. ; Verheijden, J. ; Colenbrander, B. ; Bevers, M. - \ 2003
    Theriogenology 59 (2003)9. - ISSN 0093-691X - p. 1889 - 1903.
    matured porcine oocytes - in-vitro - pig oocytes - perivitelline space - zona-pellucida - vivo - competence - polyspermy - sperm - glutathione
    In vitro embryo production in the sow is challenged by poor cytoplasmic maturation, low sperm penetration and low normal fertilization, leading to the development of poor quality blastocysts containing a small number of nuclei. In prepubertal gilt oocytes, the presence of porcine oviductal epithelial cells (pOECs) during maturation increases cytoplasmic maturation and blastocyst development. These aspects, as well as blastocyst quality, may be improved when adult sow oocytes are matured with pOEC. Therefore, the effect of the presence of pOEC on sow oocyte morphology, fertilization and the progression of embryo development was evaluated. The pOEC were cultured in M199 for 18 h, then cultured in NCSU23 for 4 h before the oocytes were added. Oocytes from 2 to 6 mm follicles were matured in 500 ¿l NCSU23, with eCG and hCG, for 24 h, and then cultured with or without pOEC, in NCSU23 without hormones, for 18 h. In vitro fertilization took place in modified Tris-buffered medium, for 6 h, and the presumptive zygotes were then cultured for 162 h in NCSU23. Morphology of the IVM oocytes was compared to that of immature oocytes and in vivo matured MII oocytes from slaughtered sows in estrus. The in vitro matured oocytes had a greater diameter and a wider perivitelline space than the immature and in vivo matured MII oocytes (P
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