Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Reprod Dom Anim. 2022;00:1–9. DOI: 10.1111/rda.14223


U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.


We hypothesized that yearling bulls selected for a 28-d breeding season would have reduced sperm concentrations and morphology, and have increased seminal plasma concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-8 (IL-8). Yearling bulls were selected based on a breeding soundness examination (BSE) at approximately 415 d of age and contained at least 750 million sperm in the ejaculate, with 12 bulls randomly selected for breeding (BREEDERS) and 12 bulls not selected for breeding (NON-BREEDERS). After a 28-d breeding period, all bulls underwent a BSE. Plasma and seminal plasma were collected at each time point for analysis. Data were analysed utilizing either the MIXED or GLIMMIX procedures with repeated measures in SAS with breeding group, age and the interaction as fixed effects. Sperm concentration per ml of ejaculate was reduced (p < .05) in yearling bulls used for breeding compared with those not used for breeding at the end of the breeding season. Seminal plasma IL-8 concentrations in yearling bulls used for breeding were increased (p < .05) after the breeding season compared with bulls not used for breeding. Taken together, yearling bulls selected for a 28-d breeding season have reduced sperm production per ml of an ejaculate and increased inflammatory response in the seminal plasma that can lead to impaired breeding response if they are to be used for more than 30 d of breeding.