Quantification of normal head morphometry of stallion spermatozoa

C. G. Gravance, Irwin Liu, R. O. Davis, J. P. Hughes, P. J. Casey

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80 Scopus citations


The heads of stallion spermatozoa were analysed by computer automated sperm head morphometry and the morphometric values of the major subpopulations of sperm heads were assessed. The criteria for normal dimensions of stallion sperm heads are proposed based on the analysis of these measurements. Semen samples were collected from 10 fertile and 10 subfertile stallions, processed by a standard method, smeared onto microscope slides and stained using haematoxylin. At least 200 properly digitized sperm heads were analysed from each stallion. The measurements for length, width, area, perimeter and width/length were recorded for each stallion. All sperm head measurements were placed in a statistical database and multivariate cluster analysis performed. Mean measurements for all parameters of the major clusters of fertile and subfertile stallions were compared by analysis of variance. The ranges of the values of the major clusters of fertile stallions were applied to all stallions to determine the percentage of normal sperm heads for each stallion. The mean values for length, width, area and perimeter in the major cluster of sperm head dimensions of fertile stallions were significantly different from those of the subfertile stallions (P < 0.001). The range of values of the major cluster of fertile stallions was length = 4.9-5.7 μm, width = 2.5-3.0 μm, width/length = 0.45-0.59, area = 10.3-12.1 μm2, and perimeter = 12.9-14.2 μm. On the basis of these values, a significantly (P < 0.001) higher percentage of normal sperm heads were found in the fertile group than in the subfertile group of stallions (52% versus 19%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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