Effects of season on the reproductive organ and plasma testosterone concentrations in guinea cocks (Numida meleagris)

Abdul-Rahman, I.I., Robinson, J.E. , Obese, F.Y., Jeffcoate, I.A. and Awumbila, B. (2016) Effects of season on the reproductive organ and plasma testosterone concentrations in guinea cocks (Numida meleagris). Poultry Science, 95(3), pp. 636-644. (doi: 10.3382/ps/pev342) (PMID:26527710)

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The physiological basis of seasonal breeding in the guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) still remains unknown, despite the socioeconomic importance of these birds, particularly in Ghana. A study involving a total of 50 local guinea cocks was conducted, and documented gross anatomical and histological differences in the reproductive organs of breeding and non-breeding male guinea fowls. The study also compared peripheral testosterone concentrations in breeding and non-breeding cocks. Seasonal differences in variables measured were determined using two-tailed t-test/Mann-Whitney U-test. All comparisons were made at 5% level of significance. Breeding males had significantly (P = 0.000) higher anatomical biometric parameters than their non-breeding counterparts. Also, breeding birds had thicker (P = 0.000) phalli than their non-breeding counterparts. Histologically, regressing testis was characterized by the presence of sloughed off cells and increased debris in the tubular lumen and within the excurrent duct system, collapsed tubules and reduction in tubular lumen. Germ and Sertoli cell populations and nuclear diameters and actual seminiferous tubular diameter and length in regressing testes were significantly (P = 0.000) lower than in active testes. Leydig cell nuclear diameters and populations were also significantly (P = 0.000) reduced. Relative volume of seminiferous tubules in the testis, testicular sperm production/mg testis and per testis and peripheral testosterone concentrations were all higher (P < 0.05) in breeding than non-breeding testis. The ducts in the epididymal region also saw significant (P < 0.05) reductions in luminal diameters in non-breeding birds. Significant regression in anatomical and histological structures of the guinea cock reproductive tract occurred during the non-breeding season, and lower peripheral testosterone concentrations may be responsible for this phenomenon.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Dr Jane and Jeffcoate, Dr Ian
Authors: Abdul-Rahman, I.I., Robinson, J.E., Obese, F.Y., Jeffcoate, I.A., and Awumbila, B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Poultry Science
Publisher:Poultry Science Association
ISSN (Online):1525-3171
Published Online:02 November 2015

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