Determining the effects of sperm activation in anuran cloaca on motility and DNA integrity in Epidalea calamita (Bufonidae)

Reprod Fertil Dev. 2022 Mar;34(5):438-446. doi: 10.1071/RD21063.


The effect of time inside the animal's cloaca on sperm quality after hormone-induced spermiation is unknown. However, this knowledge is critical for the development of assisted reproductive biotechnologies in amphibians. Out-of-season spermatozoa were collected from Epidalea calamita for 4h after injection of 10IU g-1 human chorionic gonadotrophin either hourly (Group I (n =10); four samples per male) or every 2h (Group II (n =9); two samples per male). Sperm samples were assessed for motility and DNA integrity using the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test and the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). The collection strategy affected total motility (mean (±s.e.m.) 84.4±9.9% vs 73.6±16.7% in Group I and II respectively; P =0.014) and the sperm motility index (67.6±17.7% vs 57.6±16.3% in Group I and II respectively; P =0.034). There was a significant effect of the male in Group II, but not in Group I. In Group I, the quality of the first samples collected was lower than that of samples collected thereafter (P ≤ 0.032). No significant correlations were found between the results of the SCD test and SCSA, showing that these techniques provide different information in this species. In conclusion, collecting spermatozoa every hour resulted in better sperm quality and may be more efficient. However, the between-male differences were considerable and collection of spermatozoa at just 1h after hormone treatment produced lower-quality spermatozoa.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bufonidae*
  • Chromatin
  • Cloaca
  • DNA
  • Male
  • Sperm Motility* / physiology
  • Spermatozoa


  • Chromatin
  • DNA