Deciphering metabolomic alterations in seminal plasma of crossbred (Bos taurus X Bos indicus) bulls through comparative deep metabolomic analysis

Andrologia. 2022 Feb;54(1):e14253. doi: 10.1111/and.14253. Epub 2021 Sep 22.


The incidence of sub-fertility is higher in crossbred bulls compared to zebu bulls. In the present study, we analysed the metabolomic profile of seminal plasma from crossbred and zebu bulls and uncovered differentially expressed metabolites between these two breeds. Using a high-throughput LC-MS/MS-based approach, we identified 990 and 1,002 metabolites in crossbred and zebu bull seminal plasma respectively. After excluding the exogenous metabolites, we found that 50 and 68 putative metabolites were unique to crossbred and zebu bull seminal plasma, respectively, whilst 87 metabolites were common to both. After data normalisation, 63 metabolites were found to be dysregulated between crossbred and zebu bull seminal plasma. Observed pathways included Linoleic acid metabolism (observed metabolite was phosphatidylcholine) in crossbred bull seminal plasma whereas inositol phosphate metabolism (observed metabolites were phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate/inositol 1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate/myo-inositol hexakisphosphate) was observed in zebu bull seminal plasma. Abundance of Tetradecanoyl-CoA was significantly higher, whilst abundance of Taurine was significantly lower in crossbred bull seminal plasma. In conclusion, the present study established the seminal plasma metabolomic profile in crossbred and zebu bulls and suggest that increased lipid peroxidation coupled with low concentrations of antioxidants in seminal plasma might be associated with high incidence of sub-fertility in crossbred bulls.

Keywords: LC-MS/MS; Metabolomics; crossbred bulls; seminal plasma; zebu.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Male
  • Metabolomics
  • Semen*
  • Spermatozoa*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry