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Inhibitory effect of osmotic concentration, potassium and pH on motility of the sperm of the North American burbot Lota lota maculosa

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Seminal plasma factors maintaining North American (NA) burbot Lota lota maculosa sperm quiescent were examined. Sperm were diluted into buffered saline solutions of various compositions and motility assessed. After 1 h in these solutions at 10° C, aliquots of the suspension were diluted with tap water and motility again assessed. Dilution of sperm in an incubation solution containing Ca2+ in the absence of K+ initiated sperm motility resulting in low motility when sperm were subsequently diluted in tap water. Incubation solutions with osmolalities >200 mOsm kg−1 and containing 12·5 mM K+ prevented the onset of sperm motility and were associated with maximal sperm motility upon dilution in tap water. Sperm maintained at lower osmolalities exhibited limited motility upon dilution in tap water indicating interdependence between K+ and osmolality in maintaining sperm quiescent in the presence of Ca2+. Sperm kept in incubation solution at pH values < c. 7·5 for 1 h demonstrated reduced motility when subsequently diluted in tap water. That motility of sperm was pH sensitive was further indicated by CO2 inhibition of motility. Therefore, NA burbot sperm are probably maintained in an immotile state, yet with potential for motility, by combination of high K+, osmolality and possibly pH. The results from this study differ from published information on sperm quiescence in the temporally and geographically distinct Eurasian burbot Lota lota lota.

Keywords: Lota lota; burbot; osmolality; potassium; seminal plasma; sperm

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences & Center for Reproductive Biology, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-3051, U.S.A. 2: Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Aquaculture Research Institute & Center for Reproductive Biology, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-1136, U.S.A.

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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