Sperm DNA quality – revealing a combination of phenotypes, genotypes and epigenomic marks?

To improve fertility and sustainable breeding by revealing new phenotypic information on sperm DNA damage and associated epigenetic signatures.

The overall idea of the project is to develop new generic knowledge and technology applicable for routine sperm and semen quality assessment in boar and fish species. The aim is to improve fertility by acquiring knowledge about parameters related to sperm DNA quality, which is considered essential for successful transmission of the paternal genome, fertilization and normal embryo development.

The work will be performed on fresh and liquid semen from boars, and on fresh, stored and frozen milt from fish species. Biotechnological methods in the areas of spermatology and molecular biology will be performed. 

Aims of the project

  • To establish protocols for DNA integrity in milt from aquatic species
  • To investigate genotypic and phenotypic influence on DNA damage in semen from boars and in milt from several fish species
  • To identify possible environmental induced changes in DNA quality in sperm samples (boar, cod) displaying an extreme variation in DNA condensation as determined by the DNA fragmentation index (DFI)