Effect of free gossypol in whole cottonseed on the semen quality of Holstein bulls

Author: W.A. Smith, L.P. Vosloo, C.H. van Niekerk and F.P. Theron
Year: 1991
Issue: 1
Volume: 21
Page: 16 - 20

It is suspected that feeding large amounts of whole cottonseed and cottonseed meal to dairy cows can cause gossypol intoxication. It has also been shown that male antifertility is probably the first physiological effect of free gossypol. The objective of this investigation was to determine whether diets containing 0,185 or 0,254% free gossypol per kg dry matter would cause any spermatozoal defects at intakes of 64 or 75 mg free gossypol (as whole cottonseed) per kg live mass in two-year-old Holstein bulls. Twelve Holstein bulls were allotted to three comparable groups receiving complete diets containing 0; 27,9 and 39,1% whole cottonseed per DM which contained 0,64% free gossypol per DM. Semen was collected on days 60, 80, 100, and 120 and compared for volume, colour, motility, concentration, % spermatozoa live or dead, % spermatozoa with normal morphology, viability after deep freezing and swimming speed. Histological studies were also carried out on the testes. No parameters were influenced significantly (P < 0,05) and it was concluded that free gossypol intakes used in this study did not cause any spermatozoal defects and that the free gossypol was probably efficiently detoxified in the rumen.

Keywords: Gossypol: infertility; bulls
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