The relationships between the fertility and nuclear morphology, chromatin maturity and chromatin condensation of the sperm of three bulls with a calving rate over a year of more than 65 per cent, four bulls with a calving rate between 65 per cent and 35 per cent, and three bulls with a calving rate of less than 35 per cent were studied. The sperm nuclei were stained with the Feulgen reaction, and chromatin condensation and maturation were evaluated in situ by staining with toluidine blue and acid aniline blue. Nuclear chromatin decondensation was induced with dithiothreitol; this showed that in the bulls with low fertility, more than 35 per cent of nuclei were decondensed, and that one of them had the lowest percentage of normal nuclei (64·9 per cent) and stronger positive reactions to the acid aniline blue and toluidine blue stains than the other bulls.
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