Ultrasonography of each testicle was used to capture a coronal-saggital image of the veins of the pampiniform plexus (PP) and the testicular artery of 239 boars at approximately 6 months of age. Three to 10 vessels of the PP were used to derive the average area of right PP vessels (AAR) and the average area of the left PP vessels (AAL) and the standard deviation for each testicle for each boar. Within boar ratios, as well as boar to population ratios of vessel size were then calculated to identify boars with suspect varicocele. Suspect varicocele was defined as vessel area 1.5 times larger than the other testicle within a boar or compared to the average vessel size for that testicle in the population. Utilizing the within boar ratio, 34% of boars presented with suspect varicocele, with 85% of the varicocele occurring in the left testicle PP. Heritability estimates from a sire model were 0.39 and 0.34 for AAR and AAL, respectively. These moderate heritability estimates suggest that varicocele could be selected against in breeding programs to potentially improve boar semen quality. Keywords: swine, pampiniform plexus, varicocele, heritability

Tasha Gruhot, Lea Rempel, Mathew Spangler, Benny Mote

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Electronic Poster Session - Biology - Reproduction 2, , 698, 2018
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