Review: Spermatogenesis in the bull. uri icon


  • Spermatogenesis is a finely regulated process of germ cell multiplication and differentiation leading to the production of spermatozoa in the seminiferous tubules. Spermatogenesis can be divided into three parts: spermatocytogenesis, meiosis and spermiogenesis. During spermatocytogenesis, germ cells engage in a cycle of several mitotic divisions that increases the yield of spermatogenesis and to renew stem cells and produce spermatogonia and primary spermatocytes. Meiosis involves duplication and exchange of genetic material and two cell divisions that reduce the chromosome number and yield four haploid round spermatids. Spermiogenesis involves the differentiation of round spermatids into fully mature spermatozoa released into the lumin of seminiferous tubules. The seminiferous epithelium is composed of several generations of germ cells due to the fact that new generations of sperm cells engage in the spermatogenic process without waiting for the preceding generations to have completed their evolution and to have disappeared as spermatozoa into the lumen of the tubules. In bulls, the duration of the seminiferous epithelium cycle is 13.5 days. The total duration of spermatogenesis is 61 days, that is 4.5 times the duration of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium. The spermatogenetic wave is used to describe the spatial arrangement of cell associations along the tubules. Several theories have been described to explain the renewal of spermatogonia. Depending on the model, there are five or six spermatogonial mitoses explaining the renewal of stem cells and the proliferation of spermatogonia. Daily sperm production and germ cell degeneration can be quantified from numbers of germ cells in various steps of development throughout spermatogenesis. Bulls have a lower efficiency of spermatogenesis than most species examined, but higher than that of humans.

altmetric score

  • 13

author list (cited authors)

  • Staub, C., & Johnson, L.

citation count

  • 76

complete list of authors

  • Staub, C||Johnson, L