The chemical composition of bull semen, with special reference to nucleic acids, free nucleotides and free aminoacids

P M BHARGAVA, W W H BISHOP & T S WORK

Published in: Biochemical Journal, 1959, 73, 242-247.

Abstract:

It has recently been shown that normal bull spermatozoa are able to incorporate amino acids into their proteins (Bhargava, 1957). As a pre­liminary to further work we have examined the nucleic acid, free nucleotide and free amino acid content of bull spermatozoa and seminal plasma, together with the general chemical composition of these spermatozoa. The nucleic acids of bull spermatozoa have received considerable attention in the past (Walker & Yates, 1952; Leuchten­berger, Leuchtenberger, Vendrely & Vendrely, 1952; Vendrely & Vendrely, 1953; Mann, 1954; Leuchtenberger, Munnanis, Munnanis, Ito & Weir, 1956), but no previous work seems to have been done on the free nucleotide content of these cells and there is only one earlier investigation (Gassner & Hopwood, 1952, 1953) on the free amino acids in bull semen. Other aspects of the chemistry of spermatozoa and seminal fluid have been exten­sively reviewed by Mann (1954).

Our results show that bull spermatozoa contain no ribonucleic acid, a large free nucleotide pool and a very small free amino acid pool. Bull seminal plasma was found to contain a higher concentration of free amino acids, and very low concentrations, if any, of free nucleotides and nucleic acids. This work has been carried out mainly on semen from only two bulls; this limitation was imposed partly by the necessity of using freshly collected semen from animals housed near a laboratory. Since the animals were of normal fertility, there is no reason to suppose that the results are not valid for such bulls generally.

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The chemical composition of bull semen, with special reference to nucleic acids, free nucleotides and free aminoacids. P M BHARGAVA, W W H BISHOP & T S WORK. Biochemical Journal, 1959, 73, 242-247.

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