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Effect of gamma radiation upon the reproductive performance of japanese quail coturnix coturnix japonica



Effect of gamma radiation upon the reproductive performance of japanese quail coturnix coturnix japonica



Archiv fuer Gefluegelkunde 45(1): 27-33



In 3 experiments 284 adult males and 280 adult females of Japanese quail were irradiated with 60Co-.gamma.-radiation at exposures 0, 200, 600 and 1200 R over an area of the body including gonads, adrenals, kidneys and part of liver. The exposure rate was 0.227 R s-1. Irradiation reduced testes weight, concentration of spermatozoa and size of cloacal gland according to amount of exposure used. The greatest drop in testes weight was in the 200 R group at day 14 post-irradiation and in the 600 R and 1200 R groups at day 21 post-irradiation. The changes of testes weight were reversible and influenced the size of cloacal gland and concentration of spermatozoa. The dependence of the index of cloacal gland on testes weight was linear: y = 145 + 17.38 x; the dependence of concentration of spermatozoa on testes weight was curvilinear: y = 31 + 2.08 x - 0.42 x2 + 0.04 x3. The correlation in both cases was significant. Body weight, liver weight and hematocrit were evidently not influenced. There was a very different response of reproductive ability between irradiated males and females. There was a sharp drop in fertility by irradiation of males but practically no effect by irradiation of females. The greatest drop of fertility in the 200 and 600 R groups was indicated at day 28 postirradiation, in the 1200 R group at day 28 postirradiation and in the 1200 R group at day 35 postirradiation. There was no apparent effect of irradiation of males and females upon hatchability. Egg production and egg weight were only slightly influenced by irradiation.

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