Carryover effects of feeding bulls with an omega-3-enriched-diet-From spermatozoa to developed embryos

Dorit Kalo, Dan Reches, Noam Netta, Alisa Komsky-Elbaz, Yoel Zeron, Uzi Moallem, Zvi Roth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The impact of omega-3 nutritional manipulation on semen cryosurvival and quality post thawing is controversial. Our aim was to examine how feeding bulls with omega-3 supplementation from different sources affects the spermatozoa quality parameters. Fifteen Israeli Holstein bulls were fed for 13 weeks with a standard ration top-dressed with encapsulatedfat supplementation: fish or flaxseed oil or saturated fatty acids (control). Ejaculates were collected before, during, and after the feeding trial. Frozen-thawed samples were evaluated by a flow cytometer for spermatozoa viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), acrosome membrane integrity, DNA fragmentation, phosphatidylserine translocation, and membrane fluidity. Both fish and flaxseed oil treatment resulted in lower ROS levels vs. control groups, during and after the feeding trial. Fewer spermatozoa with damaged acrosomes were observed in the fish oil group after the feeding trial. The spermatozoa membrane fluidity was altered in both the fish and flaxseed oil groups throughout the feeding trial, but only in the flaxseed oil group after the feeding trial. The proportion of spermatozoa with fragmented DNA was lower in the flaxseed oil group after the feeding trial. The spermatozoa fertilization competence did not differ between groups however, blastocyst formation rate was higher in the fish and flaxseed oil groups relative to the control. This was associated with differential gene expression in the blastocysts. Overall, the omega-3-enriched food improved the spermatozoa characteristics; this was further expressed in the developing blastocysts, suggesting a carryover effect from the spermatozoa to the embryos.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0265650
Pages (from-to)e0265650
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3 March
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding:Thisresearchwasfinanciallysupported bytheIsraeliDairyBoard,Yahud,Israel,grant number362-277-12.Thefundershadnorolein studydesign,datacollectionandanalysis,decision topublish,orpreparationofthemanuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Kalo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cryopreservation
  • Diet
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3/pharmacology
  • Linseed Oil/pharmacology
  • Male
  • Reactive Oxygen Species/pharmacology
  • Semen Analysis
  • Semen Preservation/veterinary
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa


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