Stallion fertility: A focus on the spermatozoon

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Stallion fertility is a vast subject, with a wide array of permutations that can impact reproductive performance in either positive or negative ways. This review is intended to address a mere segment of the male fertility issue, but the very essence of the male contribution to fertilisation, that of the spermatozoon. Spermatozoal ultrastructure and form-to-function are detailed and spermatozoal metabolism is discussed, with specific reference to distinctive characteristics of stallion spermatozoa. Lastly, methods for assessment of spermatozoal function are considered, with emphasis on spermatozoal motility, the acrosome reaction and spermatozoon–oocyte interactions. Closing comments address the need for development and standardisation of molecular-based assays for use with spermatozoa of stallions whose subfertility cannot be explained with conventional tests.

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