Date of Graduation

5-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Department

Animal Science

Advisor/Mentor

Littlejohn, Brittni

Committee Member/Reader

Powell, Jeremy

Committee Member/Second Reader

Tsai, Tsung Cheng

Abstract

Feral hogs are an invasive species found in 35 U.S. states without an effective control method to limit their population growth. According to a 2019 survey of 467 landowners in Arkansas, feral hogs caused an estimated $12 million in damages (Cook, 2019). While there are current control methods such as hunting and trapping, 65% of the feral hog population must be eliminated in a specific area to prohibit population growth (Cook, 2019). It is theorized that gossypol, a phenolic compound known to negatively impact reproductive function in other species, could cause sterility in boars. In this preliminary research study, 21 domestic boars were randomly divided into three test groups to study the effects of ingested gossypol from cottonseed meal (CSM). This experiment is part of a larger research study on the effects of gossypol from CSM on the reproductive function of swine. Testis tissue was harvested from each boar and frozen for subsequent histological analysis. A Cryostat Microm HM550 (Thermo Fisher Scientific, 2010) was used to cut the tissue into 8 um thick slices and the tissue was stained using a Hematoxylin and Eosin staining procedure. The tissue samples were imaged using a Nikon Eclipse Ts2R. The cross-sectional diameters of 100 seminiferous tubules from each test subject were measured using ImageJ (Bethesda, MD). Seminiferous tubule diameters were analyzed using MIXED procedures of SAS (SAS, Inc., Cary, NC) with treatment as a fixed effect. No differences were found between the seminiferous tubule diameters of boars fed CSM compared to those not fed CSM. The results of the study do not support the hypothesis that gossypol from CSM has a negative effect on the reproductive function of boars under the set conditions. Future research studies are needed to determine an effective population control method for feral hogs.

Keywords

Gossypol, Feral hogs, Reproductive physiology, cottonseed meal

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