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A high-throughput method for unbiased quantitation and categorisation of nuclear morphology

Skinner, Benjamin M., Rathje, Claudia C., Bacon, Joanne, Johnson, Emma P. S., Larson, Erica L., Kopania, Emily E. K., Good, Jeffrey M., Yousafzai, G., Affara, Nabeel A., Ellis, Peter J.I. and others. (2019) A high-throughput method for unbiased quantitation and categorisation of nuclear morphology. Biology of Reproduction, 100 (5). pp. 1250-1260. ISSN 0006-3363. (doi:10.1093/biolre/ioz013) (KAR id:72160)

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The physical arrangement of chromatin in the nucleus is cell type and species specific; a fact

particularly evident in sperm, in which most of the cytoplasm has been lost. Analysis of the

characteristic falciform (‘hook shaped’) sperm in mice is important in studies of sperm

development, hybrid sterility, infertility and toxicology. However, quantification of sperm

shape differences typically relies on subjective manual assessment, rendering comparisons

within and between samples difficult.

We have developed an analysis program for morphometric analysis of asymmetric nuclei

and characterised the sperm of mice from a range of inbred, outbred and wild-derived

mouse strains. We find that laboratory strains have elevated sperm shape variability both

within and between samples in comparison to wild-derived inbred strains, and that sperm

shape in F1 offspring from a cross between CBA and C57Bl6J strains is subtly affected by

the direction of the cross. We further show that hierarchical clustering can discriminate

distinct sperm shapes with greater efficiency and reproducibility than even experienced

manual assessors, and is useful both to distinguish between samples and also to identify

different morphological classes within a single sample.

Our approach allows for the analysis of nuclear shape with unprecedented precision and

scale and will be widely applicable to different species and different areas of biology.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/biolre/ioz013
Projects: Customisable surface markers for the separation of X and Y bearing mammalian sperm
Uncontrolled keywords: sperm, quantitative morphometry, morphometrics, fertility, evolution, image analysis
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH581.2 Cell Biology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Peter Ellis
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2019 10:19 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 15:47 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Rathje, Claudia C..

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Ellis, Peter J.I..

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