Med. Weter. 75 (5), 276-279, 2019

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Oocyte-sperm interactions in the fertilization of birds
A thorough understanding of the mechanisms leading to the interaction between the sperm and the ovum in the process of fertilization in birds can facilitate more effective programming and control of the reproduction of these animals in breeding farms. In addition, it may allow the introduction of extracorporeal fertilization techniques, which may be important in the creation of transgenic animals and the reproduction of endangered species. In birds, the process of fertilization is not well known. It is conditioned by a series of interactions between mature reproductive cells. Oocytes are formed in the ovarian follicles of the left ovary. After ovulation, an ovum in the metaphase of the second meiotic division enters the oviduct along with the inner perivitelline layer (IPVL). It gets fertilized in this infundibulum. Male gametes are formed in paired testes located in the abdominal cavity. Sperm cells in the female reproductive tract do not require capacitation and are already fully capable of fertilization. As a result of internal insemination, male reproductive cells enter the oviduct. In this organ, they are selected and stored in the primary and secondary sperm storage tubules of the mucous membrane. They are released in batches shortly before ovulation. After reaching the oocyte, the sperm binds to the IPVL. This induces an acrosomal reaction that allows the male reproductive cells to penetrate to the surface of the oocyte, especially at the germinal pole. Next, as a result of physiological polyspermy, many sperm cells reach the ooplasm where they form haploid male pronucleus. This phenomenon is necessary to activate an polylecithal egg and produce a haploid female pronucleus. In the final stage, the female pronucleus merges with the single male pronucleus, which leads to the formation of a diploid zygote. The excess male pronuclei present in ooplasm are broken down by endonucleases (DNases). Understanding the mechanisms leading to the interaction between sperm and oocyte in birds may allow for more accurate programming and breeding of these animals in poultry farms and the introduction of extracorporeal fertilization techniques. In addition, it could be useful for the reproduction of endangered bird species
Keywords: fertilization, bird, physiological polyspermy