A1 Journal article (refereed)
Chronic Background Radiation Correlates With Sperm Swimming Endurance in Bank Voles From Chernobyl (2022)

Kivisaari, K., Calhim, S., Lehmann, P., Boratyński, Z., Mousseau, T. A., Møller, A. P., & Mappes, T. (2022). Chronic Background Radiation Correlates With Sperm Swimming Endurance in Bank Voles From Chernobyl. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9, Article 736389. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.736389

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kivisaari, Kati; Calhim, Sara; Lehmann, Philipp; Boratyński, Zbyszek; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Møller, Anders P.; Mappes, Tapio

Journal or series: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution

eISSN: 2296-701X

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 06/01/2022

Volume: 9

Article number: 736389

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.736389

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/79400


Sperm quantity and quality are key features explaining intra- and interspecific variation in male reproductive success. Spermatogenesis is sensitive to ionizing radiation and laboratory studies investigating acute effects of ionizing radiation have indeed found negative effects of radiation on sperm quantity and quality. In nature, levels of natural background radiation vary dramatically, and chronic effects of low-level background radiation exposure on spermatogenesis are poorly understood. The Chernobyl region offers a unique research opportunity for investigating effects of chronic low-level ionizing radiation on reproductive properties of wild organisms. We captured male bank voles (Myodes glareolus) from 24 locations in the Chernobyl exclusion zone in 2011 and 2015 and collected information on sperm morphology and kinetics. The dataset is limited in size and there overall was a relatively weak correlation between background radiation and sperm quality. Still, some correlations are worth discussing. First, midpiece segments of spermatozoa tended to be smaller in bank vole males from areas with elevated background radiation levels. Second, we demonstrated a significant positive relationship between background radiation dose rates and the proportion of static spermatozoa among males within and among study locations after 10 as well as
60 min of incubation. Our results provide novel evidence of damaging effects of low dose ionizing radiation on sperm performance in wild rodent populations, and highlight that this topic requires further study across the natural gradients of background radiation that exist in nature.

Keywords: radiobiology; background radiation; ionising radiation; physiological effects; reproduction (biology); spermatozoa; Clethrionomys glareolus

Free keywords: background radiation; Myodes glareolus; reproduction; performance; sperm morphometry

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Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 11:25