This appears to be the first reported case of a bull with a balanced autosomal reciprocal translocation associated with azoospermia. The analysis includes somatic chromosome banding, conventional meiotic analysis, and electron microscopy of synaptonemal complexes (SCs). The karyotype of the bull was found to be 60, XY, rcp(8;13)(ql l;q24). Electron microscopy of SCs in microspread pachytene spermatocytes revealed a high incidence of terminal asynapsis of the smallest arm of the quadrivalent. Most quadrivalents with such asynapsis and few with nonhomologous synapsis showed associations with the XY sex bivalent, leading to complete meiotic arrest at late pachynema. Except for one diakinetic cell, no diplotene and subsequent stages were encountered in air-dried meiotic preparations. The presence of degenerating primary spermatocytes in SC preparations, as well as in testicular sections, and the absence of spermatozoa in ejaculates confirm the chromosomally derived male sterility of the bull. X-chromosome reactivation, evidenced by the cytomorphological reversal of associated sex bivalents, appeared to be the initial step in the degeneration of spermatocytes. Consequently, the formation of a separate, fully developed XY body, which was previously demonstrated on the periphery of spermatocyte nuclei in fertile bulls, could not be attained in this case. Extensive end-to-end association of autosomal bivalents in meiotically arrested, as well as degenerating, spermatocytes was a consistent and unique observation of this study. Such associations may lead to enhanced reactivation of the X chromosome.

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