No effect of the plant growth regulator, chlormequat, on boar fertility

M.T. Sørensen, Mette Erecius Poulsen, H. Leffers, G. Vajta, U. Halekoh

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Chlormequat is a commonly used plant growth regulator in agriculture. Defined level; of chlormequat residue are allowed in food and an acceptable daily intake is defined for humans. However, there are results in the literature suggesting that a daily intake below the acceptable level for human is detrimental for mammalian reproduction. In the present experiment we investigated the effect of chlormequat at levels up to that acceptable for humans on reproduction in male pigs. Chlormequat (also known as chlorocholine chloride (CCC)) was mixed into the diet and given to the experimental animals at three levels (three treatment groups), i.e. 0 mg CCC/kg BW per day (Control), 0.025 mg CCC/kg BW per day and 0.05 mg CCC/kg BW per day. Eight mother sows per treatment group were used in the experiment From the day of insemination, the mother sows received the experimental diets. The piglets were weaned at 4 weeks of age and two boar littermates continued on the same treatment as the dam until maturity and delivery of semen for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and in vivo fertilization. Semen volume, sperm concentration and fraction of live sperms were not (P >= 0.46) detrimentally affected by chlormequat intake. The fraction of oocytes developing to more than the one-cell stage at day 5 after IVF was not (P=0.88) detrimentally affected by chlormequat intake. Chlormequat intake did not detrimentally affect the fraction of gilts being pregnant after one insemination (P=0.65) or the number of Embryos in the pregnant gilts (P=0.36). Serum chlormequat concentration was 0.9 mu g/kg in the 0.025 mg CCC/kg BIN per day group and 1.8 mu g/kg in the 0.05 mg CCC/kg BW per day group, but was below the detection limit in control animals. In conclusion, the plant growth regulator chlormequat could not be, proven to be detrimental to the selected reproduction traits in male pigs. This is in contrast to existing results from the male mouse.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)697-702
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • fertility
  • chlormequat
  • reproduction
  • plant growth regulator
  • pig


Dive into the research topics of 'No effect of the plant growth regulator, chlormequat, on boar fertility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this