The aim of the present study was to establish and compare the durations of the seminiferous epithelium cycles of the common shrew Sorex araneus, which is characterized by a high metabolic rate and multiple paternity, and the greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula, which is characterized by a low metabolic rate and a monogamous mating system. Twelve S. araneus males and fifteen C. russula males were injected intraperitoneally with 5-bromodeoxyuridine, and the testes were collected. For cycle length determinations, we applied the classical method of estimation and linear regression as a new method. With regard to variance, and even with a relatively small sample size, the new method seems to be more precise. In addition, the regression method allows the inference of information for every animal tested, enabling comparisons of different factors with cycle lengths. Our results show that not only increased testis size leads to increased sperm production, but it also reduces the duration of spermatogenesis. The calculated cycle lengths were 8.35 days for S. araneus and 12.12 days for C. russula. The data obtained in the present study provide the basis for future investigations into the effects of metabolic rate and mating systems on the speed of spermatogenesis.
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Vol. 76 • No. 5