Summary. Nonagouti (KP × C57BL)F1 hybrid females were artificially inseminated with a mixture of spermatozoa from males of the KE (nonagouti) and CBA (agouti) strains and the genotype of young was estimated by fur pigmentation. When KE and CBA spermatozoa mixed in the ratios of 1:1, 2:1 and 4:1 were inseminated after ovulation, 87%, 56% and 29% of progeny, respectively, were sired by CBA males, i.e. proportions of CBA progeny were significantly higher than ratios of CBA spermatozoa in the mixture. The surplus of CBA progeny was significantly less in females inseminated before ovulation, which may suggest that more rapid capacitation of CBA spermatozoa is partly responsible for their competitive advantage. In preparations from oviducal flushings of females killed 2–3 h after insemination, CBA spermatozoa (recognized by their shape) were found in similar proportions as in the inseminated mixture. There was therefore no evidence of their preferential selection at the uterotubal junction.
No competitive advantage of CBA spermatozoa occurred when they were inseminated with spermatozoa from males of the KE.CBA strain, congenic with KE but with the Y chromosome derived from the CBA strain. This indicates that genetic factors linked with the Y chromosome may influence competitive ability of spermatozoa.