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Theriogenology. 2009 Mar 15;71(5):717-28. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.08.016. Epub 2009 Jan 15.

Pregnancy rates in heifers and cows with cryopreserved sexed sperm: effects of sperm numbers per inseminate, sorting pressure and sperm storage before sorting.

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  • 1XY Inc., 22575 SH6 South, Navasota, TX 77868, USA.


Field trials were conducted to increase fertility with AI of flow-sorted, sexed bovine sperm. In the first trial, a novel competitive fertilization approach was used to compare pressures (30psi vs 50psi) for sorting sperm. Both X- and Y-sperm were sorted to approximately 95% purity at 30 and at 50psi; X-50+Y-30 (and the converse) were mixed in equal numbers for AI of heifers. Fetal sex divulged which treatment produced the pregnancy; 82% of pregnancies resulted from the 30psi treatment (P<0.05). Based on a similar approach, a new-pulsed laser did not damage sperm any more than the previous standard continuous wave laser. In a large field trial, sorting sperm at 40psi increased pregnancy rates in heifers relative to 50psi (42.3% vs 34.1%, n=367/group, P<0.05). Storing sperm for 20h before sorting at 40psi decreased pregnancy rates from 42.3% (n=367) to 36.8% (n=368; P<0.05). Breeding heifers with sexed sperm 55-56h after CIDR removal and PGF(2alpha) resulted in 34% (n=32) pregnant, compared to 49% (n=35) with fixed-time insemination 67-68h after CIDR removal (P>0.1). Lactating dairy cows pre-screened for normal reproductive tracts when OvSynch injections (GnRH, prostaglandin, GnRH) were initiated, had similar (P>0.1) pregnancy rates to timed AI, with 10x10(6) sexed sperm (43.9%, n=57), 2x10(6) sexed sperm (40.5%, n=57) and 10x10(6) unsexed control sperm (55.6%, n=58). A final field trial with unselected, lactating dairy cows resulted in similar pregnancy rates for 2x10(6) sexed sperm in 0.25mL straws (25.0%, n=708) and 0.5mL straws (24.4%, n=776), but lower (P<0.05) than unsexed control sperm (37.7%, n=713). Younger cows and those >84 days in milk had the highest pregnancy rates for both sexed and unsexed sperm. These studies improved sperm sexing procedures, and provided insight into appropriate commercial use of sexed sperm.

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