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Theriogenology. 2009 Jul 15;72(2):160-8. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2009.02.002. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Sperm characteristics and in vitro fertilization ability of thawed spermatozoa from Black Manchega ram: electroejaculation and postmortem collection.

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Regional Center of Animal Selection and Reproduction (CERSYRA) JCCM, Valdepeñas, Spain.


The aim of this study was to assess two models of sperm collection on the quality and fertility of thawed spermatozoa from Black Manchega rams, a threatened breed. Sperm samples were collected by electroejaculation and postmortem from each male. Samples were diluted with Biladyl and frozen. Motility (subjective and objective by means of computer-assisted semen analysis), membrane integrity, and acrosomal status (microscopy) were assessed on fresh and thawed semen; plasmalemma integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA integrity, and acrosomal status were evaluated by flow cytometry on thawed semen. Thawed spermatozoa were used in a heterologous in vitro fertilization test. After thawing, the proportion of live spermatozoa with intact membrane (YO-PRO-1-/PI-) was higher for postmortem samples (P<0.001), although the ratio of YO-PRO-1- spermatozoa within the PI- population was higher for ejaculated samples (P=0.007). Likewise, the proportion of live spermatozoa having high mitochondrial membrane potential (MitoTracker+) and intact acrosomes (PNA-) was higher for postmortem samples (P<0.001 and P<0.001, respectively). Considering only live spermatozoa, the ratio of MitoTracker+/PNA- cells was higher for electroejaculated samples (P=0.026 and P=0.003). Both electroejaculated and postmortem samples fertilized oocytes. Nevertheless, electroejaculated samples yielded a higher percentage of hybrid embryos (P=0.041). In conclusion, although postmortem spermatozoa had better sperm quality after thawing, electroejaculated spermatozoa showed higher ratios for sperm quality when only the live population was considered. Electroejaculated and postmortem samples might be used for germplasm banking of this threatened breed, but the fertility of postmortem spermatozoa might be lower.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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