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Seminal plasma affects sperm sex sorting in boars

Diego V. Alkmin A, Inmaculada Parrilla A, Tatiana Tarantini A, David del Olmo A, Juan M. Vazquez A, Emilio A. Martinez A and Jordi Roca A B

A Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery, University of Murcia, Veterinary Medicine, Campus de Espinardo, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain.
B Corresponding author. Email: roca@um.es

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD14088
Submitted: 11 March 2014  Accepted: 2 August 2014   Published online: 28 August 2014

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Two experiments were conducted in boar semen samples to evaluate how both holding time (24 h) and the presence of seminal plasma (SP) before sorting affect sperm sortability and the ability of sex-sorted spermatozoa to tolerate liquid storage. Whole ejaculate samples were divided into three aliquots immediately after collection: one was diluted (1 : 1, v/v) in Beltsville thawing solution (BTS; 50% SP); the SP of the other two aliquots was removed and the sperm pellets were diluted with BTS + 10% of their own SP (10% SP) or BTS alone (0% SP). The three aliquots of each ejaculate were divided into two portions, one that was processed immediately for sorting and a second that was sorted after 24 h storage at 15–17°C. In the first experiment, the ability to exhibit well-defined X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm peaks (split) in the cytometry histogram and the subsequent sorting efficiency were assessed (20 ejaculates). In contrast with holding time, the SP proportion influenced the parameters examined, as evidenced by the higher number of ejaculates exhibiting split and better sorting efficiency (P < 0.05) in semen samples with 0–10% SP compared with those with 50% SP. In a second experiment, the quality (viability, total and progressive motility) and functionality (plasma membrane fluidity and intracellular generation of reactive oxygen species) of sex-sorted spermatozoa were evaluated after 0, 72 and 120 h storage at 15–17°C (10 ejaculates). Holding time and SP proportion did not influence the quality or functionality of stored sex-sorted spermatozoa. In conclusion, a holding time as long as 24 h before sorting did not negatively affect sex sorting efficiency or the ability of sorted boar spermatozoa to tolerate long-term liquid storage. A high proportion of SP (50%) in the semen samples before sorting reduced the number of ejaculates to be sorted and negatively influenced the sorting efficiency, but did not affect the ability of sex-sorted spermatozoa to tolerate liquid storage.

Additional keyword: holding time.


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