Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

Cryopreservation of epididymal alpaca (Vicugna pacos) sperm: a comparison of citrate-, Tris- and lactose-based diluents and pellets and straws

Katherine M. Morton A B , Roslyn Bathgate A , Gareth Evans A and W. M. Chis Maxwell A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Advanced Technologies in Animal Genetics and Reproduction (ReproGen), Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email:

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 19(7) 792-796
Submitted: 13 March 2007  Accepted: 16 May 2007   Published: 8 August 2007


Epididymal spermatozoa were harvested from male alpacas and frozen after extension and cooling to 4°C in citrate-, Tris- and lactose-based diluents (Experiment 1) and as pellets in 0.25- and 0.5-mL straws on either dry ice or over liquid nitrogen vapour (Experiment 2) to determine the effects diluents and packaging on their motility and acrosome integrity. In Experiment 1, sperm motility was higher after cooling to 4°C and after freeze–thawing (0 but not 3 h post-thaw) for spermatozoa extended in the lactose- than the citrate- or Tris-based diluent (P < 0.05). Post-thaw acrosome integrity after cooling to 4°C and post-thaw (0 h) was reduced for spermatozoa frozen in citrate- compared with lactose- or Tris-based diluents, but was similar for all groups 3 h after thawing. In Experiment 2, sperm motility immediately after thawing was higher for pellet freezing than for 0.25- or 0.5-mL straws on dry ice or liquid nitrogen vapour (P < 0.05), although by 3 h post-thaw motility was similar for pellets and straws (P > 0.05). Acrosome integrity was similar for all groups immediately after thawing and 3 h post-thaw. Cryopreservation of epididymal alpaca spermatozoa is feasible, with retained motility and acrosome integrity post-thaw. Freezing as pellets in a lactose-based diluent is recommended.

Additional keywords: artificial insemination, Camelidae, spermatozoa.


This research was supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and the Australian Alpaca Association. The authors thank Ms K. J. Heasman for her excellent technical assistance and Mrs Iona McKinnon for organizing and assisting with the collection of testes.


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