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PLOS ONE  2013 

Methods for Cryopreservation of Guinea Fowl Sperm

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062759

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Abstract:

Conservation of indigenous poultry species is an important part of the new Hungarian agricultural strategy. Semen cryopreservation is the most practical method for the long term storage of poultry genetic material. The objective was to compare four protocols for cryopreservation of guinea fowl sperm (slow and fast programmable, freezing in nitrogen vapor, and pellet) and three cryoprotectants (10% ethylene glycol, 6% dimethyl-formamide and 6% dimethyl-acetamide). The efficiency of the methods was examined by in vitro tests (subjective motility scoring, sperm concentration, morphological and live/dead sperm analysis with eosin-aniline staining). Thereafter, the two most promising methods were tested by artificial insemination of frozen-thawed semen (3 times a week for 3 weeks using 300 million spermatozoa/hen), followed by candling of incubated eggs, assessment of fertilization, embryonic death, and hatching rate. The survival rate of live, intact spermatozoa was greatest (p≤0.05) in pellet method and the slow programmable protocol (with 10% ethylene glycol) (28.6 and 23.5%). The two best protocols (based on in vitro assessment of post-thaw semen quality) were subsequently tested in vivo with artificial insemination. The pellet method yielded a 64% fertility rate compared to slow protocol with only 30% fertility. Regardless, both freezing protocols significantly increased embryonic deaths compared to the control group (16,7; 9,1 and 8,3%, respectively). During the 3-week in vivo trial, fertility increased and early embryonic death decreased over time. According to the results the guinea fowl sperm could tolerate the fast freezing in pellet better than the slower freezing rates and resulted acceptable fertility rate.

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