Short-term liquid storage of ram semen in various extenders
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of three extenders on ram sperm quality after short-term liquid storage (24 hours’ holding time). The study included 20 crossbred rams (Pirot Pramenka x Wurttemberg x Ile de France), 12 months old. Animals were housed at the experimental sheep farm of the Institute for Animal Husbandry in Belgrade, Serbia. Semen was collected through electro ejaculation. The ejaculates were obtained from single services and routine field analysis of the semen was performed immediately after the collection. The semen was split and diluted with three extenders, namely Optidyl®, Andromed® and ultrahigh temperature processed (UHT) milk, in ratios of 1 : 50 or 1 : 100. The ejaculates were examined for sperm motility variables (sperm cell motility percentage, the progressive motility percentage, curvilinear velocity (VCL), straight line velocity (VSL), average path velocity (VAP), sperm linearity (LIN), straightness (STR), amplitude of lateral sperm head displacement (ALH), beat cross frequency (BCF) and circular tracks), and sperm morphology (live sperm percentage, percentage of normal sperm forms with intact acrosome, percentage of abnormal sperm forms and total damaged acrosome) by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and classic sperm cytology after supravital eosin/nigrosine/trypan blue staining, respectively. It was observed that the type of extender used in diluting ram semen is an important factor in the successful short-term liquid preservation (at 4 °C) of ram spermatozoa. In conclusion, this study showed that egg yolk (Optidyl) and soybean (Andromed)-based extenders gave better results of both sperm morphology and sperm motility parameters compared with UHT milk.
Keywords: Diluents, morphology, motility, sperm