Optimization of donkey sperm vitrification: Effect of sucrose, sperm concentration, volume and package (0.25 and 0.5 mL straws).


Veterinary Reproduction Group, University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain. Electronic address: [Email]


The aim of this study was to assess the effect of different factors affecting vitrification success of donkey sperm: extender, sperm concentration, volume and storage vessel type. In Experiment 1, sucrose supplementations at 0.25 and 0.1 M were compared using two base extenders (containing or not egg-yolk); in Experiment 2, three sperm concentrations were assessed: 100, 200 or 300 million sperm/mL; and in Experiment 3, three different sperm volumes (100, 160 and 200 μL) and two different storage vessels (0.25 and 0.5 mL straws) were assessed. Sperm motility variables (CASA), plasma membrane and acrosome (evaluated under fluorescence microscopy) and sperm DNA integrity (flow cytometry) were evaluated after warming with comparisons of protocols. There was a greater total (55.7 ± 16.4%) and progressive (44.0 ± 11.5%) motility using the extender with egg-yolk and 0.1 M sucrose. There were no effects of sperm concentrations on vitrification results (P > 0.05). The 0.25 mL covered straw showed higher values than the 0.5 mL straw for total (50.0 ± 17.3% vs 2.0 ± 6.7%) and progressive (40.5 ± 14.9% vs 0.9 ± 1.5%) motility, plasma membrane (43.9 ± 14.4% vs 14.0 ± 16.4%) and acrosome integrity (51.5 ± 13.6% vs 28.0 ± 14.7%), respectively. In conclusion, values for donkey sperm quality variables after vitrification were greater using an extender containing egg-yolk and 0.1 M sucrose, at 300 million sperm/mL in 0.25 mL straws with outer covers.