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Effect of production management on semen quality during long-term storage in different European boar studs

Schulze, M., Kuster, C., Schäfer, J., Jung, M., Grossfeld, R.
Animal reproduction science 2018 v.190 pp. 94-101
Pietrain, acrosome, boars, computer software, heat tolerance, mitochondria, plasma membrane, risk, semen quality, sperm motility, storage time, stress tolerance, temperature, Germany
The processing of ejaculates is a fundamental step for the fertilizing capacity of boar spermatozoa. The aim of the present study was to identify factors that affect quality of boar semen doses. The production process during 1 day of semen processing in 26 European boar studs was monitored. In each boar stud, nine to 19 randomly selected ejaculates from 372 Pietrain boars were analyzed for sperm motility, acrosome and plasma membrane integrity, mitochondrial activity and thermo-resistance (TRT). Each ejaculate was monitored for production time and temperature for each step in semen processing using the special programmed software SEQU (version 1.7, Minitüb, Tiefenbach, Germany). The dilution of ejaculates with a short-term extender was completed in one step in 10 AI centers (n = 135 ejaculates), in two steps in 11 AI centers (n = 158 ejaculates) and in three steps in five AI centers (n = 79 ejaculates). Results indicated there was a greater semen quality with one-step isothermal dilution compared with the multi-step dilution of AI semen doses (total motility TRT d7: 71.1 ± 19.2%, 64.6 ± 20.0%, 47.1 ± 27.1%; one-step compared with two-step compared with the three-step dilution; P < .05). There was a marked advantage when using the one-step isothermal dilution regarding time management, preservation suitability, stability and stress resistance. One-step dilution caused significant lower holding times of raw ejaculates and reduced the possible risk of making mistakes due to a lower number of processing steps. These results lead to refined recommendations for boar semen processing.