Cryopreservation of turkey semen by the pellet method: effects of variables such as the extender, cryoprotectant concentration, cooling time and warming temperature on sperm quality determined through principal components analysis.

PMID 21664665


This study was designed to identify the best pellet cryopreservation procedure for the cryosurvival of turkey semen among 192 different treatments established by variations and permutations of seven conditions used in the freezing/thawing process. These conditions were: diluent (IGGKPh, SPh or Tselutin); dilution rate (1:3 vs. 1:4); cooling time (45 vs. 60 min); dimethylacetamide (DMA) concentration as cryoprotectant (6 vs. 8%); equilibration time in DMA (1 vs. 5 min); semen drop volume (50 vs. 80 μL) and thawing temperature (60 vs. 75 °C). Through principal components analysis (PCA), post-thaw sperm quality data (mobility, viability and membrane functional integrity) were reduced to a single output variable (Sperm Quality) indicating overall post-thaw semen quality. All treatments induced a significant reduction in semen quality after warming (P < 0.01), though one set of seven conditions, or treatment, was identified by PCA to generate the highest Sperm Quality score and a further five treatments yielded a score not significantly different (P > 0.05) from this best score. Although still not fulfilling the requirements for commercial application, our findings serve to identify the critical steps in turkey sperm cryopreservation that need to be assessed in future studies.