Is it possible to store spotted wolffish (Anarhichas minor) sperm by refrigeration?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionGonzalez-Lopez, W. A., Patel, D. M., Duncan, N. & Beirão, J. (2020). Is it possible to store spotted wolffish (Anarhichas minor) sperm by refrigeration? Fish Physiology & Biochemistry. doi: 10.1007/s10695-020-00820-w
Spotted wolffish Anarhichas minor reproduction in captivity is dependent on in vitro fertilization. However, it is often challenging to acquire sufficient fresh sperm to fertilize the eggs that are obtained. In this study, we evaluate the possibility to store spotted wolffish sperm by refrigeration. Spotted wolffish sperm has the particularity that is already motile on stripping, and currently it is not possible to immobilize and reactivate. Thus, sperm refrigeration protocols should focus in extending this motility period that usually lasts up to 2 days. In a first experiment, we evaluated the possibility that the motility period of the sperm was limited by contamination with urine. The urea concentration in the sperm obtained both by stripping (17.10 ± 1.98 mg/dL) and directly from the testis (12.59 ± 2.37 mg/dL) was similar (p > 0.05), which indicate that the sperm collection method used avoid contamination with urine. Afterwards, we tested the possibility that the sperm motility period was limited by energy stores. The ATP concentration (initial value 5.65 ± 0.86 nmol/109 cells) remained stable (p = 0.099) during 30 h after sperm collection, and similar values (p = 0.329) were recorded at end of sperm storage in both diluted (3.88 ± 1.35 nmol/109 cells) and undiluted samples (4.76 ± 1.08 nmol/109). This indicates that the low intracellular ATP consumption, derived from the slow sperm motility, can probably be compensated rapidly enough by mitochondrial synthesis of ATP in the spotted wolffish sperm. In both experiments, diluted sperm kept higher percentage of motile cells during the storage time.