Cryopreservation of boar semen. II: Effect of cooling rate and duration of freezing point plateau on boar semen frozen in mini- and maxi-straws and plastic bags
Bwanga, C.O.; Einarsson, S.; Rodriguez-Martinez, H.
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 32(4): 455-461
The post-thaw motility and the acrosome integrity of semen from 4 boars frozen with a programmable freezing machine, in mini (0.25 ml) and maxi (5 ml) plastic straws and in 10 x 5 cm Teflon FEP-plastic bags (0.12 mm thick, 5 ml), were compared. The freezing of the semen was monitored by way of thermo-couples placed in the straws and the bags. Three freezing programmes were used, namely A: from +5 degrees C, at a rate of 3 degrees C/min, to -6 degrees C, held for 1 min at -6 degrees C, and followed by a cooling rate of 20 degrees C/min to -100 degrees C; B: a similar curve except that there was no holding time at -6 degrees C and that the cooling rate was 30 degrees C/min, and C: from +5 degrees C to -100 degrees C, with a cooling rate of 35 degrees C/min, followed by storage in liquid N2. Despite the freezing curve assayed, both the mini-straws and the bags depicted much shorter freezing point plateaus as compared to the maxi-straws. Post-thaw sperm motility as well as the amount of normal apical ridges were equally significantly higher when semen was frozen in mini-straws or in bags than in maxi-straws. Significant differences in these post-thawing parameters were obtained between the freezing curves used. The stepwise freezing procedure A appeared as the best alternative for boar semen, considering this in vitro evaluation.